Updated 12:00 AM EDT, Thu, Oct 23, 2014
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'Star Wars 7' Release Date, Cast & Trailer Updates: JJ Abrams Fired? Won't Direct Episode 8 & 9

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 Rian Johnson speaking at Wondercon 2012 in Anaheim, California on March 17, 2012
(Photo : Gage Skidmore/ Wikimedia Commons)

It seems like J.J. Abrams won't be part of the movie credits in the succeeding episodes of "Star Wars".

According to TheWrap.com, the man behind "Looper," Rian Johnson, 40, is set to direct and write "Star Wars: Episode VIII" and work on the treatment for "Episode IX."

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However, another source, Deadline.com has reported that Johnson is set to write and direct both "Episode VIII" and "Episode IX."

No reason as to the switch-up has been provided but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy stated: "We're thrilled to welcome Josh into the family. He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation," as quoted by The DailyMail

"That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and story lines of Episodes I through IX."

However, while the reports indicate Abrams may not be in the front seat of the film production, it may be assumed that he will still remain on the team and will "still be producing in some capacity," write the Toronto Sun.

Other projects that Johnson has under his belt include "Brick," "Brothers Bloom" as well as three episodes from the hit TV series "Breaking Bad" that concluded its series earlier this year. Johnson was also the man behind the camera for the final season's episode of "Ozymandias", a fan and critic favorite.

It seems Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm, is looking for new blood to reboot the classic franchise. TV Guide notes that when it comes to other "Star Wars" projects, Disney and Lucasfilm has sought the skills of Gareth Edwards of "Godzilla" as well as Josh Trank of "Chronicle" to handle a spin-off based on the core film franchise.

Disney has already announced that it plans to produce a  "Star Wars" film every year. The first year begins in 2015 when JJ Abrams releases "Episode VII" which is already commencing production in London. The yearly releases will involve both "Star Wars" films as well as spin-offs and related projects.

In related news, while filming "Episode VII," original cast member Harrison Ford, suffered from a broken leg that required surgery.

According to Ford's representative, "Harrison Ford's left leg was broken in an accident. His surgery was successful and he will begin rehab shortly. He's doing well and looks forward to returning to work."

What're your thoughts on the big change? Do you think Johnson will do a better job than Abrams?

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