Director J J Abrams will be moving from science-fiction franchise to another as word is coming out that the Star Trek director will be helming Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII. The Wrap is breaking the news based on an anonymous source they describe as “an individual with knowledge of the production.” The Wrap’s source also stated that Ben Affleck had also been in strong contention for the job.
A number of directors had their names floating around the project including Guillermo del Toro, Joss Whedon and Matthew Vaughn, though it appeared as if that was more idle fan chatter than any real talks between the studio and the directors.
Previously, it was reported that Abrams had been approached to direct the first film of the new Star Wars trilogy, but that he had declined due to his commitment to Paramount’s Star Trek franchise. But with the second film in that series due out in a few months, it appears as if he has decided to set his sites on a new challenge. Michael Arndt is currently working on the screenplay and Disney hopes to have the film in theaters in 2015.
Lucasfilm and Disney reps have yet to comment. More as it develops.
Update: Deadline is confirming their story from their own “source with knowledge of the situation.” Although The Wrap beat Deadline to the punch o this by 15 minutes, Deadline doesn’t mention where the story originated. That’s Nikki Finke for you, though.
2nd Update: The LA Times‘s Hero Complex Blog has also confirmed Abrams getting the gig through their sources.