J.J. Abrams: I Turned Down 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

<p>J.J. Abrams has signed with CAA (he remains with law firm Jackoway Tyerman).</p>
In a recent interview, the filmmaker said he had discussions with Lucasfilm but ultimately would "rather be in the audience."

Lifelong Star Wars fan J.J. Abrams will remain just that.

The writer-director-producer, who has pumped blood into the second iteration of the Mission: Impossible series and fully revived Star Trek for the big screen, told Empire magazine that while he met with new series producer Kathleen Kennedy about involvement in Star Wars: Episode VII, he decided against hopping aboard.

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"There were the very early conversations, and I quickly said that, because of my loyalty to Star Trek and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things," he told the magazine. "I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."

Abrams has said that while he grew up as a major Star Wars fan, he was not particularly in love with Star Trek, which made it easier to reboot the saga -- which now stars Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock -- for the 21st century.

His next Trek movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, is set to hit theaters in June. The first film, released in 2009, took in $385 million worldwide.

As for Star Wars, it has been announced that Toy Story 3 scribe  Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, will write Episode VII, while Lawrence Kasdan -- who wrote The Empire Strikes Back -- and Simon Kinberg will write new installments, as well.