After many names and wave upon wave of speculation, Disney finally decided on the director for the new Star Wars.
It’s J.J. Abrams.
With Star Trek – and aye, he successfully revived the franchise – and Mission Impossible III, he will be directing another huge franchise. It looks like he is the guy who dates ALL the beautiful girls in one town and feels like Hollywood is pretty much an abandoned place director-wise.
The news is surprising as Abrams previously commented on the possibility and said he felt too intimidated by the material to properly tackle it.
Ben Affleck was also in contention for the Episode VII directing gig. It might have been interesting to see his take on this epic, action packed space opera. Well, maybe in Ep. VIII.
Disney has just issued this official press release:
J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.