Kathleen Kennedy On How She Got J.J. Abrams To Direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

Kathleen Kennedy On How She Got J.J. Abrams To Direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy reveals how she hired one of Hollywood's hottest directors to helm the next Star Wars movie, and J.J. Abrams comments on her persuasiveness and his initial concerns about taking on such an iconic franchise.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy reveals how she had gotten Star Trek director J.J. Abrams to helm Star Wars: Episode VII for Disney. Abrams originally denied that he would be involved with the film due to his commitment to Star Trek, but after meeting with Kennedy, he clearly changed his mind. "I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is. The thing about any pre-existing franchise -- I'd sort of done that. But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalizing," he tells THR. Kennedy then goes on to talk about her meetings with Abrams, saying that they and the writers met secretly for about three hours on December 19th, and she says that "J.J. was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door." Among Abrams' concerns were his "'very genuine concerns' about his obligations elsewhere and the impact on his wife and three kids, given the likelihood that the film would not be shot in Los Angeles. And then there was the unique nature of the franchise." "If there was any pause on J.J.'s part, it was the same pause everybody has -- including myself -- stepping into this. Which is, it's daunting."

However, she eventually won Abrams over when the deal for him to direct Star Wars: Episode VII came to a close in January. "We spent a lot of time talking about how meaningful Star Wars is and the depth of the mythology that George has created and how we carry that into the next chapter." Recently, it was reported that Abrams isn't committed to the previously announced 2015 release for the movie, but Kennedy says that "Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we'll see what happens. The timetable we care about is getting the story." For THR's full interview with Kennedy, click the source link below.

Star Wars: Episode VII is currently being written by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3. Abrams' next film, Star Trek Into Darkness, hits theaters May 17th.

Posted By:
Paul Romano
Member Since 1/6/2011
Filed Under "Star Wars" 1/30/2013 Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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Minato - 1/30/2013, 6:42 AM
Good idea Levi they gotta think about that.

Where is this story going? Who are the lead characters? Is this gonna be any good?
BlueHawaiiSurfer - 1/30/2013, 6:49 AM
Can't be any worse than the last three movies.
GUNSMITH - 1/30/2013, 6:56 AM
marcvader1 - 1/30/2013, 6:57 AM
I'm willing to wait to get a good SW film. They need to slow things down.
ATrueHero1987 - 1/30/2013, 6:58 AM
I hope they still make it a 2015 release. Damn, we are getting spoiled with some much movies for the next 3 summers.
Happy11 - 1/30/2013, 7:00 AM
He's a good choice to direct but can't see him doing anymore star trek, once we know who's being cast we will get a general idea of what the story will be about.
CptHero - 1/30/2013, 7:04 AM
Couldn't care less about that. Just tell me who the lead is.
ruadh - 1/30/2013, 7:09 AM
Or push it out in 2014. Why? Because then you make money back on your $4 billion investment sooner, JJ still gets to do Star Trek 3 and the Mission Impossibles, and at the same time another team can be working on the other movies, and put out one a year, and thus the anniversary year gets Episode 10.
InfiniteMonkey - 1/30/2013, 7:12 AM
If Star Wars production puts any more pressure on JJ and company, it only means one thing for Star Trek, another 5 years before the third installment.
dancingmonkey08 - 1/30/2013, 7:13 AM
"I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is. The thing about any pre-existing franchise -- I'd sort of done that. But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalizing"

Ah, its clear now, she used sex or money to make him direct the movie, wow talk about going beyond the call of duty for your job...

or she used a pretty serious threat to get him to do it, I think it went along the lines of "if you dont direct this, JJ, we will let George come back and direct and Jar Jar will be the main character as we follow him trying to bring back the senate in plenty of talky scenes".

After this, JJ couldnt sign the contract fast enough...;)
marvel72 - 1/30/2013, 7:19 AM
Kathleen Kennedy On How She Got J.J. Abrams To Direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

Greengo - 1/30/2013, 7:22 AM
Everytime I hear or see the name "Jar Jar" I cringe.

