J.J. Abrams Has Been Confirmed To Direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'
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George Lucas is a man who knows what he wants and, with stupendous wealth and a film franchise that is nothing short of a licence to print money, he's a man who tends to get what he wants.
So when Colin Trevorrow dropped out of contention to make the third installment of the latest Star Wars trilogy, the bearded bigwig pulled out all the stops to get his number one candidate.
And there were no prizes for guessing who Disney and Lucasfilm would want to helm their flagship film franchise: J.J. Abrams.
Abrams and Lucas at the The Force Awakens' European premiere in 2015. Credit: PA
Abrams directed the first of the reboot films, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to huge profits, critical acclaim and fan adoration, so when they needed a steady pair of hands to guide the trilogy to its conclusion, then there was only one name in the frame.
"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," said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in a statement to StarWars.com.
Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, will hit cinemas this Christmas. Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm
The Star Trek, Armageddon and Cloverfield director will write and direct the final film, known only provisionally as 'Episode IX', which is slated for a release at sometime in the middle of 2019. Principal photography is due to begin at the start of 2018, so Abrams better get a wriggle on if they're going to have anything to shoot.
Trevorrow left the project last week after a 'mutually chosen' parting with the Star Wars producers.
"Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process," continued Lucasfilm's statement, "but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon."
Trevorrow's has not been the only high-profile directorial departure at Lucasfilm of late: Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street creators Phil Lord and Christopher Morrow jumped ship on the Han Solo spin-off midway through production after 'creative differences' that made their position untenable.
Speaking in a statement, Lord and Miller said: "Unfortunately, our vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren't fans of the phrase 'creative differences', but for once this cliche is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew."
Looks like George Lucas may once again have to go back to the tried and tested to get what he wants from his Star Wars franchise.
Help us, J.J. Abrams, you're our only hope.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Star Wars