News that J.J. Abrams would be directing Star Wars: Episode VII broke this week, and now Disney and Lucasfilm have confirmed the announcement with an 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."
There was also a first word from Abrams, who said, "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."
Producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy added, "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."
Finally, the man who birthed the entire franchise, George Lucas, gave Abrams his blessing, "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."
It's now hard to believe that anyone else could have been hired, with Abrams seemingly such an obvious and apposite choice (the statement also offers a reminder that the direct has used Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound on all of his features).
Abrams is currently in post-production on Star Trek Into Darkness, and is probably steeling himself for a barrage of Trek vs Wars questions…
One interesting details to note from the statements is that Abrams only seems to be locked into Episode VII for now. Whether he'll go on to direct the entire trilogy (as Lucas did with the prequels) or pass it on to other filmmakers is yet to be determined.
Star Wars: Episode VII is set to open in 2015. With Abrams at the helm, expect it to be shrouded in an impenetrable cloak of secrecy.
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