The man who resurrected the Star Wars franchise and brought it into the 21st century is returning to his galaxy far, far away, Disney confirmed Tuesday.
J.J. Abrams will write and direct the currently untitled Star Wars Episode IX after crafting the critically acclaimed Episode VII, the Force Awakens.
“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 said in a statement.
Last week, Episode IX’s original director, Colin Trevorrow, who previously worked on Jurassic World and Safety Not Guaranteed, parted ways with Star Wars after he and writing partner, Derek Conolly, were bumped from screen-writing duties in favor of Jack Thorne.
Production is reportedly scheduled to begin in January ahead of a May 24, 2019 release. The Last Jedi, the second film in the franchise reboot, is scheduled to be released December 15 in the US. Rian Johnson, who helmed 2012’s Looper, directed the film.