J.J. Abrams turned down 'Star Wars': 'I'd rather be in the audience'

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Star Trek helmer J.J. Abrams told EW in November that he wouldn’t be taking the reins of another intergalactic franchise: Disney’s upcoming Star Wars extension. But a new interview in Empire Magazine reveals that initially, Abrams did entertain the idea of putting his stamp on Star Wars. The Lost creator said that he and Kathleen Kennedy, the series’s new overseer, had “very early conversations” about how he might be involved in Star Wars: Episode VII‘s development.

Ultimately, though, the longtime Lucas trilogy admirer decided against picking up a lightsaber of his own. “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,” Abrams told Empire. “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.”

Fair enough. Abrams has made no secret of his affection for Star Wars. By contrast, he had no such nostalgic attachment to Star Trek before signing on to direct it which may have made it easier for him to revamp that franchise.

Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt has already signed on to pen Episode VII, which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015. X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn was rumored to be in talks for the film last month; since we know Abrams is out of the picture, confirmation of Vaughn’s — or another director’s — involvement may come soon.

Read more:
The Future of ‘Star Wars’
‘Star Wars': 5 Tips for Sequels That Won’t Suck
Making the perfect trilogy: What do you want to see in the new ‘Star Wars’ movies?


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