J.J. Abrams Is Directing Star Wars: Episode VII

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

'Star Trek' Photocall

Well, this ought to make the comments section lively tonight. Ever since the Disney/Lucasfilm buyout was announced at the end of October, the biggest question of all has been, who will direct it? Now we know: it’s reported that J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, meaning he’ll soon have two of the biggest franchises of all time on his resume.

The news comes by way of The Wrap, who cite “an individual with knowledge of the production.” They also say that Ben Affleck, who has helmed films such as Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone, was one of the close contenders as well.

Abrams’ name has been one of the most speculated over these past few months, but it was considered unlikely since he’s currently playing in Gene Roddenberry’s sandbox with the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness. Does this mean the inevitable next Trek sequel will be handed off to somebody else? That would certainly put a smile on the fans who don’t like Abrams’ brand of Trek. Or could he actually be planning to play in both universes? At this point he’s only being mentioned for Episode VII, so there’s no telling whether Disney wants him to stay on for the entire new Star Wars trilogy.

The good news is that Abrams might be a better fit for Star Wars than Star Trek. He has said in interviews that he wasn’t much of a Trek fan before taking that directing gig, but Star Wars was definitely something he grew up loving.

I never go into any movie hoping for it to fail, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Into Darkness will be as good as the trailers make it look, and that Episode VII will restore some of the luster the franchise lost in the midst of prequels and special editions and Jar Jars.

Love him or hate him, there can now be no question: J.J. Abrams is one of the most powerful people in show business, and he looks to continue occupying that throne for a long time to come.

Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to release in 2015.

UPDATE: The Wrap’s original story is now being confirmed by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline. Sounds like it’s a done deal, folks.