J.J. Abrams Directing ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ [UPDATED]

Published 1 year ago by , Updated January 26th, 2013 at 10:15 am,

JJ Abrams Star Wars Episode 7 J.J. Abrams Directing Star Wars: Episode 7 [UPDATED]

[Update: It's official: J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars 7!]

Ever since Disney first announced that not only would Star Wars be coming back, but would do so in the form of a full-blown sequel in Star Wars Episode VII, speculation ran rampant over what story the film would tell. And more importantly, who would be trusted to tell it.

It seems that speculation can end, as it is now being reported that J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode 7, coming to theaters in 2015.

The report comes courtesy of TheWrap, after a source close to production is claiming that not only has producer Kathleen Kennedy been pursuing Abrams for the director’s chair for some time (not hard to understand, given his runaway success rebooting Star Trek) but that despite misgivings, Abrams has finally agreed.

The news will come as particular surprise to those who’ve been following the ongoing shortlist of Episode VII directors; J.J. Abrams was quick to shoot down rumors of his involvement from the very beginning. At the time, he cited the massive pressure and responsibility as his main reason for wanting to pass on the job, desiring to remain simply a fan.

JJ Abrams on Star Trek set J.J. Abrams Directing Star Wars: Episode 7 [UPDATED]

Apparently things have changed, although exactly what this means for the ongoing franchise development and Abrams’ relationship with Paramount is unclear. It’s still too early to assume that Disney is looking for Abrams to oversee the next generation of Star Wars fiction, perhaps contemplating a deal similar to that signed with Joss Whedon on the Marvel side of things. But if the studio has so doggedly pursued Abrams despite his apprehension (as he continues to make Star Trek a mass-market franchise) then this isn’t likely a one-time gig.

Given the myriad of names (some more risky than others) that have been thrown around as possible directorial candidates, it’s hard for even skeptics to argue that Abrams isn’t a bit of a relief. Guillermo Del Toro, Ben Affleck, and even David Fincher were all mentioned in the conversation – but for each one of their strengths, the question remained: would that work in a Star Wars universe?

Since Abrams has previously said that his creative team’s approach to the Star Trek reboot was partly built around ‘bringing a bit more Star Wars to Star Trek,’ that question seems to have been answered. If the strengths of Star Trek can be brought back to the series that partly inspired it (lens flares or no) then it’s hard to be concerned that Episode 7 won’t be an enjoyable, competent sci-fi action film. That may seem like setting a low standard, but the past decade of Star Wars projects hasn’t exactly raised the bar.

George Lucas Disney Star Wars J.J. Abrams Directing Star Wars: Episode 7 [UPDATED]

What this means for the rumored Star Warsspin-off films remains to be seen, since we’re not even sure what role George Lucas will have as the brand is expanded upon by Disney. Or perhaps more importantly: what does all this mean for what we perceived to be a Star Trek series that had a successful road laid out in front of it? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess.

We’ll keep you updated as the report is either confirmed or denied, but for now it seem Star Wars fans can breathe easy, and attempt to digest the knowledge that both Star Wars and Star Trek are now being controlled by a single director.

What’s your reaction to J.J. Abrams being trusted with both Star Wars and Star Trek? Does talent beat out fanboy objections, or is this too close for comfort? Sound off in the comments.

[poll id="509"]

Star Wars Episode 7 is due in theaters in 2015.

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Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: The Wrap

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TAGS: star wars

201 Comments

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  1. I can’t imagine a better director for Episode 7.

    • *Approving head nod*

    • I can. *head shake* But I can also imagine many worse, that is true.

  2. Money was obviously “not” a prime motive, nevertheless he is a great director and it should be interesting to see what he comes up with (despite him going against his words!)

  3. I don’t know. I think it’s some StarWars fan making this story up. I’m hoping more on Matthew Vaughn, Alfonso Cuaron, Neill Blomkamp or Rupert Wyatt.

    • Alfonso would be a great choice i hadnt thought about that one. im interested to see his “Gravity” film to see him tackle sci fi. i also would love David fincher too

  4. No mention in this article that Ben Affleck was the other director being considered?

    • Affleck’s a good director…

      That said, being mentioned in rumor reports is not the same as “being seriously considered.” Affleck was rumored to be on the consideration list, but may not have been on it in actuality.

      • True. At this point, it’s hard to name a director that wasn’t considered by someone, at some point, according to some ‘source.’ I maintain a Judd Apatow-helmed Star Wars would be just what the series needed ;)

      • Same could be said for Abrams at this point.

  5. Abrams wants a monopoly on sci fi i guess

  6. Apocalypse. This is the final sign of the apocalypse. Star TrekWars brought to you by Sith Vulcan JJ Abrams.

    • WHile i disagree with this entirely and am excited that JJ got the gig, i must admit i laughed quite heartily at that for some reason

  7. If this is true… it’s f****** b*******

  8. Good grief is this movie gonna suck!!!!!!!!! Why? Why?

    • Obviously it will suck, they’re using a director that has a proven track record of awesome. What were they thinking?

