Following last week’s news that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was stepping down from Star Wars: Episode IX due to creative differences, Lucasfilm announced that J.J. Abrams will be returning to complete the trilogy he began with The Force Awakens.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, “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.” Abrams, who once declared he was done directing sequels, is presumably returning to the Star Wars galaxy so Episode IX can meet its intended release date of May 24, 2019. It also means Abrams will be the first person not named George Lucas to direct two Star Wars films.
Trevorrow was attached to Episode IX since before The Force Awakens was released. He stepped down after his last film, The Book of Henry, opened to deeply negative reviews, though Vulture‘s sources claim that he was fired as many at Lucasfilm found him arrogant and increasingly difficult to work with. Many expected The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to step in, but he explained yesterday that he was more excited to watch Star Wars as an audience member again.
Lucasfilm also revealed Abrams will be writing the script with Chris Terrio, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Argo, Batman v Superman and Justice League.
Update: The Star Wars Twitter account revealed Episode IX has been delayed to December 20, 2019, in line with the release dates of previous Star Wars films overseen by Kennedy. It is now set for release just one week after Wonder Woman 2, which is scheduled for December 13.