Rian Johnson, the director of "Brick" and "Looper," is reportedly in talks to direct "Star Wars: Episode VIII" and to, at the very least, turn in a treatment for "Star Wars: Episode IX."
To this point, there has been no official statement from Lucasfilm or Disney, and it's important to stress that "in talks" doesn't mean "signed" and it doesn't mean "definite" either.
The news, if it pans out, is definitely exciting. Rian Johnson is an interesting choice. He is an incredibly fine screenwriter, the mind behind one of my favorite Indie films, "Brick," and a great long-con heist film with "Brothers Bloom." "Looper" is his most recent film, a science fiction time travel film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
The Force must be strong with Rian Johnson.
The Looper director is in talks with Lucasfilm to write and direct the next Star Wars film, Episode VIII, according to sources.
According to Johnson (on Kevin Smith's Smodcast) , George Lucas is what prompted him to get into film school. "I read a book about Lucas called 'Skywalking' that mythologized USC as this mecca. I got into the University but I got rejected from the film school, five times."
"Star Wars: Episode VIII" is set to hit theatres in 2017.