J.J. Abrams, who was the chosen one to bring the Star Trek franchise back to life a couple of years ago, has been hired to direct the first film in an even more popular film franchise. Star Wars: Episode VII will mark his first attempt at bringing the series to a new generation of fans. The film is being released by Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm, and is scheduled to hit theaters in the summer of 2015. Ben Affleck was also in contention for the gig.
Back in November, Abrams had stated that the possibility of him directing wasn’t happening:
“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”
Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy has been courting Abrams for the director’s chair for a while. Michael Arndt is writing the script. Disney and Lucasfilm are planning a new trilogy with a new movie coming every other year.
I have mixed emotions on the selection of Abrams. First of all, I think he is a great choice for the material. He did reinvigorate the dormant Star Trek franchise and this summer’s sequel is one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year. If there is one man in Hollywood that can do this…it’s definitely J.J. However, the one issue I have is does the man have too much on his plate? Let’s face it, being in charge of both franchises means he is going to have to find a balance between the two. Is he going to alternate them? Probably. As of now, it’s only been stated that he is directed the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy…nothing more. At the end of the day, J.J. is probably the best choice out there. Do you agree? Is there someone else out there who would be a better selection? Let’s hope the force is strong with Mr. Abrams…he’s going to need it to be.