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J.J. Abrams Joins The Empire, Confirmed To Direct 'Star Wars: Episode 7'

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 24, 2013 4:40 PM
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Usually we'd be throwing up flags on this until Disney announces this thing themselves, but The Wrap and THR are both reporting that this is indeed legit and real, so let's get to it....

Reports say that negotiations with J.J. Abrams are far enough along that it's safe to say he'll direct "Star Wars: Episode 7." And yes, we know. It was just in November that the director pretty much took himself out the game when asked if he was interested in taking on the job. “Look, 'Star Wars' is one of my favorite movies of all time,” he said. “I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big 'Star Trek' fan growing up, so for me, working on 'Star Trek' didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of 'Star Wars,' but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”

But Abrams was pursued and wooed by Lucasfilm honcho Kathleen Kennedy and we suppose was made an offer he couldn't refuse. Of couse, Paramount might not be too happy if Abrams takes the gig since as he's the man behind their very successful reboot of "Star Trek." And should this be real we can't image the studio being thrilled that press rounds for "Star Trek Into Darkness" will essentially become non-stop questions about "Star Wars: Episode 7" unless that subject is strictly taken off the table (not that people still won't try anyway). Moreover, one wonders if we can ever live in a galaxy where nerds will be happy with the same director shepherding both "Star Wars" and "Star Trek." 

Ben Affleck was also apparently in contention for the gig as well, but it seems Abrams beat him to the punch. How do you feel about Abrams and "Star Wars"? Weigh in below.

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  • Leod | January 28, 2013 12:30 PMReply

    mmm overrated director, Joss Whedom or Alfonso Cuaron would have been a better choice.

  • cattt | January 25, 2013 2:47 AMReply

    Jar Jar Abrams already changed Star Trek into Star Wars. Maybe he should do the same thing here and change Star Wars into a boring, slow-moving film about space trade. Oh wait, Lucas already did that.

  • KT | January 25, 2013 7:44 AM

    I literally laughed out loud.

  • Unoriginal | January 24, 2013 8:46 PMReply

    Abrams directed Star Trek... Why would you want the same director to helm another iconic space adventure. I am really bummed. If anything, Duncan Jones would have been an interesting, more daring choice. What about someone like Nicolas Winding Refn? Or someone you wouldn't expect to direct this type of film, ala Skyfall did with Sam Mendes, say Derek Cianfrance. I know, all of these choices are just too risky, especially on a 4 billion dollar property. One can always dream...

  • PT | January 24, 2013 9:35 PM

    CB, did you ever Sam Mendes directing a James Bond Film? Look how cool that turned out. I know Cianfrance doesn't direct these types of movies. My point was to say, be a little creative, open minded when selecting someone to helm an iconic film like star wars... I agree with you though, Cianfrance was just to say, think outside the box.

  • CB | January 24, 2013 9:16 PM

    Lol, Derek Cianfrance? I doubt he has ANY interest in MAKING these types of films at all :-) Well, I'd love to see Refn direct a big movie though in the style of when Nolan shifted from independent films to the Batman films and Inception.

  • Clay Castille | January 24, 2013 8:23 PMReply

    So Bryan Singer was kind of John the Baptist to JJ's Jesus.

  • Clay Castille | January 24, 2013 8:23 PMReply

    So Bryan Singer was kind of John the Baptist to JJ's Jesus.

  • kitcon | January 24, 2013 7:05 PMReply

    It would be interesting to see him basically have to erase from memory everything he did on Star Trek and come up with things that are distinctly Star Wars. Script is key.

  • DG | January 24, 2013 6:41 PMReply

    I can't really imagine Ben Affleck actually wanting to do this anyways. JJ is a good choice but I'm not a Star Wars authority by any means. Super 8 was good though.

  • 3233 | January 25, 2013 4:16 AM

    Not really, unfortunately for anyone who likes adolescent adventure pics in that vein. One bravura sequence at the beginning, good performances, bad dialogue, everything framed in boring medium shot, generic, uninspired plotting = nothing worth writing home about. I was anticipating that movie like crazy in spring 2011, too

  • Good Riddance | January 24, 2013 6:22 PMReply

    Good, get this guy away from Trek. Hopefully he will only be able to do one franchise at a time. He Wars-ified Trek, so I think he can do a good job with Wars -- but in so doing he ruined Trek.

