Last week, it was revealed that J.J. Abrams would re-fuel the Star Wars franchise as Disney marches forward with Episode VII. As details of the deal between Lucasfilm and Abrams emerge, more people involved with the Star Wars franchise are becoming more vocal about how it all happened.
In an interview with THR, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy opens up about making the final decision to bring J.J. Abrams into the Star Wars fold, and how the 46-year-old director caught their eye. The big pitch to Abrams was simply, “Please do Star Wars.” According to Kennedy, when she explained to Abrams that screenwriters Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasden were already working on the project, Abrams “was flipping out when he found out that Michael and Larry were on the movie already.”
When it came to Star Wars, Kennedy and Abrams would spend hours talking about the vast universe and mythology George Lucas had created. After a secret, three-hour meeting on December 19, 2012, between Abrams and the Star Wars writers, Kennedy says that “J.J. was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door.”
After “furious negotiation,” Disney and J.J. Abrams came to a deal on January 24th, and it was made official the next day. Although Abrams and, now, Kennedy haven’t fully committed to the 2015 release date, everyone seems excited for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Kennedy says, “Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we’ll see what happens. The timetable we care about is getting the story.”