Star Wars: Episode VIII gets a new director in Rian Johnson

Writer and director Rian Johnson, left, actress Emily Blunt, center, and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, from the upcoming film "Looper", pose for a portrait during Comic-Con, Friday, July 13, 2012, in San Diego. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
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National staff

JJ Abrams will reportedly hand directorial duties of the new Star Wars films over after Episode VII, which has wrapped shooting in the Abu Dhabi desert but continues in the UK.

Director Rian Johnson, the man behind 2012's time-travelling hit Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is reportedly in talks to write and direct Episode VIII, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The publication quotes sources as saying Johnson will also write a treatment for Episode IX.