13 Sep – After a game of passing the ball, Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm have finally decided on a helmer for the final instalment of the new "Star Wars" trilogy.
Following the exit of Colin Trevorrow and refusal of Rian Johnson to take on the project, a familiar face is back for the job – "Star Wars: The Force Awakens'" very own J.J. Abrams, as reported by Deadline.
No stranger to the Skywalker family, Abrams was the one who helped launch "Star Wars" back into the world, winning over audiences new and old by cleverly mixing in beloved past characters such as the late Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia and Harrison Ford's Han Solo, while also establishing new characters: protagonists Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and fan-favourite droid BB-8.
The 2015 blockbuster also paid fitting homage to George Lucas' original trilogy, grossing USD2.06 billion worldwide and making it the third highest-grossing movie of all time, behind James Cameron's "Avatar" and "Titanic".
A new release date has also been revealed for "Star Wars: Episode XI".
It will now open in North American cinemas on 20 December 2019 instead of 24 May 2019.
This marks a new release pattern for "Star Wars" with "The Force Awakens", "The Last Jedi" and "Rogue One" all hitting theatres shortly before Christmas.
Despite having a new director (Ron Howard) on board at the last minute, the untitled young Han Solo spinoff is still dated for 25 May 2018.
Disney had also unveiled their 2018/2019 movie line-up with Marc Foster's untitled Christopher Robin movie expected to open in North America on 3 August 2018, Guy Ritchie's live action "Aladdin" on 24 May 2019, "Artemis Fowl" scheduled for 9 August 2019, and the Santa Claus' daughter film, now known as "Nicole", aiming for 8 November 2019.
Previously dated for 6 April 2018, "Magic Camp" is now left unset.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi", directed by Rian Johnson, is set to open in local cinemas this 14 December.