Rian Johnson to write, direct next two Star Wars films

Los Angeles: Rian Johnson, the director of `Brick` and `Looper`, is to write and direct the next two Star Wars films, taking the reins from JJ Abrams.

The Disney-owned company behind the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm, was "making a deal" with Johnson to write and direct Episodes VIII and IX, suggest reports.

Writing and directing `Looper`, a science-fiction thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, helped push Johnson into the spotlight. He has also directed three episodes of the TV hit series `Breaking Bad`.

Johnson "hasn`t commented yet on his monumental new task".

Filming for Star Wars Episode VII is under way in the UK, with an expected release date of 18 December 2015. The film features a star-studded cast including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Lupita Nyong`o.