When LuscasFilm and Disney announced that JJ Abrams was going to direct Star Wars Episode VII people were surprised, especially because he had previously said he turned down the job because of his work on Star Trek. Now in a special JJ Abrams Issue of Empire Magazine, Abrams explains his change of heart. Details on that below, plus a preview of the cool Empire fold out Star Trek Into Darkness cover.
Abrams explains his Star Wars change of heart
In December JJ Abrams was quoted by Empire Magazine that he had turned down an offer to direct the next Star Wars movie due to his "loyalty to Star Trek." So it was a big surprise a month later when Disney announced that Abrams had signed on for Episode VII. Now in preview of the May issue of Empire Magazine, Abrams explains his change of heart:
“My knee-jerk reaction was that I’m in the middle of working on the Star Trek movie and I can’t even consider it. But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation. I went down to tell Katie, my wife and I said ‘I had just a very interesting conversation with Kathy.’ That was the beginning.
“I will say that Steven [Spielberg] was very encouraging of Star Wars. It’s funny because I talked to him about it and it turned out he knew all about what was going on.”
So apparently it is all Spielberg’s fault….SPIELBERG!!!. It is actually a bit ironic because according to Bob Orci, it was Spielberg who helped convince JJ to direct (and not just produce) the 2009 Star Trek movie.
Anyway, Abrams and Bad Robot aren’t actually leaving the Star Trek franchise. They will be producing a third Star Trek movie to follow up Into Darkness, with Abrams and Bryan Burk returning as producers. However, recent comments from Burk about possibly aiming for a 2016 release (only one year after Episode VII) make it unlikely that Abrams will become the first person to direct three Star Trek movies.
The Empire preview of their Abrams interview also had a bit about his early thoughts on Star Wars: Episode VII. The director said it was really too early for any definitive answers about the film, but he contrasted it with his work on Star Trek, saying:
“I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”
Bad Robot embracing the Stars (Wars and Trek)
The folks at Bad Robot productions appear to have no issues mixing work on the to big "Star" franchises. This week the @bad_robot twitter feed shared this image of Star Trek and Star Wars-inspired art living together at the Bad Robot complex.
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) March 22, 2013
And last month when Bad Robot joined the Harlem Shake craze, you can spot a "Spock" and "Darth Vader" dancing together.