The delayed premiere date - which was announced on the official "Star Wars" social media accounts - wasn't entirely unexpected, since original "Episode IX" director Colin Trevorrow was sacked from the flick last week, leaving Disney and Lucasfilm scrambling to find a replacement.
Who will direct Star Wars Episode IX now that Colin Trevorrow and Lucasfilm have "mutually made a decision to part ways"? Episode IX will be produced by Abrams and Bad Robot, as well as Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan and Lucasfilm. Johnson, who was reportedly the top choice to replace Trevorrow after the Jurassic World director departed, spoke during a press conference for The Last Jedi in Japan and said he's not considering it right now.
"Star Wars: Episode IX" was originally slated to hit theaters in May 2019, but in the wake of the shift has officially been pushed back to a December 20, 2019 release.
Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN.
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Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX.
The Force Awakens was a box-office success and is the third-highest-grossing film of all time behind Avatar and Titanic.
This news comes just one week after they fired the previous director, Colin Trevorrow due to "differing visions".
Since directing "The Force Awakens", Abrams has not committed to his next feature gig, mainly producing movies including the next untitled "Cloverfield" film that Julius Onah helmed.
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Ava DuVernay is one of the finest female directors working in Hollywood today and could be the flawless surprise candidate to take over Episode IX. Shortly after the duo left, the studio subsequently enlisted the help of Ron Howard to oversee the remainder of the shoot and post-production.
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We say all this because TheWrap is now reporting that Rian Johnson won't become the second person to ever direct two Star Wars movies, even though Colin Trevorrow's exit means there's ample opportunity.
A dark warrior strong with the Force, Kylo Ren commands First Order missions with a temper as fiery as his unconventional lightsaber. Since there are just four months to go until Episode IX starts shooting, it was a necessity for Kathleen Kennedy to find someone she can trust.
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