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Disney Announces J.J. Abrams as Director of 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

by
January 25, 2013

J.J Abrams / Star Wars

It's official. Hot on the heels of yesterday's surprise scoop that J.J. Abrams had changed his tune from a flat out denial and was going to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, Disney has officially announced in a press release that the Star Trek reboot director will officially be at the helm of the sequel. In addition, the press release confirms that Michael Arndt is writing the screenplay, and that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are consulting on the project as well. Lucasfilm's new fearless leader Kathleen Kennedy says, "It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie." Read on!

Kennedy went on to say:

“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.” Meanwhile, Abrams himself plays it cool and humbly saying, "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. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid." Bad Robot is producing the film, which includes Abrams longtime collaborator Bryan Burk, as well as Kathleen Kennedy through Disney and Lucasfilm. Honestly, I can't believe this is real now. It felt like a dream yesterday, and now it's happening. This is nuts.

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  • Professor_Bedlam
    Just do it justice and everything will be fine again!
  • DAVIDPD
    Doing a a Happy Dance!
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Bangerter/100001074769241 Jesse Bangerter
    you mean the guy who made that piece of crap super 8?
    • http://www.facebook.com/Bretkonsdorf Bret Konsdorf
      douche
    • http://www.facebook.com/pbowens Parris Bowens
      false!!!
    • http://www.facebook.com/ayotunde.afolabi Ayotunde Afolabi
      Super 8 was awesome
      • avi
        ????????
      • Ricardo_PT
        Super 8 was nothing to write home about, an average summer blockbuster at best and certainly not worthy of the praise or hype
        • http://www.facebook.com/ayotunde.afolabi Ayotunde Afolabi
          I agree, the hype was way overblown and unwarranted. But if you went by the description by Abrams gave in the run up, and the commentary from the actors, it did what it said on the tin.
    • bozo connors
      No no no... the guy who made that awesome Star Trek.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Bangerter/100001074769241 Jesse Bangerter
    they should have got someone no one has heard of.
    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
      No, that's an idiotic idea. Going with someone who has no track record with sci-fi or big budget films is so naive it's not even funny. It could end up being a disaster. You NEED someone who has handled this level of a production before.
      • http://twitter.com/txshurricane Jim
        Abrams has never handled something this big.
        • Pudie
          Only because Star Wars is arguably *the* biggest. But he's done 2 Star Treks, a Mission Impossible, a blockbuster that did pretty well, made a star out of Jennifer Gardner(and Bradley Cooper), and also started Lost. I think JJ can handle big.
          • http://twitter.com/txshurricane Jim
            He found success on the shoulders of other, more imaginative people. He has done nothing inventive nor original. I fully expect more of the same. If by "big" you mean "makes gobs of money from drooling retards", then you have me. I meant "big" as in "with more than a modicum of responsibility"
      • Greedy
        Right, because Irvin Kershner was such a blockbuster sort of guy.
        • bozo connors
          While I see your point, I doubt the investors would. Also, what are the chances of THAT happening again. RIP Irvin. :(
    • Steven
      They need someone with hits behind them so that they can call the shots needed, a newbie would be under pressure to agree with everything coming down from the top.
  • j.jeffrey
    I think the movie is in good hands.
  • http://www.facebook.com/Bretkonsdorf Bret Konsdorf
    YES!!!!!!!!
  • michaelscottmurphy
    "Piece of crap Super 8"???? Are you nuts?? Abrams has proven he can handle sci-fi, action, drama, storytelling, and something that inspires the wonder of a younger audience (Super 8). He is perfect for this first installment of the new Star Wars trilogy. And with any luck, 2 other directors will handle the rest and we'll get a new trilogy as impactful as the first.
    • avi
      super 8 was indeed very bad but re booting a franchise he is the best...
      • axalon
        Man, I am jealous of the movies you've watched if you consider Super 8 to be "very bad".
    • http://www.roamandthink.com/ PBGray
