Rian Johnson has decided that one Star Wars film is enough for now, and won’t replace Colin Trevorrow in the director’s chair on Star Wars: Episode IX. Deadline is reporting (since confirmed by a statement from Lucasfilm) that JJ Abrams will be returning to the franchise that he helped to kick start again. He will also be writing the screenplay with Oscar winning screenwriter Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was a monster hit for Disney, grossing $2.06 billion worldwide and making it the third highest-grossing film of all time behind Avatar and Titanic, so it makes complete sense that the studio is going back to the proven hitmaker to end the trilogy. Trevorrow exited the film after “creative differences” with Kathleen Kennedy reared their ugly head, and came swiftly on the heels of Ron Howard replacing Phil Lord & Chris Miller on the Han Solo spin-off.
Having course corrected now with proven directors, there should be a smoother sailing ahead for the beleaguered studio and no doubt Kennedy will be breathing a sigh of relief. Abrams is a steady hand with a great eye for characters and action (and an over-reliance on lens flares), and it seems only fitting that he finishes out the saga. He has recently been busy producing properties as diverse as Westworld, M:I6-Mission Impossible, and the Stephen King series Castle Rock, but didn’t have a next directing gig lined up, so is free to fly into a galaxy far, far away ASAP. Disney has also pushed the release date back 6 months to December 20, 2019.
Below is the news release that posted on Starwars.com:
J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.
“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
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