Star Wars: Episode IX is getting a new writer

Star Wars: The Last Jedi won’t be in theaters until the end of the year, but preparation for the final installment of the Skywalker saga is already underway — and a new writer is jumping on board. According to The Hollywood Reporter, British screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne will be tackling a rewrite for the as-of-yet untitled Star Wars: Episode IX. Thorne has created UK television shows like The Fades and The Last Panthers, and wrote both the upcoming Julia Roberts film Wonder and an installment of the anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. His most high-profile work in terms of mainstream fantasy, however, is the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriter Derek Connolly had written previous drafts of the Episode IX script, working from an outline by Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson. Trevorrow and Connolly had both been behind Jurassic World, and given the production issues that Lucasfilm has faced with the untitled Han Solo film and Rogue One, there might be an inclination to wonder if this change points to issues arising with Episode IX, as well. However, according to Variety’s sources, the move is much more in line with the kind of polishes that blockbuster films routinely receive, rather than a ground-up rewrite. The movie hopes to begin principal photography in January of next year.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on May 24, 2019.