J.J. Abrams To Direct "Star Wars Episode VII"

Fans who wished for a crossover between "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" may get their wish -- at least behind the camera. Reports from Deadline and The Wrap confirm "Star Trek Into Darkness" director J.J. Abrams has committed to direct "Star Wars Episode VII" for Disney, with a source telling Deadline, "It's a done deal with J.J." and The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit taking to Twitter, confirming "negotiations [are] quite down the road."

Abrams heading up "Episode VII" will come as somewhat of a shock for those following the search for a director to helm the first new "Star Wars" film since 2005. As recently as December, Abrams stated he had already passed on "Star Wars," and cited his loyalty to the "Star Trek" franchise as one of the major reasons.

"There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to 'Star Trek,' and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things," Abrams told Empire Magazine in December. "I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."

It seems, despite his reluctance to direct "Star Wars," that Lucasfilm Chief Kathleen Kennedy refused to give up on him -- and for good reason. Abrams obviously has experience with breathing new life into beloved franchises, nowhere more apparent than with the acclaimed "Star Trek" in 2009. The sequel, "Star Trek Into Darkness," is still in post-production on target to hit its May 18 release. The main difference between the two franchises being Abrams' "Trek" was a complete reboot of the property, while the new "Star Wars" film will follow "Return of the Jedi" in continuity. Abrams will direct a "Star Wars Episode VII" script penned by "Little Miss Sunshine" writer Michael Arndt for a target 2015 release.

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