J.J. Abrams will direct the new Star Wars movie. That's not a typo, even though Abrams’s decision may come as a surprise to some considering the director initially denied he would helm the uber-popular space opera.

“I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things,” Abrams, who rebooted the Star Trek franchise in 2009 (with the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, coming out this spring), told Empire recently. “I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."

Abrams emerged from a highly competitive field that reportedly even included Ben Affleck, TheWrap reports.

Anticipation for a new Star Wars movie has been building for some time, and now the work really begins. Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars from Lucasfilm in October for $4 billion and set a plan in motion to release Star Wars movies every two to three years, beginning in 2015. The studio had already secured Academy Award-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) to write the script before hiring Abrams. So now the question becomes, who’s going to star in this next space adventure?

—Hal Sundt

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