Variety and other Hollywood news sources are reporting today that J.J. Abrams is directing the next Star Wars after all. There aren’t any details other than the fact Disney is close to closing the deal with Abrams. So treat this with a degree of skepticism until we see something official from Disney and/or Bad Robot directly.
UPDATE 01/26/2013: Confirmed by Disney and J.J. Abrams
This joint statement from Disney and J.J. Abrams was released Friday afternoon:
After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet. Yes, 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.”
The LA Times has a new article up called “J.J. Abrams directing ‘Star Wars’: What happens to ‘Star Trek’?”
According to Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore, Abrams — who directed both 2009′s “Star Trek” and the upcoming sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness” — will still be involved in some capacity with a possible third “Trek” movie, at the minimum as a producer, if not also directing the film.
Moore also pointed out that Abrams will continue to play a role in another of the studio’s most valuable franchises, “Mission: Impossible.”
“J.J. will continue to develop projects for us including a new ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and he is committed to produce another ‘Star Trek,’” Moore said Friday afternoon.
While it’s no secret J.J. was first and foremost a Star Wars fan before getting involved with Star Trek (2009) this goes against what TrekMovie had previously reported in December. Abrams told Empire Magazine that he passed on the other big “Star” franchise out of respect for his work with the Star Trek franchise:
“There 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. 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.”
As always, keep checking TrekMovie for further developments.