Jan 24 2013 6:25pm

J.J. Abrams Tapped to Direct Star Wars Episode VII

J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars Episode VII

Did you hear that? The internet just got REALLY excited about Deadline seemingly confirming that J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars Episode VII. They cite anonymous Hollywood inside sources, not Disney, not Abrams, not screenwriter Michael Arndt, or anyone visibly attached to the movie.

We initially took this with a margarita tub full of salt, especially considering that Abrams recently went out of his way in Empire Magazine to say that, no, he wouldn’t be directing the next Star Wars movie.

“There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”

Still, Abrams is no stranger to laying deliberately false trails, and since The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, and other outlets are now reporting the news as confirmed, it looks like an Abrams-helmed Star Wars Episode VII is definite.

And now the joking/theorizing begins! What are the odds of Episode VII opening with Han ramming the Millennium Falcon into Nero’s ship an impossible foe as Leia escapes with their firstborn child? Close your eyes and imagine Harrison Ford deadpanning, “You want to name him after your father? Anakin? That’s the worst!” Because it is happening.

Dave Thompson
1. DKT
I hope it's true. He's a huge SW geek, and I think with a good script from Arndt, this could be really, really fun and have some heart to it as well.
Puff the Magic Commenter
2. Puff the Magic Commenter
Bummer, if it's true. Honestly, what has he been involved with that didn't start off awesome and end up lame? We've already had that with Lucas. Abrams is strong out of the gate, punts up three pointers like a boss, but falls apart in the ninth inning. Or something like that.

I was pulling for Favreau.
Drake Stephens
3. MynameisDrake
I'm really hoping this is confirmed. When the sequel trilogy was announced the only director I wanted to see tackle Episode VII was Abrams. His last few films have been amazing, especially the Star Trek reboot, which felt more like a Star Wars movie than most of the prequels. He's one of the few directors who respect the roots of the franchise but won't be afraid to update it. And he's amazing with actors.
Alan Brown
4. AlanBrown
For those with misgivings, just remember, we could do a lot worse...
Puff the Magic Commenter
5. Styx
If not Abrams, my vote is for Joss Whedon.
Kit Case
6. wiredog
I like the Washington Post's take on this.

Styx @5, Joss would be excellent.
Marcus W
7. toryx
As I'm not a fan of the Star Trek reboot, and every Abrams project except for Super 8 (which had the advantage of Spielburg's involvement) has ultimately proven a disappiontment to me, I'm one of those who is not ecstatic about the revelation.

I do agree that there could be worse but there could also be a lot better. Favreau or Whedon to name just two.
Walker White
8. Walker
I am not believing this until someone confirms it. Previously Abrams said that it would be a conflict of interest for him to helm Star Wars. He is now firmly attached to the Star Trek franchise and he felt it would be a bad idea for them to intermingle.
Mike Conley
9. NomadUK
I think I'd happily let him go muck up Star Wars if we could just have Star Trek back.
Alejandro Melchor
10. Al-X
It will be like Episode I, but with more lens flare.

Really, I had fun with his Star Trek, but that's because I stopped taking it seriously 30 minutes into the film
Puff the Magic Commenter
12. chuckcoulter
Favreau's Iron Man 2 was so, so bad; the first, quite good in an obvious way. Whedon's Avengers: okay. I'm pleased with Abrams, loved the new Trek, didn't love Lost until season 2, and then left it, but really it's intriguing to have this one helmer running the iconic franchises; nice and odd in a way, like when Grant Morrison moved from JLA territory to X-men so effortlessly and toggled back and forth. Imagine if it would have said Bret Ratner or Zak Snyder. Even Michael Bay.
Puff the Magic Commenter
13. Gardner Dozois
I've never really forgiven Abrahms for what he did to LOST, and wasn't really enthusiastic about the STAR TREK reboot either.

About the best you can say is it can't be any worse than the STAR WARS movies that Lucas himself has been making.
Drake Stephens
14. MynameisDrake
Favrau's far too goofy as a director. He loves his comedy. People didn't really like Star Wars after it started focusing on comedy (the worst part in the entire series is C-3P0 and R2's comedic relief in Attack of the Clones).

And Joss Whedon has a very, I don't know how to word this and still make it sound good? Irreverent style? His character's tend to look at the world the way it is, they're adapters. He likes control over the script, as well, which would clash with this, I think. Plus, The Avengers 2 is slated for the same Summer, so it wouldn't really be possible. But I could see Star Trek 3 coming out in 2017 or 2018, so Abrams might JUST have time to make Episode VII before jumping in to Trek 3.
Dave Thompson
15. DKT
@ Gardner:

I don't know that it's really fair to blame the way LOST ended on Abrams. He was responsible for the pilot, and getting the series running, but he had pretty much next to nothing to do with it by the end of the first season. He'd already handed it off to Lindelof and Cuse. He directed at least another episode or two after that, but I think from a storytelling perspective, he wasn't in control of where it ended up going, and my understanding was that he was surprised by where it ended up.
Marcus W
16. toryx
The problem with Abrams is that every one of his television series has had the same exact problems, from Felicity to Alias, to Lost and likely Fringe. They all start out strong and fall completely to pieces at some point before the end. Abrams just can't finish anything well.

Based on that kind of track record, I seriously can't see why anyone would trust him with a franchise, much less two. Except that he brings in the money. If money's the only thing that matters, then they got the right guy for the job, I guess.
Drake Stephens
17. MynameisDrake
Abrams served as an executive producer on his television series, though. He wasn't involved in the day-to-day production of any of them, and did not serve as showrunner. Developing one two-hour movie is far different than developing a 14-hour TV season.

And that's not even taking in to consideration that he isn't writing the treatment or screenplay, or the fact that his last couple of films have been solid flicks that the mass movie-going audience have loved and that critics have adored.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
18. Lisamarie
I'm still not sure I want to see new movies at all (at least movies calling themselves Episode VII-IX) - I felt like I got closure with Revenge of the Sith, and that Return of the Jedi was a suitable end to the arc in chronological order. So I'm still having a hard time getting emotionally invested in this at all.

That being said, glad I'm not the only one who wasn't super thrilled with Abrams and the Star Trek movie. Not saying it was a bad movie, it just didn't 'feel' like Star Trek to me. As for Joss Whedon...meh. I think I am the only person in the world who isn't crazy about Firefly (liked it, didn't love it), and while I enjoyed the snappy banter in the Avengers, I didn't enjoy the drawn out action scenes which I felt detracted from potential character development and exploring some of those themes. And while I really love the character of Han, I wouldn't want every character to be that snarky.

Then again, the prequels did certianly have a different feel than the originals, and I did still enjoy them (even if it was to a lesser extent) so a director that gives it a different feel might still work out. We'll just have to see...

@14 - totally agreed. Actually, I have no problem with comedy in Star Wars (I think Han has some great moments) but I haaaaate the droid factory so much. Even though I like the prequels in general I will say that pretty much all the humor falls flat to my sense. I mean, Phantom Menace had a fart gag. A FART GAG! I actually like that movie, and that still embarasses me to no end.
Noneo Yourbusiness
19. Longtimefan
It is a shame no one thought to contact Kenneth Branagh.

I find that Abrams is to enamoured with himself to understand established charaters.
Puff the Magic Commenter
20. funkadelik 66
just give me enough intelligence in the writing to please an adult who's been a fan since the 70's lucas couldn't, it would be awesome to see. Strange to see star wars and trek suddenly related but if star wars is as intelligent as fringe and has Anna Torv too (please) heaven wouldnt be far away!

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