Disney and Lucasfilm Turn to J.J. Abrams to Steer ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

J.J. Abrams is getting back in the cockpit to direct the ninth installment of the Star Wars saga, Disney and Lucasfilm announced Tuesday. Abrams, who wrote and directed Episode VII: The Force Awakens, will replace Jurassic World director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow who reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye with Lucasfilm’s top brass on the direction of the movie, reports Variety.

In enlisting Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio, Disney will hope to recreate the critical, fan, and box office success of The Force Awakens—which has grossed more than $2 billion to date.

“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.

Despite the success of The Force Awakens and standalone story Rogue One, Lucasfilm has had a hard time finding directors to fit with their new projects. This summer, Apollo 13 director Ron Howard replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller as the director of an in-production Han Solo spinoff movie, and Fantastic Four director Josh Trank left the pre-production of another standalone project.

The eighth installment of the original saga, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, is set for release December 15.

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