It’s official: Abrams is directing Star Wars VII
How does Abrams feel about being selected as the director for Star Wars: Episode 7? Reports say he called it “as surreal as it is exciting.”
Abrams spoke with some press before heading into the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday night where he was there to accept the Norman Lear Achievement Award for such television works as “Felicity” (1998-2002), “Alias” (2001-2006), “Lost” (2004-2010), “Fringe” (2008-2013) as well as the current series “Person of Interest” and “Revolution.”
Abrams is also known for his movie directing of “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible.”
He was on my personal shortlist for directors I wanted to do this early on but he initially said he wasn’t interested. Supposedly, the former Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy (who will produce the films) convinced him to change his mind in early January after visiting him at the Santa Monica offices of his Bad Robot production company.
When asked of his plans for Star Wars VII, Abrams said, “You know, obviously, it’s so early. I can just say what I want to do: I want to do the fans proud. I want to make sure the story is something that touches people. And we’re just getting started. I’m very excited.”
What do you think of Abrams as the director?
Here’s the official press release for you:
J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII
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.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.