JJ is the PERFECT director for this, imo.
DVonShakari - 1/30/2013, 7:25 AM
She got JJ to do it by bribing him with sex. They had a talk in her office about Star Wars and the Star Trek franchises. She gave him a few drinks and once he was drunk she made the offer and also threatened his life and career if he didn't do it. She tied him up and after 8 hrs of crazy sex Mickey Mouse came out with leather pants on and no shirt...he was smoking a cigarette and he had a whip in his hand........
fullmoon106 - 1/30/2013, 7:28 AM
I'm happy that J.J. Abrams was chosen. I like his work (Alias is one of the best action series ever) and he's a fan. This could be great. At least it can't be worse than episodes I-III.
jessepostal - 1/30/2013, 7:35 AM
I'm gonna say 2016, if 2017 is the 40th anniversary of the original than release the new sequel towards the end of 2016, leave it fresh in people's minds, and collect a billion dollars. Than a few months down the road, while Star Wars is still in everyone's head celebrate the 40th anniversary with a rerelease in theaters as well as star wars first home edition on 4k and blu ray(if still around) original theatrical cut, with no add ins, make another billion dollars
StrangerX - 1/30/2013, 7:35 AM
[frick] Episode VII

Bring on Bane & The Old Republic
IIIAdamantiumIII - 1/30/2013, 7:43 AM
ohhh its her fault huh..... I HATE YOU !!!!!
ruadh - 1/30/2013, 7:57 AM

Because they're teens or in arrested development, and don't realize it was an unfunny joke when the first person made it countless posts ago.
themcdougalbugle - 1/30/2013, 8:20 AM
^^^Exactly! She probably threatened him with rape.
Durango95 - 1/30/2013, 8:27 AM
I still think its bullshit that Abrams is directing. Hope he doesnt have a hand in casting...
ruadh - 1/30/2013, 8:27 AM
Man, you guys need to get some so you can stop thinking everything is about sex.
ruadh - 1/30/2013, 8:38 AM
@Gulon180....and what group of people is that NOT true for?
Super12 - 1/30/2013, 9:33 AM
^^Seriously, that was the most random/pointless attempt at being racist. Now stop it, go away.
SamHell - 1/30/2013, 9:50 AM
"it was suddenly very tantalizing"

Ooook, wondering what she said of did to change his mind
voxen - 1/30/2013, 12:09 PM
So is JJ short for Jar Jar... the truth finally comes out! lol
ruadh - 1/30/2013, 12:32 PM
"@RUADH....we're not talking about a "group" of people...we're talking about a single person...."

You said "a child of Abraham". Not too thinly veiled generalization, about a group. It's weak, and it's tired.

I don't care if he's trying to change the face of cinema, he's probably exactly this generation's film maker to make a new star wars.
Durf - 1/30/2013, 12:36 PM
I for one am pretty excited about this. Still in the back of my mind is that nagging paranoia that they could [frick] this up. Hope that isn't true, but I have faith in them
ahhmynuts - 1/30/2013, 1:08 PM
i thought she was gonna say she didnt call the bluff by JJ and forked up more money
PeeJ - 1/30/2013, 1:47 PM
I have no interest in them doing anything Lucas has 'had planned'. His cheese has completely slid off his cracker. Re-cast the main characters and give us a decent screenplay of the Thrawn Trilogy kthx
patriautism - 1/30/2013, 3:03 PM
Wonderful director, but one thing. Ever wonder how many lens flares a light sabers gonna cause? I hope he keeps the flares out of this one.
Logan5 - 1/30/2013, 5:17 PM

Logan5 - 1/30/2013, 5:19 PM
"Well we gave him a lifetime supply of mag-light batteries.."


I actually like light in the frame. Sorry for those that it does grate.
Logan5 - 1/30/2013, 5:21 PM
I'd rather wait an extra year or two than have him come right off of "Darkness" post and go head first into revamping Star Wars? If I was in a coma for a year and awakened yesterday.., well.., yeah. I'm all for them doing what it takes to get it right and erase medichloreans from our minds!!! :-P
holeymonkey - 1/30/2013, 7:27 PM
I'm jazzed...If J.J. can make me care about Star Trek, I can't wait to see what he does with Star Wars.
riseofloganX36 - 1/30/2013, 7:54 PM
oh great get ready for teen star wars Wgat is he ganna make a alternet time line were luke & laya never happend? He's rapeing star trek so why not star wars.

Logan5 - 1/31/2013, 1:56 AM
wor 'em up: "..so we are the Lycans?" :-P

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