J.J. Abrams Passed On Star Wars

J.J. Abrams, who revived Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek franchise in 2009, turned down an opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first film in Disney’s new trilogy.

“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,” he tells Empire magazine. “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.”

Since Disney announced plans to purchase Lucasfilm in late October (the deal was completed on Friday), about a dozen different directors have been rumored to be under consideration for Episode VII: Abrams, Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg and Neill Blomkamp were among them, but much of the speculation centers on Matthew Vaughn.

When Empire floated the possibility that Abrams’ third Star Trek film could go head to head against one of the episodes in the new Star Wars trilogy, Abrams laughed: “I guess the franchises could go up against each other, but I’m not thinking that far ahead. I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, Empire and Jedi, and the idea of the world continuing is exciting and will be amazing. Kathy Kennedy is a friend and there are no smarter producers. It’s in great hands.”

Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness arrives in theaters May 17. Written by Michael Arndt, Star Wars: Episode VII is set to open in 2015.

(via ComicBookMovie)

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/ryan_clifford Ryan J Clifford

    “I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, Empire and Jedi, and the idea of the world continuing is exciting and will be amazing”…notice how he doesn’t mention the prequels….bad robot, good boy.

  • Chrisrhood

    Thank God!  He ruined Star Trek.  I really enjoyed Super 8, though, and feel he should stick to his own stuff, instead of playing in or messing up other people’s universes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Casey/623640256 Richard Casey

    Ruined Star Trek? And by ruined you mean reinvigorated, made it relevant again and ensured that there’s gonna be a new Trek movie every couple of years for the next decade or so. Yeah, Abrams ruined Star Trek like The Next Generation ruined Star Trek.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Sanders/690069501 Greg Sanders

    I’ve never been a fan of his brand of cinema, so I’m pleased he turned it down. Star Wars needs someone with heart and creativity and childlike wonder, one of the Pixar guys is who I’d place my bets on. Not Abrams or any of the other malarky.

  • Cjorg2

    Yeah, someone like J.J. Abrams.

  • Cjorg2

    You’re an idiot.

  • Mastadge

    Too bad Andrew Stanton’s live action film was a disaster, financially speaking.

  • mad max

    How did he possibly ruin star trek????   The original cast was done  & literaly some of them dead.
    The Next gen films were never hardly any good at all.

    Enterprise the TV show was terrible from beginning to end.  Voyager a boring pale version of the next gen.

    Please tell me how 2009s Star Trek is anything less than fantastic…….. Keep in mind ive been a trek fan for 40 yrs too.

  • mad max

    Agreed.
    Heck i grew up with TOS & next generation.

    TREK was dead after Enterprise was the final nail in the coffin.  It had become techno bable with weak looking aliens who all just happend to have the same tech as humans.

    I really dug NEMESIS– but even i can admit it was a flawed film.

    2009 treks was not only a great reboot—- but an awsome new epic franchise!

  • Meh

    I’m not sure how you’re using the word “relevant” here.
    Usually in the context of entertainment relevant means it had a lasting impact,
    or it might have deeply connected with people in some way.

    Abrams made 2 hours of fight scenes, shiny objects and big
    booms that was only a star trek movie because of the star fleet costumes the
    models were wearing.

     I even had fun
    watching it, but 20 minutes after it ended couldn’t remember the plot. Then I realized
    that was because there was no plot other than the cynical ground laying of a
    few years worth of sequel paychecks. It was a dumbed down empty piece of fluff.

    But if by “relevant” you mean profitable than yes,
    it’s every bit as relevant as any number of Steven Seagal movies in the 90s.

    For the record I don’t hate JJ Abrams. I like most of his
    work. But this was the shallow obvious cash farming of a franchise he didn’t
    respect. But hey if that’s good enough for you that’s cool. To each his own.  

  • Meh

    Loyalty? Paramount needed to get in on the blockbuster nerd
    trilogy field that every other studio was raking it in with and had a working
    relationship with one of the hottest (at the time) names in the industry. They
    had what was an iconic but basically dead property collecting dust and said it’s
    all yours JJ.

    When he was doing the press for the movie he took every opportunity
    to point out he didn’t really like star trek but loved star wars growing up; which
    you could clearly see in the finished product (I’ll be the first to say his
    star wars knock off was better than the last three Lucas made but that still doesn’t
    make it right.)

    So why not jump at the chance to do star wars? Because he’s
    not an idiot.

    He can say he’s not thinking that far a ahead but if he
    jumped ship on star trek to take on a competing property at a rival studio, he
    would be biting the hand that’s been feeding him for most of his career right when
    he’s running out of shows to go off the air. Also Disney was never going to let
    Abrams have unlimited creative control over star wars. They have plans for sequels,
    tv shows, and toy lines which will probably be designed long before the scripts
    are done. Paramount let him burn down and rebuild star trek from the ground up
    and set the tone and direction as whatever he wanted, and then he would turn
    around just before the release of the second picture into the deal and screw
    them for the chance to be the custodial director on a series of 2 hour toy
    commercials? Why not just stick with the star wars knock off he’s already
    making and save the headache/ possible career suicide?

  • Guest123

    Star Trek 2009 sucked!

  • Jimmy

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  • Dfc2896

    opinions opinions

  • http://squidoo.com/retroblogs Atomic Kommie Comics

    “Star Wars needs someone with heart and creativity and childlike
    wonder…Not Abrams
    or any of the other malarky.”

    Or George Lucas…