Disney decides to continue the trend of December releases for the "Star Wars" movies by placing "Episode IX" in December 2019. The change was made after the announcement that "The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams is back to lead the final installment of the recent trilogy.
Originally slated for a Memorial Day premiere, the schedule was intended for the "Star Wars" franchise to go back to summer releases, according to The Verge. However, this move from May to December gives Abrams more time for "Star Wars Episode IX" to be fleshed out.
Due to the delay with "Episode IX", other Disney films will be moved to fill in the gaps. The 3D remake of "Aladdin" will take over the May 2019 spot, facing up against Warner Bros' "Minecraft," while "Wonder Woman 2", originally scheduled for the December 2019 schedule where "Episode XI" will premiere, and could move its release date to avoid serious competition in ticket sales.
Despite several changes, however, some still kept their scheduled release dates. As reported by Deadline, the Ron Howard-led Han Solo movie is still p for a Memorial Day weekend premiere.
Abrams' taking over as "Star Wars Episode IX" director came after Colin Trevorrow's departure from the project. Citing creative differences between the director and the production studio, Lucasfilm, the "Jurassic World" director followed the list of directors that left the "Star Wars" franchise for various reasons. Included on the list are "Lego Movie" and "Jump Street" directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, replaced by Howard for the "Han Solo" spinoff.
Known for his work in the "Star Trek" movies, particularly the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot and its sequels "Star Trek: Into Darkness" and "Star Trek: Beyond," Abrams was the first director other than Spielberg himself to direct a main "Star Wars" title. He directed "A Force Awakens", the first in the newest trilogy of the "Star Wars" story.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is coming into theatres in December 2017.