Finally the waiting is over, and sci-fi nerds all around the world can breathe a collective sigh of relief – JJ Abrams has been officially confirmed to direct the next Star Wars sequel, Episode VII. The director of the new Star Trek films (2009’s Star Trek and the soon to be released Star Trek: Into Darkness) had previously said he didn’t want to be involved with a new Star Wars film, but according to a report from Deadline.com he has gone back on his word – and thank the Force that he has!
Other possibles to helm Episode VII included Matthew Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Guillermo del Toro and even Ben Affleck. With all due respect however, we can safely say we’re overjoyed to hear that Abrams has become attached to project. It’s hard to think of anyone that could have been more suited to the task; not only has Abrams succeeded in getting a whole new generation to geek out over Star Trek with his exemplary (and gripping) take on the series, he has also proved his action/sci-fi credentials again and again with his work on films such as Cloverfield and Super 8, as well as television serials Fringe, Alias and Lost.
The film is being scripted by Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning writer of both Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine. There are rumours that the plot will revolve around our favourite Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker attempting to found a Jedi academy on a planet named Yavin 4. It has also been suggested that erstwhile stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford may return to their most famous roles for Episode VII, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Following Star Wars creator George Lucas’ disastrous attempt to revitalise the series with the much loathed prequels, film fans haven’t been holding out much hope for the franchise as a whole. However, since Lucasfilm was bought by Disney last year for $4 billion the plans for promised sequels have gone from strength to strength. Episode VII is set for release in 2015, and Disney has announced plans to release a new Star Wars picture every two or three years after that.
With this latest addition of Abrams to the Star Wars team, we’re pretty confident of seeing something a bit spectacular come 2015. Folks, it’s an exciting time to be a film fan!