J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will direct and co-write Star Wars: Episode IX, according to a statement published on the official Star Wars website on Tuesday.
Chris Terrio (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) will write the script with Abrams. The release date for the film has been moved from May 2019 to Dec. 20, 2019, the same day as the Wicked adaption.
“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,” producer Kathleen Kennedy said in the statement.
Abrams takes over directing duties after it was announced last week that Colin Treverrow (Jurassic World) parted ways with the production. A statement on the official Star Wars website said the parties have “mutually chosen to part ways,” but a report from Vulture claimed the director was fired for being difficult to work with. Treverrow and Derek Connolly (Jurassic World) were initially hired to write the script, and The Hollywood Reporter said Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) was said to have also taken a crack at the script.
Abrams directed and co-wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which grossed over $2 billion at the box office.