Multiple outlets are reporting J.J. Abrams, who in November hinted he wasn't going to do it, will in fact be directing Star Wars Episode VII. The Hollywood Reporter says Abrams is now in negotiations to take on the heavy task of bringing the Star Wars series back to life on the big screen.
If Abrams does take on the job, it would mean he'd be working for a studio other than Paramount where he's done two Mission Impossibles (one as producer, one as writer/director), Super 8, and now two Star Trek movies.
Abrams told HollywoodLife when the Disney/Lucasfilm deal broke that Star Wars was one of his favorite movies. "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!," said Abrams.
Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), is currently at work on the script and Disney's aiming for a 2015 release of the new Star Wars film.
Update on Jan 25, 2013: Disney confirmed J.J. Abrams will direct the new Star Wars movie. Says producer Kathleen Kennedy, "It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. 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 was quoted as saying: "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."
And last but not least, Abrams had this to say: "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. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."
(Photo © Richard Chavez)