  • Good Riddance | January 25, 2013 11:07 AM

    Wars is Trekified? I stopped paying attention after the prequel movies. If this is true, please elaborate. :p

  • hank | January 24, 2013 6:59 PM

    Personally, I think he's more likely to Trek-ify Wars than to War-ifey Trek but hey who knows Trek had been War-ified way before JJ stepped in. If you ask me, someone needs to un-Trek-ify Wars.

  • DHE | January 24, 2013 6:08 PMReply

    He's an Ok choice. Like Favreau he's not all too interesting but could do a great job. I'm hoping Brad Bird does eventually direct one.

  • This sucks | January 24, 2013 6:07 PMReply

    NOOOOOO! C'mon, we saw what he could do with this genre already. It was a'ight, but let's see something different.

  • MAL | January 24, 2013 5:59 PMReply

    I'm in! He's a talented director with an eye for "meaningful" action with strong character development. After seeing Super 8, one of my favourite films of the past couple of years, he definitely has a knack for capturing the spirit of late-1970's sci-fi.

  • Hoseph | January 24, 2013 5:43 PMReply

    Kind of an uninspired choice. He's already done the space, action-adventure thing twice with two Star Trek films. How is this going to be different?Z

  • TimParker | January 25, 2013 10:05 AM

    It will be very different--a completely different script and Abrams and his humongous crew would not allow it to be so similar as to inspire complaints. It's a completely different universe, the only connection is space travel and some bad guys.

  • TheoC | January 24, 2013 5:39 PMReply

    Best man for the job. His Star Trek is basically A New Hope with Luke growing up as Han.

    Anyway, don't see it for Affleck.

    I hope the script is really good now.

  • TheoC | January 24, 2013 6:30 PM

    I'll add the caveat, that i too would have loved to seen Brad Bird do this.

  • Alex | January 24, 2013 5:24 PMReply

    Obviously if they made an offer to JJ Abrams, Star Trek director, then there weren't a lot of other suitable candidates. JJ Abrams has a good degree of quality control, so the film is likely to be decent, but I also doubt it is going to be mindblowing or interesting or subversive. Though the Disney tag probably indicates that anyway. I guess they didn't want to bet their $4B acquisition on a more interesting director. They probably want to make a something like 'The Hobbit', where it makes $1B just because of the power of the brand, whether or not the film is actually any good.

  • rodie | January 24, 2013 5:19 PMReply

    I get the feeling Abrams is going to do just one Star Wars movie, Episode 7, and then go back to a third Star Trek to wrap up a trilogy on that series. Maybe he'll do more, but I'm doubtful. Matthew Vaughn and Ben Affleck would not be bad choices for Ep 8 and Ep 9. I imagine if Abrams knocks Ep 7 out of the park, many more directors will be lining up. I can imagine Chris Nolan wanting to do the Empire Strikes Back of this series, the darker middle chapter.

  • Daniel | January 24, 2013 5:13 PMReply

    I have no doubt that Abrams could make a great Star Wars movie - he's an extremely talented director. But I can't help wondering if this is the right move for him; how many sci-fi franchises does one need? How many can one person devote his full attention to? How (aside from financially) does Abrams actually benefit from this?

  • jon | January 24, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    "Nostalgia is my business," Abrams was quoted as telling journalists. "I always loved film as a youth, especially the incredible universe George created, but when I grew up I realized I had nothing particularly interesting to say. That's why Kathleen [Kennedy] and my friends at Disney thought I'd be a perfect fit for the franchise. I'm very excited to be able to bring the legacy of 'Star Wars' to a whole new generation of fans."

  • WHOAS | January 24, 2013 5:03 PMReply


  • yer | January 24, 2013 5:00 PMReply


  • Kate | January 24, 2013 4:55 PMReply

    I don't even dislike Abrams, but I don't want the same creative force behind both Star Wars and Star Trek franchises.

  • Cheyton | January 24, 2013 4:51 PMReply

    He is truly the best and only man for the job. I'm glad he finally came around.

  • Cpt. kirkwalker | January 24, 2013 4:48 PMReply

    Star trek/starwars CROSS OVER

  • faced? | January 24, 2013 4:43 PMReply

    Whoa! true?

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