J.J. Abrams On STAR WARS EP. 7; Says Steven Spielberg "Knew All About What Was Going On"

Abrams discusses figuring out how to approach Disney's upcoming Star Wars sequel, comparing it to working on Star Trek. He also talks about his discussions with Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg for the highly coveted gig.

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By Paul Romano - 3/23/2013


Speaking with Empire, acclaimed director J.J. Abrams talks about working on Disney/Lucasfilm's highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: Episode VII, which is targeting a 2015 release. He says that he doesn't know how to approach the film yet, as he is just beginning work on it. However, he does compare figuring out an approach and developing the project to working on Star Trek. He also goes into a little more detail on how his working on Star Trek Into Darkness led to his initially turning down the highly coveted job, and Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy's persuading him to take the gig. He also commented on Steven Spielberg's knowledge of the project. For more on Abrams, be sure to pick up the latest issue of Empire Magazine on March 28th.

On Whether Or Not He's Figured Out An Approach To Star Wars: Episode VII:
"I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So 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, but to me, 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."


On How Kathleen Kennedy Changed His Mind About Directing:
"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 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. I will say that Steven [Spielberg] was very encouraging of Star Wars. It’s funny because I talked to him about it and it turned out he knew all about what was going on."










Source: Empire
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23 Comments
DropAload - 3/23/2013, 6:37 AM
Yay lens flare light sabers!
DukeAcureds - 3/23/2013, 6:42 AM
The difference (between JJ's Star Trek and Star Wars) being that JJ had a certain amount of healthy irreverance for Star Trek. I think that might prove to be his biggest hindrance in directing Star Wars. His love for the trilogy will obviously help in giving the fans what we've been dying to see since Jedi (the original cast again, but shitloads older) but if the whole film becomes fan-service and homages, it might not be so "exciting".
Star Trek was awesome because it was like a secret remake of Star Wars and it felt like it gave a certain amount of balance to, like, the Force, after The Phantom Menace. I mean fans the world over exploded large quantaties of cum in their own faces when they saw the opening scrawl of The Phantom Menace, but then as we settled into the movie, we were like "What the fvck? We've been fvcking had! This isn't Star Wars! This is fvcking Star Trek!" What with all the politics and talking and science and blah, bah, blah. Of course Jar Jar was about as far from Star Trek that you could possibly imagine in your worst and wildest nightmares whilst holding pinheads box and shit, but that's besides the point.
So I feel like he should look towards the new to find excitement. Treat the trilogy as if it's broken (impossible, I know) and try to improve on it. Make it even more exciting. Put shit in there that will blow our minds. This is future Star Wars, now. New territory. It has to be as fresh and original as the original films were, when they came out.
No pressure.
kurekurcubic - 3/23/2013, 6:49 AM
spielberg knows anything.he is the hollywood!!
AstroZombie - 3/23/2013, 7:15 AM
The lens flare joke wasn't funny the first time, so why do people feel the need to regurgitate it every-time Abrams name is mention. Get some new material, internet.
DaenerysTargaryen - 3/23/2013, 7:15 AM
Yes yes thats all very nice now....get onto casting the new heroes!
MrChuff - 3/23/2013, 7:30 AM
Lens flare - boring criticism.
No one complains about the lens flares in Die Hard (seriously...go watch it again).
Benjamitesandwich - 3/23/2013, 7:37 AM
Personally, I love his use of lens flares. It's like his own personal signature with every movie.
nach1wan - 3/23/2013, 7:47 AM
the lens flares dont match star wars, he got away with it in star trek...

i dont know if he being a star wars fan is a good or bad thing, his certain distance to star trek surely was a good thing.

but if people forget, the moron that directed star trek nemesis also didnt have an idea of star trek... look what happened to that

time will tell i guess... i think i'll gamble that ep VII will be good
shiverman20 - 3/23/2013, 7:56 AM
"There are infinitely more questions than answers right now"

Will that ever change?!
ndwwrestler2 - 3/23/2013, 8:03 AM
@nach1wan I guess the good part about him being a fan is he understands how a good or bad Star Wars movie will affect his rep.

The Bad part is, he might try to give too much to the fans. Yes he is making the film for filmwatchers, but it's probably best not to make it JUST like the original trilogy, try to make a good movie, but make it unique in it's own way.
ndwwrestler2 - 3/23/2013, 8:05 AM
@Benjamitesandwich I feel the same way, I love them. I never recognized them before I read/heard comments about them, but now I love that he puts them in there.
ndwwrestler2 - 3/23/2013, 8:06 AM
@DarthMaul Meh...I'll say Late 2015. With all the movies coming out that Summer they will probably have it come out late...So it won't end up like John Carter.
CrimsonReign - 3/23/2013, 8:09 AM
The best thing about this is that he is a huge SW fan.
PaulRom - 3/23/2013, 8:29 AM
I'm not expecting it to come out in Summer 2015. Disney already has Avengers 2 and Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 set for that summer, and adding Star Wars would be a bit overkill. I'd have it come out in the fall, or Summer 2016.
Ceejay - 3/23/2013, 8:29 AM
He's already regressed Star Trek into a no-brain action comedy so he can't do any worse to Star Wars after the state Lucas left it in. Neither franchise has any genuine creative integrity any more, they're just purely being made to shift merchandise now.
pitbull76 - 3/23/2013, 9:29 AM
@PaulRom I can't see Disney missing out on all that summer movie loot maybe they push it to 2016.
Asterisk - 3/23/2013, 9:34 AM
@PaulRom

What about in the Winter, like Avatar was?
boiling - 3/23/2013, 9:40 AM
TheDukeOfNY and MrChuff @
Exactly. I bet 90% of these lens flare posters
don't even know what a lens flare really is -.-
..and do not forget the lens flares in Thor.
Pox - 3/23/2013, 12:34 PM
Teaser trailer for Super Bowl

1st real trailer with Avengers 2

World wide release on Thanksgiving
CaptainSpain - 3/23/2013, 1:05 PM
egoistic guy, 'I do not like ST, so f..k you trekkers'
FOOM - 3/23/2013, 1:39 PM
@Ceejay

WTF are you talking about? Star Wars has always been merchandise first and integrity way down the list. Where have you been since 1977?
And about half of the Trek films have been brainless nonsense. Even at their best they're hardly 2001 or Silent Running.
grifdeadpoolteabag - 3/24/2013, 9:16 AM
How do you do it, J.J.?

1. Forget the Prequels and all derivative materials based on it.

2. ...

3. Profit.
nach1wan - 3/24/2013, 5:19 PM
@ndwwrestler2 seing as he did the exact opposite of what you are saying in star trek XI, i think it'll be the same for ep VII

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