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Rian Johnson talks toxic fandom and 'Star Wars'

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Director Rian Johnson attends the premiere of "Knives Out" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

As the writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson knows what it is like to be inundated with criticism on social media and go face to face with toxic fandom. 

So much so, in fact, that Johnson even decided to make one of his characters in Knives Out – his latest film that has already earned rave reviews an internet troll. 

During his recent interview with Variety ahead of Knives Out, Johnson was asked about his experiences with toxic fandom, and while he had every right to erupt in a furious anger, he was instead rather calm and collected about the whole matter. 

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“You always have to contextualise how small a part of the fandom that section is. I’m not talking about people who like or dislike a particular movie.

“I’m talking about the people who have dedicated themselves to abusing people who are involved in the films. It’s so small, but it gets blown up.”

Jaeden Martell, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rian Johnson, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Michael Shannon and Katherine Langford attend the photocall for Lionsgate's "Knives Out". (Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

“Having been in the hurricane for the last two years, I can tell you that 95% of what I get even on Twitter is lovely and thoughtful and engaged, even when people don’t like my movie.

“Having said that, it’s a problem that every type of fandom is dealing with. It’s almost a byproduct of this system that is the internet.”

Read more: Disney boss confirms Star Wars movie hiatus

Despite the abuse, Johnson has been hard at work writing a new Star Wars trilogy. But when he was asked for an update on these films, all he could say was, “I’m still talking to Lucasfilm. They haven’t announced anything … Every single day there’s a new [rumour]. Until it’s up on StarWars.com, don’t believe it.”

Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson, Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill pose at the red carpet for the Chinese premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'. (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Don’t expect any news on Johnson’s potential Star Wars films soon, though, as it has already been announced that the franchise will take a break after The Rise Of Skywalker.

At least Knives Out will be released on 29 November.