Ahoy, squirts! Quint here and late Friday night Disney confirmed what we all knew to be true (for we searched our feelings... okay, I'll cut that shit right out before it gets seriously nerdy up in here) in a press release announcing JJ Abrams as directing Episode VII.
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.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “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.”
George Lucas went on to say “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.”
"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 honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. 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 and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.
The biggest thing to take away from this release is that they're more than likely still planning on using different directors for each film, following the Original Trilogy model. Throughout that release they constantly refer to JJ as the director of Episode VII or "the new Star Wars film." That's a good thing.
Abrams can absolutely capture that wonderous tone of Star Wars (or A New Hope if you're easily confused) and if they're following the template of the Original Trilogy it stands to reason that they'll go more somber for Episode VIII and then do it all up in a big way with Episode IX. I like Ben Affleck for VIII (he was close to getting the gig for this first one) and then I say Favreau for IX.
So, congratulations JJ. Don't fuck it up. We're all counting on you.