      • I concur. His great track record shows that this movie will be a financial and critical failure. I mean it’s not like he resurrected a dead brand (Star Trek) from out of nowhere to make it relevant. And it’s not like Lost was all that successful. Disney should be ashamed of themselves for hiring a guy that many people think is the next Spielberg.

        • ^^*mic drop*

          • hahaha very subtle guys.. that was prbly the best argumentative retort I’ve seen all week :)

          • “B****es.”
            Prince serves the pancakes.

  9. JJ always said he was almost more of a Star Wars guy growing up over a Trek guy.

    • @ Rob

      This is great news, but where does it leave the Star Trek franchise for future movies??

      • my thoughts exactly.. I eagerly await his (Abrams) comments on the matter

        • The main thing to look at is did Abrams sign a one film contract (highly doubtful) or did he receive the Joss Whedon type of contract where he oversees the next ten years of Star Wars films. If the latter is the case then I figure we have probably seen the end of Abrams-directed Star Trek films. If you look at the overall picture, Disney has significantly more pull than any other studio on the planet currently and resembles more of an old-school studio from the 1940s-1960s. Once they sign someone, they seek to keep that person for an extended period of time which prohibits them from working anywhere else for years.

  10. JJ Abrahams is awesome, but I don’t think it’s fair to Trek and Wars at the same time. I’d like to see a relatively fresh face with a background direct, like Neil Blomkamp. I bet he would do a really good job, especially since he already has a hand in sci-fi with District 9, the Halo short, and Elysium coming up. If he’s not too busy, that is.

    • That’s what the expanded universe films are for. Seeing if a director is worthy of continuing the main story arc by contributing a great film in the expanded universe.

      • I’m with you both. That’s the kind of director I would love to see given a side-story. Personally, I wouldn’t even hold it to the same ‘standard,’ just a chance to see a very interesting sci-fi director do his thing.

    • i hate jj ABRAHAMS. jj abrams is a better director. lol :)

  11. Nika said he would be too busy lol I guess not!

  12. I am happy about this. I was really hoping that Nolan would do it (I knew he wouldn’t, but I had to hope), but this is great too. He’s a talented guy. Who cares if he’s also doing Star Trek? It’s not like we’ll ever see a crossover film or anything of that kind. So yeah, I’m psyched!

    • Can you please give me at least three reasons on why you think Nolan is even remotely right for doing Star Wars?

      I love Nolan, in spite of him being put shifted to a demi-god like status with his Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises (both are great movies, but merely okay Batman movies. Far better has been done with Kevin Conroy and Andrea Romano in the animated field. Especially the epic The Dark Knight Returns which was as long as TDKR when watched together….I digress). Nolan’s “realistic” take on Batman was fresh and interesting. Just like Burton’s was. All that said I can’t think of a single reason why Nolan would be good for Star Wars.

      It’s a 180 from Nolan’s style. Even when he’s in your face about what he’s doing and what he means by certain imagery or action shots. Star Wars doesn’t need his style at all and would possibly be hurt by it. I could be wrong. Maybe the sequences of Luke having battles against the Sith in his ind would b handled very well, he’s great at conveying disorientation.

      Anyway, why would Nolan be a great choice above all other choices?

  13. If this is confirmed, I like the choice. Abrams is a big “Star Wars” fan (as evident in “Star Trek,” he even used the original trilogy as inspiration). He would definitely nail the tone of a classic “Star Wars” film.

    I just wonder what this means for “Star Trek 3.” I was hoping the wait between “Into Darkness” and the threequel would be short, but if Abrams is directing Episode 7, then do we wait until 2017 at least? Would Abrams just produce “Trek” and someone else direct?

    Either way, I’m excited. The original trilogy is my favorite set of films. I really liked Abrams’ “Star Trek,” so this is a win for me!

    • It certainly does raise the question concerning the expected and anticipated 3rd Star Trek Film.

      Too early too tell, but Abrams might just Executive Produce Trek 3 and choose a director to carry it out.

  14. As long as he puts Cumberbatch front and centre in it then hell yeah

    • Yes! Benedict as a Sith Lord would be incredibly awesome.

    • Hahahahahaha, whaaaat. No.

  15. Wow…one of the greatest douche bags in the industry. He sucks as a director(since he’s not a director) he sucks as a writer(since he’s not a writer and hasn’t wrote anything by himself). NOW we know that the new Star Wars Trilogy will suck more than the last one. GREAT!

  16. YES!!!!!!! GREAT NEWS!!!!!

    Question: The Star Wars comics by Dark Horse, Are they standalone stories or a continuation after a certain episode?

    • Depends…They have SW series that take place before, during, and after the two film trilogies. They’re even covering the very beginning of the Jedi Knights in a current series.

  17. Lucky dude. He’s directed two star treks and now potentially the new star wars.

    • It’s pretty significant stuff.

      JJ Abrams! Man.

      He now is (will be) knee deep in the TWO most iconic Space themed Sci Fi Franchises ever.

      A double inheritance of the ages for a film maker.

