Movie Talk

J.J. Abrams Expresses ‘Indescribable Passion’ For ‘Star Wars’

Movie Talk

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Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Several weeks after being announced as the director of Disney's "Star Wars" reboot, J.J. Abrams has finally come forward to talk about his position as the new overlord of a galaxy far, far away. In true Abrams style, he pretty much revealed absolutely nothing but somehow found a way to get fans charged up for his bold new vision -- whatever that may be.

"I don't know because we're just getting started," said Abrams to Empire Magazine when asked what he, as the established captain of the new "Star Trek" universe, will now bring to George Lucas' pop culture phenomenon. "It's a great question that I hope I'll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now."

Abrams may not have been a "Star Trek" fan when he first embarked on rebooting the franchise, but he's plunging headfirst into "Star Wars" as someone who's held the series extremely close to his heart since childhood. Somewhat surprisingly, his personal preference hasn't necessarily made him more excited about one project over the other.

"They're not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of 'Ooh, that's really exciting.' And even though I was never a 'Star Trek' fan, 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.' How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it -- all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be.

"It's a similar feeling that I have with 'Star Wars.' 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. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there's something amazing here is the thing that they share."

Abrams also explains why he changed his mind in accepting the "Star Wars" directing gig after initially turning it down last fall. It appears it was simply a matter of timing -- once "Star Trek Into Darkness" was experiencing smoother sailing in post-production, Abrams felt he then had the time and energy to wrap his head another big sci-fi tentpole.

"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. But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with [Lucasfilm head honcho] Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation. I went down to tell Katie, my wife, and I said 'I had just a very interesting conversation with Kathy.' That was the beginning."

The beginning indeed, as you can read the rest of Abrams' in-depth interview in the May issue of Empire, which hits stands on March 28.

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