J.J. Abrams returning to direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

Director J.J. Abrams will return to the Star Wars universe to write and direct Episode IX after the departure of Colin Trevorrow.

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Disney has confirmed that J.J. Abrams is on board to write and direct "Star Wars: Episode IX," having also helmed the first episode in the trilogy, "The Force Awakens."

Abrams is due to co-write the final episode with writer Chris Terrio, whose credits include "Argo" and "Justice League."

"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," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement on StarWars.com.

Last week, director Colin Trevorrow -- who had worked on "Jurassic World" and "Safety Not Guaranteed" -- stepped down from the project. He's the latest filmmaker to depart a Star Wars project this year after directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller left the Han Solo standalone film in June.

"Star Wars: Episode IX" is due to debut in cinemas in 2019 and it's unclear whether the movie will incorporate material Trevorrow might have already contributed.

The second film in the trilogy "The Last Jedi," directed by Rian Johnson, will screen on Dec. 17 2017.

Representatives from Disney did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment, but fans had plenty to say about the Abrams news on social media.

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