Home Entertainment Colin Trevorrow reportedly fired from Star Wars: Episode IX for being “difficult”

Colin Trevorrow reportedly fired from Star Wars: Episode IX for being “difficult”

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Creative differences. Seemingly Hollywood’s favourite opaque euphemism whenever a studio needs to explain why it had to part ways with a particular person on a film project. And as millions of fans around the world sensed a great disturbance in the Force last week when it was revealed by Lucasfilm that director Colin Trevorrow was exiting the greatly anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX, it was once again creative differences that got the blame.

To be more exact, the official statement said that Trevorrow and the studio’s “visions for the project differ”, but it would seem it was more a clash of personalities than anything to do with how to tell the story. At least that’s according to Vulture, who reportedly made contact with “a ranking Hollywood movie insider with direct knowledge of the productions on both The Book of Henry and Jurassic World”.

The latter is, of course, the record breaking 2015 blockbuster franchise revival smash hit which Trevorrow helmed after just having one tiny Sundance darling indie film under his belt. That film, Safety Not Guaranteed, caught the attention of Steven Spielberg, who famously directed the original Jurassic Park films and who brought Trevorrow on board for Jurassic World, which ended up grossing $1.6 billion and earning mostly positive reviews. And according to Vulture’s source, this jump to the big time brought about a major change in the director.

During the making of Jurassic World, he focused a great deal of his creative energies on asserting his opinion. But because he had been personally hired by Spielberg, nobody could say, ‘You’re fired.’

Once that film went through the roof and he chose to do Henry, [Trevorrow] was unbearable. He had an egotistical point of view— and he was always asserting that.

“Henry” refers to The Book of Henry, which was the exact opposite of Jurassic World, not only because it was Trevorrow’s return to his tiny scale indie roots. The film released earlier this year to viciously scathing reviews and completely bombed at the box office. At the same time, Trevorrow reportedly became “unmanageable” as the script for Episode IX, which he co-wrote with Jurassic World collaborator Derek Connolly, went through multiple drafts with continual sore points.

And it would seem that The Book of Henry’s consummate faceplant provided Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy with all the reason she needed to oust a “difficult” Trevorrow.

When the reviews for Book of Henry came out, there was immediately conjecture that Kathy was going to dump him because they weren’t thrilled with working with him anyway. He’s a difficult guy. He’s really, really, really confident. Let’s call it that.

Just a few months ago, Kennedy had needed to fire co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff film, mere weeks away from it wrapping shooting. In that instance, it’s reported that Lord and Miller also had strong ideas about how they wanted to do the film which contradicted Lucasfilm’s plans, but Kennedy still kept trying to keep everything on track until eventually things came to a head. She was apparently not making the mistake of waiting so long and disrupting production so late in the game again.

As Vulture points out, a similar early firing took place when director Josh Trank’s alleged behaviour on set for Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot – which was produced by Star Wars braintrust member Simon Kinberg – got him booted from a Star Wars spinoff film before it was even officially announced in 2015. There too it was Kennedy doing the axing – something which should come as no surprise according to another of Vulture’s sources, a veteran movie producer.

There’s one gatekeeper when it comes to Star Wars and it’s Kathleen Kennedy. If you rub Kathleen Kennedy the wrong way — in any way — you’re out. You’re done. A lot of these young, new directors want to come in and say, ‘I want to do this. I want to do that.’ A lot of these guys — Lord and Miller, Colin Trevorrow — got very rich, very fast and believed a lot of their own hype. And they don’t want to play by the rules. They want to do shit differently. And Kathleen Kennedy isn’t going to f–k around with that.

Clearly not.

The still untitled Star Wars: Episode IX is currently still scheduled for a May 24, 2019 release. Lucasfilm is yet to announce a replacement director, but the current favourite pick is for Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson to simply stay on board and take over on the follow-up to his film. There’s even a rumour going around that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams might also be being looked at to return, though this sounds far less likely to happen due to the filmmaker stating in the past that he was done with Star Wars after kicking off the new trilogy of films.

Last Updated: September 11, 2017

10 Comments

  1. I guarantee they will move the movie back to December 2019 now. New director will mean script changes, and we’re so close to shooting as it is.

    Reply

  2. Original Heretic

    September 11, 2017 at 11:24

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I like that Kennedy is doing this. These overbloated in the head directors coming in, thinking they’re going to make sweeping changes to one of the most beloved franchises in movie history, I would also consider them a problem that needs to be axed.
    However, that being said, this opinion is subject to change, based on how good the upcoming SW movies turn out.

    Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      September 11, 2017 at 11:45

      I’m actually fully in agreement with you. One of the reasons the WB DCEU is so hit and miss and floundering around, is because they don’t have a singular vision at the top corralling everything. Kevin Feige does it for Marvel, and Kathleen Kennedy is doing it for Star Wars. And clearly she’s far more cutthroat in her approach, but thus far it’s delivered results, so can we blame her?

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 11, 2017 at 11:50

        I think Feige has been far more insightful on who he’s hiring in the first place. He hasn’t just gone for some new up and comer who looks promising. Before you hire anyone in such a grand scale project, you need to make DAMN sure that their vision meshes with the bigger picture.

        Reply

        • Kervyn Cloete

          September 11, 2017 at 11:54

          Well, what Marvel does is that they have in-house writers who produce a spec script based on the general direction they want to go. They then shop that script out on the market, and directors have to come and pitch them their own version of that story. That’s how the Russo’s landed Winter Soldier despite never having done action movies before. They pitched this espionage thriller with these immacualately choreographed action scenes, and Marvel loved it.

          WB and also Universal with their Dark Universe, seem to have an approach of saying, here’s all our toys and we want you guys to come do whatever you want with them because you’re the really popular cool kids.

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            September 11, 2017 at 11:56

            And as is the case the world over, the “popular” kids are the idiots who ruin it all.

        • RinceThis

          September 11, 2017 at 11:56

          Well James Gunn hadn’t done anything big and he was picked up for GoTG…

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            September 11, 2017 at 11:58

            He was a good hire. A damn good hire.
            And is vision has meshed very well with the rest of the MCU.

          • RinceThis

            September 11, 2017 at 11:58

            totally agree. Tough Feige did have issues with cementing a director for Ant-Man, That said, that also turned out really well!

    • Kromas Ryder

      September 11, 2017 at 12:19

      It is not as unpopular of an opinion as you may think. At least not among Star Wars fans.

      Reply

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