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.
J.J. Abrams to write and direct Star Wars Episode IX. https://t.co/aVF8UWaK0e pic.twitter.com/YrjgZZNxUx
— 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.
Abrams’ return to Star Wars comes after the departure of Colin Trevorrow was announced last week.
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.