JJ Abrams spent years working on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and while Abrams considers it one of the greatest accomplishments of his life, he doesn’t see himself coming back to direct any time soon.
According to a recent interview with Fortune — who spoke to the “Episode VII” director at Austin’s “South by Southwest” festival — Abrams is ready to move on from “Star Wars.” “I’m very happy to be where I am. Rian Johnson [who is currently directing “Episode VIII”] is brilliant and needs no help from me. As executive producer, I’ve been collaborating with them, but they are obviously doing all of the heavy lifting and it’s very exciting to see what’s going on.”
Abrams was met with great praise and success in directing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The film continues to do well at the box office, having soared over the $2 billion mark earlier this year. While Abrams’ labor of love over the film may have paid off, he feels it’s time to move on to something new. What new project is he sinking his teeth into now? HBO’s upcoming sci-fi series “Westworld.”
“‘Westworld’ is one of those things I’ve wanted to work on for so long. I had a meeting probably 21 years ago with Michael Crichton [who wrote and directed the 1973 original film] about doing this. And it’s taken along time to get this going.” While HBO halted production on the sci-fi western earlier this year, Abrams praised the network for giving it the time it needed to find it’s footing.
“At the heart of ‘Westworld’ is this story of consciousness and oppression and discovery. It’s one of the projects I feel most grateful and lucky to be a part of. What [the directorial team has] done is so stunning and cool and they’re not rushing it because of business maters and the network is giving them the time. That is never a bad move.”
While a trailer for “Westworld” premiered last August, HBO has not set a release date for the series yet.