Disney have confirmed that JJ Abrams, writer of Lost, Fringe and directer of Star Trek and Super 8, will direct Star Wars Episode VII and relaunch the franchise.
In an official statement, producer Kathleen Kennedy said, “It’s very exciting to have JJ aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. JJ 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.”
George Lucas added, “I’ve consistently been impressed with JJ 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.”
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,” said Abrams. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
The statement also reveals that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will be consulting on the film. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Return Of The Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr and Mrs Smith.
Abrams remains committed to Star Trek and will, in the very least, act as a producer for the third film and is attached to one more Mission Impossible film.