Wired published a massive interview with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams this morning, one that yielded a small tidbit regarding the series' future post-December 18th: the script for Rian Johnson's Episode VIII has been completed. "The script for VIII is written. I'm sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are," said Abrams. "Rian has asked for a couple things here and there that he needs for his story... the story he told took what we were doing and went in the direction he felt was best but that is very much in line with what we were thinking as well." The remainder of the chat focused on the challenges Abrams is facing as Star Wars' new visionary-in-chief and the network of collaborators old and new he's using to push the series forward.
Abrams' statement may be the first official confirmation that Episode VIII's script is finished, and it makes sense given the movie's production schedule and its looming May 2017 release date. Johnson's involvement with the film as its writer and director has been public for almost a year and a half, and some actors (like Benicio Del Toro) were being cast in the movie as early as this summer. If all of that circumstantial evidence wasn't enough, Johnson himself tweeted a picture of the script's cover page at a group of producers and writers last month as part of a Twitter canoe. If it's true that Johnson is also writing Colin Trevorrow's upcoming Episode IX, it's a good thing Episode VIII's script is finished beyond a few mandated studio tweaks — it sounds like he has a lot on his plate.
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