J.J. Abrams to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX

Colin Trevorrow is to be replaced by J.J. Abrams as the director of Star Wars: Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens filmmaker J.J. Abrams is to return to co-write and direct the franchise's forthcoming sequel Episode IX.

Last week (end10Sep17), Jurassic World filmmaker Colin Trevorrow dropped out of directing Star Wars: Episode IX and J.J. has now been announced as his replacement.

"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," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy explains in a statement.

J.J. won plaudits for 2015's The Force Awakens, which successfully rebooted the Star Wars franchise after a 10-year absence from cinemas. The film earned more than $2 billion at the box office worldwide.

However, he stepped away to allow Looper director Rian Johnson to take the reins on this year's (17) follow-up, The Last Jedi, with Colin originally lined up to helm Episode IX.

Announcing Trevorrow's exit from the project, bosses at Lucasfilm released a statement saying they had "mutually chosen to part ways".

Colin's departure came just six months after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were ousted as the directors of a planned spin-off film focused on space smuggler Han Solo. They have been replaced by Ron Howard.

Early speculation linked Rian with the Episode IX job, but a day after he denied any involvement, J.J. has been unveiled as the new director. He will also pen the script with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio.

Stars Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release in May, 2019.

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