Rian Johnson 'To Direct Star Wars Episode VIII'
Filmmaker Rian Johnson will write and direct the second instalment in the new Star Wars Trilogy, Episode VIII, according to reports.
Johnson, 40, who has written Looper, Brick and The Brothers Bloom, will also write the initial script for the third instalment of the trilogy, Episode IX.
He has previously also directed three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad.
Producer Walt Disney Co declined to comment, but Johnson tweeted a video of a scene from the film The Right Stuff in which astronaut Alan Shepard says: "Dear Lord, please don't let me **** up."
Episode VIII is the second of three films Disney announced after purchasing George Lucas' Lucasfilm in 2012 for more than £2.5bn ($4.5bn).
Episode VII, which is currently in production, is being directed by JJ Abrahams.
Fans have been avidly following developments on the film, which is being shot in multiple locations, including the historic Pinewood Studios.
The film is scheduled for release in December 2015.
It will expand on a saga that has become embedded in pop culture since the first film was released in 1977.
Franchise veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will return, joined by newcomers Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie and Daisy Ridley.
Ford broke his leg on set last week and is currently recuperating while filming continues.