J.J. Abrams Will Not Direct Star Wars: Episode VII
Loyalty, not “The Force,” was on J.J. Abram’s side when the Star Trek director decided to turn down a chance at directing Star Wars Episode VII, the next installment in the Star Wars franchise, which was recently purchased by Disney for over $4 billion. While Abrams briefly considered the possibility, he decided to stick with the other space-based film series.
“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 told Empire. “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, 42, was quick to credit the people behind the Star Wars project. “Kathy Kennedy is a friend and there are no smarter producers. It's in great hands."
Abrams would have been a welcome addition to Episode VII considering he already resurrected the Star Trek franchise with 2009’s Star Trek, starring Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana, which paved the way for the upcoming sequel Star Trek Into Darkness with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Interestingly enough, Abrams identified as a Star Wars fan, not a Trekkie, growing up.
"All my smart friends liked Star Trek,'' Abrams told EW. ''I preferred a more visceral experience.'' His goal in accepting the Star Trek project back in 2005 was to make a movie “that grabbed me the way Star Wars did.''
One of the project’s only certainties is that Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt has been pegged to write the script, however the director slot is still a major question mark.
If anything, Abrams’ removal from consideration opens up the possibility of a friendly rivalry between the franchises. A long list of directors have been rumored for Episode VII, including Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky. However, such a rivalry remains a long way off. Star Trek Into Darkness will be released May 17, 2013, while Episode VII will not be completed until at least 2015.