Written by Jeff Snyder
So it has just been announced that JJ Abrams will direct the next Star Wars film. The Wrap.com reports that Abrams will take the job despite earlier having turned down the opportunity in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The reports of Abrams taking the helm of the new Star Wars films were later confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. The Wrap also reports that Ben Affleck, coming off his successful showing as director of Argo, was in the running to take the difficult task of directing the films. As of right now, there are no distinctions as to whether Abrams is contracted for just the first of the new films or the entire planned trilogy, which starts in 2015.
With “Little Miss Sunshine” writer Michael Arndt writing the film and Abrams directing, I feel fairly confident we don’t have another Phantom Menace on our hands. My only worry is that this film series could act as something of a poisoned chalice for any director brave enough to take the job. With the massive fan base it has built over the years, there is an incredible level of pressure and an almost unattainable level of expectation that simply comes with the territory when you are working with something as beloved as the Star Wars franchise. George Lucas learned that lesson the hard way with the Star Wars prequels. JJ Abrams, however, is a better director than George Lucas, in this writer’s humble opinion, and has experience handling massive amounts of sci-fi fanboy pressure. He handled it well enough to get a sequel out of his Star Trek reboot series. With this directorial appointment, I think that Disney has made an incredibly good decision as to the direction that they want to take this franchise. Abrams won’t have too much time to waste getting to work on his new film, however, with Star Wars: Episode VII scheduled to be released in 2015. I, for one, will be keeping a very close eye on the development either, and I know that I’m not the only one.