The director has actually been attached to both films since last June, but was only confirmed to write and direct Episode VIII alone just last week. While the ninth Star Wars numbered film is still four years out, not to mention Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One and Josh Trank’s untitled 2018 Star Wars spinoff, a new rumor says that Disney wants to have none other than Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams return to be the film’s director.
The latest scoop comes from LatinoReview who says that the studio has expressed interest in Abrams directing the final installment of the new trilogy. While the news is exciting, we can’t forget that Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy were vocal about trying to get the film released in May 2016 instead of December 2015, a decision Disney execs ultimately disagreed with.
Despite that, the site says that there is a “good chance” that he could be back. Abrams is going to be credited with the executive producer title for Episode VIII. If The Force Awakens proves to be a hit with critics and the box office, then it stands to reason that Disney and Lucasfilm would consider asking him to come back for another go around at the franchise.
Having that executive producer title also helps him stay in the loop. Johnson is also rumored to be penning the screenplay for Episode IX, giving Abrams a chance to familiarize himself with the story and consider a possible return.
Nothing is confirmed as of yet, but it should be interesting to see what the next move is going forward.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18, 2015; Star Wars: Rogue One is scheduled for a December 16, 2016 release; and the untitled Star Wars Episode VIII opens May 26, 2017.