The director for Star Wars Episode VII has been revealed, and it is J. J. Abrams, according to The Wrap. While we don’t have a release from LucasFilm at this point, the Wrap reports that Abrams will do the film, despite his proclamation to the contrary last year.
The report says that other directors such as Ben Affleck were in contention for the gig, but that new LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy has been heatedly courting Abrams for the job. This represents a unification of sorts for two big franchises, as Abrams has also been shepherding the revival of Star Trek at Paramount. What effect this will have on his position there remains to be seen.
Our sources have been telling us for a while now that Steven Spielberg was really pushing Kennedy to hire Abrams. The story goes that Abrams was the first filmmaker approached after Spielberg, but was very hesitant. Kennedy talked to other directors including Ben Affleck and also Matthew Vaughn who may have pitched to have Chloë Grace Moretz in the lead role. Our sources say that Spielberg was instrumental in convincing Abrams and Kennedy to make it happen.
At the recent Star Trek Into Darkness event, we asked Abrams about this possibility. He admitted that he’d been asked but was almost too intimidated by the possibility. He also said he didn’t think he wanted to be the one handling both “Star” franchises, Wars and Trek. That said, Abrams hinted it was still a possibility.
Abrams has also long said, especially when he first started Star Trek, that he was a much bigger Star Wars fan. Knowing that, we asked him what he thought of the story and script and he admitted he really liked it. Abrams previously said about the possibility of more Star Wars films:
Part of me? Thrilled. Part of me? Terrified. Most of me? Thrillified.
And when he asked about potentially helming Episode 7:
“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time,” J.J. gushed. He added, “I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”
More details as we get them.
Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine scribe Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing Star Wars: Episode VII. Michael Arndt has completed a 40+ page treatment for the future of the series. Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan are also writing Star Wars universe scripts as well, but it’s unclear whether their stories will be for future episodes in the Skywalker story or if they will be spin-off films.