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.”