This past Saturday, the annual Disney Expo (in its 23 edition) unveiled the, exciting for some, news that Jurassic World Director Colin Trevorrow will helm the 9th edition of the Star Wars franchise.
Though the inclusion of a blockbuster Director to make another blockbuster may not seem too radical, Trevorrow actually holds his roots in the world of independent film, having brought his low budget Safety Not Guaranteed to Sundance in 2012. That film, which starred Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Mark Duplass, premiered in Park City to positive reviews, and even won an Independent Spirit Award fro its screenwriter Derek Connolly (who famously accepted his trophy in a rambling, possibly intoxicated Spirit Award speech). The film was ultimately distributed by Film District, yet produced some minor bidding between Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company, however far from holding headliner praises (that title went to Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts of the Southern Wild. Interestingly enough, Zeitlin may be the only 2012 Sundance alumni without a follow-up feature despite Academy award nominations and higher box office than any of the other films presented).
Trevorrow isn’t the only 2012 alumni to find his way into the Hollywood machine, though, with directors, screenwriters and stars all finding their ways to some of the biggest earners of the past 2 years.
The list includes:
Rashida Jones & Will McCormack, who’s Celeste & Jesse Forever debuted in 2012. At D23 it was announced they will pen the sure to be huge Toy Story 4.
Ava Duverney‘s intimate Middle of Nowhere has been a staple of, what some call, the new black wave on independent cinema, bringing the former publicist to prominence with last year’s Selma. There was much buzz made about Duverney helming Marvel’s African-American superhero vehicle Black Panther, however, it seems as if Duverney will not be taking on the project.
Whether you are of the mindset that Sundance should be a jumping off point to Hollywood, or whether the festival can even be considered a champion of truly independent cinema, as it once was, is left to your own subjectivity. Regardless of your impression, Park City may be closer to Los Angeles in ways beyond geography.
— David Carson (@dcarson96mv) August 15, 2015
Source: Vanity Fair