J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII (UPDATED)

Update: Disney has finally issued a press release confirming J.J. Abrams as the director of Episode VII. More info at the bottom of this post.

Well it just goes to show… in Hollywood, no never really means no. Despite claiming that he had turned down an offer to direct a new Star Wars movie back in November, it looks like J.J. Abrams really will be directing the next installment in the franchise for Disney after all. It’s a pretty surprising choice considering that he just finished rebooting Star Trek for Paramount, although I’m guessing that’s also one of the main reasons that Disney wanted to hire him for this gig as well. I can’t help but think that it’s a somewhat uninspired choice, although I’m sure he’ll do a fine job with it. Commence complaining about lens flares… now!

The news comes courtesy of The Wrap, who claim that Ben Affleck was also in contention for the job. However, it looks as though Abrams won out, and now he’ll have to switch gears and jump right into Star Wars as soon as he puts the final touches on Star Trek Into Darkness. The projected release date for the movie is sometime in 2015.

It will be interesting to see what Abrams brings to the table after his experience with Star Trek. He supposedly used Star Wars as part of his inspiration for turning Star Trek into a more action-oriented adventure franchise. Will any elements of Star Trek work their way into the new Star Wars movie? It’s hard to say, but it’s weird to think that one man is now responsible for updating two of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time. What do you think, are you a fan of J.J. Abrams? Is this announcement good news or bad news?

Update: Here’s the official confirmation from Disney’s press release:

J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.

“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”

George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”

“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”

Around the Web:

  • Indianamcclain

    I thought it wasn’t going to happen, but I’m glad that was a lie.

  • Tony

    Not seeing their source. They come out and call it an announcement, but then turn around and say they’ve reached out to Abrams peeps and Lucasfilm with no response. I’ll believe it wehn it’s announced by Lucas.

  • Tum Tum Tyranus

    Please no Giacchino. Please no Giacchino. Please no Giacchino.

  • milandob

    get ready for all the light sabers lens flaring the camera and hopefully lindelof will bless us with his script!

  • I think their source is CAA, which is J.J. Abrams’ agency. You can see it on the author’s Twitter feed.

  • FoxMulder

    Love that choice! After the debacle of George Lucas’ new trilogy, this wouldnt have been the time for risks! Abrams is a safe bet to make a more than solid Star Wars movie which is exactly what this franchise needs. There will be plenty of opportunities for risks later on.

  • milandob

    btw isnt there a rule that you should mix star trek and star wars people (story wise and behind the camera) or the universe will implode?

  • La Menthe

    Yes! This is great news! He did a great job on Star Trek, and I have complete faith in him doing a great job on Star Wars too.

  • Bob

    J.J. Abrams – World’s Luckiest Nerd.

  • La Menthe

    @TuM Tum, are you joking? Giacchino is a great composer, and the soundtracks he has made for sci-fi epics so far, most notably Star Trek and John Carter, are great, and they in many ways define those films. He is more than able to produce pompous and majestic pieces, and I see no reason for him to not be involved.

    Besides, it’s not like they’re gonna deviate from the original SW-music and not involve John Williams in it. My only hope is that they also bring in a new composer like Giacchino, who can add new and remembable music pieces to the film.

  • kyri

    disgusting choice.

  • I’m happy with this choice but I hope he’s still able to do another Star Trek so we can have a solid trilogy. That’s assuming Into Darkness is gonna be good, which is a safe bet.

  • I like Abrams’ lens flares, it’s just that the films behind them are terrible.

  • Scott

    I sort of hated his Star Trek movie.

  • Gerry

    Excellent choice.

    I guess the moral is if you successfully reboot a franchise you get the next reboot in that genre. Simples.

  • Chris Morgan

    Sort of obvious, no? I liked Star Trek and Into Darkness looks solid…but I was hoping for a slightly more left-field choice. Brad Bird or Matt Vaughn.

  • 1138sw

    Oh man I hope Disney knows what they are doing…sigh

    Not happy about this…he ruined Star Trek and now JJ is getting his paws on Star Wars?!

    Man after the Prequels Debacles I was hoping for change in a different direction…oh man JJ better not screw this up and I really hope he learns how to direct because if he doesn’t the ST sequels will surely ruin the franchise altogether!


  • Kasper

    This is horrible news. My interest has dropped a bunch. Star Trek was okay, but nothing more than that. Abrams knows how to handle action and has a slick style but his storytelling skills are abysmal.

    What was cool about the original trilogy was that it felt like a big adventure with great characters, and with Abrams I fear it will feel more like an action fest with shitty and uninteresting characters.

  • bilbo

    My dick is made of carrots.

  • rjdelight

    Man we were so close to getting a Ben Affleck-directed Star Wars. That would have been awesome, way more interested in what that would have been then seeing more space battles through Abrams vision.

