Here’s a fun “What if?” story that probably won’t hold much weight. But it’s a fun idea to tackle anyway. Because on paper, this story makes a lot of sense. Whether it’s true or not, we’ll have to see…But I have my doubts.
Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has become a hot commodity over the last month. With his Jurassic Park sequel tearing up everything in its path at the box office until last weekend, and also earning the top grossing weekend ever for any film, it was only a matter of time before we started hearing rumors about where the director may be headed next. Yesterday, we had word that Lucasfilm may be looking at the director to helm Star Wars Episode IX, and closing out the first new trilogy of the Kathleen Kennedy run series.
Umberto “Elmayimbe” Gonzalez broke the scoop over at Heroic Hollywood, saying that Trevorrow was set to be brought on stage before the end of the Lucasfilm panel and announced as the director of the film, but later updated his story saying that it wasn’t going to happen.
However, a new report suggest that Gonzalez may not have been far off, but he was looking on the wrong side of Lucasfilm. Trevorrow may in fact by up for directing a project over at the studio, but it wouldn’t be for a Star Wars film. It would be the Indiana Jones reboot, which his Jurassic World star Chris Pratt is rumored to be circling.
This is Infamous has the scoop, which says that Abrams still has right of refusal on Episode IX right now, but that’s not what Lucasfilm is focused on right now. Before Episode IX can get a director, the studio is focused on finding a director for their Boba Fett Anthology film, which was left without a director when Josh Trank exited the project.
So if Episode IX wasn’t a priority, why would the studio be talking to Trevorrow about directing it? While that may have come up in the conversations, it actually sounds like he’s being courted to re-launch the Indiana Jones franchise, with Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy at his side. According to the site, Lucas isn’t too keen on working with Lucasfilm or Disney after how his ideas were handled in The Force Awakens, but Steven Spielberg isn’t ready to say goodbye to the series just yet. Spielberg’s relationship with Trevorrow is excellent, and he loved how collaborative the young filmmaker was when they were working on Jurassic World together. His relationship being so strong with the core team behind the franchise would make him directing an easy choice already, and it would mean they’d be able trust the person in the driver’s seat of the series.
The report goes on to say that the rumors about Chris Pratt dawning the fedora in the franchise is far from smoke either. Apparently some real work is happening behind the scenes there, with Pratt being the top choice for the role. With Ford now in his early 70s, there’s no way he can handle carrying the franchise on in the way he used to. The studio is looking at what’s best for the franchise, as well as its aging star, and going this route will be the best option. Couple that with the idea of Pratt and Trevorrow working together again, it sounds like it could be a perfect match for the series, and bring new life to it.
Apparently the gears are turning rather quickly behind the scenes, with a 2018 release date for the film becoming a very real possibility. Lucasfilm is said to have met with some writers to tackle the project, including Lawrence Kasdan, who is quickly becoming a Lucasfilm mainstay. Kasdan, who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back under Lucas originally, has now written The Force Awakens and the upcoming Han Solo Anthology film, and seems to have found his place in Kennedy’s new regime at Lucasfilm. To have a lot of the old blood in the series backing this new outing for the Indiana Jones franchise, and bringing in some new blood to give it a kick, it could be the best of both worlds scenario. It would give fans ease knowing that many of the old players were still involved, and hopefully trust in the new team that they’re promising to deliver something that lives up to the original films.
Frankly, this is all good news in my mind. If George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had managed to get a sequel to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull off the ground five or six years ago, things may have been different. But we’re now almost a decade out, and the film’s legacy hasn’t gotten any better since release. Many look down on the film as the weakest entry in the franchise, staining what they loved about the original trilogy. It would have been near impossible to bounce back from that and deliver a film that could please the fans and win them back over, so starting fresh may be the best idea for everyone involved. Let Ford leave his legacy intact, and move forward in a new direction, much like Lucasfilm is doing with Star Wars as well, and bring the series back in a big, new, way.
I thought Trevorrow did an excellent job making a very Spielberg and Amblin feeling film in Jurassic World, even if the film did have some plot holes, and a bit of controversy surrounding it. But that doesn’t take away from that Colin managed to direct an excellent film, and make Jurassic Park relevant again. If he can manage to get the same magic again, he could do something incredibly fun and special with the Indiana Jones property. I really hope he and Pratt get a chance to take a go at the series, because I think they’re the guys for the job.
For now, this is all rumors, but if Lucasfilm is truly aiming for a 2018 release, we’ll probably be learning something sooner rather than later. At this time though, take this with a massive grain of salt. This Is Infamous has a less than perfect track record when it comes to their rumors, so this may not lead to anything. Still, it’s a great “what if?” scenario, and one that makes a lot of sense.