Former Star Wars: Episode IX Director Colin Trevorrow was whisked in on the back of his sudden, dinosaur-fueled rise to fame, but it’s hard to say that his departure was surprising. Not only have plenty of other directors met similar fates at the hands of Lucasfilm, but Trevorrow’s only other major film to speak of was resoundingly panned. But new word on the real reason for his removal is at once a new piece of the puzzle and wholly unsurprising.
According to a source who spoke to Vulture, Trevorrow was equally as impressed with his own sudden success as everyone else. A “a ranking Hollywood movie insider with direct knowledge of the productions” of Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, as well as followup The Book of Henry, explained that Trevorrow had been very forceful about his own opinions on Jurassic World. When that was a success, it only made him double down on self-confidence for Book of Henry, and we all saw how that turned out.
Trevorrow had previously told Esquire that being a director is about pushing one’s self-confidence just shy of the point of being arrogant, but it sounds like he may have pushed a little too far. Vulture’s source told them he’d made multiple attempts at a draft for Episode IX and had become “difficult” to work with, resulting in his eventual removal from the film. Although, hearing someone say, from the start, that being overly self-assured is the path to success in a collaborative creative environment probably could’ve clued everyone in to which side of the line between confidence and arrogance he was likely to land on.
He was basically the poster boy for complaints that white men are handed massive franchises with a lot riding on them—what with a single, indie feature directing credit to his name before Jurassic World—while experienced women and people of color are considered risky choices. True to form, landing his Jurassic World gig, and thus his entire blockbuster directing career (wherever that goes from here), hinged on another director, Brad Bird, telling Steven Spielberg and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy that “there is this guy that reminds me of me.”
With that and confidence construed as competence, the whole story is almost like a bingo card of privilege, and we wish we could say we were more surprised. If anything, we’re surprised it actually ended in a change of directors rather than a potentially bad movie and an uninterrupted career, which is probably thanks to Kathleen Kennedy. We’re glad she hasn’t shied away from making changes when things aren’t working out—or, as Vulture’s source so eloquently put it “Kathleen Kennedy isn’t going to fuck around with that.”
(via Vulture, image: Disney/Lucasfilm)
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