      I didn't think Super 8 was terrible. I just didn't feel any sympathy for the space creature. That was Abrams mistake. Otherwise it was a good, solid piece of film making. You're right though. His style is perfect for this. I think we're going to get the best Star Wars since Empire. Hamill, Ford, Fischer, and a great new cast of exciting young talent, which seems to follow Abrams. I wonder if we'll see any crossovers from the Trek world? Hmmmmm.....
      • JBrotsis
        It would be nice to finally have all nerd from both franchises find a common ground, but personally, I hope not. They are both great franchises because of the way they are individually told.
        • http://www.roamandthink.com/ PBGray
          Amen.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=899815272 Krishna Shenoi
    I love Abrams, but this is sorta like having Joss Whedon direct the Justice League movie.
    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
      Abrams has been open about the fact that he is NOT a Trekkie...just as Whedon isn't pro-Marvel or DC. Hell, he's been involved with false-starts for Iron Man, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=899815272 Krishna Shenoi
        I know he's not a Trekkie-- in fact, he has said before that he grew up with Star Wars. That's not the point. I just thought that a different voice for each franchise would make their summer stand-offs a lot more interesting!
  • zer0limit
    I think JJ is being brave by taking on this film, a lot of eyes were on him when he was tapped for Star Trek; now he's going for Star Wars, that's at ballys move as a director. I think he'll do justice to it though, though I may not be a fan of all of his work, he's a very smart and engaging director. My hope is that he'll direct just this one and allow a new comer to come and expand much like they did for the original trilogy.
  • Cody W
    I still want my hard R slowmo Jedi fights damn it!!!!!
    • avi
      true! That's what we want to see!
    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
      I doubt any Disney produced Star Wars movie will be allowed to be R. BUT I am hoping that the story of Snyder directing a Star Wars film, and then it being denied, was all a bit of slick cover up. Him directing a Star Wars seven samurai style spin-off would be just killer.
      • Cody W
        Yeah I mean I dont even mean a movie thats part of the trilogy. Just a self contained hurricane of light-sabers, violent force powers and limbs flying about for 2 hours :D
      • Xerxexx
        I still think we may get some spin off movies.
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
      It's a kids movie Cody, though a short of this Frank Quietly drawing would probably do the trick. That is some drawing, Quietly is the man.
      • Cody W
        The people who saw the original trilogy at release are now all 30+, I dont think its too far fetched to say that a very mature Star wars could happen one day. A good example would be Biowares premiere trailer for The old republic videogame. It was all CG of course but I think FS.net even posted that when it came out.
        • David Banner
          That 15min cinematic for SWTOR was so good, it sold 2.5 million copies of the game. I'd love to see a full movie in that kind of CGI(opposite of the clone wars series)
  • Xain
    Happy days
  • Xerxexx
    With Arndt as the writer and Abrams as the director...I am in.
  • IamSlave
    This is such great news. He's going to make a great Star Wars film. Him being a fan and his body of work. I'm very confident he wouldn't allow anything sub par to come out of this.
  • Reznik
    It will be better than the prequels, that's for sure.
  • http://twitter.com/txshurricane Jim
    Terrible choice.
  • David Banner
    Well, I am first of all happy all the rumors will stop and we have a director. Is JJ the best choice? He is a very good choice, but what about Star Trek? As an adult, I am able to love both franchises without needing to take a "side", and I love what JJ did with Star Trek. To see him leave ST for SW is actually sad, but JJ has mumbled about not sticking around for a third Star Trek-that's when his Star Wars rumors started again. So, he had left ST before SW. Still, I really hope he does a third Star Trek-or a TV-Series. I sorta wanted Bad Robot to do either a Star Trek or Star Wars TV-series, but now we'll get a movie, produced by Bad Robot. That part got me all "hummm?": "Bad Robot is producing the film". And in 1 swift move, Bad Robot became a real powerhouse. Gratz JJ and Bad Robot, looking forward to this new quest of yours :)
    • ogre
      an adult who uses ign? i guess adult is a loose term. anyway it isnt like abrahms has been with star trek forever. hes a good director of movies and does other movies too. so i dont see the big deal
