After Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) ostensibly said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to the possibility of directing Star Wars: Episode IX, we’re now learning that Disney and Lucasfilm have turned their attention to J.J. Abrams.
First reported by Deadline, The Force Awakens filmmaker emerged as a potential candidate to replace the ousted Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) only last week, and is all too familiar with the inner workings of Lucasfilm’s beloved Skywalker saga thanks to his acclaimed work on the 2015 revival.
A total worldwide gross of $2.04 billion places Star Wars: The Force Awakens among the top three highest-grossing films of all time – only the James Cameron duo of Titanic and Avatar have scaled higher – so it isn’t all that surprising to learn that Disney plans to court J.J. Abrams back to the director’s chair in time for Episode IX.
And though Deadline’s report initially claimed that the Mouse House had merely opened negotiations with J.J. Abrams, a follow-up statement from Kathleen Kennedy suggests otherwise – in fact, it would seem Abrams is already prepped and ready to assume directorial duties on the 2019 sequel.
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.
The untitled Episode IX first encountered script troubles early on in pre-production, leading to Disney hiring Wonder scribe Jack Thorne to whip Trevorrow’s initial pitch into shape. But subsequent reports have gone on to claim that the relationship between the Mouse House and Colin Trevorrow had rapidly deteriorated over the past few months, with some claiming that the erstwhile director was “egotistical” and “unbearable.”
One way or another, the circle is now complete. After resurrecting a dormant giant two years ago, J.J. Abrams has been appointed at the helm of Episode IX. He’ll direct and co-write the film’s screenplay alongside Chris Terrio (Justice League).
Beyond the December launch of The Last Jedi and Ron Howard’s Han Solo anthology pic (May 2018), Lucasfilm will draw our attention back to the core Skywalker saga when the so-far untitled Star Wars: Episode IX touches down on May 24th, 2019.