J.J. Abrams set to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

Jan. 24, 2013 | 2:04 p.m.
abrams3 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams, who has made a name for himself writing, directing and producing such hits as "Lost" and "Star Trek," was tapped in January to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII." (Tracey Nearmy / European Pressphoto Agency)

felicity J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Abrams made his first foray into television in 1998, co-creating the coming-of-age drama "Felicity," which starred Keri Russell as the title character. The show won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. (The WB)

alias J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Abrams created the Jennifer Garner-starring spy thriller series "Alias," which won four Emmys and a Golden Globe. (Norman Jean Roy / ABC)

mis3 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams on the set of "Mission: Impossible III," the first feature film he directed. The film earned nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. (Paramount Pictures)

mi3 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Director J.J. Abrams and star Tom Cruise on the set of "Mission: Impossible III." (Paramount Pictures)

mi3 pose J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Director J.J. Abrams and star Tom Cruise pose atop Shanghai's historic Bund 18 building after wrapping up filming in China for "Mission: Impossible III" on Nov. 30, 2005. (Associated Press)

lost J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Abrams co-created "Lost" with Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof. The suspense-filled show followed a group of people after their plane crashed on an island. The massively popular series became a cultural touchstone, with millions of viewers tuning in for twist after twist. (ABC)

mi3 portrait J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams is photographed in Los Angeles in April 2006. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

fringe1 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams, second from left, poses with the cast members from "Fringe," a sci-fi television series he co-created with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. (Rich Lam / Getty Images)

st1 comic con J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams reveals his first casting for his 2009 reboot of "Star Trek" during a 2007 Comic-Con panel in San Diego. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

st1 still J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

A scene from Abrams' 2009 film "Star Trek," which raked in more than $385 million worldwide. (Paramount Pictures)

spielberg J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Steven Spielberg, left, co-produced the 2011 film "Super 8," which J.J. Abrams wrote and directed. The pair are shown here at a 2009 dinner honoring Spielberg in Beverly Hills. (Michael Kovac / WireImage)

super8 promotion J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg on the set of "Super 8." (Paramount Pictures)

super8 set3 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Director J.J. Abrams and actor Kyle Chandler on the set of "Super 8." (Paramount Pictures)

super8 set4 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Young actors Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths discuss a scene with director J.J. Abrams on the set of "Super 8." (Paramount Pictures)

revolution2 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams, left, and Eric Kripke executive produce the post-apocalyptic adventure series "Revolution." The pair are photographed here at Abrams' company Bad Robot in Santa Monica on Aug. 20, 2012. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

st2 press J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

Abrams, second from left, shares the stage with "Star Trek Into Darkness" actor Benedict Cumberbatch, star Chris Pine and producer Bryan Burk during a December 2012 press conference for the sequel to their 2009 blockbuster. (Koji Sasahara / Associated Press)

mcgrath J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath are co-chairs of the Children's Defense Fund of California. They're photographed here in December 2012. (Mark Davis / Getty Images)

abrams2 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams is photographed in Beverly Hills in June 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

abrams 1 J.J. Abrams set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams is photographed in Beverly Hills in June 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

J.J. Abrams is set to direct “Episode VII.”

Sources have confirmed the “Star Trek Into Darkness” filmmaker will helm the next “Star Wars” movie, the highly anticipated installment in the landmark franchise scheduled to reach theaters in 2015.

PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ at the box office

[Updated: 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25]: The news first broke on The Wrap website Thursday afternoon.

Abrams, who previously had denied that he would be involved with the project, is now in a position of creative control over the two most beloved franchises in the science-fiction universe: “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.”

Abrams rebooted “Star Trek” for the big screen in 2009 to much acclaim and rousing boxoffice receipts, with the film collecting upwards of $385 million. His follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is due in theaters May 17.

His decision to direct a “Star Wars” film, however, throws into question his future with that Paramount franchise. Scheduling commitments most likely would preclude him from directing a potential third “Trek” movie.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” will be written by Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3.”

Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan have been tapped to write “Star Wars” projects as well, but it’s unclear whether their scripts will be for future episodes or for films outside the official trilogy.

Kasdan co-wrote the screenplay for the “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back.”

The upcoming trilogy of new films was announced Oct. 30 when the Walt Disney Co. went public with its plans to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.

George Lucas is expected to serve as a creative consultant on the new movies.

— Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


'Star Wars' George Lucas Mark Hamill

‘Star Wars’ director watch: Who’s out, who’s in?

Obama White House says no to Death Star petition

‘Star Wars’: Michael Arndt signed to pen Episode VII

New ‘Star Wars’: Lucas won’t write or direct

‘Trek”: Meet the villain, Benedict Cumberbatch

“Sherlock” and “Star Trek”: Benedict Cumberbatch lights it up

LeVar Burton engineers new career chapters

Zachary Quinto getting in Spock shape

Nimoy: “Live long and prosper, my friends”

Nimoy: “Trek” fans can be scary

Abrams: “Star Trek” still in shadow of Lucas


101 Responses to J.J. Abrams set to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

  1. Tim says:

    I couldn't think of anybody I'd like to see direct this more than Abrams, Most excellent news!

  2. Danny G. says:

    I guess the money was too good to pass up. Last interview I read he said he would only do Star Trek. From a true Star Trek fan…I hope he continues to do Star Trek too.

  3. WHat says:


  4. C. LeClair says:

    I am concerned that it won't have a visual consistency with the other Star Wars movies. I see lots of hand held footage with camera flairs all over the place. JJ is a very talented man, but is he right for Star Wars? I don't know. Will this be a reboot of the franchise?

  5. sdsd says:

    Beuuuaaa what a horrible choice, thanks disney, kill the most legendary film saga of all time by putting a talentless tasteless director like this guy

  6. Locke says:

    Or as I like to call it… LOST in space

  7. vic says:

    Awful choice. A hack. Super 8 was poorly conceptualized nostalgic awfulness and Lost demeaned both the viewers and the creators. Just when you thought Star Wars couldn’t get worse.

  8. lebloom says:

    George Lucas IS Star Wars. Nobody else can do it, period…

  9. F.M says:

    What about Zack Snyder?

  10. Troy Wullbrandt says:

    Abrams, who also directs Star Trek, is now directing Star Wars, who is owned by Disney (who also owns most of the Marvel Universe). Brace yourselves guys, the mother of all crossovers is coming.

  11. I guess starwars and star trek will have a lot more in common from now on.

  12. Great choice. Now hopefully Lucas will stay far far away in another galaxy.

  13. Harkonen says:

    What kind of BS article is this? Talk about a non-news filled article, cheez. How about waiting to write when, oh I don't know, you actually have some legitimate NEWS to report. This is just another rumor.

  14. AC says:

    What, they couldn’t find someone less competent than J.J. Lensflare?

  15. brian says:

    This going to be the new Batman? Where we make 100 Batman movies till someone makes a decent one?

  16. James says:

    so, its gonna end up being R2D2's dream?

  17. Fred says:

    Nooooooooooo noooo nooooooooooonooooooooo nooooooooooooo

  18. Ben says:

    He couldn’t do any worse than Lucas did on Ep. 1-3. I would rather pretend those didn’t exist and have Abrams redo them.

  19. doug says:

    The first two movies were great… Lucas really went down the tubes after that.
    JarJar Binks
    HOrrible writing
    Terrible dialogue
    Weak-ass storylines
    bad acting(Anakin)
    stilted unbelievable romance between Anakin/Amidala

    At least disney has the movie formula down…always a tear-jerk hook and a moral to the story.
    Lucas lost his way after the first two movies and plied us with crappy movies that only had cool special effects to carry them….

  20. MAC says:

    Oh, cheer up, you nattering nabobs of negativism. We got used to the new Enterprise; we'll get used to J.J.'s vision as well. It couldn't be any worse than The Phantom Menace.

  21. Nuvo911 says:


  22. John Ford says:

    Hopefully, a little less camera lens flash this time….

