While the folks over at The Wrap sniffed out J.J. Abrams's involvement with "Star Wars: Episode VII" a few days ago, the studio has now confirmed that the "Star Trek" director will be behind the camera for its upcoming sequel.
In a press release, both Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and series creator George Lucas expressed their approval of Abrams.
It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie," said Kennedy. "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."
Meanwhile, Lucas himself insisted that he's "consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller" and believes "he's an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film" and that "the legacy couldn't be in better hands."
In turn, Abrams expressed his own appreciation for being allowed "to be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga." He went on to say that the opportunity to work with Kennedy and Lucas is an "absolute honor" and that he "may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than [he] was as a kid."
The rest of the press release confirms that Michael Arndt will write the screenplay and also confirmed the involvement of Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, both of whom are referred to as "consultants." Early reports had that duo working on some unspecified projects for Lucasfilm; some speculated that the two were already writing Episodes VII and IX, while other rumors had them writing spin-off films.
Now that Abrams has been confirmed, the fun can really begin; given the film's 2015 targeted release date, it's fair to assume that production on Episode VII will ramp up in earnest during the next few months.