J. J. Abrams is to return to the Star Wars universe, having brought it back with The Force Awakens in 2015, to write and direct the final film in the third of the franchise’s trilogies.
The news follows the recent announcement that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow had exited the project, earlier this month.
Differences in ‘vision’ have prompted the change in director, a vision that Abrams himself helped to shape two years ago.
‘With The Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for,’ said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
‘I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.’
The Force Awakens delivered a box office hit for Lucasfilm and a return to critical favour in wake of the poorly received prequel films of the previous decade.
The news of Abrams return to the franchise will come as little surprise to lifelong fried Greg Grunberg, who spoke last year of the director’s regret for not returning to Episode VIII: ‘
‘He read it and said something he never, ever says,’ Grunberg, who himself appeared in The Force Awakens, as X-Wing pilot Snap Wexley, told The Washington Post.
‘He said, ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it.’ He may have said something one time on ‘Lost’ with Damon [Lindelof], but I never hear him express regret like that.’
Argo and Batman v Superman writer Chris Terrio will aid Abrams in penning the ninth instalment’s script.
Star Wars: Episode IX is currently due for release on 20 December 2019, having today moved back from its original Summer scheduling.