The undisputed king of the science fiction world at the moment, and for the foreseeable future, is J.J. Abrams. While he already has the “Star Trek” franchise to his name, with a sequel out this year, Abrams is also the man bringing “Star Wars” back to the big screen, following Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm.
Talking with Empire, Abrams admits he wasn’t a “Star Trek” fan in the past, but when the opportunity arose to direct the movie, “I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.'” He described stepping into that world as “based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be.”
It’s similar, he says, to his feelings about stepping on to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII.” “I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project,” Abrams explains. When asked what a “Star Wars” film from Abrams, a self-proclaimed fan of the franchise, will be like, he admits he isn’t quite sure yet. “I don’t know because we’re just getting started,” he says, adding, “There are infinitely more questions than answers right now.”
At first, Abrams turned down the “Star Wars” job, as he was just too busy. “My knee-jerk reaction was that I’m in the middle of working on the ‘Star Trek’ movie and I can’t even consider it,” he says. However, as he neared the end of “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” he revisited the idea. Finally, he had a meeting with the president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, to discuss the project, and that got the ball rolling. The addition of Steven Spielberg as someone to talk about the project with didn’t hurt. “It’s funny because I talked to him about it and it turned out he knew all about what was going on.”
“Star Wars: Episode VII” is slated to be in theaters sometime in 2015. In the meantime, “Star Trek Into Darkness” releases May 17.