Movie Report: JJ Abrams Returns To Star Wars Franchise, Will Direct Ep IX

Director J.J. Abrams is returning to the “Star Wars” franchise after stepping away from the series.

According to Variety, the move by Disney and Lucasfilm comes after Director Colin Trevorrow exited the “Star Wars: Episode IX” project. As a result, the joint companies brought back Abrams, who helmed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh movie in the series that set the domestic box office record.

Variety reports that Abrams will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio.

This isn’t the first time Disney and Lucasfilm have made a directorial change for “Star Wars” either. Previously, Disney and Lucasfilm replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard for a “Star Wars” stand alone movie about the character Han Solo. Additionally, the studios fired director Josh Trank from another standalone “Star Wars” spinoff.

In its article, Variety staff wrote that Trevorrow and the companies couldn’t see “eye-to-eye” in regard to the script of the last installment and opted to part ways.

Along with the “Star Wars” franchise, Abrams also has sci-fi experience from directing “Star Trek,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Super 8.”

The next film in the “Star Wars” series, “The Last Jedi,” is set to come out Dec. 15 and is directed by Rian Johnson. Johnson is known for directing “Looper” in 2012.

At the weekend box office this weekend, it was the horror genre at the top. “It,” an adaptation of Stephen King’s 80s novel, took in more than $123 million. According to Box Office Mojo, this was enough for the flick to earn the largest September opening, the largest fall opening and the largest opening for a horror film.

The full top five from the weekend was:
1. It – $123,403,419
2. Home Again – $8,567,881
3. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – $4,801,745
4. Annabelle: Creation – $4,003,115
5. Wind River – $3,132,362

Opening next weekend, meanwhile, is the thriller titled “Mother!” with Jennifer Lawrence and the action flick “American Assassin” with Michael Keaton.

For the small screen, new home video releases are:

  • The Mummy, ATMR Rating: 1 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 16%
  • Captain Underpants, Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
  • It Comes at Night, Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%