J.J. Abrams is Officially Directing the Next Star Wars Movie (UPDATED)

J.J. AbramsHold onto your lightsabers and Death Stars, kids, because Internet reports have J.J. Abrams directing the next “Star Wars” installment for Disney.

The Wrap reports the news that Abrams has signed on to take over the franchise with Part 7, currently set by Disney for a 2015 release date. If Abrams has indeed signed on (Lucasfilm currently has no comment on the report), that means he’s going to have to jump from one major sci-fi franchise to another without a whole lot of downtime. Although it’s still two years away, a film like “Star Wars” will require an insane amount of pre-production, production, and post-production time.

Of course, Disney could always delay the 2015 release date if Abrams has indeed signed on and tells them he needs more time to do the movie right. After the, er, lackluster response to the three previous “Star Wars” movies (aka the prequels), it’s probably a safe bet that Disney won’t want to sully the brand further their first time out.

Abrams, of course, rebooted the “Star Trek” franchise in 2009, and is currently in post-production on the sequel, “Star Trek Into Darkness”. He had previously said he would never direct “Star Wars” — not because he didn’t like the franchise, but because he loved it too much. This is not how Abrams approached “Star Trek”, which he liked, but didn’t love, so according to him, felt perfectly fine with completely retooling it.

Fanboys, no doubt, will love this news. Abrams has tremendous fanboy cred, with the “Star Trek” reboot, “Super 8″, and the third “Mission Impossible” movie under his belt, along with TV shows “Lost” and “Fringe” under his Bad Robot shingle.

Since it acquired “Star Wars” from Lucasfilm, Disney has quickly set “Star Wars” on the front burner. Screenwriter Michael Arndy is currently writing the seventh movie, which will jumpstart a whole new trilogy of films first begun by George Lucas in 1977.

UPDATE:

Variety is confirming that Abrams is, indeed, “closing” a deal to direct “Episode 7″. While Deadline adds that that it’s a “done deal”.

UPDATE 2:

Lucasfilm/Disney have released an official statement announcing J.J. Abrams as the director of “Star Wars: Episode VII”.

Star Wars (1977) Movie Poster