Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that the Star Trek director is negotiating to direct Episode VII, the next installment in the fabled franchise.
Disney, which purchased George Lucas' Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, is fast-tracking a new Star Wars film for release in 2015. Abrams, who directed the recent Star Trek reboot and its upcoming sequel, said in October that he wasn't interested in taking on Star Wars. But the director is said to have changed his mind about the project.
More to come.
Abrams is a busy man, but fans could not have hoped for a better choice. The Force is definitely with Disney! ;)
I've read that story ideas will be totally original and will not borrow from any existing post-classic-trilogy material i.e., Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy.
It's scheduled for a release in 2015.
So far, with the selection of JJ, things are headed in the right direction!
Abrams is one of my favorite directors right now, and we all know he can handle sci-fi, action, and character driven stories wonderfully. And with Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), Lawrence Kasdan (Emprie Strikes Back), and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) doing the script, things couldn't look better for Star Wars 7.
Mel Brooks should direct....oh wait, he already did it ;^)
Don't get me wrong, because I think JJ will do an amazing job with the series, but I think there are many other budding directors that could have taken the franchise to new heights. JJ was easily the "safe" choice. My money was on Neill Blomkamp (District 9), Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), or Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men). Disney had to protct their investment, and probably couldn't risk going with a lesser known quantity or someone that would take their time and need complete creative control.
Ultimately, I think JJ will direct the first, and then turn the directorial duties over to the other guys at Bad Robot (Kurtzman/Orci, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindeloff, and Carlton Cuse) and just EP on the rest. There's nothing wrong with that, I just would have preferred that one of the other directors that would be willing to devote a decade of their career to the franchise was chosen. JJ's just not going to do that.
If you aren't a fan, then obviously you'd have reservations, but I think from a general standpoint by going with a director who's had critical & commercial success in the sci fi / fantasy genre, that's a BIG step in the right direction.
And I'm sure some of the "JJisms" may be toned down,
obviously they'll want to make sure the look & feel of them film isn't too similar to his other work.
So there might be a little less lens flare than folks might be expecting :)
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney, confirmed in an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin speculation that the company is working on stand-alone feature films based on beloved characters from George Lucas' Star Wars universe.
These movies will not be part of the new trilogy announced last fall when Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion. Last month, Star Trek director J.J. Abrams was named director of the new Star Wars: Episode VII, which will kick off the next three movies in the saga and is tentatively scheduled for release in 2015.
In addition to consulting on Episode VII, Lawrence Kasdan (screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg "are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga," Iger said in the CNBC interview. "We still plan to make Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 roughly over a six-year period of time starting in 2015 but (there) are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too."
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