‘Devotion’ Filmmaker J.D. Dillard No Longer Developing ‘Star Wars’ Movie for Lucasfilm (Exclusive)

Add another tombstone to the Lucasfilm cemetery of unrealized feature projects, as TheWrap has learned that J.D. Dillard’s “Star Wars” movie (first reported back in February 2020) is no longer happening.

While talking to TheWrap about “Devotion,” his exceptional new naval aviation movie starring Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell, we brought up a few of the productions he has been linked to over the past few years, including “Star Wars.” Apparently none of them are “go” projects anymore.

About “Star Wars,” he said that it was “unfortunately no longer a thing.” “It was not for lack of trying,” Dillard explained. Not that he’s totally done with the idea of making a space movie. It’s just that this time, “it will be an original idea.”

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When we asked him what his “Star Wars” movie would feel like, he stopped short, hesitant to divulge too much. But he did say that playing an early “Star Wars” computer game called “TIE Fighter” changed his life.

“My dad being an aviator, we had a bunch of flight simulators,” Dillard said, including “TIE Fighter.” “I’m playing this game for months. And my dad’s flying it with me. And I’m like, ‘Man, this game is just so cool.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, you know, this game comes from a series of movies.’ And I was like, ‘You’re kidding me.’ That is where I watched ‘Star Wars’ for the first time and realized the full scope of what it meant to world build because I’d been playing this pseudo-16-bit game.”

Also not happening: Disney’s “The Return of the Rocketeer,” a project that Dillard has been linked to since 2020. “I am not on that movie,” Dillard said. “But, you know, it’s tricky. I love, love, love ‘The Rocketeer.’ What I have a slightly hard time wrapping my head around now is going back to pre-1970 aviation. You know, I’m not saying never. But I think I need a breather from period aviation.” While Dillard admits that he has “no idea what version of that story they’re putting together,” he is fairly confident that “it would have a lot of common DNA with ‘Devotion.’” “I’m definitely trying to, as hopefully you can tell between ‘Sleight,’ ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Devotion,’ not to make the same movie twice. I’m going to keep it steady on that.”

Another project that Dillard was loosely connected to was J.J. Abrams’ Black Superman project for DC and Warner Bros. (Dillard got his start working alongside Abrams on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”) He said the Black Superman project was “something I have never spoken about.” “J.J. is a hero of mine, a mentor and someone very dear to me. He totally has my email and phone number if that is ever to be a conversation,” Dillard said. “But that is not something I have been introduced to.”

We’ll have plenty more from our lengthy chat with Dillard ahead of the release of “Devotion” on Nov. 23.

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