      • Now all we need is JJ to direct a Dr. Who movie! Then he’d have THREE of the most iconic Sci-Fi franchises under his belt! :P

  18. Great choice. Hopefully this won’t delay a possibility of a Star Trek 3.

  19. STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 – RISE OF THE LENS FLARE

  20. not my first choice but could be worse. Could be Blomkamp, Nolan, Fincher, or Tarentino. I Swear just because someone makes a movie that you like doesn’t mean that are a good choice for every movie ever. Especially Nolan. Brad Bird is still my first choice but again could be worse

    • Brad bird is to busy being original

      • I’m pumped for 1952!! Brad Bird rocks, but Abrams is perfect for this.

      • true that, I’m just saying he would have done the series justice

  21. Rad, I didn’t really want to see the movie anyway – I LOVE lens flares. /eyeroll I’ll be more excited about this if I find out he has someone whose sole job is to go NO YOU CAN’T HAVE A FLIPPING FLARE THERE DUDE JUST NO.

    Also, how many major fandoms does the guy need? Go back to phasers. ;)

  22. I heard there will be a crossover with star trek and star wars in episode 7. cant wait !!! Maybe kirk fight some sith’s. Yes yes yes

    • *cricket noises*

  23. I can see all the LOST actors return for Episode 7. Then they can get off Once Upon A Time. Imagine Josh Halloway (Sawyer) as Han Solo’s kid.

  24. Id prefer someone else nothing against abrams he is great. But i dont want trek and wars to feel the same. And abrams has a distinct style

  25. Oh I don’t know. If he did anything sci-fi, I always pictured him doing a reimagining of LOST in Space. Eh? Eh?

  26. Does this mean we can look forward to Star Trek 3 in 2018? I’m sure he’d make a great movie, but with these big franchises, (Star Trek, The Dark Knight, The Avengers, etc.,) they need to give new talent a chance to develop, not just go back to the same well.

  27. Can I buy my tickets already!? Also, Ben Affleck would have been a great choice. Argo and The Town are two great movies. But I guess Ben doesn’t have the sci-fi experience yet, well at least as a director.

  28. Wow! Great news! JJ will work his ass off to make this a great film. Way to go Kathleen Kennedy! Holy sh*t the Star Wars franchise is really going to come back to life. They know it has to be a great film and they are both the capable one’s who can make sure that it’s great. Wow! Now, JJ has to make sure that Star Trek 3 is the better than the first 2 and all will be fine. Even if he is just producing. Holy sh*t the guy get’s to bring both the Star Wars and the Star Trek franchises back to life. He is the luckiest man in the world. I couldn’t get over the hump about believing in Episode 7. I wanted to believe but just was very concerned. Now, I’m thrilled to death! Only one request JJ. You’ve got to give us shots from behind the scenes once a month or so. It will be too painful not to get some type of visuals throughout the making of the film. I’m very thankful for you JJ and Kathleen. Don’t listen to the negative Star Wars idiots. Just make a great film the way you know how. Hell, you know what not to do after the prequels and ewoks. Love you more than ever George – you’ve done exceptionally well with the transition and with whom you’ve entrusted the Saga. I think you are going to be a hero again. Kinda went to the dark side but now you’re back. A New Hope indeed!

  29. This is the worst case senerio, after the epic assassination of the last 30 years of dream that was the last trillogy STAR WARS is in need of a powerful force to fight against the CGI for everything mode the studios are in. Movies these days are turned into taco bell conveiyer belts where one passionate idea is picked apart by a bunch of self rightious middle management that half of them never went to film school and are biter washed up actors. Star Wars needs a 21st century Irvin Kirshner to give the masterful back hand to the legions of seedy beaurocrats. To lay a seige of Joseph Campbell’s heavy undertones mixed with a Akira Kurosawa’s story and character. Please dont make this into a kenner toy add. Im so tired of matrix clones with eye pooping visuals like I am Legend, where an awesome thing is turned into a bad CGI artists toilet. JJ man please, stand back and let Fincher, Scorsese, Tarantino, Oliver Stone, who ever is willing to make a dark and fearsome entry into the world, where suffering and torment can only be over come by heroic self sacrifice. I wish Ridley Scott didnt just take a massive dump with Promethius, i wish there was a voice loud enough to push all doubt aside with these classic titles. Star Wars, Empire and Return have a heavy wieght that is hard to translate into the 3D, trendy world. We need something heavy, dark, that makes you feel like the world is crashing down. Not a movie that litterally makes your world of fandom come crashing down.

    • You are the 2nd person to say tarintino and oncd again im shocked… really you want him? His style fits nothing that staf wars has. He would be the worst choice. While fincher would be the best

      • FINCHER yeS!!! and he worked on return of jedi so he has star wars in background already!

      • Couldnt be worse then the prequels. Tarantino breaks the rules, but he doesnt do Disney/ILM stinkers. There are so many better choices, serious choices that dont make crap. My thing is the original fans have grown up, give us something serious that reflects the angst and humiliation of the series. Hughes Bros, Coen Bros, any body that can do harsh

        • I cant say your lieing about it not beimg worse than the prequels..

    • A f****** MEN!

    • You guys have to be out of your minds to even remotely consider Tarantino. Like seriously. Disney would NEVER hire him.

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