JJ Abrams to direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. Internet breaks in half [UPDATED: Sort of confirmed]

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Move over Joss Whedon, we have a new Supreme Geek Overlord. Apparently one major fan-favourite film franchise isn’t enough for JJ Abrams; he wants all the Star‘s, Trek and Wars. According to The Wrap, despite Abrams’ very own protests to the contrary last year, the popular writer/director/producer has landed what is possibly the most sought after, yet also pants-wettinngly terrifying gig in Hollywood: Directing the new Star Wars movie.

With Abrams already stewarding the rebooted Star Trek franchise over at Paramount, I must say that if The Wrap’s report is true – it has yet to be confirmed by anybody at Disney or Lucafilm – then it comes as quite a bit of a surprise. Yes, Abrams’ name has popped up nearly every single time that discussions around the next Star Wars director broke out, but just about nobody thought they’d actually give it to him. This is like Bill Gates being asked to run Apple now that Steve Jobs isn’t there.

According to SlashFilm‘s own sources though, it was apparently Steven Spielberg who landed Abrams the job. Spielberg was apparently first choice for Lucasfilm’s newly crowned head honcho-ress Kathleen Kennedy, but after he turned it down, Kennedy turned to Abrams next. But then he also showed trepidation in tackling the project; a level of hesitation he explained last year:

“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”

With this, Kennedy apparently began shopping around again, with ex-Razzie magnet but current Hollywood golden boy Ben Affleck and popular fan choice Matthew Vaughn being the owners of the two other major contender hats in the ring. Vaughn apparently even pitched that his Kick Ass star Chloe Moretz would take the lead as the new rumoured Skywalker progeny (which is an idea I can still fully get behind).

But it looks like Abrams’ never ending Spielberg fanboyism, culminating in the extremely Spielbergian blockbuster Super 8, finally paid off as the veteran director apparently harangued Kennedy into going back to Abrams, and this time he apparently accepted.

Cue internet message boards burning like napalm.

Personally, I think Abrams is a great choice. While I feel you’d need to have a clump of cold broccoli where your heart’s supposed to be to not get any enjoyment out of Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, if there’s been one piece of criticism that can justly be leveled at his handling of that franchise, it’s that he’s almost completely ditched the original show’s exploratory, science-y, talky approach in favour of wide-screen action adventure. But that approach might be far more perfectly suited for the fantasy-like Star Wars mythology.

What do you guys think? Is Abrams the right choice, or are you just picturing the horror of lightsaber battle lens flares?

While you’re busy pondering that, please excuse me for a minute. I’ve been very calm through all of this news, but now I just quickly need to go out back and whoop to the heavens like a drunk wolf. Cartwheels may possibly also make an appearance.

UPDATE: Since The Wrap’s initial report, THR’s Borys Kitt has tweeted his own confirmation that negotiations are already “quite [far] down the road” , while Deadline cites their sources as saying  that “It’s a done deal with J.J.” Looks like it’s all over now but for the official word from Lucasfilm/Disney. Oh and the shouting. Expect lots and lots of fanboy shouting.

Last Updated: January 25, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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