J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau Say No to Directing ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

Both filmmakers expressed trepidation in taking on this highly-anticipated sequel for Disney Pictures and LucasFilm.

J.J. Abrams will not direct Star Wars: Episode VII
J.J. Abrams will not direct Star Wars: Episode VII
Last week, screenwriter Michael Arndt was confirmed to write the script for Star Wars: Episode VII. The greater, looming question, though, is who will direct. We reported last week that J.J. Abrams is being considered to take on the directorial duties. The director recently revealed that he wants no part of this highly-anticipated project.

"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!"

Jon Favreau is also excited about the sequel, although it doesn't seem that he will direct either.

"I think both J.J. and I come from a generation of people who formed our whole creative persona around what we experienced as kids from watching those films, and I have had the good fortune of working with George (Lucas) and around George, and whether it is doing a voice on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, or being at the Skywalker Ranch mixing Iron Man - so I have been very happy and lucky to just experience the culture that Lucas has created, both in my own life growing up as a kid and professional - whether it was interviewing him at film festivals on stage, he is just a really wonderful, talented gifted guy who has changed the business so much, so I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We'll see."

Only time will tell before a filmmaker is actually confirmed for Star Wars: Episode VII.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.

Sources: Hollywood LIfe

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Comments (30)

  1. MovieManiac

    @jonquest - Yeah but even if the movies were better, it is impossible to reach the standards of all fanboys. The original trilogy was placed on such a high pedistol that it would be impossible for the prequel trilogy to reach it's high standards. Thats why i felt bad for Lucas. Either way, he was gonna get hate thrown at him by angry fanboys. That's probably why no director has stepped up yet. They will probably get the same hate from angry film fans just because the films will not meet the standards of the original films.

    2 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag

  2. Geekster

    god Fav is sh*te since he went off on Ironman2

    2 years agoby @The-Mudder-F-cking-Loud-KillerFlag

  3. jonquest

    @shuabert Nah, not buyin' it. Superman Returns was bad, but no one thinks X-Men 2 was bad. The Star Wars prequels were bad, but no one thinks Star Wars was bad. The latest Indiana Jones was bad, no one thinks the first and third were bad. The Matrix sequels weren't great, no one thinks the first was bad. So I think that logic is faulty, and beside the point... Directors--especially those of the caliber mentioned in this article--don't back away from movies because of fanboys. They may not want to be on a project because of the scale, the creative control, the $$, the time-frame, the genre, the style, and maybe even the fact that a property might be so iconic that they don't want to accept the responsibility of handling it... but not because they worry about fanboys.

    2 years agoby @jonquestFlag

  4. Rudy

    JJ would have been a good choice. Who's left? Blomkamp? Joss Whedon? Well now that Disney owns Lucasfilms, Joss Whedon directing episode VII wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility.

    2 years agoby @rudyFlag

  5. The Cryptkeeper: Resurrected

    Too bad, J.J. Abrams would have been a good choice.

    2 years agoby @cryptFlag

  6. u1sart

    Whatever... all am seeing is a bunch of puzzies.. the directors am looking at to do this is James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Peter jackson or Joss whedon.. i know James cameron have his hand full so does peter jackson.. so it would be down to ridley scott or Joss Whedon.. Christopher Nolan would do good too

    2 years agoby @u1sartFlag

  7. Josh

    @jonquest Really? Because based on how fanboys overreact to everything, that's exactly what I'd be thinking as a director. They hate Bryan Singer because of Superman Returns, and retroactively hate the X-Men movies. They hate Sam Raimi because of Spider-Man 3, and retroactively hate the first two Spider-Man movies. As an artist in geek culture, you pretty much have to walk on eggshells all the time because fanboys are so goddamn fickle.

    2 years agoby @shuabertFlag

  8. jonquest

    @moviemaniac66@shuabert let's be fair here... I agree that whoever does this will have a lot of pressure because of how iconic the movies are, but Lucas brought the fanboy revolt on himself for writing and directing 3 awful movies and monkeying with the originals. No director worth his salt is going to be worried about directing a bad movie. None of them are thinking "Oh no, they turned on Lucas, they might turn on me..."

    2 years agoby @jonquestFlag

  9. Gandoff

    Out of all the things JJ Abrams says, its how doing Star Wars would be sacrilegious cause Star Trek was nothing he grew up with? I am sorry, but that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Who gives a rats ass if it was sacrilegious for him on Star Trek or not compared to Star Wars? He, despite making a FANTASTIC Star Trek, butchered it with his time travel, time altering take on all Star Trek things to make it "His".... OMG... Did he really just say that? For goodness sake, Star Wars Eps 7-9 are a continuation in the Star Wars tale in the years of rebuilding. After that, should be the original take of them. Old Republic or a New Republic era story. But for me. Favreau would be the best pick for me. 1, he knows the difficulties in doing a Science Fiction movie. 2, he knows the weight on one's shoulders doing a iconic character, like Iron Man. 3, he knows from IM and IM2 how much work is involved doing sequels, and would work hard at doing all three. But for me, there is also a second name who would be a close second. No one has ever tossed his name out. And why? What he has done in films over the last 12 years, and still adding on, has not even been done by Spielberg. His name is Peter "I made LOTR's and Hobbit, which are both trilogies, and one made over 1 billion dollars alone" Jackson. He, would be my first choice, if Favreau did not make Iron Man what it was, compared to what it could have been if not done right.

