We now have official confirmation that the second Star Wars Anthology film will be a Han Solo origin story. The film will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who most recently helmed what I thought was the best movie of 2014: The LEGO Movie. This is the project being written by Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote The Empire Strikes Back), and is rumored to also contain Boba Fett. Lord & Miller are already committed to direct DC’s solo Flash movie and an animated Spider-Man film for Sony, but this project moves to the front of their queue as it already has a release date of May 25, 2018, sandwiched between Episodes VIII and IX.
I think Disney/Lucasfilm have made another superb pick. Lord & Miller have just the kind of irreverent edge to take on a young Solo. Lord and Miller expanded on landing the second spin-off (which is apparently NOT the same project that Josh Trank quit or was fired from): “This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all” said Miller and Lord.
Speaking of Star Wars Anthology films, Geek Tyrant is reporting that the first spin-off: Star Wars Rogue One will bring Darth Vader back to the screen. Given that the film takes place shortly before Episode IV and involves the mission to steal the plans for the first Death Star, that’s not a huge shock, but cool to know that he’ll be showing up. Here’s Geek Tyrant’s scoop:
[Vader] will not be the main antagonist but he will be working behind the scenes, pulling strings and will appear onscreen. Literally, I’m told – he’ll be showing up via viewscreen or holo projection or something. Will our heroes actually run into the Dark Lord of the Sith in person? My source wouldn’t say. My source was also mum about Grand Moff Tarkin, who was of course the commander of the fully operational Death Star.
If that wasn’t enough Star Wars excitement for you, IGN and several other sources have reported that Donnie Yen (Ip Man) has been signed to play a Jedi in Star Wars Episode VIII. The only officially confirmed cast member for Episode VIII is Oscar Isaac, but the Yen rumor seems pretty solid. Episode VIII is currently being written by Rian Johnson (Looper) who will also be directing the film and is scheduled for a May 26, 2017, release. An additional facet to the Yen rumor is that he is also intended to appear in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. This would be extremely interesting as the two films will be separated in time by roughly fifty years, and would mean Yen’s Jedi managed to elude Vader’s purge. Yen is not just a peerless martial artist, but an outstanding actor so this would be just icing on a birthday cake of a day for Star Wars fans.