J.J. Abrams seemed like he didn’t want anything to do with Star Wars: Episode 7 because of his love for it, a love he never had for that other space-based franchise before he breathed new life into it, but reports from both Deadline and The Wrap are indicating that the Lost co-creator and Star Trek helmer may, in fact, be changing his tune and gearing up to throw himself headlong into a galaxy far far away.
How Abrams apparent 180 will effect the future of Trek after Star Trek Into Darkness comes out in May remains to be seen (can he really juggle both franchises?), but while post-production is on-going for that surefire blockbuster, Abrams is now reportedly set to take aim at a much bigger challenge: making sure that Disney’s $4 billion dollar acquisition of Lucas Film starts paying off.
What? You thought I was going to say that Abrams’ chief challenge was going to be making a good Star Wars film? I mean, it is — especially for us — but for Disney that’s just a means to success, not the definition of it, and in some ways Abrams will now have more pressure on him than Joss Whedon did when he took on The Avengers.
Yes, yes, the Marvel Movie U had been building to Whedon’s super-team-up flick, but they also had other pots on the stove had that film failed to be the world-beater that it eventually wound up being.
By the way, the guy who doesn’t get to have fever sweats for the next few years? Ben Affleck. Apparently the Reindeer Games star wasn’t interested in The Justice League film, but he finished in second place in this sweepstakes according to the same published reports that are naming Abrams as the director of Episode 7 and the guy who has to set the tone for the movies that follow.
Those films already have names attached with Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (who didn’t) already at work. The writer on Abrams’ film will be Michael Arndt (Toy Story), though I have to wonder if Roberto Orci, Damon Lindelof, or Alex Kurtzman will get a shot at applying a pollish to the script before it goes before the lens.
What do I think about the choice of Abrams? I’m indifferent right now. His Trek is visually stunning, but I’m hoping he takes a little more care mining some depth out of something that won’t be a reboot, but a continuation. Clearly the guy knows how to respect his idols — Super 8 was a love letter to Spielberg, so hopefully he’ll find a happy medium here and really make something that appeals to Star Wars fans and those new people who will surely come aboard.
By the way, my choice was del Torro, but he I was never asked my opinion… I assume because of all those mean things I’ve said about George Lucas, Jar Jar, the enhanced versions… it’s a really long list.