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J.J. Abrams had ‘conversations’ about directing ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

- December 26th, 2012

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When Disney announced that it was planning a new series of Star Wars films after acquiring the rights from creator George Lucas, the first question on many fans’ minds was: Who is going to write and direct the new trilogy?

J.J. Abrams was at the top of many lists to direct the first instalment after he successfully injected new life into Star Trek and Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series.

Well, it appears fans and movie execs think alike. Abrams was offered the gig, at least in the preliminary stages, but turned it down. The director tells Empire Magazine that he and Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy talked about it.

“[T]here were the very early conversations and 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,” he told Empire (via Coming Soon). ” 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.”

That leaves X-Men: First Class helmer Matthew Vaughn as the front-runner to direct Episode VII, which is due out in 2015. Vaughn was tipped in November as an early favourite, and his odds increased after it was announced that Bryan Singer will be behind the camera for the next X-Men film.

The one thing that’s certain are the writers. Oscar-winning Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine), will write Episode VII, with Empire Strikes Back scribe, Lawrence Kasdan, and Simon Kinsberg (Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: Days of Future Past) writing the other two instalments.

Abrams’ upcoming sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, is set to hit theatres next May.

In the meantime, who do you think should direct Star Wars: Episode VII? Let us know in the comments.

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9 comments

  1. Brian Jarvis | December 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Ridley Scott…

  2. Will | December 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Oh please no, JJ Abrams killed Star Trek, please keep him away from Star Wars.

    Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, he blew up Vulcan. Please, stop this maniac before he kills again!

  3. Will | December 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Oh and btw I second the nomination on Ridley Scott.

  4. Paul | December 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    How about Jerry Bruckheimer?

  5. Will | December 31, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Damn! Good choice too.

  6. wavy | January 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Why isn’t Steven Spielberg being hotly pursued? Given his movie-making history, close ties to and relationship with Lucas, and the fact he’s still making great science fiction movies (eg. War of the Worlds), why wouldn’t Spielberg be considered? He would give the franchise the attention to detail and respect it deserves. Is it because of Disney vs. Dreamworks?

  7. Mark | January 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    @wavy: Spielberg is retiring from making action movies after he completes Robopocalypse, which is due in April 2014. He may do a 5th Indiana Jones film (although the clock on that seems to be winding down). At the premiere for Lincoln, Spielberg was asked directly about doing Star Wars 7 and his response was, “”No! No! It’s not my genre. It’s my best friend George’s genre.”

    I agree, though. That would be a good choice.

  8. Andy | January 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    @Will says: “Oh please no, JJ Abrams killed Star Trek, please keep him away from Star Wars.”

    Well, to each his own, but in fact one of the criticisms of Trek ’09 was that it was given too much of the ‘Star Wars’ treatment. Abrams made ‘Trek’ more fun and action-oriented–kinda like ‘Star Wars’. To me that’s not a bad thing, though; I very much like complex, thought-provoking sci-fi, but at the same time the ‘Next Generation’ ST films were mostly a bore, whereas I had a blast watching Abrams’ ‘Trek’.

    “Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, he blew up Vulcan. Please, stop this maniac before he kills again!”

    You may not have liked his creative choice there, but remember that what he was doing was creating a new timeline in which to place new ‘Trek’ stories without messing up prior ‘Trek’ canon. Not that this required Vulcan’s destruction, but it’s not as if this can’t set up interesting plots, such as what becomes of a Vulcan remnant looking to set up shop on a new planet.

    Overall I think you’re being too negative–and in fact totally overlooking how perfect a fit Abrams would be with ‘Star Wars’.

  9. Andy | January 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Regarding Spielberg, I imagine what’s really happening there is that he knows he’d do an infinitely better job of it than Lucas did, and since they’re good friends Spielberg likely doesn’t want fans making the comparisons that would inevitably be made.

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