‘After Yang’ Filmmaker Kogonada Confirmed To Direct Episodes Of ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’

Lost against Colin Farrell’s bigger 2022 films The Banshees of Inisherin and The Batman, was a brilliant little sci-fi drama After Yang. Debuting to accolades early in the year, that film was the latest from acclaimed Columbus director, Kogonada. It’s a familiar story, especially recently, but Kogonada is turning his indie success into a much bigger opportunity, joining Lucasfilm’s upcoming series, Star Wars: The Acolyte.

Following weeks of unconfirmed reports, it was revealed to Discussing Film by After Yang actress Jodie Turner-Smith that Kogonada is directing episodes of The Acolyte. Obviously, she knows the filmmaker well, but what we didn’t know is that it was Kogonada who convinced her to become part of the Star Wars universe.

“One day, he phoned me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve been speaking to them about this “Star Wars” project, and your name came up to do it. Has anybody called you about this? Because if you’re going to do it, then that gives me more reason to say yes.’”

She added, “I was just like, ‘Say no more! You’re directing?!’ He told me what [‘The Acolyte’] was about, and I was like, ‘You’re directing something in this world… and you want me to star? Yes!’ You know, I trust him so implicitly. I respect him so deeply, I will follow him into any fire. So before I even really knew too much, that was a yes for me.”

“It was just a dream to do it,” she said. “I find that when you’re in the hands of an incredible director, honestly, you can do anything. And that’s how I feel when I work with Kogonada.”

Here is the series synopsis: The Acolyte” is a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated. 

The cast is led by Amanda Stenberg, joined by Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Charlie Barnett, Dean-Charles Chapman, Margarita Levieva, and Carrie-Anne Moss.

Leslye Headland (Russian Doll), who Turner-Smith cited as “incredible and talented” and a key reason she signed on, acts as writer, showrunner, and director of the pilot.  The Witcher‘s Alex García López is also aboard to direct at least one episode. The Acolyte runs for eight episodes and is expected to hit Disney+ in 2024.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.