Director Victoria Mahoney is set to join writer-director J.J. Abrams on Star Wars: Episode IX.
The news was announced by Academy Award winning director Ava DuVernay, who has previously worked with Mahoney on her series Queen Sugar. Mahoney, who is perhaps best known for her television work, has built up a steady relationship with Disney, having directed the pilot for Freeform's Misfits reboot, as well as episodes of American Crime and Grey's Anatomy for ABC. Her role as second unit director on Star Wars: Episode IX will mark her highest-profile project to date.
Happy to share this historic news. A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away. First unit director #JJAbrams. Second unit director @VictoriaMahoney. #StarWarsE9 #StarWars pic.twitter.com/s689jv9I4u— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 17, 2018
Mahoney herself followed up on DuVernay's Tweet and thanked her for putting her name in the ring for the film.
Catt's outta the bag. Thank you @ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat. Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. *This one's for the outliers, dreaming big--in small corners of the Earth.— Vic Mahoney (@VictoriaMahoney) April 17, 2018
Although she's not the film's main director -- that title still belongs to Abrams -- Mahoney's hiring as the second unit director on the latest Star Wars installment will make her the first black female director in the franchise. Hopefully, it also marks a positive step forward for the mega-franchise, as fans continue to call for Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm to consider female directors for future projects. As a second unit director, Mahoney will still get a chance to leave her mark on the film, as they're typically responsible for shooting "supplementary" shots, meaning they tend to establish shots, stunts and cutaways.
Along with directing the pilot for Freeform's planned Misfits reboot, Mahoney also recently wrapped production on the pilot for CBS' Red Line, which DuVernay is executive producing alongside Arrowverse mega-producer Greg Berlanti.
Star Wars Episode IX is set to arrive in theaters on December 20, 2019. The movie will star Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren and Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron.