After reports surfaced yesterday that J.J. Abrams had agreed to direct Star Wars: Episode VII , Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed the news Friday night.
The official announcement was released online by Lucasfilm, Disney and Abrams.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said executive producer Kathleen 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 added, “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 honour,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
Abrams had previously denied any interest in directing the film when it was announced last fall. But his name was in the mix along with Jon Favreau, Matthew Vaughn, David Fincher and, more recently, Ben Affleck.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be written by Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt.
The film is due in 2015, with Abrams’ Star Trek sequel hitting theatres this May.
So does Abrams’ involvement in Star Wars mean the end of his run in the captain’s chair of the Trek franchise? And, more importantly, does Abrams have the credentials to relaunch Lucas’ revered series? Sound off in the comments below.