Rumor: J.J. Abrams Wanted For Star Wars Episode IX

J.J. Abrams is currently finishing up Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but his time in that faraway galaxy may just be getting started. Rumor has it Abrams is wanted back for Star Wars Episode IX, expected out in 2019. More on the Abrams Star Wars Episode IX rumor after the jump. Latino Review reports Abrams has emerged as the frontrunner to direct Episode IX, after Disney brass saw and loved the footage he's put together so far for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Abrams is also credited as an executive producer on Episode VIII, though we don't know exactly how involved he'll be.)

Whether Abrams wants to return is a different question. For what it's worth, the site believes "there's a good chance" he will be back. Abrams has been very vocal about his passion for the property, and Episode IX could be a pretty sweet gig if Episode VII goes well. Having that gap between installments could be helpful, too, since it'll allow him to take his time and maybe go on break or pursue other work in between.

On the other hand, there have been reports of disagreements between Abrams and the studio, with Abrams losing battles to open Episode VII in 2016 and hold the first trailer until later. Abrams was already in high demand before Episode VII, and he'll have plenty of other options if and when he decides to walk away from the franchise.

Moreover, even if Abrams is the top pick right now, there's still time for Disney to change their minds. Episode IX isn't due out until 2019. Plus, there's the fact that Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson is also writing the treatment for Episode IX. It wouldn't be that much of a stretch for Disney to offer him the directing job on it, too.

Basically, there's not much we know for sure about Episode IX right now, but the Abrams rumor will be an interesting one to keep in mind going forward. In the meantime, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18, followed by the Gareth Edwards-directed spinoff Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16, 2016, and then Star Wars Episode VIII in 2019.

Do you like Abrams, Johnson, or someone else for Episode IX?