J.J. Abrams Nearing Deal to Direct Next 'Star Wars'
J.J. Abrams is in late-stage talks to direct the next Star Wars film for Disney.
Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that the Star Trek director is negotiating to direct Episode VII, the next installment in the fabled sci-fi franchise.
Disney, which purchased George Lucas' Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, is fast-tracking a new Star Wars film for release in 2015 as part of a new trilogy. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing the script, which is said to focus on a new generation of heroes and could feature appearances by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in older incarnations of their beloved characters from the original Star Wars trilogy.
Abrams, who has drawn comparisons to Lucas' friend Steven Spielberg, directed the 2009 Star Trek reboot and its upcoming sequel. He said in October that he wasn't interested in taking on Star Wars, but the director is said to have changed his mind about the project.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has made Star Wars a priority at the company. He told investors last year that he envisions a new Star Wars-related movie about every two years, and the universe could expand beyond the next trilogy to spinoff movies.