  • Derek McFarland

    @FoxMulder (#6)

    Agreed….A safe bet is definitely what is needed for this franchise; and I’m sure Abrams will make it an awesome chapter in that universe, regardless if he changes up things like he did with Star Trek 09 or not. (I hope he doesn’t…but if it’s a good film, which I’m sure it will be it won’t really matter)…
    If they don’t get John Williams, it would be awesome if they got Joel McNeely to compose. I thought he did such a great job with Shadows of the Empire. Star Wars to me, is a franchise that deserves all sorts of different film directors, especially with a visual eye.

  • anton

    boring choice. its like peter jackson for hobbit. we already have plenty of space shit from abrams. meh…

  • madfish

    Is it just me or is this really just a rumor? No official source on any site, maybe they will today and while I enjoy the Star Trek reboot it seems a safe choice rather than a creative one.

  • ANONYmiss

    hey, am i right?

  • Henrik

    More excited for 300 with Jedis than Star Trek with lightsabers.

  • Tahir

    He wouldn’t have been my 1st choice – I thought the
    Star Trek film was average at best.

    I think the director regardless, I hope Ford, Hamill
    and Carrie are in it – They are ‘rumored’ on IMDB at
    the moment. Their presence would be a massive boost.
    Well for me anyway.

  • Stinker

    Here is the chance to make it right….but then again….who cares….hope he got more space to be creative then a normal George Lucas Franchise player to play with the “rules”.

    Well, would love to see a Ben like Type exSith exJedi in it, and when on it LOCK would ROCK. And a ex stormtrooper with a sister on Bespin, who is a little shaddy, and a guy on a …space sail boat… who wants to impress his girlfriend, whos father build the death star, and got lost in time. MY GOD this could be fun. Or not.

  • Tum Tum Tyranus

    @10 La Menthe

    The scores to Star Trek and John Carter are ambient fluff. Not bad, just there. Star Wars music is about melodies and Giacchino doesn’t deliver in that department. Only theme I like from him is that one piece in Lost(but even that compared to Williams is kindergarten shit(fucking even Across the Stars/Ep 2 theme destroys it) ).

    PS – Been listening to old LDT & ACOCO and I get a kick when Korey complains about you.

  • I think the important thing to remember is that this is going to be better than all three prequels combined. I don’t think anyone should be expecting it to be better than any of the original trilogy. And considering how ugly the prequels look, it’ll be nice to see someone with a sense of style take over.

    And am I the only person who likes Super 8? He did a great job there of capturing the feel of a bygone era of filmmaking.

  • IchigoNL

    Let’s hope it will be nearer in quality to the LOST pilots than Star Trek/Super 8 (although these were decent movies).

    Somehow I think he’ll be pretty restrained, and he won’t go overboard with his tricks.

  • MrHorse

    hollywood – a sad place, but full of humor

  • Ji-a

    Jar-Jar Abrams?

  • Brendan

    One thing I’ve been wondering, regardless of the director, is how much of the style of the Lucas films will make it in? Like, will there be lots of wipes when cutting between scenes? Will the score be by Williams (or Williams-esque)? I would think the films will start with the same intro, with the crawl and everything, but didn’t Lucas leave the director’s guild because films are required to have credits at the start?

  • I don’t know about everyone else, but I hate the way A New Hope is edited, specifically all the wipes. I hope shit like that gets left out. I also expect that Disney will want a more updated look, since that will probably sell better than nostalgia.

  • Derek McFarland

    @madfish (#23)

    Agreed. I’ve found every movie Abrams done, to be entertaining, and not bad. He’s is not exactly one of my favorite directors…… But he is somewhat a pretty safe choice rather than a creative one…. But there should be plenty of time to find a creative filmmaker, for this franchise, after the first (safe)choice. I’m patient.

    @Tum Tum Tyranus (#28)


  • La Menthe

    OO@Tum, that’s a long time ago. Feel free to Link me the episodes where I’m mentioned.

  • mark

    If he makes a decent movie with lots of cool looking star wars aliens/droids and bounty hunters/jedi (ie gnarly lightsaber battles), Im all for it.

    How much worse could it be than the prequels??? If he can make star trek look cool, Im sure he’ll be fine making his brand star wars movie with tons of money/cgi behind it from disney. I actually thought john carter looked great visually, didnt see the whole movie but the action was great.

  • Tum Tum Tyranus

    @ La Menthe – Don’t know the specific episodes as I streamed through the shows and there’s no specific link. http://my.spill.com/group/lostaudioreviews/page/ldt http://my.spill.com/group/lostaudioreviews/page/acoco I think it’s early-ish 2009

    @ Derek McFarland – Thanks and I agree w/ you as well.

  • La Menthe

    Thx for all the hate guys! =P