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“To me, the knee-jerk reaction if I had to [name someone] is Ava DuVernay, who I think would just kill it,” Abrams told Nerdist when asked about potential female writers or directors he’d like to see working on a Star Wars feature.
“She is as much a fan of genre movies … and hearing her talk about, not just Star Wars, but hearing her talk about those kinds of films is evidence that she would just kill it,” he continued. “When you look at her work in Selma, which was as well told, sophisticated and humane as I think has come out in the last decade, I mean, she is just — if she can do that story that well, there’s no question she’d kill [a Star Wars] movie.”
For her part, DuVernay took to Twitter to share the video of Abrams’ comments, adding a familiar piece of commentary:
The force is strong with this one. xo https://t.co/FivfnY3Mud
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) December 9, 2015
The current line-up of future Star Wars directors is all-male: Gareth Edwards (Rogue One, to be released in 2016), Rian Johnson (The as-yet untitled Episode VIII, 2017) and Colin Trevorrow (The equally unnamed Episode IX in 2019).
The untitled Han Solo project scheduled for 2018 was originally to be directed by Josh Trank before he left the feature in April this year; he was replaced by the team of Christopher Miller and Phil Lord in July.
DuVernay had previously been in the running to direct 2018’s Black Panther for Lucasfilm’s sibling studio Marvel, but dropped out this summer, saying that she and the studio “just didn’t see eye to eye” on the project.
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