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JJ Abrams to direct Star Wars: Episode IX

Entertainment Desk |
Inserted: 10:50, Wednesday 13 September 2017

JJ Abrams to direct Star Wars: Episode IX - Entertainment
JJ Abrams will direct, co-write and co-produce Episode IX. Copyright SHUTTERSTOCK

JJ Abrams, who launched the new era of Star Wars films with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to the series as director of Star Wars: Episode IX, reports BBC.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said "JJ delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for" in the earlier instalment, and she was excited he was returning to "close out this trilogy".

Abrams replaces Colin Trevorrow, who dropped out of the film last month.

Meanwhile the release has been delayed by six months, to December 2019.

The announcement was made on Twitter by Walt Disney Studios, which owns Lucasfilm, on Friday.

Chris Terrio will co-write the ninth instalment with Abrams. He won an Oscar for writing Argo in 2013 and his other scripts include Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the forthcoming Justice League.

The Force Awakens was a big box office hit. GETTY IMAGESEpisode IX is expected to star Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.

Rian Johnson is directing the second in the current trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released this December. Deadline reported that Johnson had declined an offer to take over Episode IX before Abrams was approached.

Most Star Wars fans on Twitter welcomed Abrams' return to the franchise.

Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World, left the director's chair because he and Lucasfilm had differing "visions", the company said.

Lucasfilm has a reputation for ruthlessness when it comes to hiring and firing directors. In 2015, Fantastic Four's Josh Trank was dropped from directing a standalone Star Wars story.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller also left the Han Solo standalone movie with only a few weeks left in production, and were replaced by Ron Howard.



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