Disney had to pay Paramount seven figures to allow JJ Abrams to direct Star Wars Episode IX, to compensate them for getting out of the $10 million/year deal he's under with that studio.

Back to the top. That’s what's happened with JJ Abrams given the task of directing ‘Episode IX.’ He directed “The Force Awakens” with his usual lens flares and kick-ass, Spielberg-inspired action sequences. There was also was the news, according to his friend, that he regretted not directing ‘Episode VIII.’ “He read it and said something he never, ever says, he said, ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it.’ He may have said something one time on ‘Lost’ with Damon [Lindelof], but I never hear him express regret like that.”

JJ was touted as the next Spielberg by many. He's so far shown considerable cops, but nothing out of the realm of just a solid and reliable filmmaker. It probably doesn't help that he's tied himself up with franchises and that an artistic voice will always be compromised when you sell yourself to these commodities. 

"The director takes on the Lucasfilm gig despite a $10 million obligation to his "home" studio, leaving newly crowned Jim Gianopulos to ask Disney for make-good money." 

"Fighting Abrams would have meant alienating the filmmaker and taking on major adversaries: Lucasfilm, Disney and possibly even Steven Spielberg, who isn't involved with Star Wars but has a long-term association with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and has taken credit for luring Abrams to helm The Force Awakens in the first place. And then there are Abrams' reps at CAA. With Paramount in need of all the support it can get, Gianopulos had to be realistic."