J.J. Abrams who revived the Star Trek franchise in 2009 has been tapped by Disney to direct the first Disney Star Wars film, Episode VII, which is slated for release in 2015. Disney is planning a new trilogy of Star Wars films, since getting the rights to mega-property was the primary driver behind the Mouse House’s $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm last year.
Abrams, whose second Star Trek film, Star Trek Into Darkness, is slated to debut nationwide on May 17th, said last fall in the wake of the Disney acquisition and the announcement of a new trilogy of Star Wars films that he wasn’t interested in direct a Star Wars movie. But, according to Deadline, Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy was persistent and eventually persuaded Abrams to take on the challenge of reinvigorating the Star Wars movie franchise.
The news that Abrams, who is in "late stage" talks with Disney, will direct a Star Wars movie is good news for fans, given Abrams’ skill in contemporizing a mature property while still preserving the essence of what made the franchise successful in the first place. Abrams has solid geek "cred" thanks to the TV series he created or co-created such as Alias, Lost, and Fringe and movies like the Spielbergian Super 8 as well as the 2009 Star Trek.