Over the summer, two of our alums were announced as directors of upcoming franchise films.
Colin Trevorrow (UGFTV, 1998), was recently selected by Disney to direct Star Wars: Episode IX. This news follows his astounding success directing the summer blockbuster Jurassic World, which is now the third highest grossing film of all time. Jurassic World has grossed over $1.6 billion. Jon Watts (UGFTV, 2004), was picked by Sony and Marvel Studios to direct the new Spider-Man reboot.
Both Trevorrow and Watts landed big Hollywood studio movies after directing small independent films. This demonstrates that filmmakers who develop a distinct personal style and voice--qualities championed by our program--can go beyond the independent film world, if they so choose. Trevorrow's first film, Safety Not Guaranteed, played at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film was written by another UGFTV alum, Derrick Connolly. Watts' second feature, Cop Car, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was recently released in theaters. Cop Car was co-written by UGFTV alum Christopher Ford.