The rumour mill began late last year, following the entirely unexpected announcement that Disney would be buying Lucasfilm for a tidy sum of $4.05bn.
Since then, we’ve heard that they’ll be putting a new trilogy into production, beginning with Star Wars Episode VII in 2015. And not only that, but they’re reportedly also exploring possible spin-off films to go alongside the new trilogy, with an aim to have one film in the Star Wars universe in theatres every other year.
The rumours been somewhat fun whilst it’s lasted, keeping us guessing as to who will be at the helm, kicking off with Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) and then Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed).
Abrams’ name had come up amongst the initial lists of possible directors, but he’d previously denied that he would be taking the helm. But it looks like Kennedy and Lucas have persuaded him otherwise. We now know for certain that Abrams will be both directing and producing through his Bad Robot shingle with long-time producing partner Bryan Burk (Lost, Star Trek), and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy.
Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan, whom Disney and Lucasfilm have hired to pen the potential spin-off films, will also be consulting on the project.
Abrams will be directing from a script penned by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine), and you’d better believe that this is even more of a highly-anticipated start to the franchise with Abrams at the helm.
Star Wars Episode VII is set to hit the big screen in 2015, and is no doubt going to be one of the biggest films of all time.
STAR WARS IS BEING KICK-STARTED WITH DYNAMITE J.J. ABRAMS TO DIRECT STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
January 25, 2013
After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet. Yes, J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “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.”
George Lucas went on to say “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.”
“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,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.”
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.