One week after Colin Trevorrow was ousted from his position as writer-director on Star Wars: Episode IX due to creative differences between the filmmaker and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, the studio has announced that J.J. Abrams will indeed be taking over the project, according to a press release issued this morning.
“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,” Kennedy said in a statement. Lucasfilm opting to take the safe route and select a director such as Abrams is a smart decision, I suppose, but the studio also missed the perfect opportunity to introduce the first female filmmaker to the Star Wars franchise, and it’s questionable as to whether or not they even considered one for the role.
The news of Trevorrow’s departure came not long after it was revealed that Jack Thorne, whose most recent work includes the soon to be released adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s acclaimed novel Wonder starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, would be rewriting the first draft of the Episode IX script penned by Trevorrow and frequent collaborator Derek Connolly.
The Book of Henry director is the second filmmaker to leave a Star Wars film due to creative reasons. Over the summer, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller left the untitled Han Solo movie as it was nearing the end of principal photography, with just two more weeks left of shooting left to go. Shortly after the duo left, the studio subsequently enlisted the help of Ron Howard to oversee the remainder of the shoot and post-production.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters on May 24, 2019.