J.J. Abrams will direct “Star Wars: Episode IX” after Colin Trevorrow was booted from the franchise.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the news via a statement today: “With ‘The Force Awakens,’ J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.”
As with Ron Howard, who took over from ‘The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Milleron the Han Solo film, Lucasfilm is opting for a tried and true director.
Rumors had either Abrams — whose “Force Awakens” was both a critical and box-office success — or Rian Johnson — who just filmed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” — returning to the fold. According to Deadline, Kennedy first approached Johnson for the task, but he turned it down.
As well as directing, Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio, who wrote “Argo” and the upcoming “Justice League.”
Since neither Trevorrow nor previously-announced co-writer Jack Thorne are mentioned in the press release, it looks like the project is getting a completely fresh start.
Of course, Twitter had some fun with the news: