J.J. Abrams will return to direct Star Wars Episode IX after the departure of Colin Trevorrow, it has been announced.
In a statement, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said she was “excited” to welcome Abrams back to the iconic sci-fi franchise, after he previously helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“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”, a statement read.
— Star Wars (@starwars) September 12, 2017
“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.
In a statement issued by Disney, creative differences were cited as the reason behind Trevorrow’s departure.
“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX,” the statement reads. “Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ.
Abrams is the second director drafted in as a replacement in the Star Wars universe this year, after Ron Howard replaced Chris Miller and Phil Lord as the directors of the Han Solo origins film.
Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to hit cinemas in the UK on December 15, and will be followed by Episode IX on May 24, 2019.