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Lucasfilm Says J.J. Abrams Is Not Leaving Star Wars: Episode VII

May The Force Be With You

“Was J.J. Abrams planning on leaving Star Wars VII?”, you may ask. Well, you’re confusion is justified, as there have been little more than typical rumors on the subject. Still, Lucasfilm issued a statement yesterday stating that J.J. Abrams will continue to happily work away at the next Star Wars film. The company apparently felt that the small amount of online speculation that Abrams was dropping out needed to be addressed, and responded swiftly to assure us that J.J. Abrams will in fact continue his monopoly on big budget films with “star” in the title for the foreseeable future.

Many news sources have been picking up on the idea that if Star Trek 3 begins filming as soon as 2014 and Abrams continues his work on the franchise, the director will have less time for Star Wars: Episode VII. It has also been suggested that Abrams was dissatisfied with the decision to shoot the next Star Trek film in England. However, there was nothing beyond rumors and speculation to suggest that Abrams might be leaving Star Wars. Lucasfilm’s statement seals the rumors’ fate. Via Hero Complex:

There is no truth to the rumor. J.J. is having a great time working on the script and is looking forward to going into production next year.

Lucasfilm, which was acquired by Disney last year, is likely taking care to cultivate confidence in the new Star Wars films at every turn. After all, the prequels are already a bit divisive, and Hollywood does have a habit of continuing to make sequels even after the premise has turned stale. Adding new titles could always mean a drop in quality, and Abrams, with his influence in so many popular shows and movies, adds another level of assurance that the movie will at least have the action that has become a staple of sci-fi blockbusters like this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness.

Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt is expected to write Star Wars: Episode VII, and Disney wants to release the film in 2015. Star Trek 3, meanwhile, does not have a director yet, but, according to Zachary Quinto, Abrams wants to direct and the film may start filming as early as 2014, in preparation for a Star Trek 50th Anniversary release date in 2016. Still, that doesn’t confirm the director’s involvement, especially considering the two sci-fi movies will have to be filmed around the same time. As it stands, Lucasfilm’s statement claims the director as part of the new Star Wars film, and in reality, it seems like Abrams’ Star Trek 3 involvement should be in question more than his Star Wars involvement. Now that Lucasfilm has felt the need to establish even the idea of Abrams’ involvement as definite, we can begin to wonder if he will return to Star Trek. Regardless of timing considerations, Abrams always takes on an unbelievable number of projects, so I would expect him to take on another before he dropped something as “incredibly surreal,” according to an interview with Hero Complex, as a chance to work on Star Wars.

(via Badass Digest, Hero Complex, Collider)

Previously in Star Wars: Episode VII

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