After the horror that was the prequels, Star Wars made a triumphant return in 2015 with The Force Awakens. J.J Abrams directed Episode VII, which broke several box office records, and Rian Johnson is behind the camera for the upcoming Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Now, following Colin Trevorrow's departure from Star Wars: Episode IX, it's been revealed that Abrams will be returning as director for the last movie.
While the final entry in the current trilogy of Star Wars titles isn’t set to hit cinemas until December 2019 (its release was delayed by six months), the project has already faced a number of setbacks. In August, British screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne was brought onboard to rewrite the script. A month later, Jurassic World director Trevorrow dropped out. A statement from Lucasfilm blamed the split on creative differences.
It was rumored that Last Jedi director Johnson might come back for the sequel, but he ruled himself out over the weekend, leaving Abrams to take over. 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.”
Lucasfilm added that Abrams would also be co-writing the movie alongside Chris Terrio, screenwriter for Argo, Justice League, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
This isn’t the only Star Wars franchise with director problems. Chris Mill and Phil Lord were recently fired from the standalone Han Solo movie by Kennedy. Ron Howard was brought in to replace the pair.
Early last year, Abrams confirmed that the Half-Life and Portal movies we’re still in development. “we've got writers, and we're working on both those stories,” he said in an interview.