The development of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX ran into some huge stumbling blocks recently when it was announced that Colin Trevorrow would no longer direct the project, with J.J. Abrams stepping in to take his place. Despite these setbacks, it appears as though the upcoming sequel is moving forward as auditions have commenced for extra and background actors, according to Movie Casting Call.
The site notes that "starring and supporting roles are mainly being cast through talent agents in Los Angeles, New York, and London" so while these auditions could lead to an appearance in the film in some capacity, the meatier roles most likely haven't been finalized and casting for those will take place further down the line. The site also claims that shooting for the film will take place in January of 2018, which refutes Variety's claims that shooting would take place in June of next year.
The conflicting reports of shooting dates could be a result of the film's production being pushed back six months as Abrams and Chris Terrio
Lucasfilm and Disney released the statement announcing Trevorrow's departure early in September, reading, "Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon."
Only a week later, Lucasfilm confirmed they were bringing back the director of The Force Awakens for the new installment.
"J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX," a statement read. "Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm."
Episode IX will hit theaters on December 20, 2019.
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