Rian Johnson in talks to direct "Star Wars: Episode VIII"

One of the next "Star Wars" installments appears to have found a director.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rian Johnson will write and direct "Episode VIII" and write a treatment for "Episode IX."

Johnson directed 2005's "Brick" with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as 2008's "Brothers Bloom," starring Adrian Brody and Rachel Weisz. He followed that up in 2012 with "Looper," the sci-fi action film starring Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Bruce Willis. Johnson, 40, also directed three episodes of "Breaking Bad."

Up first though in the "Star Wars" universe is "Episode VII," which is currently filming at Pinewood Studios outside of London. J.J. Abrams is in the director's chair for this installment, which will feature original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. "Episode VII" also features Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o and Max von Sydow.

Ford was recently sidelined after suffering a leg injury on set but is expected to return in eight weeks. The release date, set for Dec. 18, 2015, is expected to stay intact.


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