In addition to Abrams as the film’s director, Kathleen Kennedy has been named as the film’s producer while Michael Arndt (an Oscar winner for “Little Miss Sunshine”) will write the screenplay. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, and his producing partner, Bryan Burk, will produce along with Kennedy. Lawrence Kasdan, the screenwriter for “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” will serve as a consultant on the film, along with Simon Kinberg (“Sherlock Holmes”).
Everyone involved with the project had nothing but good things to say about everyone else. First of all, George Lucas endorsed the choice of director for the newest “Star Wars” film: “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.”
Kennedy agreed, saying “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.”
As for J.J. Abrams himself, the director’s statement was nothing short of enthusiastic: “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.”
Known until recently for his television career — as the creator of “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe” — Abrams has enjoyed a series of directing successes in film. His credits include “Star Trek” and its upcoming sequel, “Star Trek into Darkness,” “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and “Super 8.”
Now that Abrams is officially hired for yet another huge film project, the question is: Is he the right man for the job?