The story, which broke on January 24, puts an end to the rumour mill and the speculation in specialised magazines and on the Internet. The naming of a director was highly anticipated by Star Wars fans all over the galaxy ever since the news that Disney had bought the franchise and promised new episodes, starting from 2015.
The announcement also comes as a surprise, since Abrams, when approached for the job last November, had declined it.
The information has yet to be confirmed by Disney and George Lucas’ Lucasfilm. Prior to the announcement Ben Affleck, basking in the afterglow of Argo’s success, was many a bookmakers’ favourite to take on the job.
Abrams is in no way a new comer when it comes to the science fiction genre. He directed a reboot of Star Trek, the “other” galactic franchise, in 2009 and a new episode is planned to hit the silver screen in May 2013. He also has previously been involved as a writer, producer or director on blockbusters such as Cloverfield (2008) and Super 8 (2011) and successful TV series such as Alias, Fringe and Lost.
He will join writer Michael Arndt (winner of an Academy Award for best scenario in 2006 for Little Miss Sunshine) on the set of the 7th episode of the Star Wars saga.
Abrams had declared last November that “Star Wars is one of [his] favorite movies of all time,” and, if fans lampooned his 2009 Star Trek for excessive use of lens flare, with this new gig, Abrams is set to win an eternal spot in the geekdom firmament.
May the Force be with him.
photo credit FlickR/jdhancock