In a shocking move, Deadline reports that Rian Johnson has been tapped to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX, taking over for Star Wars: Episode VII writer-director J.J. Abrams.

It isn't known why J.J. Abrams is not returning for the second two movies in this trilogy, but Rian Johnson is said to start writing immediately, and this massive undertaking will be his primary focus for the next several years.

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J.J. Abrams is currently directing Star Wars: Episode VII, with LucasFilm and Disney recently tapping Josh Trank (The Fantastic Four) and Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) to direct the Spin-Off movies, which will debut between installments of the main trilogy.

LucasFilm and Disney have not confirmed the report at this time, so stay tuned for more updates.

Rian Johnson made his directorial debut with the indie drama Brick, which he followed up with The Brothers Bloom and 2012's sci-fi thriller Looper.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange