Stormtroopers in The Force Awakens

After proving his blockbuster directing chops with Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow was hired to helm Star Wars: Episode IX, the final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy that began with The Force Awakens. However, Lucasfilm has just announced that Trevorrow has stepped down from directing the 2019's Star Wars installment. Here's the company's full statement:

Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.

Stepping away due to creative visions is a common reason for why a director or other kind of creative talent steps away from a movie, but THR has also heard from sources that Colin Trevorrow was let go from Star Wars: Episode IX due to script issues, which had become a "sore spot" with the movie's development. Wonder's Jack Thorne was hired to pen the latest draft of the story last month, but evidently Lucasfilm felt that Trevorrow's exit was needed for Episode IX to take the next step forward. The THR article also mentioned that Trevorrow's relationship with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had become "unmanageable."

There had been speculation a few months back if Colin Trevorrow might exit Star Wars: Episode IX following the negative reception to his latest movie, The Book of Henry, which ranks at 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's unclear if that lukewarm performance in any way played into Lucasfilm and Trevorrow going their separate ways, it likely didn't help matters. As of right now, no directorial replacements are rumored, so we'll have to wait and see who Lucasfilm selects to helm Episode IX, be it a Hollywood heavy hitter or someone already connected to the Star Wars franchise, like The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson.

This major Star Wars: Episode IX update comes months after the Han Solo movie went through its own directing controversy. After filming approximately 75% of the second Star Wars Anthology spinoff, 21 Jump Street duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired as the directors reportedly due to clashing creative visions. Ron Howard was quickly brought in to oversee the remainder of principal photography and reshoots. Fortunately for Episode IX, it's still in the scripting phase, and cameras aren't set to begin rolling until next January. So there's still time to ensure that everything stays on schedule and to work out the kinks in the script.

Star Wars: Episode IX is still scheduled to be released in theaters on May 24, 2019, though if the Lucasfilm brass takes too long finding a new director, a delay might become necessary later down the line. In the meantime, you can look forward to Star Wars: The Last Jedi coming out on December 15.

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