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New Star Wars movie planned with Sleight director, Luke Cage writer

By Benjamin Bullard
Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker poster

The galaxy far, far away may not spend too much time away from the movies in the wake of the Skywalker saga's conclusion, with an early report that a new Star Wars project is in the works.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (and confirmed by multiple outlets), a new Star Wars movie is in development, and it’ll reportedly be sprung from the creative minds of Luke Cage writer Matt Owens and Sleight director J.D. Dillard. The still-developing story doesn’t identify whether the project, among the first to be revealed following the release of The Rise of Skywalker, would be bound for theaters or perhaps for the small screen at Disney+. Disney declined to comment when contacted by SYFY WIRE.

Beyond the news that a new Star Wars story is in the planning stages, little else is known about the potential project. It's not clear whether Dillard would direct the movie — which reportedly isn't the same film pitch as the ones recently reported from Marvel creative mastermind Kevin Feige, nor the longer-brewing film cycle from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. At last check, Johnson still sounded optimistic about his much-buzzed Star Wars movie trilogy, reportedly to be set outside the Skywalker story world, moving forward with Disney and Lucasfilm.

Though we don't know what they'll be exactly, Disney has already slated future Star Wars movies for December of 2022, 2024, and 2026.

J.D. Dillard

With Sleight, his trippy 2016 directorial debut, Dillard earned early admiration from J.J. Abrams, whose Bad Robot company Dillard worked for in Britain during the filming of The Force Awakens. Sleight caught the eye of critics with its sci-fi story of street magician Bo (played by Jacob Latimore), blending genres into a film that’s part crime drama, part exploration of the mystery that separates science from magic, and part superhero origin story.

Dillard told SYFY WIRE in 2017 that Sleight, which he developed with writing partner Alex Thurer, represented his “opportunity to take our own swing at the Marvels and DCs” of the storytelling world, and freely credited his experience with Bad Robot for spurring his ambitions to make and direct the movie.

In addition to his writing work on Luke Cage and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Owens is also involved in Netflix's upcoming One Piece, which (via Deadline) he's reportedly co-writing and executive-producing with showrunner Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files). So far, Netflix hasn't revealed a premiere date for the immensely popular manga adaptation. 

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