J.J. Abrams Rumored Frontrunner to Helm 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

Although "The Force Awakens" doesn't arrive until December, and "Episode IX" until four years after that, rumors are already circulating about who will step behind the camera for the final chapter of the new "Star Wars" trilogy.

According to Latino Review, J.J. Abrams is the frontrunner to direct, forming a creative bookend for the series. Rian Johnson ("Looper," "Brick") was announced last year to helm "Episode VIII," and it was suggested at the time he might return for the sequel.

Although Abrams' name was absent last week from Disney's press release about the Gareth Edwards-directed spinoff "Rogue One" and "Episode VIII," Latino Review insists "there’s a good chance" he'll be back: "[T]hose at Disney who have seen footage from 'The Force Awakens' are very happy with what Abrams has delivered. J.J. himself has been vocal about how crazy the process has been, but has given equal time to his love of the series."

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens Dec. 18, followed by "Star Wars: Rogue One" on Dec. 16, 2016, and "Star Wars: Episode VIII" on May 26, 2017.

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