New 'Star Wars' Movie Coming From 'Sleight' Director And 'Luke Cage' Writer

According to a new report, Lucasfilm has hired Sleight and Sweetheart director J.D. Dillard and Luke Cage and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writer Matt Owens to develop a new Star Wars movie. Here's what we know so far.

The Hollywood Reporter brings word that a new Star Wars movie is in the works from Dillard and Owens. THR says it's still unclear if Dillard will direct should the project move forward. It's also currently undecided whether this movie will be released theatrically, or made specifically for the newly-launched streaming platform Disney+.

As expected, details about the new film are scarce at the moment – we don't know anything about the plot, characters, or settings that may be featured. But one thing the report does tell us is that the new film "is understood to be unrelated to a Star Wars film pitch by Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and potential work from Last Jedi director Rian Johnson."

Dillard is a massive Star Wars fan. He has a Boba Fett tattoo on his arm, and has been a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker. (You can see him in costume here.) He started out working as a receptionist at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot productions before directing Sleight, his indie thriller about a young magician trying to protect and provide for his sister. He followed that up with Sweetheart, a survival thriller starring Kiersey Clemons that was essentially buried but can currently be seen on Netflix. He strikes me as the type of filmmaker that Marvel might hire: an up-and-coming indie storyteller who can bring some vitality into the Star Wars world. And if this project ends up moving forward, this would also be a big step forward in terms of representation for Lucasfilm: Dillard would be the first black person to either write or direct a live-action Star Wars movie.

Earlier this month, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger spoke a bit about the future of Star Wars under the Disney umbrella: "The priority in the next few years is television," Iger said, "with The Mandalorian season 2 coming in October, and then more coming from The Mandalorian thereafter, including the possibility of – infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series."

He's previously indicated that Disney+ original Star Wars shows could become movies, saying, "I love the ability to really be agnostic in terms of what platform it's being made for. And so it could be, down the road, that a TV show becomes a movie and a movie becomes a TV series." So it sounds like there's a chance this new movie from Dillard and Owens might be connected to The Mandalorian, although it's still too early to know for sure.

Last summer, Disney set release dates for three future Star Wars movies for December 23, 2022, December 20, 2024, and December 18, 2026. THR says those release dates are still on the calendar. We previously thought that one of them would be earmarked for at least one movie from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, but that duo has since left Lucasfilm to focus on their Netflix deal. We also assumed one of the three would come from Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, who was hired to develop an all-new trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away. As far as we know, Johnson is still working on writing the script for the first installment in that trilogy. And don't forget about the proposed Star Wars film from Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who wants to make a movie that explores new people and places. Now there's the chance that this new untitled project might fill one of these slots. We'll keep you posted as soon as we learn anything definitive.