Star Wars: Episode VII now has a director. Variety reported on Thursday, Jan. 24 that Star Trek Into Darkness mastermind J.J. Abrams was selected to direct the latest film in the Star Wars franchise. The project is currently being developed by Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm Ltd., after the announcement in October that Lucasfilm sold to Disney for $4 billion and a new Star Wars film was in the works.
When the movie news was made public last fall, Abrams made the following comment about helming the franchise:
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!
The Star Wars film franchise has grossed over $4 billion worldwide and spawned toys, video games, costumes and become a cultural phenomenon which has spanned several decades. A script is currently being worked on my Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) and the film is expected to release in 2015.
The original series has created and directed by legendary filmmaker George Lucas, who revealed last year that he was ready for a new group of directors to take over the series and expand it for future generations. Abrams has previously directed the science fiction thrillers Star Trek and Super 8, and been involved in the television shows Alias, Fringe, Revolution and Lost.