According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rian Johnson, director of Brick and Looper, has been tapped to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Deadline reports that Johnson will also direct Episode IX, but sources speaking to both the Hollywood Reporter and TheWrap deny that claim. Instead, they say he'll write the treatment for Episode IX, but will not direct it. Here's Deadline on the news:

Essentially, that means that the intention is for Johnson to take the baton from JJ Abrams, who has gotten the space franchise off the ground and is right now helming Episode VII. I don't know too much more at this point, but it is in keeping with Disney and Lucasfilm's strategy of entrusting the venerable franchise to the best and brightest writers and directors, including the spinoff films that are being directed by Chronicle's Josh Trank and Godzilla's Gareth Edwards.

Johnson responded to the news on Twitter:

Disney plans to release a new Star Wars movie every year, beginning with J.J. Abrams's Episode VII in 2015.

[image via Getty]