You’ve heard all the rumors, but now it’s official: J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII. According to a press release issued at about 12 a.m. EST today by Walt Disney Studios Publicity, Abrams – who directed Star Trek (2009) and the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness – will direct the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” Kennedy said in a statement. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
Star Wars creator George Lucas added, “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
And, finally, Abrams remarked, "To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."
Abrams, his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner.