Abrams directed the record-breaking seventh installment of the saga, The Force Awakens.
He's going to be co-writing the script with Chris Terrio, who won an Academy Award for his work on Argo, but also wrote Batman v Superman.
Deadline reported that Rian Johnson had been offered the role of director, but declined. There's been no other confirmation of that.
For many, this is great news. And indeed, many find this to be a step up from Colin Trevorrow. Other fans are filled with more trepidation. Abrams is a filmmaker whose strength is building mystery and directing the conclusion of a saga is something that some might find out of his wheelhouse.
It will also be interesting to see how Abrams works in a more constrained story environment. With The Force Awakens, he had a blank canvas and the help of Lawrence Kasdan to explore and establish a new corner of a galaxy far, far away. With Episode IX, he has six years of stories built on the foundation he created to weave through. The situation is much different, too, in that the story is, to some degree set. With shooting set to begin in four months, there is no doubt a lot of work done in the concept phase and, perhaps it's possible that some sets are even built. Surely the creature shops and prop shops are working already. How well will he work in such a structure?
It makes sense that he would be on top of the list, Rian Johnson, too, as they wouldn't have to be brought up to speed on the project as both of them built the house.
I hope he works well. No one hopes for a bad Star Wars movie.
Let's hope he's learned some lessons and makes the best Star Wars movie ever.