  23. True star wars fan says:

    …. Abrams, the man who directed star trek, this to films are the biggest rivals ever. And now he’s directing it. He said he has no interest in directing because of his loyalty to star trek, but he just found the perfect

    opportunity to Sabatoge the star wars franchise. He’s going to make star trek look better when it’s not. I’m… Angry…

  24. starguy says:

    Star Wars Episode VII: The Revenge Of Jar Jar Binks

  25. JTeezie says:

    Abrams is a huge Star Wars fan which is evident is in his retelling of Star Trek. He's not perfect, but he's not a hack as someone proposes. I think it could be great especially if he holds onto to his fan side and is willing to fight with Disney to maintain his vision.

  26. Manny Romero says:

    I am very glad to see Abrams directing, especially this first Star Wars movie where Lucas is not directing or writing. Is a very positive and smart decision, great news.

  27. Danny says:

    Sorry but, I have zero faith in his ability for the new Star Wars films. The Star Trek films are way overrated and inundated with failed camera work and characters/plotlines completely inconsistent with the original ideology of the franchise.

    He is a sellout director … incorporating every flashy commercial action sequence he can find (why are Star Trek officers doing karate?)

  28. Steve says:

    Star Wars Episode VII: Luke Skywalker stumbles through an ancient Sith hypergate and is confronted by his arch nemesis, James Kirk.

  29. samiam says:

    Please say it isn't so! He already has the Star Trek franchise. Think outside the box Disney!
    Sign the petition on change.org/petitions/disney-stop-j-j-abrams-from-directing-the-next-star-wars-film

  30. Hukk says:

    worse than abrams, seriously the people that wrote Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story III…. If I was in a grave I'd roll over in it. Actually, I may be entertained by someone writing the Yuhzan'Vong in the same strokes as Toy Story III – talk about falling down the rabbit hole……..

  31. MarkC59 says:

    I am just happy they are making new Star Wars movies. There is nothing to lose there are already 4 bad Star Wars movies so a few more won't make any difference, and hey — there is a chance the new movies could be good. There is not chance of a good Star Wars movie if non are produced.

  32. casey says:

    Best choice seemingly available. However, I'd like to have seen Ron Howard

  33. gimmick cynic says:

    what's in the box, jj? what's IN THE BOX?!!

    Oh… that's right… You''ll never show us. And if you do… It'll be exactly the hackery we always expected. Either way… Same result.

    New gimmick, please.

  34. mojave45 says:

    Tarintino would have been my choice,LOL!

  35. JoeAsPoliceAlbum says:

    Now that I’ve gone and googled “len flare” I feel strangely compelled to tsk JJ Abrams over it.

  36. Steve says:

    The next movie should be between episode 3 and 4….Darth Vader is such a complex character and we know nothing about how he killed off all the Jedi…the premise behind the video games "the force unleashed" cover this and the story line and characters are already there…just sayin..

  37. Elyse says:

    What better option than someone who is clearly a true fan of Star Wars? I'm thrilled with Abrams as the director. Lens flare is completely insignificant compared to a fresh outlook on a waning saga. I can rest knowing that someone will be directing who seems to love the films as much as I do.

  38. Lars says:

    lucas was not a good director. the best movie part VI was not directed by him and the new ones were terrible, led by effects not a good story. He only did the first movie part IV, and was kept to writing because limited technology didnt permit bloated effect laden fop.

  39. Case C says:

    Anyone ever heard of a movie called, The Pacifist, with Chuck Norris and Jet Li, AND Gordon Liu, where the two old masters are reunited only this time they call a truce and forgive each other?
    What about Jackie Chan's remake of "The Little Tramp" –of Charlie Chaplin fame,
    Hazanavicius anyone?

  40. BobforAppleFritters says:

    I’m sorry but I kind of seem to think that everything that could be done with these movies has been done. Will it be entertaining with Abrams? Probably enough to get through a maximum of 2:15 with the sole purpose of getting away from life’s issues for a brief moment in one’s lifetime. Would that be true with many of the other “hot” techno-savvy directors available at the moment? Probably. Will it be resemble anything close to groundbreaking? Never ever again. Been there done all of this IMHO. The market in this genre is saturated ghost rider.

