J.J. Abrams Officially Confirmed to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

Bad Robot will produce the film alongside Disney and Lucasfilm, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will serve as consultants.

J.J. Abrams officially confirmed to direct Star Wars: Episode VII
J.J. Abrams officially confirmed to direct Star Wars: Episode VII
It's official! Straight from StarWars.com:

After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet. Yes, 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.

Here is what Kathleen Kennedy had to say about the announcement.

"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 continued, saying this about the director.

"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."

J.J. Abrams had this to say for himself.

"To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathleen 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."

Past Star Wars veterans, dating back to the classic trilogy, offered words of praise from their direct experience with Abrams:

Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren, ASC, whose credits include the original Star Wars trilogy as well as landmark films such as E.T. and Jurassic Park, also worked with Abrams on Super 8.

"He puts everything he has into his work," said Muren. "He totally immerses himself. He's got such a visual eye, which is so important to the Star Wars films. It seems that a lot of the same things that were in George when he made the first Star Wars films are also in J.J. I think he's going to fit into the other movies perfectly, with the energy that J.J. has. We're kick-starting Star Wars again with dynamite. It will knock people out, including the people who get to work on it. I think it's a great choice."

Ben Burtt, responsible for such iconic Star Wars sounds as Darth Vader's breathing, R2-D2's beeps and the classic lightsaber, has worked with Abrams as sound designer and sound editor on Star Trek and Super 8.

"J.J. represents the next generation of filmmakers from those that were making Star Wars when I started," said Ben Burtt. "When he was a teen, he was a fan of Star Wars, and a great deal of his love for movies came out of his reaction of that first Star Wars film. You feel that he's already invested so many years in it, and he's going to propel it forward in a new way. In other words, you're having a fan who has grown up and developed tremendous directorial skills finding himself at the steering wheel to take the franchise into the next stage. I feel like I'm there watching history turn over from one era to another."

Matthew Wood, who served as supervising sound editor on Super 8, similarly grew up as a Star Wars fan before working on the films through the prequels.

"Working with him, it was so obvious to me that J.J. and I have the same nostalgic love of that era. Now we have someone from that generation who is going to be at the helm of the Star Wars franchise that I've known and worked on, so it's a great circle. Just seeing what he did with Super 8 and capturing those moments, and knowing what was so special about that era, it's going to speak to a new generation of audience as well."

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 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Simon Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

J.J. 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. J.J. 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.

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: StarWars.com

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Comments (72)

  1. ollie-styrene

    We agree totally when it comes to the prequels.... donkeyballs is what they suck...

    2 years agoby @ollie-styreneFlag

  2. Zak Lee Ferguson

    This is my life from now on......i love how though he already has a Sci-Fi Star series he isnt put off nor actually phased...a man of genuine class

    2 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  3. CBF


    2 years agoby @comicbookfanFlag

  4. undeadslayer4

    ya finally now the new starwars series may begin

    2 years agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  5. mikehd

    perfect choice

    2 years agoby @mikehdFlag

  6. MovieFreak97

    Well, I've held back my thoughts long enough, so here it goes........

    For starters, I have a confession to make: I'm not much of a Star Wars fan. That is, not anymore. Sure, when I was a kid, I played with the toys, got into lightsaber fights with friends, and watched the movies on a loop for days on end, but nowadays, that love is hardly there.

    And it's not for the reasons you may think (the Prequels, the Special Editions, or George Lucas in general) but rather, it's the internet rage machine that switches into overdrive whenever the franchise is mentioned. I seriously can't go to a single movie site without seeing someone blow up the comments section with fury over any move Mr. Lucas makes. It got to the point that I basically told myself to keep the series in the past and never speak of it again. Well, I don't think I can anymore.

    When it was announced that Disney had finalized the purchase, I was initially unresponsive. Sure, I was intrigued by the idea of an Episode VII, but honestly, all I could see was more fuel to the war on Lucas. And I had no desire to be a part of that. I still don't, but I must admit, this article may very well be the beginning of Star Wars' re-emergence into my life.

    J.J. Abrams is easily my favorite guy working in the industry right now for many reasons. His spectacular storytelling abilities, his 'king of the nerds' attitude, and his shooting style which some find headache inducing, but I find exhilarating. And even though Star Wars is nowhere near as close to my heart as it is J.J.'s, I will follow him to a galaxy far far away.

    2 years agoby @moviefreak97Flag

  7. K-Man

    Best news of the year! J.J. was my dream director for this project!

    Well done, Disney...well done!

    2 years agoby @k-manFlag

  8. Zak Lee Ferguson

    Though the big D is owner of lucasfilms it does not give license for them to run amock with it....its like a fostered child in a different enviroment but sts same child unless they dont have a guise and protector...for SW it is Abrahams and kathleen kennedy

    2 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  9. Zak Lee Ferguson

    Though the big D is owner of lucasfilms it does not give license for them to run amock with it....its like a fostered child in a different enviroment but sts same child unless they dont have a guise and protector...for SW it is Abrahams and kathleen kennedy

    2 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  10. Youngrizo


    Indeed we will

    2 years agoby @youngrizoFlag

  11. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @youngrizo We'll know in two years

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  12. Youngrizo


    Remember that Studio is Disney now, look at the tone of The Lone Ranger trailers. Look at the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and even Tron Legacy and Prince of Persia, there is an attempt at Disney with all the producers and directors they involve, to get a tone that can be both fun and adventurous while still seeming more serious than it really is.

