The biggest story of the last few years only got bigger when J.J. Abrams was revealed to be directing Star Wars: Episode VII. Disney and LucasFilm have now released an official statement confirming the decision, revealing that Abrams will also be producing through his Bad Robot label. The press release includes a number of quotes from Disney/LucasFilm's Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas giving Abrams praise, while the director himself had this to say....
"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.
We had previously been made aware that Lawrence Kasdan(The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg(Sherlock Holmes) would be involved in future Star Wars scripts, but now we learn they'll be consulting on this project while Michael Arndt is in charge of the screenplay.
The speculation was that Paramount couldn't have been pleased by this move as it threatened their powerful Star Trek franchise, but they have told the LA Times that Abrams will be sticking around to at least produce Star Trek 3 if and when it happens. He'll also stick around for one more Mission: Impossible film. So basically we're talking about Abrams being an integral cog in three of the most lucrative franchises in Hollywood, not to mention all of his TV work. Dude is going to be very busy. Don't bother calling him for lunch dates.
Star Wars: Episode VII is expected to open some time in 2015, and Abrams will be expected to make it relevant to a new audience in the same way he did Star Trek. With that part of it over, now we can start looking forward to casting. Expect to hear more soon.