  41. Sandy says:

    (Chapter 7) To bring a proper end, Leia and Luke will disagree with the direction of the Alliance.
    (Chapter8)Luke will break with Leia and form a army.
    (Chapter9).Luke and Leia will do battle destroying both and just leaving a few survivors.

  42. Losingit2k says:

    I'm actually pretty content with this decision. If JJ Abrams can do for Star Wars what he did for Star Trek, I'm all in. JJ has the tempo for Star Wars films in his pocket. Star Trek proved that. All we need now is a great script with Luke Skywalker involved in the plot in some way. Star Wars VII should be great as long as it has no Flares in it. Please J.J. No Flares!!

  43. Spaceman Spiff says:

    DEAR GOD NO!! NO!! NO!! Not jj "Let's riun Star Trek" abrams. Lord there are so many others who would be 1000% better.

  44. Aneurism says:

    The original trilogy is cannon. Everything else is, for better or worse, just gravy.

  45. Ira says:

    The Empire Strikes Back is the stand out of the franchise, directed by Irvin Kershner. Lucas had the vision but no creative stamina. JJ is talented, but I expect anyone who helms this franchise will have to consider what people didn't like about EPS 1- 3. Star Wars is greater than it's parts, so who knows. Good luck polishing this turd…

  46. logan says:

    I cant think of a better suited director to make this movie. He is perfect! THis is the most exciting nerd news since the iphone, and yet all these trolls still want to say how horrible this is and horrible he is and blah blah blah…. You guys are the same trolls who hate on every other news thread about every other comic/fantasy/scifi/nerdcentric movie that comes out.. Why cant you just appreciate the possibilities of what this guy can possibly do to a franchise that was litterally smothered to death by its creator?! I often wonder what pleases all of these haters, when i read these negative comments, but something tells me nothing. Something tells me that these are such miserable people that suffer sooo much in their own lives, that they actually get pleasure and experience a cathartic release by badmouthing every bit of movie news that comes out…. I mean in the end, its ok, you have your opionions, I have mine, but its just baffling… As a fan that remembers the original trilogy coming out, this news is some of the most exciting news about the franchise since we hear george lucus was going to even attempt to make the prequals. I couldnt be more excited, and I feel bad for all of the haters who dont get to appreciate the sense of joy i have reading this news. Good like finding a big budget blockbuster film that you get excited about if you think this movie is gonna be lame. Good luck.

  47. RPC says:

    I think Joss Whedon would have been the best choice.

  48. Guest says:

    Next up… Dr. Suess and Michael Bey team up to bring the reboot of "My Dinner With Andre"!
    Stories like this just fuel the nightmare, and make one long for the glory days of the Apocalypse.
    Please.. shoot me now!

  49. Christian Gross says:

    No offense to Abrams… I watch quite a bit of his stuff (Lost, Fringe, Star Trek, etc, etc, etc). However, that being said, I am getting tired of his style. If you look at Star Trek reboot, which was a very good reboot, or even Lost, the question becomes how much different is Fringe? Yes I watched Fringe and liked it, but I am coming to the end of my rope of wanting to see his style.

    While I am also a Star Wars fan I am going to loathe his work on this movie. I think we can all pretty foretell what will happen in the movie.

    So while I am not saying that one should not choose Abrams. I am saying if you are going to stick to Abrams, PLEASE ABRAMS REBOOT YOURSELF…

  50. Christian Gross says:

    I would like to add to my previous comment a director that I would have chosen for Star Wars is Duncan Jones. I rather liked his movies Moon, and Source Code. Source Code is very hollywood, but interesting in that he can create a movie around a single instance. And Moon, well, I thought that would be a dud of a movie, but I rather like it. I think he could provide some freshness and originality to the Star Trek franchise.

