Reports are that "Star Trek" filmmaker J.J. Abrams is Disney's choice to helm the next "Star Wars" movie, the still untitled follow-up to "Return of the Jedi," "Star Wars: Episode VII." Reports were published in both TheWrap.com and Deadline.com, although neither Disney nor Bad Robot representatives have as yet confirmed Abrams' selection.
In December, Abrams told Empire magazine that he had been approached to helm the film, but that he had declined out of loyalty to the other "Star" franchise he helms, "Star Trek." He said:
I guess the franchises could go up against each other, but I'm not thinking that far ahead! I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, Empire and Jedi, and the idea of the world continuing is exciting and will be amazing. Kathy Kennedy is a friend and there are no smarter producers. It's in great hands.
... 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.
It's now time for Disney to move toward casting, as with the signing of Abrams, they now have a director and a writer. "Little Miss Sunshine" screenwriter Michael Arndt has already been confirmed to be scripting "Star Wars: Episode VII."
In late October, Walt Disney Company announced that it had purchased LucasFilm for $4 billion. It also announced something that fans had been clamored since "Episode VI" -- much further back than "Episode III," the last movie filmed: sequels to the original three films, starting with "Episode VII."
George Lucas had long before said he was not interested in continuing the saga past "Episode VI." He had even set things up so that no films would be made after he was gone.
However, Disney wasn't about to buy the franchise without the ability to add to the mythos.
“Star Wars: Episode VII” is set to hit theaters in 2015.