J.J. Abrams has already endeared himself to sci-fi fans with his action-packed reboot of the Star Trek franchise, so it was no surprise when the director's name popped up as a potential contender to direct Star Wars: Episode 7.
However, Abrams quickly shot down those rumors, explaining that he didn't want to take on the burden of the iconic franchise and that he was content to simply be a fan like everyone else. In a recent interview, Abrams further elaborated on why he wasn't interested in the director's chair.
Speaking with Empire Magazine, Abrams admitted that, while he did have some initial conversations with Lucasfilm about the movie, he "declined any involvement very early on."
“I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”
To sum up: Abrams said he didn't want to direct Star Wars a month ago, and he still doesn't want to direct it. So you can file this one under the non-news category. That being said, it is interesting to consider Abrams' perspective on the film.
Abrams grew up on Star Wars and the films have had a profound impact on his professional career. Because the movies were so important to him, it's easy to understand why he wouldn't want to ruin the magic of the franchise by getting into the nitty, gritty work of directing one.
However, the same can be said of virtually all of Abrams' peers. Most every director who grew up in the 1970s will cite Star Wars as an inspiration. Are they all thinking the same thing as Abrams: that signing on to direct Star Wars: Episode 7 will detract from their fond memories of the original series?
One candidate that seems to be picking up some steam (at least on the Internet) is X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn. At 41, Vaughn would have been six when the first Star Wars film came out, so it's reasonable to assume that the director watched the franchise as a kid. One can only wonder if he has any of the same trepidation as Abrams.
What do you think? If you were a big-time director, would you turn down the chance to direct Star Wars out of love for the franchise?