    I think they would totally go for something a little more intense in it's tone... Like When I say the tone... here's a link to the Order 66 scene from Revenge of the Sith.


    I think seeing it outside of anything else in the prequels get's the seriousness of the situation and the bleak place the universe was in at the time. It's one of the few moments that truly captured the heart of Star Wars. The eternal struggle between the Jedi and the Sith.

    2 years agoby @youngrizoFlag

  13. Rudy

    All we need now is for him to direct a Doctor Who movie and we'll have the trifecta.

    2 years agoby @rudyFlag

  14. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @youngrizo Assuming the studio will allow such intensity. I'll eat my words if they do.

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  15. Sean

    @vampire2000 I couldn't agree with you more on that, it certainly will be fantastic!

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  16. Dan

    I totally get what @youngrizo is getting at with the tension. The CGI videos for Old Republic are amazing because of how tense they are.

    2 years agoby @dan1Flag

  17. Youngrizo


    I think you misjudge what I mean. Star Wars as a Universe and a giant story is amazing. But What it has in scope, it lacks in intensity, the original trilogy felt the way it did though for the time and was more than fitting, but the prequels brought a problem to my attention that I had not noticed when I was younger, the only really well handled character in those movies was Vader.. everyone else was somewhat campy and secondary, Vader was the only semblance of well thought out character, he was the only character they ever truly made feel awesome. While also being mired in mystery and all those other traits that made him an awesome villain. The only other characters to come close were Luke, Yoda, Han and Boba Fett.. and they only felt that way cause you only knew enough about them to think of them as really friggin cool.

    Notice in the prequels none of the other Jedi feel worth caring about, non of the action ever feels like anything more than watching a painting dry. None of it really put you on the edge of your seat.

    In sci-fi you can't just have cool visuals and awesome characters and then when it all meshes it's boring, if it's boring, you have failed on some level. And look at today's bevy of sci-fi films, Avengers was awesome, but even it's action felt boring on some level cause there was no concern for the characters, we all knew they'd live to the end. There's no tension. TDKR had the same problem. Action wise, look at Revenge of the Sith for instance, with the tech as far as it had come, and all that was happening on screen in all the action moments, it felt disconnected. Whilst Old republic's CGI trailers were jaw dropping. The characters are all cg but in a few minutes I got to like some and I got to care if they lived or died, only by how their designs made them seem. That is hard to nail, and yes, intensity is important, without it, all you have is story and characters and it can be bland

    2 years agoby @youngrizoFlag

  18. Brian

    @ejk1 Amen.

    2 years agoby @brianFlag

  19. slysnide

    Kasdan apparently is writing spinoffs, and the planned 789 trilogy has been canned in favor of setting up a Marvelesque Star Wars series featuring the exploits of the EU, with films being released every 2-3 years indefinitely. The first film may still be episode 7, but 8 and 9 are now spinoffs. And given Abrams' experience with these Lucasfilm Alumni--and Kasdan's brilliant writing--then these new films are shaping up a lot better than expected. And that's an understatement. Take it from me as a lifelong Star Wars fanatic and former message board treader on their official website.

    2 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  20. Fry_3000

    I have faith in JJ

    2 years agoby @Fry-3000Flag

  21. TheStonedReviewer

    I don't believe it!!! Super 8 director J. J. Abrams directing Star Wars!!!!!! Wooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

    2 years agoby @stonedFlag

  22. larmindy

    a little nervous about another Star Wars movie. The last three were not so great, good but not great. Of course I am dating myself..he he. Anywho, I have faith that Mr Abrams will do a great job, just hope if feels like Star Wars and not Star Trek ( and vice versa). Both franchises are loved dearly and have totally different nuances. SW is more gritty while ST is more tech. Fingers crossed!!!

    2 years agoby @larmindyFlag

  23. ejk1

    @jayaottley I have no reason to doubt you, but I have no reason to believe you either. You say you can prove it, so stop wasting time and just do it. This whole "Is Ottley the real deal or a liar?" issue has been going on for over two years. Stop the BS and provide some concrete fact. What cinema? You have physical proof? Show it. Answer these questions with real evidence, and people will stop giving you sh*t. Don't answer them, and people will have every right to call you out. Simple as that.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  24. WongFu

    Found out yesterday, apparently he's as giddy as a schoolboy.
    Two words: Old girlfriend

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  25. Jbwriter

    Two Words: Can't Wait!

    2 years agoby @jwriterFlag

  26. ROFLitschristian

    Best thing to happen to Star Wars in a long, long time.

    2 years agoby @ROFLitschristianFlag

  27. skywise

    @the-movieghost That is something I am sure we can caount on. If they go the Jedi Acadamy route (which would make sense) there will be plenty of lightsabers to go round. Will there be a new Sith Lord and apprentice? Or will some Jedi go bad and embrace the darkside? As redundant as it sounds I sure hope so.

    Also, I hope they add Mara Jade to the proceedings.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  28. LordFolken

    Bad news: J.J. Abrams will direct new Star Wars movie. Good news: Lawrence Kasdan will be a consultant.

    2 years agoby @LordFolkenFlag

  29. masterofthemoon

    I've retracted my disdan for this annoucement now cause I see Lawrence Kasdan will be consulting over the film and I trust Lawrence will make sure it looks and feels like a classic and true Star Wars movie!

    2 years agoby @masterofthemoonFlag

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