Perhaps the most contentious battle in the world of geek fandom in recent years has been fought over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Star Wars film that was released in December of 2017. Some fans of the movies loved the film, while others were strongly opposed, and many of those in the latter camp have directed their ire at the movie’s director, Rian Johnson.
Around the time of The Last Jedi’s release, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Johnson would be staying in the fold as director of a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, as reported by Deadline in November of 2017. It’s not known what the subject matter was of the new movies, when in the Star Wars chronology they would be set, or when they might be released. Little has been announced in terms of additional information about the films in the time since.
On Wednesday, per Collider, a little-known movie website called Super Bro Movies reported that Johnson was no longer on board to direct the new trilogy and was instead focusing on other projects. This “news” was soon widely aggregated by numerous movie websites.
However, Johnson himself refuted the rumors on Twitter Thursday morning.
Responding to a tweet by film writer Priscilla Page about the rumor, Johnson replied, “no it isn’t true, I’m still working on the trilogy. With all due respect to the movie bros, who I’m sure are lovely kind bros with good fraternal intentions.” In the same thread, he replied to screenwriter C. Robert Cargill by stating, “I refuse to believe you didn’t just make up ‘superbro movies.'”
Johnson, who has remained on Twitter despite a lot of vitriol directed his way by anti-Last Jedi partisans, also said, “I think the rumor game makes fandom funner.”
Another website, Making Star Wars, also responded to the Super Bro Movies report by checking with sources and confirming that none of them had heard anything about a Johnson departure.
“My sources of various levels in the corporation have all denied the rumor du jour,” Making Star Wars’ Jason Ward wrote. “On my end there has been absolutely no conflicting information or anyone saying otherwise.”
Super Bro Movies eventually took the story down.
The future of Star Wars movies is somewhat in flux, following the release of the underperforming Solo: A Star Wars Story last spring, with some future “standalone” movies no longer in development. However, Star Wars: Episode IX will be released this December, while new trilogies in development have been announced both by Johnson and by the creators of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.