Star Wars: JJ Abrams to replacing ousted Colin Trevorrow on Episode IX
The Force remains with JJ Abrams, and he remains with the Star Wars franchise.
Announced on Tuesday morning, the filmmaker will return to direct the final instalment of the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode IX, replacing the ousted Colin Trevorrow.
It was also announced that the release date fo the Disney movie has been delayed by seven months to December 2019.
Abrams, whose other major credits include Lost, Super 8, Star Trek and Westworld, is credited with reinvigorating the space saga with The Force Awakens in 2015.
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Abrams relaunched Star Wars to largely glowing reviews from fans and more than $2 billion in box office. Abrams had said that would be his only film for the franchise, but he's now been pulled back in.
"With The Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement on Tuesday.
The franchise had shifted to December release dates with The Force Awakens, but had planned to close out the third trilogy with a return to the traditional May release schedule of the first six Star Wars films.
Abrams also will co-write the screenplay with Argo and Justice League scribe Chris Terrio.
Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm will produce the new film.
Earlier this month, Lucasfilm and Trevorrow had "mutually chosen to part ways" on the upcoming film because of differing visions for it.
Following the split with Trevorrow, fans were calling on Kiwi director Taika Waitiki to take the helm, but he said he would most likely get fired.