It’s been confirmed. Contrary to what Abrams said earlier when asked about the likelihood of him directing Episode VII, it now seems that the director of Star Trek and creator of Alias, Lost, and Fringe will be attached to the project after all. The news came just yesterday in a statement issued by Disney Co., putting an end to days worth of rumors that Abram’s involvement might be in the bag.
Kathleen Kennedy, the movie’s producer and president of Lucasfilm, had this to say in the release:
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. 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.”
Personally, I still think they should have gone with Joss Whedon, but what do I know? Pitching movies is none of my business!
Another person who expressed approval was George Lucas himself, who said in a statement “”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.” And last, but not least, was the man J.J. himself, who expressed excitement about being able to work on a franchise he loved growing up:
“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.”
In addition, Michael Arndt, the writer of Toy Story 3, is slated to write the script, and will be getting some help from some rather qualified sources. Simon Kinberg, the screenwriter from Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is one such person. The second, and undoubtedly most qualified, is Lawrence Kasdan, the man who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the original trilogy.
Between these four people and the multi-billion dollar check Disney shelled out for the rights to this movie, its apparent that they’re pulling out all the stops! All that remains is casting… who will be the next generation of Star Wars actors who will take us back to the “Galaxy Far, Far Away…”? Mark Hamil is certainly expected to make an appearance, but who else are we yearning to see? And most importantly, are big bucks and big names going to translate into big quality with his next movie?