Los Angeles [U.S.A], Sept. 12 : Director Rian Johnson has made it clear that he has no intentions to helm 'Episode IX' of the 'Star Wars' franchise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was speculated 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' helmer Rian Johnson could step in to replace Colin Trevorrow on the untitled 'Episode IX' follow-up.
But, Johnson quashed these speculations by saying that he will be "really excited to be an audience member again" after December 15.
During a press conference in Japan when asked about the empty director's chair for the next movie in the saga, Johnson shared, "It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don't know what's going to happen with it.
For me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience. Now I'm just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I'm not really thinking about that right now." Adding, "Whoever does it, I'm going to be really excited to be an audience member again, and to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going." Johnson's name had been mentioned by sources close to Lucasfilm as a potential candidate to direct Episode IX, which is still scheduled to begin shooting early next year.
His 'Star Wars' predecessor J.J. Abrams' name also came up. Trevorrow's exit from the third installment in Disney's relaunch trilogy for the fan-favourite franchise came early last week via a statement from Lucasfilm that described the split as being "mutually chosen." But according to the sources the working relationship between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy had become unmanageable.