With just a few months to go until its holiday release, most of the Star Wars attention lately has been focused on The Last Jedi, or at least diverted to the fraught production of the Han Solo prequel film. For months now, we've had very little reason to think about Episode IX, but that film is still taking shape ahead of production next year, and now that development process includes a new writer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jack Thorne has been brought in to work in some capacity on the Episode IX screenplay. The current draft was written by the film's director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) and his writing partner Derek Connolly, based on a treatment from Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson.
Thorne has gained plenty of American attention this year thanks to co-writing work on the drama film Wonder, starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay. That film will be released in November, but that's far from Thorne's only writing experience. He has a distinguished background in British television, having worked on shows like The Fades, The Cast-Offs, and recent genre offerings like the upcoming His Dark Materials and Philip K. Dick's Electric Sheep.
Now, Thorne's turning his attention to Star Wars. What we don't know yet is the extent of his rewrite work. It could just be a quick punch-up, or he could stick around longer. Remember, while The Last Jedi is billed as purely a Rian Johnson joint, The Force Awakens' screenwriting journey was a little more complicated. Michael Arndt was tapped as the sole writer for ages, then J.J. Abrams and veteran Lawence Kasdan stepped in to craft the film we eventually saw. Episode IX's production was further complicated by the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher, and while The Last Jedi may wrap up her story in its own way, whatever Episode IX's plans were have no doubt been altered by her passing. It's not clear yet exactly why Thorne is joining the fray, but he's a talented writer and we've still got nearly two years to go until we see the final results onscreen.
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters May 24, 2019.