With Rian Johnson directing the yet-untitled second film in the upcoming trilogy, slated for a 2017 release, and Gareth Edwards helming the standalone spinoff Rogue One, there have been lingering questions concerning Abrams’ future involvement in the franchise. Rumors have it, though, that the Disney/LucasFilm brass have been quite impressed by what Abrams has delivered on Episode VII thus far and his name is being mentioned as the director for the final installment. Latino Review reports to have independently verified four different times that Abrams is indeed the frontrunner for the director’s chair in Episode IX.
Abrams’ Episode VII – The Force Awakens features franchise stalwarts Mark Hamill (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher reprising their iconic roles from 1977’s Episode IV: A New Hope. They are joined by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Golden Globe-nominee Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis). The film is slated for a December 18 opening.