Contrary to published statements in a number of other online publications, J.J. Abrams, the newly tapped director for Star Wars, Episode VII, is not – repeat not – going to be leaving the show before it even starts. He was signed in January to be the next director to helm a picture in the Lucasfilm epic film series and has no intention of backing out now.
“There is no truth to the rumor,” Lucasfilm said in a statement issued Monday. “J.J. is having a great time working on the script and is looking forward to going into production next year.”
The script for Star Wars: Episode VII is being written by Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3. As with previous installments in the world’s most popular film franchise, it will be shot at England’s historic Pinewood Shepperton Studios.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm last year, fans were a bit apprehensive about it. After all, they’d just bought Marvel in 2010. They announced in April of this year, though, that it will release a new Star Wars film every year beginning in 2015 with Episode VII, the first installment in a planned trilogy. How they will maintain such an ambitious production schedule is anybody’s guess, especially considering that visual effects heavy films like this typically require sixteen months to produce start to finish. George Lucas has been retained as a “creative consultant” on those three films, but has no plans to write or direct.
Abrams recently described having the opportunity to helm Episode VII as “incredibly surreal.”
“We are working on some incredibly exciting stuff,” Abrams said back in April in an interview with the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex. “It is very strange to be discussing this world and not just with friends of mine at a party being idiot geeks but to be discussing it with other storytellers and filmmakers, some of whom actually worked on the originals. Larry Kasdan is involved, to be working with Kathy Kennedy, since before I got in the business [that] is something I was hoping I would get to do.”
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