Despite offers from Disney, Rian Johnson, Director of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” slotted for release December 15th this year, will not return to the director’s chair and replace the recently departed Colin Trevorrow. Instead, J.J. Abrams, director of the latest Star Wars installment which revived the franchise, “The Force Awakens,” will replace Trevorrow to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX.”
Initially reported by Deadline and then confirmed in an online statement by Disney, the development comes as Trevorrow exited the picture after creative differences with Lucasfilm and its chief Kathleen Kennedy, while Ron Howard also stepped in to replace Phil Lord & Chris Miller as director of the Han Solo spinoff movie.
Disney must be hoping that Abrams, who revived the franchise with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” will return stability to the recent turmoil the franchise has experienced. They must also be hoping to repeat the success of the franchise revival as The Force Awakens grossed over $2.06 billion worldwide making it the third highest-grossing film of all time behind James Cameron’s box office blockbusters, “Avatar” and “Titanic.”
J.J. Abrams will also co-write “Star Wars: Episode IX” with Chris Terrio and produce the film through his production company, Bad Robot.
— Star Wars (@starwars) September 12, 2017