  51. Skeptical says:

    Alot of haters on here with really skewed judgment. Lens flare bothers you that much? Really? I think his Star Trek was the best one since Wrath of Khan. The other ones were just…not that great. Super 8 was great movie even if the ending was a little Rated-G. What's wrong with evil alien movies with kids in them?! See Aliens (James Cameron). Anyhoo. I've been done with Star Wars since all the stupid kiddie shows and tv specials. I'm a little intrigued to see what Disney and Abrams do, but I won't be first in line to see it. That's for sure.

  52. Obi-Wan says:

    These are the directors you're looking for…

  53. Nate says:

    What about James Cameron and the technology he unleashed with Avatar. I thought that would have been a sick new way to go with Star Wars.

  54. ScrewJJ says:

    What a joke! The guy cannot direct traffic on an empty street.

    Go and see mission impossible 3 and see what is heading Star Wars way!

    This only proves that no matter how mediocre somebody is, he or she can make it if there is a machine behind them *cough* Madonna *cough*

  55. myblogdammit says:

    o m g

  56. Mandy says:

    Anything has to be better than the Star Wars prequels and I'd rather see a Tribble in Star Wars than an Ewok. One thing that was fun was the separation between the two franchises. It is closing quickly which I don't care for.

  57. commorancy says:

    LIke JJ's Trek, his Star Wars film(s) will lay somewhere between junk and watchable in the grand scheme. Oh, it'll gross enough money to make the bean counters happy from the wallet perspective. For the actual fans, it'll be mostly a laughable trudge through murky waters with a less than stellar cast and silly-but-hip visuals. Let's hope he doesn't throw in time travel as he did with Trek. But, alas, the guy is one-tracked. If JJ can't figure out how to write an actual clever story, he'll pretend to write one by throwing in convoluted time travel sequences to create a new universe so he can start the whole thing over on his own terms.

  58. EnoughWithThis says:

    Good choice! LOST remains one of my favorite television series ever, despite the distaste morons who fail to follow stories or use logic have for it. The prequels receive much the same reaction from the same kinds of people, the situation made all the worse by the fact that Star Wars is much older and thus has many more people who've decided long ago what the series is supposed to be, even in full defiance of the creator of the series and his artistic license, not to mention the evolution of film as an art form! And so they rage and cry like children and foul the discussion of Star Wars in general, just because it didn't turn out the way they wanted and expected it to! Bleh!

    But, anyway, I'm ready for more Star Wars, and having the man behind some really great television series and movies and the scribe behind two incredibly well-written and heartwarming films working on the next Star Wars film fills me with confidence that I have one hell of a ride waiting for me! :D

  59. Zahg says:

    He raped Star Trek, Now they hand him Star Wars and a tub of lube…

  60. Flinn_Furious says:

    A lot of people here talk about being true Star Wars fans, some of them supporting the decision and others not. But really, it's nothing to worry about. Just because he's getting the movie doesn't mean he's getting the franchise. In my opinion, some the best stories in the Star Wars universe never saw the big screen. Drew Karpyshyn's darkly violent Darth Bane novels. Quite a few Fett fans rave about the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy. Genndy Tartakovsky's clone wars was excellent, so was the Legacy series of comics. Dawn of the Jedi is coming along nicely and the Old Republic games have always had great stories/writing/characters. Hell, 1313 will probably blow the pants off everybody.

    If you're a real fan, the movies aren't the only thing that moves you. Every star wars nerd has something outside the movies that they love or hate and there are always going to be debates on what's good. But if this movie sucks, I say who cares? The movies will always be great and iconic, but a fan's will usually be a novel, a comic, a game, maybe even something fan made, because there's so much more of it to choose from. Personally, I think Abrams was a poor choice. For one thing, Lucas though he was a good idea. For another, Star Wars is at it's best with a simple plot, but great writing, special effects, characters, and acting. Abrams really seems incapable of understanding that complexity doesn't equal quality. However, he really does do a good job getting the most out of actors, so if he stays away from the writing it could be a great movie.

  61. Michael David Mills says:




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis