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The Handmaid's Tale

One of the biggest television stories of 2017 was The Handmaid's Tale. The dystopian series captured the zeitgeist and achieved remarkable critical acclaim, winning Emmys and a Golden Globe for best drama series. The Handmaid's Tale also put Hulu on the map and marked the streaming service as a serious contender in the prestige TV game. So naturally, the people involved are now on the radar of big studios in a way that they probably weren't before. One of those people is director Reed Morano, whose work was noticed by none other than Kathleen Kennedy. The Lucasfilm president had seen The Handmaid's Tale and a meeting was set up between the two, as Reed Morano explained:

I guess she was watching with her daughter and then called people and was like, 'Who's this Reed person?' She probably thought I was a guy because of my name. She's amazing. We're talking about adventure movies, and I'm not even remembering that she produced Goonies. Any movie that I put my finger on that I loved when I was growing up was a movie that she produced. Anyway, it was a great meeting. Obviously, I can't say anything about what else we were talking about.

This is Lucasfilm, and loose lips sink ships, but just the fact that Reed Morano had a meeting with Kathleen Kennedy is enough to spur speculation. Reed Morano directed the first three episodes of The Handmaid's Tale and thus set the style and tone for the entire series. It sounds like Kathleen Kennedy watched the show and liked it enough to actually look into who crafted it. Whenever a talented, yet relatively unknown, director delivers something special that really lands with audiences and critics, there is always a great deal of excitement around what project they will take on next. Moreover, there is often a rush to scoop up talent before someone else does and before they become too big (and thus expensive). So while a meeting is confirmation of nothing, it is quite possible that Lucasfilm is interested in Reed Morano being involved in a future Star Wars project.

I don't know whether Kathleen Kennedy initially thought Reed was a guy or not, but I imagine she was pleasantly surprised to find out that Reed is a woman. There have been calls for Lucasfilm to let a female director tackle a Star Wars film, a possibility that Kathleen Kennedy has been open to. Reed Morano has a lot of credits as a cinematographer, but she has also proven herself in the TV realm, most notably with The Handmaid's Tale, winning an Emmy for directing the pilot episode. The Disney brand at large has had success with hiring up-and-coming filmmakers or directors from the TV world to helm its biggest projects. Lucasfilm has had a bit more of a mixed track record on this front but that doesn't mean they'll stop trying. The question is what the two discussed, beyond Goonies and adventure movies, but as Reed Morano told The Hollywood Reporter, she can't talk about it.

Beyond Rian Johnson's new trilogy and the not-quite-confirmed Obi-Wan Kenobi film, we don't know what future Star Wars films are headed our way. Perhaps Reed Morano would direct the middle chapter of Rian Johnson's trilogy or some new anthology film. But with 2019 and Disney's streaming service looming large, I would not be surprised if Reed Morano is being tapped to craft the live-action Star Wars series that service will boast. We know that we will be getting Star Wars films for years to come, so the possibilities are endless, but for now it is clear that Lucasfilm is at least interested in Reed Morano.

The Handmaid's Tale returns for a second season on April 25. Reed Morano's next directorial effort, I Think We're Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, debuts at Sundance on January 21.

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