65th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Press Room
While it may be intimidating to take over a storied franchise like "Star Wars," Rian Johnson insists that he's being given plenty of creative freedom as he prepares to write and direct "Episode VIII."

Johnson talked about the expectations for the series during a recent installment of the TalkHouse podcast, in which he chatted with fellow director Terry Gilliam. Gilliam asked Johnson what it was like to "take over someone else's world" and if "Star Wars" creator George Lucas was "looking over his shoulder" throughout the writing process.

Despite the possibility of being overwhelmed by the history of the franchise (and its hands-on creator), Johnson had nothing but good things to say about the experience so far, noting that he's being allowed to pursue any story avenue he wishes -- and he's having a great time doing it.

"Honestly, it's the most fun I've ever had writing. It's just joyous," Johnson told Gilliam. "The first movies I was making in my head were part of this world, so part of it is a direct connection -it's almost like an automatic jacking-in into childhood in a weird way."

As for what direction he plans on taking the series, Johnson said he was "figuring it out as I go," but didn't want to be too beholden to earlier installments of the franchise, an attitude he said was encouraged by everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney.

"[Producer] Kathleen [Kennedy] and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they've been hiring for these new movies: 'We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about,'" Johnson said. "And we'll see how the process plays out, but so far, that's a big part of the reason I'm [doing the film]. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It's really exciting actually."

Sounds good to us. We can't wait to see what Johnson does with his "Star Wars" storyline; now we just have to wait for the flick to get a release date.

In the meantime, "Star Wars: Episode VII" is due in theaters on December 18, 2015.

via: The TalkHouse, h/t The Playlist

Photo credit: Getty Images

categories Movies