Official Lucasfilm Press Release on Abrams Directing Episode VII - Mania.com



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Official Lucasfilm Press Release on Abrams Directing Episode VII

Star Wars Is Being Kick-Started with Dynamite

By Robert T. Trate     January 25, 2013
Source: Lucasfilm Ltd./ Walt Disney Studios

With the all news of J.J. Abrams taking the director’s chair of Episode VII I have been waiting for one news story to come to the Mania News Desk. That email arrived at midnight on January 26th, 2013. That email came from, of course, Lucasfilm Ltd. Ironically, I got another email seven minutes later with the same story from Walt Disney. Yes, it is indeed a brave new world for Star Wars

Here is the official press release from Lucasfilm Ltd. What I found to be interesting was the Lucasfilm alumni adding their insight on J.J. Abrams’ hiring. 

After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet. Yes, J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, 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,” said Kennedy. “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.”

 

George Lucas went on to say “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.”   


"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,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid." 


J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney the Lucasfilm banner. 


 

Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.  Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

 


Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.

 


Past Star Wars veterans, dating back to the classic trilogy, offered words of praise from their direct experience with Abrams:


Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren, ASC, whose credits include the original Star Wars trilogy as well as landmark films such as E.T. and Jurassic Park, also worked with Abrams on Super 8. “He puts everything he has into his work,” said Muren. “He totally immerses himself. He’s got such a visual eye, which is so important to the Star Wars films. It seems that a lot of the same things that were in George when he made the first Star Wars films are also in J.J. I think he’s going to fit into the other movies perfectly, with the energy that J.J. has. We’re kick-starting Star Wars again with dynamite. It will knock people out, including the people who get to work on it. I think it’s a great choice.” 



Ben Burtt, responsible for such iconic Star Wars sounds as Darth Vader’s breathing, R2-D2’s beeps and the classic lightsaber, has worked with Abrams as sound designer and sound editor on Star Trek and Super 8.  “J.J represents the next generation of filmmakers from those that were making Star Wars when I started,” said Ben Burtt. “When he was a teen, he was a fan of Star Wars, and a great deal of his love for movies came out of his reaction of that first Star Wars film. You feel that he’s already invested so many years in it, and he’s going to propel it forward in a new way. In other words, you’re having a fan who has grown up and developed tremendous directorial skills finding himself at the steering wheel to take the franchise into the next stage. I feel like I’m there watching history turn over from one era to another.”



Matthew Wood, who served as supervising sound editor on Super 8, similarly grew up as a Star Wars fan before working on the films through the prequels. “Working with him, it was so obvious to me that J.J. and I have the same nostalgic love of that era. Now we have someone from that generation who is going to be at the helm of the Star Wars franchise that I’ve known and worked on, so it’s a great circle. Just seeing what he did with Super 8 and capturing those moments, and knowing what was so special about that era, it’s going to speak to a new generation of audience as well.”



For information about Star Wars: Episode VII as it develops, keep checking StarWars.com.


COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 36
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thezillaman 1/25/2013 10:03:01 PM

 fucking lets get to it people nooooooow!!!!!. this is beyond epic news for me anyways. can't wait....

TheMovieGuy28 1/25/2013 11:04:59 PM

 As someone else said on the other page here on Mania, John Noble needs to be in it somehow. I can't believe how much I hated him in Return of the King, and how much I fell in love with Walter Bishop on Fringe (um, bro love, haha).

Also, may as well just say it now-

Gary Oldman needs to be in this film, somewhere, some how. F*ck it, so does Sean Bean. And Ian McKellen. And f*ckin Viggo needs to pop up somewhere.

So does Tom Waits. 

May as well go balls to the wall-can someone find out what Daniel Day-Lewis is doing?

Lastly, theories on where he'll go? After the sequels? Before the prequels?KOTR?  the Yuzhaan Vong? I always pictured them as Na'vi with more scars....

westend 1/26/2013 12:21:14 AM

 Josh Holloway as Han Solo

GothicStorm 1/26/2013 12:52:09 AM

Epic news indeed! All I have to say is this universe has always been at it's best with a wickedly awesome villain. Darth Vader, Darth Maul, The Emporer, Jabba, Boba Fett... etc.  Keep the standards high, Disney!

Don't let us down, J.J.!

DY-NO-MIIIIIITE!!!

(I couldn't resist)

wildwestie 1/26/2013 1:17:59 AM

 i just watched the "movie" of the cut scenes from the "old republic" game. it's about 15 minutes long, 3 different scenes and the feel, the action, the visuals: exactly what i would want in a star wars movie. after this news about jja, i feel like that's the kind of movie we will get and so much more. can't wait!

SmokingFrog77 1/26/2013 2:56:18 AM

whoa. this might be cool.

 

HudsonTaco 1/26/2013 6:10:40 AM

 Conflicted, as this means he won't be finishing his Star Trek trilogy, how could he possibly have time. Excited because this really confirms episode 7 is on its way. I am a bigger fan of Trek than Wars, but love them both, why can't there be 2 JJ Abrams?

just waiting for the comments about "lens flair" now.

westend 1/26/2013 10:17:57 AM

 @ Hudson  another site had a pic of the Star Wars logo with the letters flared.    There is still hope JJ will finish the Trek trilogy because he may only do episode 7.

violator14 1/26/2013 10:22:34 AM

 Seriously hurry the f up everybody. How long is this gonna take now? Like 2-3 years or something right?? Uughh 

Livcolour 1/26/2013 10:38:39 AM

He'll still be producing the third Star Trek film, if not directing it, per Paramount.  I still don't know how I feel about this news though.  I think my problems deal with Trek and preferring that it hadn't been rebooted, which really isn't his fault per se.  And the movie wasn't bad, just not what I was hoping for.  So, as long as he stays true to the SW universe and this looks and feels like the same Star Wars, then I'm okay.  He can put his own personal twist on the story and how its told, but this is a very particular universe and I hope he can keep that the same.

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