The planned writer/director for Star Wars: Episode IX, Colin Trevorrow, has left the project. In a statement issued by Lucasfilm, Trevorrow's departure was a mutual decision but that "our visions for the project differ." Lucasfilm had recently stated plans to begin filming in January 2018.
The status of Episode IX's screenplay is unclear - Trevorrow was to co-write that in addition to direct, joined by writers Derek Connolly and Jack Thorne.
This is the third time a director for a Star Wars film has left the project, following Josh Trank on an untitled Star Wars anthology film, and more recently Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the as-yet-untitled Han Solo film.
Trevorrow was hired in August 2015 by Lucasfilm off the success of Jurassic World. That led him to opt out of directing the next Jurassic film, although he did co-write the screenplay. Trevorrow's most recent film, Book of Henry, was poorly received at the box office as well as critically, with $4.4m box office revenue against a $10m budget and a current 22% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, is scheduled for release December 15.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release May 24, 2019.