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

Published 2 years 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.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: The Wrap

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. If this happens, I can’t wait for the fanboy outcry. I like just about everything that Abrams has put his name on. I think he will be great.

    My one worry about it would be if he is able to keep both Star Trek and Star Wars their own. The ‘bringing more Star Wars into Star Trek’ thing would worry me more than ease my mind.

  2. I have to admit I’m pretty excited about this. I really liked Star Trek and look forward to the the next one. I think he’ll breath new life into SW and help make it relevant again. I think it’ll definitely end up being better the the prequel trilogy.

  3. Abrams is a fan of Star Wars, but I need to say something. He’s going to make it in the style of the prequels. Which is what WE DON’T WANT! His Star Trek is amazing, but his Star Wars will probably end his career.

    • Says who? Abrams has his own style, and he will do Star Wars justice at the same time. Trust me, his movie will help erase the prequels from our collective memory.

      • You can’t erase the Prequels, they’re an essential part of the story. But poorly done.

        I honestly think that Tim Burton, Shane Acker, or Zach Snyder would do a better job. Abrams would only retell the story done six times over.

        That’s just my opinion. I like Abrams don’t get me wrong, it’s just. I have a feeling he’ll “LOST” this one. And I seem to be the only one who doesn’t like “LOST.”

        • I hate Lost. But I love Mission Impossible III, Star Trek and Super 8. He’s a great director who has his heart in it. Super 8 especially had exactly the kind of movie magic that I miss in most modern productions (including Burton’s and Snyder’s). And who the hell is Shane Acker? There is nothing in his very, very short résumé that would suggest that he is the right man for the job.

          • If you imagine “9” as Star Wars, It’s in the end, Star Wars. That’s why I picked Shane Acker. But I understand the difference between animated film vs live action. But if he had the ability to do live action, it would be a good choice.


            I just know there are better options than J.J. Abrams. I love his Star Trek, I really do. But I just… don’t see him doing Star Wars. With all the hype about J.J. being official now. I can already see it’s going downhill fast and with the limited time he has to do it. I’m not really looking forward to it, Disney has never been friendly to the idea of pushing projects out for a polish. J.J. does that a lot. That’s why most of his work is pretty well on the good side. But doing things on a deadline, *ahem* bad juju. Unless he pulls a magical monkey out of his butt.

  4. Wow!

  5. It’s a highly unoriginal & lazy executive decision, the suits just went “oh yea he did lost & the new star treks, he’s a geek too, ok we’ll use him” thats all thats gone into the thought process here, not what will be best for the franchise

    • anything that isn’t Lucas will be best for the franchise.

    • What ever dude! Stick to yelling out to your mum to bring more potatoes chips and blankets down to the basement you slither in.

  6. It’s a highly unoriginal & lazy executive decision, the suits just went “oh yea he did lost & the new star treks, he’s a geek too, ok we’ll use him” thats all thats gone into the thought process here, not what will be best for the franchise.

  7. It’s a highly unoriginal & lazy executive decision,

    the suits just went “oh yea he did lost & the new star treks, he’s a geek too, ok we’ll use him”

    thats all thats gone into the thought process here, not what will be best for the franchise.

    • Spam much?

      You’re entitled to your opinion, but you don’t have to shove up our a$$.

    • Directed Mission Impossible 3 and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (both made millions, the latter was a huge success critically).

      Oh and produced and helped devise ideas for the awesome that is Cloverfield.

      Yeah, he did more than just Lost and Star Trek and I only listed 3 more things, he’s done way more.

      • He did not direct Ghost Protocol. Brad Bird did.

        • Yeah brad bird did MI:4 best one yet

          • Not even close.

      • He also directed Alias staring Jennifer Garner.

  8. Well, this is awkward… Star Trek AND Star Wars? In all honesty, I would love to see him direct Star Wars, as I can see him bring back the humor and action, plus awesome characters, but handling both franchises will be a big burden, and fans of both sides will be skeptical, especially if one franchise turns to s***

  9. theres no way he makes another Trek now. this is for the best.

  10. Abrams hasn’t made a movie that I haven’t enjoyed yet. So one of two things will happen 1). He’ll be due for a dud or 2) He’ll make the best Star Wars of the last decade. I think he’s earned a crack at it :)

    • best of the last decade…thats not saying very much

  11. Fantastic news! And I, for one, quite enjoyed the lens flares. 😛

  12. Hopefully he can bring Star Wars back from the deep dark pit of death that Lucas tossed it in

  13. How much do you want to bet that J.J. will be fired? Since he is now working for the competition, Paramount/CBS will part ways with J.J.