    2 years agoby @gandoffFlag

  10. Josh

    I'm not surprised that out of any franchise Star Wars is the one that directors are afraid to touch. With how vehemently fanboys have turned on Lucas over the years, it's pretty reasonable that other filmmakers would be hesitant to put themselves in that position. Still, someone will eventually say yes. I hope it's Brad Bird, personally.

    2 years agoby @shuabertFlag

  11. PeterTomMaatta

    Anybody who directs this is just setting themselves up for disaster. Whom ever it is, I'm sure, will think of themselves as the next George Lucas and have a major ego about it, but the odds of these being any good are very slim.

    2 years agoby @petertommaattaFlag

  12. PeterTomMaatta

    Don't be surprised if NO big name director signs on for this and Disney has no choice, but to beg George Lucas to come back and direct it himself.
    I mean, it sounds great to have 70 year old Harrison Ford interested in this, but after those three prequels, I could care less.

    I went to the theatre in 1999 to watch Episode 1 and I never, ever thought for a second about watching it again, or seeing either of the other prequels. Lucas ruined Star Wars for me with his prequels and I could care less about anyone else carrying on the stories.

    They were good kids movies, but as I grew up, they just lost their appeal with me.

    2 years agoby @petertommaattaFlag

  13. Replicant

    @moviemaniac66 True. No well established high-profile director will ever come near this for that reason.

    Some people are saying Spielberg, Whedon, Nolan... you guys are kidding yourselves if you actually think that ever would happen. There's no harm in dreaming, but don't be idiotic.

    My bet is on an unknown, a Disney/Pixar-type like Brad Bird (but not him), or someone with indie-type film experience like Marc Webb (but not him either).

    2 years agoby @felipe-11Flag

  14. MovieManiac

    Completely agree. I would never want to direct the films. I would feel a huge amount of pressure. And after witnessing how people treat Lucas because of the prequels, there is no way in hell i would want to be put through that and i can imagine that any director would pass on that as well.

    2 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag

  15. Eddie584

    JJ would have been awesome for this but hes already doing the star trek films so it wouldnt make sense. i like the idea of brad bird or mathew vaughn directing.

    2 years agoby @eddie584Flag

  16. jonquest

    Soooo... how hard would it be for Whedon to write and direct this and still get Avengers 2 out? Cuz that's what needs to happen. Haha.

    2 years agoby @jonquestFlag

  17. jonquest

    Not exactly sure how this precludes Favreau's involvement. He didn't say anything definitive in that quote about not wanting to do it.

    2 years agoby @jonquestFlag

  18. K.Guy

    well I'm lost.

    2 years agoby @kguyFlag

  19. Juli√°n Dylan

    Star Wars is bad luck?? Except for Georgie and Co.

    2 years agoby @Julin-DylanFlag

  20. Sean

    I wonder who it will be that will end up being that will direct Star Wars Episode 7, if J.J. Abrams or Jon Favreau are not going to direct it? I hope it will be someone who's real good at directing movies.

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  21. skywise

    It seems that so many people wouldnt touch this with a ten foot pole. Cant say I blame them. Most of the names thrown around have been shakey choices at best.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  22. WongFu

    sorry for repeating, just trying to get a point across.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  23. WongFu

    My best bet would be someone that directs Disney films, these directors are out of that box and not worthy to them.
    Disney is the problem that's why these great directors are turning it down.
    George wants someone out of the box but I don't see that happening. It'll be a Disney film director.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  24. jasdjqs

    If i was in his shoes i would of said the same thing. It is a great chance to take part of movie history but rather watch it like everyone else in IMAX

    2 years agoby @jasdjqsFlag

  25. Alec Engerson

    I'm still hoping for Matthew Vaughn.

    2 years agoby @alec-engersonFlag

  26. The Real Goku

    Jon Favreau?? Give me a f*cking break. We need action

    2 years agoby @therealGokuFlag

  27. kingbrady

    Jon Favreau was offered? what a joke... i mean come on now...stop telling us who is saying no and who will say yes

    2 years agoby @kingbradyFlag

  28. the Narrator

    "...to say I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement."

    I have a feeling he meant to say, "To say I'm excited about it is definitely an understatement." Funny how a single word really makes a difference.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  29. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    A better response than Bay's cheap reasoning

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  30. the Narrator

    Bummed about Abrams, but I totally understand... and Favreau might have introduced a nice Han Solo type character if he were involved in the writing process of this new film. After all, he did give us a fantastic Stark in the first Iron Man. Funny that I didn't consider him before.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

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