Star Trek director JJ Abrams has been hired to direct the latest instalment of another space-opera franchise, Star Wars Episode VII, according to Deadline.com.
The Lost creator’s appointment ends months of speculation about who would take the job after the sale of George Lucas’s multi-billion sci-fi franchise to Disney in October last year. The list of directors previously linked to the project includes Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass), Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Guillermo del Toro and even Argo director Ben Affleck.
Abrams, a life-long fan of Star Wars, had originally suggested he was not up for the job, but never totally ruled himself out. “I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”, he told the Hollywood Life website last year. His appointment will see the 46-year-old in the singular position of helming two of the biggest sci-fi series of all time. His take on Star Trek garnered critical and commercial success on its release in 2009. A sequel – Star Trek Into Darkness – will be released later this year.
Star Wars Episode VII is set to be in cinemas in 2015. Disney has said that it plans to release a new Star Wars film every two to three years after that. It has been suggested that the plot of the film, which could feature cameos from franchise stalwarts Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, could centre on Luke Skywalker’s attempts to found a Jedi academy on the planet Yavin 4. Episode VII is being scripted by Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning writer of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3.
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