J.J. Abrams, the director of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," has confirmed that he will not return to direct “Star Wars: Episode 9.”
“No, I'm not going to direct Episode IX, as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies," he said to Entertainment Weekly.
Abrams, statement puts an end to rumor of him coming back to helm ninth installment in the franchise. In March, Latino Review had reported that Disney wants Abrams to direct “Star Wars: Episode 9” as they were impressed by the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” footage.
While it is confirmed that Abrams will not helm the ninth installment, it is yet to be revealed who will direct the film. “Star Wars: Episode 8” will be directed by Rian Johnson.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Abrams has already decided what will be shown in “Episode 8.” He reportedly mapped out the plot line of the film with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. Abrams is reportedly confident that Jhonson will take “Episode 8” to another level.
"It's a thrill to see [Johnson] take things and elevate them beyond what we had imagined at the time," Abrams said.
Meanwhile, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens on Dec.18, 2015, and is set 30 years after the events of 1983 film “Return of the Jedi.” It features new characters including Finn, Rey, Poe Dameron. The characters from previous films will also return.
Abrams has also written the screenplay of the film with Kasdan, based on the characters created by George Lucas.