He's back. JJ Abrams to direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

J.J. Abrams will co-write The Last Jedi with Chris Terrio, and the film will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams' company Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.

Star Wars: Episode IX, the final entry in the original Star Wars saga, has been pushed back to December 20, 2019, Lucasfilm and Disney announced today. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is due for release on December 14 in the United Kingdom and December 15 in the USA. No director seems to be safe when Star Wars is involved. So this is a sensible, fine move for the franchise. That marked the second time this summer that Lucasfilm and Disney had sacked the directing force behind a Star Wars film. Back in June, director Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the Han Solo spinoff movie after butting heads with producer Kathleen Kennedy.

Trevorrow left the film after it was claimed he couldn't see "eye to eye" with Disney in regards to the script of the last instalment of the trilogy.

Johnson, for his part, said he was "not really thinking" about directing Episode IX. With the success, both financially and critically, of The Force Awakens this good for not only the fans but for business as well.

"It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don't know what's going to happen with it", he explained.

Some wondered if Rian Johnson, who directed "Episode VIII: The Last Jedi", would return to direct the saga's ninth film. Abrams, whose work on The Force Awakens reinvigorated the franchise with a $2 billion worldwide box office take.

While its unclear if the shakeups will affect the film's development, production is reportedly scheduled to begin in January ahead of a May 24, 2019 release.