Although Disney and Lucasfilm are mum, multiple sources are confirming Star Trek director — and lifelong Star Wars fan — J.J. Abrams will in fact be directing Star Wars: Episode VII.
The news came as a shock to fans of Lucas’ saga, as Abrams recently went on record saying he was asked to direct the film but respectfully declined so that he could concentrate on the Star Trek film series he rebooted. His sequel, “Star Trek Into Darkness” hits theaters May 17.
Disney already announced that its first Star Wars film since Lucas sold his empire to the company would debut in 2015, and a who’s who of Hollywood directors were asked to come aboard. Although “it’s a done deal with J.J.,” a source tells Deadline, others who were courted included “300″ director Zack Snyder, “Pacific Rim’s” Guillermo del Toro, and Oscar winning “Ratatouille” director Brad Bird, who called the shots on the hit “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.”
Deadline reports Abrams’ relationship with Lucas’ successor at Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, helped seal the deal. Incidentally, the trade’s story also confirmed another rumor: acclaimed Argo director Ben Affleck was also high on Disney’s list.