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UPDATED: Read Disney's official statement confirming JJ Abrams to direct Star Wars: Episode VII!

01.26.2013

UPDATE: Read Disney and LucasFilm's official statement at the bottom of this story!

It looks like the power of the Dark Side was just too great for JJ Abrams to battle. The Wrap is reporting the the STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS director will be taking the helm of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII despite reports from the man himself that he would not be taking the job.

The Wrap has had some iffy exclusives in the past, so take this with a grain of salt until it is reported officially from Disney or a trade publication, but this is exciting news. UPDATE: JJ Abrams is now confirmed to direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII by both Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter. Let the casting begin! Abrams certainly has the love of Spielberg and Lucas behind him as well as the childlike sense of wonder needed to bring STAR WARS back to the glory of the Original Trilogy.

When Abrams originally denied the story in November, he said "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 than anyone to the next iterations of 'Star Wars,' but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”

So, what does this mean for STAR TREK? Obviously he will not be able to work on both franchises, especially at two studios who have already had issues with other big series (ahem, IRON MAN). I would say if this ends up being true that JJ will say goodbye to Starfleet and hello to The New Republic.

While I think Ben Affleck or Brad Bird would have been good choices as well, I cannot argue with Abrams getting the job. The guy is talented and will do everything right with the franchise. The only reason he was able to completely change STAR TREK was because he had no connection to it. As a huge STAR WARS fan, he will give us what we deserve in the movie. I am very excited about this. How about you?

Think of the possibilities!

Here is Disney's official press release:

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.

Extra Tidbit: I am going to eat my own words if there is even one lens flare in EPISODE VII.
Source: The Wrap

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