There is no official word from Walt Disney Pictures or Lucasfilm at this time. A source close to the project had this to say.
"It's a done deal with J.J."
The source also revealed that Argo director Ben Affleck was up for the gig, and next in line to direct if J.J. Abrams passed on the film.
In November, J.J. Abrams claimed he was not interested in directing the film.
"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!"
Kathleen Kennedy went after J.J. Abrams herself, heavily courting him over a period of time. The director was the executive producer on the television series Lost, and directed Mission: Impossible III and Super 8. His next directorial project is the franchise sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.
Star Wars: Episode VII will debut in May of 2015, with a screenplay by Michael Arndt.
We'll have more as this story is official announced by Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm later in the day.
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, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.