It was exactly one week ago that LucasFilm made the blockbuster announcement that Colin Trevorrow was out as the director of Star Wars 9, and today the studio announced that J.J. Abrams will replace him at the helm. While that was obviously massive news, the studio also made another announcement, revealing that J.J. Abrams will be co-writing the script with franchise newcomer Chris Terrio, best known for writing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Justice League. The studio didn't divulge any story details, but it seems likely that both J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio may be starting over from scratch.
The LucasFilm announcement revealed that J.J. Abrams will produce with his Bad Robot company and Michelle Rejwan, alongside LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Back in August, it was revealed that Jack Thorne has come aboard to rewrite the script, which was originally written by Colin Trevorrow and his longtime writing partner Derek Connolly. No details were given about what new approach Jack Thorne was going to use, but since he wasn't mentioned in LucasFilm's official announcement, it's probably safe to say that he's no longer involved.
It's worth noting that this news almost parallels certain aspects of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens development. Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) was first tasked with writing the screenplay, even before J.J. Abrams came on board to direct in January 2013. Ten months later in October 2013, it was revealed that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan would take over the writing duties from Michael Arndt, and shortly thereafter, a December 18, 2015 release date was set, making it the first Star Wars movie to not receive a May release. While that was a somewhat controversial point among die-hard fans, it didn't stop them from coming to theaters in record numbers, setting a new domestic box office record with $936.6 million.
It has been rumored that Colin Trevorrow's unceremonious exit was due to issues with the script, since he and Derek Connolly could reportedly never deliver a draft that the studio was happy with. There was talk that, immediately after Colin Trevorrow's departure, Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson was the top candidate to take over the helm on Star Wars 9, since it has been said that he has worked quite well with Kathleen Kennedy and everyone at LucasFilm. The director revealed just yesterday, though, during a Japanese press event for The Last Jedi, that it was never the plan for him to direct Star Wars 9, even though there were initially rumors that he was being tapped to write and direct both Star Wars 8 and Star Wars 9.
Still, while LucasFilm has brought back J.J. Abrams into the fold, they're also getting some "fresh eyes," so to speak, with co-writer Chris Terrio, who has had a meteoric rise through the filmmaking ranks over the past few years. He made his writing and directing debut with the indie drama Heights in 2005, which starred Elizabeth Banks, Glenn Close and James Marsden. Seven years later, he won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for Best Picture winner Argo, which lead to him writing Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice starring his Argo director Ben Affleck, and both Justice League movies, along with the upcoming Richard II for director James Ivory. Hopefully we'll find out more about his approach to Star Wars 9 very soon, as we inch closer and closer to the May 24, 2019 release date.