      • David Banner
        Hehe, well, I got the link to the story there. But you are replying to the wrong comment, you know that? Adult part? Hehe, guess you have never seen/heard that trekkies and star wars fans "are at each others throats", like children. They shouls understand they can choose both, and co-exist. You don't seem to not grasp the amount of time it goes into making SW and ST + 2 TV-Series he's gunna produce and then there's the MI franchise. That's the big deal. Jumping from 1 major Sci-Fi world to the other and then back again. Each having generated BILLIONS of revenue and inspired thousands in the direction of film making or science studies. I know for a fact I would never have become a scientist if not for those two franchises. You remind me of someone....
  • OfficialJab
    Can we keep it from looking like a video game this time? Makeup, costumes, sets, animatronics. Whoever says they're cheesy - you just haven't seen the good ones, and nothing is cheesier than obvious CG. ILM is great, but please don't let them make the whole movie for you.
    • son_et_lumiere
      spot on. the prequels have that all-over cgi sheen so common nowadays that it just takes you right *out* of the films. ILM is among the best there is, but let's hope with Episode VII we can learn to love the practical again, too. i know it's often put up there, but look at Jurassic Park - amazing work from Stan Winston meant you were totally pulled *into* the film because you could tell that many of the dinosaurs were tangibly *there*.
      • OfficialJab
        They are the best, and not just them, but the art department who were completely let off the leash - something you can't really do without ILM behind you. They were unbelievable. I think if those movies had existed just as they are, but as a spinoff series without the burden of being proper SW entries, we'd be able to appreciate them much more.
  • David Banner
    WHOA!!!! From ign .com: "[...]... Is Abrams done with Trek after he finishes his Into Darkness chores? Paramount's Vice Chairman Rob Moore says no. According to The L.A. Times, Moore expects that Abrams 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." *a long sigh of relief*
  • Jedi 1
    I think Jj is going to do a great job,he is Lucas approved, he has a great vision, so lets give him a chance.. As long as jar jar brinks will never ever be heard if in any of his films. Fin.
  • dgeet
    honestly there isnt really a war with star trek and star wars like people are saying that this is like Joss directing a justice league movie, when star trek came out it there wasn't a rush to try to get star wars back into cinemas. I always wanted JJ to direct but I didn't think he would but I am happy with it, he is a visionary story teller and made boring ass star trek into an awesome movie. Cannot wait for him to take the helm
  • BinaryChaos
    This guy will become a god amongst directors if he doesn't screw up.
    • bozo connors
      Agreed. What an opportunity. Given the prequels (which I didn't HATE)... seems like a no brainer. I'll just say it now, all hail JJ. Savior of sci-fi franchises for our generation.
  • Danimal
    I think Abrams is a stellar director. I absolutely love everything he's done so far. In my honest opinion, I think it'll be refreshing to have Abrams direct a Star Wars film. I for one loved his Star Trek film. The way I look at it, I don't see it as a Star Trek movie, but instead as a JJ Abrams film. Only reason being, I've never actually been a fan of anything Star Trek related until Abrams got his hands on it (Just not my cup-o-tea). I think that's the mentality i'm going to have going into this. I'm not excited about a new Star Wars movie, but i'm extremely excited for a new JJ Abrams film.
  • mmmmmmmm
    ...What a fantastic, perfect choice. He reignited Star Trek for cinema, now Star Wars? What a fucking beast seriously. People are about to straight freak out haha
  • clinteastwoodscloset
    Having Kinberg attached is far more of a negative than a positive.
  • Ricardo_PT
    Personally, I think JJ Abrams is overrated. He's allright but he is more of a flare over substance kind of guy. And he really hasn't done anything amazing imo. I know a lot of people love him and he is great with fan service, but he is not, in no way, playing in the same league as Spielberg or Nolan. And what's all the excitment about Michael Arndt writing the screenplay? I LOVE little miss sunshine, one of the best indies ever, but what has that to do with Star Wars? And what else has he done? I am sure this will be great, but no masterpiece. I would rather go with someone like Finche, Aranosfky or the Wachowskis Either way, I hope I am wrong and this turns out to be JJ's masterpiece, would love that
