It’s finally happened, folks. After weeks of shortlist stories, rumors, and denials, it appears that J.J. Abrams will be directing Star Wars: Episode VII. Lucasfilm Chief and Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy has apparently been courting Abrams for a while, and Abrams himself “revealed” in December that he turned down the directing gig because he’d “rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making the film.” So much for that. Hit the jump for more, including who else was in contention for the job.
This bombshell of a story was broken by the folks over at The Wrap. Ever since Disney first announced that they were purchasing Lucasfilm and moving forward with a new series of Star Wars movies with Kennedy spearheading the franchise as a producer, rumors have understandably been swirling over who would be directing the franchise. Our own Matt Goldberg made a list of five directors who he thought would be well suited for the gig back in October, and Abrams made the cut with Goldberg noting that it would be “the most secretive production in history.” If the hubbub surrounding Star Trek Into Darkness is any indication, that’s probably exactly what we’re in for.
Speaking of which, it’s kind of crazy to think that Abrams will be behind the two largest sci-fi franchises in history: Star Trek and Star Wars. I’m not a diehard fan of either one, but I’ll be interested to see what the hardcore Trek and SW communities think of this decision. Abrams is an incredibly gifted visual storyteller with a knack for exciting, adventurous, and heartfelt films, so I’m pretty happy with this choice. The Wrap’s report notes that Ben Affleck was also in consideration for the job, which is interesting. Affleck has proven himself to be an incredibly solid filmmaker, but he’s yet to make a lighter, more commercial film in the vein of Star Wars.
So, now that we have a director, here’s what we know about the new Star Wars so far:
- Michael Arndt is writing the screenplay.
- Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are writing screenplays for other Star Wars films that could either be sequels to Episode VII or spinoff movies featuring other characters.
- Zack Snyder may or may not be directing a spinoff Star Wars movie set in the same universe as this new trilogy.
Click here to catch up on all of the previous Star Wars news and rumors, and strap yourselves in for a very long, secretive wait for Star Wars: Episode VII to hit theaters in 2015.