Abrams to direct Star Wars IX
After Colin Trevorrow and the Star Wars: Episode IX team decided to part ways last week, the search for a new director had been underway. During our last podcast, Ep. 89, we made our short list of possible directors which included Rian Johnson, JJ Abrams, and Jon Favreau. Well, it turns out we were right on the money as JJ Abrams has officially signed on direct episode IX. Not only will he be back to direct, but will also write the script with Chris Terrio (who wrote Argo, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League).
Previously, Disney and Lucasfilm had offered Rian Johnson to come back to write and direct Episode IX, but had decided not to take the offer. According to the press release, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is excited for JJ Abrams to return and help close out the trilogy that he helped start. "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." Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in $2.06 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of all time behind James Cameron's Avatar and Titanic.
JJ Abrams hasn't been in the directors chair since Star Wars: The Force Awakens and instead been producing projects with his company Bad Robot. He has had his hand in several successful projects including Westworld on HBO, Castle Rock on Hulu, and the upcoming 6th film in the Mission: Impossible franchise for Paramount. When he finished The Force Awakens, Abrams said he had no interest in returning for the sequel as directing such a massive project is exhausting on a director. This is most likely why Johnson decided to not take on Episode IX as he is probably exhausted from directing the latest installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which comes out later this year, December 15th.