J.J. on 'Star Wars' So Far: 'More Questions Than Answers Right Now'
Don't get too excited yet - his quotes at this early point are as cryptic as anything said by Damon Lindelof. While we know it's official that J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII, and he's in the middle of finishing up the hugely anticipated sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, due out in May, we haven't heard much on his next steps and plans to differentiate the two worlds. Well, Empire magazine for their big "J.J. Abrams" issue, spoke to the filmmaker about the new Star Wars (a feat not many have done yet) and posted a few of his more interesting quotes, complete with his patented mystery and all. They're still worth hearing.
We know all the details so far, which is that J.J. is directing Episode 7, with Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm producing, likely due around 2015 or maybe 2016. So start at the top. What will he tell them about it? They asked "how will he, as a huge Star Wars fan approach Star Wars' bold new era" as objectively as he did Trek?
"…We're just getting started. So it's a great question that I hope I'll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they're not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of 'Ooh, that's really exciting.' And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think 'that's cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.'"
"How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It's a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. 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."
Sounds about right. And the only vague detail he mentions is that "the worlds could not be more different" which is rather obvious if you really think about it. While this new Star Trek feels very Star Wars-y anyway, I'm sure the Star Wars we're going to see might not feel like the Star Wars we've seen previously. At least that's the sense I'm getting listening to him talk around everything so far. One last important detail we're missing - the story behind what finally convinced him to say yes to Star Wars, despite apprehension at first.
"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."
And the rest is history. A history that we won't know about until 2015 or 2016, but at least it's happening. If only we could hear all the details behind what the conversations were from there on out and what exactly he pitched to them that sold Lucasfilm as well. Abrams does also mention another interesting tidbit that they include: "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." Now that's interesting. So does that mean Spielberg was in the mix at one point? Or has been helping it stay on track? Either way, I'm excited to keep hearing more on Star Wars, even if it's just bits and pieces of nothing until they announce something.
Thanks again to Empire for the quotes - head over there for the rest of the details. We'll keep you updated on the new Star Wars and Star Trek movies, plus anything else J.J. Abrams talks about in the meantime.