    • OfficialJab
      Looks like he did Toy Story 3 (great screenplay) and assisted in Brave (75% great screenplay, that bear plot was rubbish). It's not as if Star Wars was ever expertly written, I'd say he's almost overkill. As a director, JJ is just the same. Star Wars has classic aspects, but isn't exactly high art, and Nolan/Aranofsky may treat it far too seriously. Lighter touch, please.
      • Ricardo_PT
        Yeah, I get your point...But I would have really loved to see the two aspects mixed, high art with a lighter touch. Do to Star Wars what Peter Jackson has done with Lord of the Rings, return of the king is an amazing movie
        • OfficialJab
          It is, but I'm not sure why people always choose RotK as the best one. I liked the other two so much more. I'm not sure who specifically I would have picked instead of JJ. Not saying he's the perfect decision, but nobody is springing to mind. PJ is great too, but I'm not disappointed.
    • Cody W
      The hughes brothers I think would make an amazing Star wars.
    • http://www.facebook.com/artndanger Butchy Butch
      Actually, Nolan is overrated exactly the same way. Absolutely no substance, only tricks. One thing in favor of Abrams though, he's not pretentious as much as Nolan, who gives as bunch of action packed nonsense disguised as psychological drama.
    • ikkf
      Abrams takes all the worst characteristics (and none of the good ones) of Spielberg and then magnifies them. Emotional manipulation, superficial touches like lens flares, crap like that. Abrams's movies always have this kind of forced movie emotion that just comes across as contrived and insincere. He's overrated and a wannabe. No wonder he works with Lindelof so much. They're like peas in a pod.
  • Annie
    Go Jar Jar!!!! Love him!
  • ogre
    maybe star wars will be good this time
  • Calibretto
    Luckily Lucas basicly already destroyed the Fanchise. So there isnt much more he can destroy. Unless he makes them travel back in time to kill the emperor when he was still a child. Then he would have completely destroyed my 2 favourite tv/movie Franchises,
  • Blkstar
    I'm very excited to hear JJ is directing the new Star Wars, I just have one request, Bring back my childhood memories of the original trilogy. If there is any hint of the new trilogy in this upcoming movie my heart will be crushed. He did such a great job with the new Star Trek hopefully he can make Star Wars an even better hit.
  • guest@gmail.com
    "May the lens flare be with you. Always."
    • bozo connors
      lol - indeed. Hopefully he got that message & will tone it back a tad.
      • ikkf
        A tad? He needs to tone it down a few eons.
  • Peter
    There's a 97% chance this won't suck. Thought his M:I:3 was by far the best in the series and totally saved those movies from becoming overblown 80's/90's-esque shallow action crap. The Trek reboot was far better than I thought it would be. Lost, I never watched, and though I'm not sure as to the depths of the level of his involvement on Fringe, I know that it's one of the best science-fiction TV shows ever made. Honestly, to bring this Star Wars back down to our planet, there is no one better for this.
  • jacobcrim
    As long as these make up for the prequels, then I am very exctied.
  • Robert Pryde
    sounds like JJ has his hands in two different cookie jars..lucky guy!! (picturing jabba eating tribbles)
  • quazimoto
    Kind of interesting that the man who's behind the recent transformational success of 'Star Trek' (in movie terms) is directing the hotly contested rival 'Star Wars'. Can't comlain though, Abrams has a certain panache for action and Sci-Fi so this, to me, is a standout pick by Disney and Co. They clearly wanted to go big and they want the revitalized 'Satr Wars' franchise to hit with bombastic fervor. Very interested in following this story...unless Kristen Stewart is cast as the female lead...babies may get punched if that happens.
  • ludus
    He would be a perfect candidate except that Star Wars relies on long form editing methodical sweeping shots, and not fast paced eye ripping blurry action. Expect to see lots of lens flare effects in the corners of the screen and a blurred quickly cut barely recognizable creature for every alien.
    • ikkf
      Couldn't have said it better myself. Abrams is a hack.
  • Sycophantic Sockdrawer
    I still think Joseph Kosinski is the man for the job, but I guess that's why I don't work at Disney.
  • http://thechatcast.com/ 福 赐 天上
    I mean, he made Star Trek relevant again, so I'm sure he can do the same with Star Wars.

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