It's official. After months of rumors and speculation, Disney and Lucasfilm have finally found their man to bring that galaxy far, far away back to the big screen. On Thursday, it was confirmed that "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams, who is readying "Star Trek into Darkness", will be directing the highly anticipated sequel, "Star Wars: Episode VII", when it hits theatres in 2015.
Lucasfilm has yet to officially confirm the level of Abrams involvement, so it isn't known whether he will be handling "Episode VII", the full trilogy, or serving as a showrunner similar to Joss Whedon with Disney's Marvel movies. The new movie will kick off a new trilogy, a sequel trilogy, which will pick up many years after "Return of the Jedi" and catch up with fan favorites Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. Previously, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have expressed interest in returning to the roles that made them famous.
Back in November, Abrams said, "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!"
Apparently since then, Disney must have backed up the Brinks truck and dumped a huge chunk of change into the filmmaker's lap -- or maybe they bought him his own island? Either way, it seems Abrams will be jumping from one iconic science fiction universe to another. Since purchasing Lucasfilm in October of 2012, Disney has been searching for the right guy to return the franchise to it's glory. Other candidates allegedly included Ben Affleck ("Argo"), Brad Bird ("Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"), Jon Favreau ("Iron Man"), Colin Trevorrow ("Safety Not Guaranteed") and Matthew Vaughn ("Kick Ass").
There is no indication as to how this will affect Abrams' continued involvement with the "Star Trek" series, but it seems highly unlikely he would work on both. This may come as welcome news for Trekkies who have felt Abrams was trying to make their beloved "Star Trek" into "Star Wars".
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