After speculation last week it is now official that JJ Abrams will direct the next instalment of the evergreen Star Wars saga.
This is all welcome news indeed given the quality of what Abrams has helmed so far within action and science fiction, not to mention the fact we’re getting another Star Wars movie!
Star Trek was a fantastic re-boot of a franchise that was left on a sound footing after the overall decent Next Generation series of movies, but very much in need of an update.
The same can be said of Star Wars. No doubt the prequels were a massive commercial success, but Episode III was the only movie of the trio that measured up to the original trilogy, with I and II only managing episodic glimpses to match.
A new director for Star Wars was always going to be bagged quickly after the Disney announcement, but fair play to George Lucas for passing on the mantle into a very capable pair of hands. By stepping aside, perhaps Lucas won’t completely destroy his legacy after an overall disappointing last series.
Can Star Wars up its game? Episode III was released in 2005 and since then franchises, particularly when (in the age of the) superheroes have taken over somewhat and really elevated the standard and quality of the summer blockbuster.
Anyways, here’s the buoyant official statement:
“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.”
Abrams is a bit chuffed too – who wouldn’t be?
“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 honour. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
Lucasfilm head and 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.”
And finally big George has blessed this union “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.”
Episode VII is expected in 2015.
Soooooo, everyone’s happy then, me included!