Now that J.J. Abrams has been tapped to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII," the focus has turned to the woman behind the man, namely Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who was eventually responsible for wooing the "Star Trek" director. An in-depth feature by The Hollywood Reporter has shed some light on the process, which required a combination of persistence and a simple pitch.
"Please do Star Wars" was reportedly the pitch that Kennedy delivered during a meeting back on December 14th. At the time, Abrams had already rebuffed the offer, citing his numerous responsibilities with "Star Trek" and multiple television projects.
The director also had reservations about spending more time away from his wife and three children "given the likelihood that the film would not be shot in Los Angeles." Furthermore, the "unique nature of the franchise" also gave Abrams some pause, as Kennedy insists that the task is "daunting" for everyone involved.
Eventually, Abrams couldn't resist. "I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is," he revealed, adding that the offer was very "tantalizing" after a second meeting, which also included screenwriter Michael Arndt and consultant Lawrence Kasdan.
According to Kennedy, their involvement was an important factor for Abrams, who "was flipping out when he learned" the duo was already at work on the movie. By the end of the meeting, Abrams was "on the ceiling when [Kennedy] walked out the door."
During the meeting, the two discussed "how meaningful Star Wars is and the depth of the mythology that George Lucas has created and how we carry that into the next chapter," and the deal was finally closed on January 25th.
During the feature, Kennedy also confirmed that the film might not hit the 2015 release date that was announced back in October. Instead of aiming for a date, she claims her goal is to "move as quickly" as possible and notes that "the only timetable we care about is getting the story."