Star Wars: The Last Jedi doesn’t hit theaters until December 15th, but work on Episode IX has already begun in earnest. In fact, the process is all ready far along enough that Disney has decided to bring in some fresh blood to retool the script. According to the Hollywood Reporter, English screenwriter Jack Thorne has been brought in for the first rewrites of the Episode IX script.
Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow and his writing partner, Derek Connolly, have been working on the script for quite some time. Sources say that a fresh pair of eyes were necessary, and so Thorne (known for penning How I Live Now, A Long Way Down and the upcoming Julia Roberts feature Wonder) is going to add his two cents and offer some rewrites. And if you’re worried about his bona fides, he has also signed on to adapt Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy of novels for BBC One.
Production on Episode IX isn’t scheduled to begin until January 2018, with Disney currently eyeing a May 24th, 2019 release date. There was no indication of how extensive the rewrites from Thorne would be, but Disney and Trevorrow have nearly two years until the movie arrives in theaters. And even once principal photography has wrapped, there will undoubtedly be reshoots as well.
In other words, whatever shape Star Wars: Episode IX is in at the moment, it could be an entirely different film by the time it makes it to the big screen in 2019.