  14. Yes! Lens flare haters can weep!

  15. Guillermo del Toro for me!

  16. How is it that JJ Abrham cant do both franchises?

    Star Trek
    He is a bankable director that both studios can make money off of.

    And think about this.

    Paramount and Disney team up to bring you Star Trek/Star Wars movie.

    • Conflict of interest. As I tried to explain on another site, CBS/Paramount and ABC/LucasArts are direct competitors. Pepsi versus Coke. Even though we would like him to work on both franchises, CBS/Paramount will most likely force him to make a choice.

      • No it is not a conflict of Interest as such, JJ Abraams is a director. Each Franchise stands on its own merits, and therefore each has its own fan base.

        Star Trek and Star Wars, both come with clauses, and JJ Abrams will not sacrifice his integrity and sabotage one over the other.

        Now, I am going to shoot down your theory. Based on the conflict of interest. If that were the case, Industrial Light and Magic would never have done Star Trek reboot, and several other Star Trek movies.

        Because it would be a conflict of interest as you stated.

      • Aren’t directors basically freelancers for hire? There might be contracts that bind certain directors to a certain studio for some time, but I believe most directors freely jump between projects from different studios all the time.

    • He can do both franchises, but don’t cross the streams.

      • We throwing the Ghostbusters into these universes? 😀

  17. No matter who is pinned as the director people are going to complain. So I say just do a good job J.J.

  18. No matter who is pinned as the director people are going to complain. So I say just do a good job JJ

  19. JJs buddies wrote the Trek movies and he had a great deal of input in the stories, I doubt he will have that level of control with SW7. Unless they offered him a Whedon type role.

  20. This is great news! If JJ Abrams can do for Star Wars what he did for Star Trek, I’m all in. I remember coming out of Star Trek saying ” Finally, a Star Trek mpvie that can be compared to Star Wars!” If anything JJ has the tempo of the what Star Wars should be. Its going to fly off the screen!

  21. Abrams has always been a Fanboy all his life.. given a choice back in 2009, he would have done StarWars over StarTrek.. Dont get me wrong, I loved the new Trek movie.. but this dude was born to make Star Wars. Dust out the ol Fx LightSabers fellas

  22. Probably the best choice. If Speilberg and Lucas had a baby it would be J.J. Abrams. He seems to be able to bridge the current aesthetic while reminiscing with that era from which Star Wars comes.

  23. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” -Darth Vader. I swear if I see time travel in this film put me on suicide watch…

  24. Not confirmed until Lucasfilm or parent company Disney announce it. For now, it’s just a report. People don’t seem to understand what “confirmed” means. I for one am excited if he gets the job. I’m a fan of his flicks. In fact, just watched Mission:Impossible III on Netflix last night, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did back in 2006. His Star Trek reboot was killer awesome, and I’m very much anticipating Into the Darkness. (This is coming from a guy who is a Star Wars fan and not a Trekkie.) I think Episode 7 with him at the helm and Arndt writing it will make it worth the wait. Very happy over here!

    • Yeah, I just don’t understand why this one rumor from a single source has legs at all, other than neither Abrams or Disney has denied it thus far, but still. Never even heard of The Wrap til today…

  25. Well I for one hope it’s not true. I have nothing against Abrams but both franchises is just TOO big a swath to cut, so to speak. I really believe what you’ll have is a homogenization of two very popular properties at around the same time. If ‘Into Darkness’ is a hit there’s also the real danger that Abrams will end up succumbing to the George Lucas syndrome and any real synergy or real goodness will get squashed by the mans overwhelming power that comes with the success. Everyone will just agree with him, tow the line, and no matter how successful he is, he’s still only human…

  26. i want to be excited but i just worry we will end up with a star wars film that is basically a re-wrapped version of his star-trek film. That still would be better then any of the prequels :) but, i just hope he can capture his passion for the universe and make a film that will restore the awe, excitement, and wonder that the original trilogy had.

    (i still think redoing the prequels and/or a movie(s) just on the clones wars makes a little more sense)

    • Actually, I think it’s the other way around. I think his Star Trek movie is a re-wrapped version of what would make a great Star Wars movie. Its style is quite different from what Star Trek used to be about and definitely felt more like Star Wars to me. That’s why he’s perfect.

  27. In addition to time travel, we will also see:

    1. A strong female role, probably Han and Leigh’s twin daughter
    2. A romance (involving the character above)
    3. A flashback or flashforward
    4. Possible a VHS tape


  28. In addition to time travel, we will also see:

    1. A strong female role, probably Han and Leigh’s twin daughter
    2. A romance (involving the character above)
    3. A flashback or flashforward
    4. Possibly a VHS tape