How Steven Spielberg Got J.J. Abrams To Direct STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

How Steven Spielberg Got J.J. Abrams To Direct STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

How Steven Spielberg Got J.J. Abrams To Direct STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

In a new interview, director Steven Spielberg reveals just how he managed to convince a reluctant J.J. Abrams to direct the seventh installment of the Star Wars film series...

Star Wars made a formidable return to the big screen this past December, with The Force Awakens captivating audiences old and new. Director J.J. Abrams was well known to have avoided helming the film at first, but it turns out that it was fellow director Steven Spielberg who got the wheels moving.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Spielberg said it was him who made the call to Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, to recommend Abrams for the job. "I brought J.J.'s name up. I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode 7 and I called J.J. and said 'Would you do it if it was offered to you?' He said, 'I would but my wife won't let me 'cause she doesn't want me to restart any more franchises.' But I went to Kathy and asked if I could get J.J. to say yes to this would you consider it? Kathy said 'Are you kidding? Of course I would. But why would J.J. do Star Wars; he's already done Mission Impossible and Star Trek.'"

Abrams said himself in several interviews that he would want to enjoy a new Star Wars film as a fan, and was reluctant to take the gig having already done similar work before. Fortunately, Spielberg had other plans."So I take Katie Abrams and J.J. to dinner that night to Giorgio with my wife, Kate, and right in front of Katie Abrams I popped the question. I said to Katie, 'I think there's a chance that J.J. could direct Star Wars. What do you think of that?' And Katie turned to J.J. and said, 'That would be amazing. Really?' And I went outside the restaurant, picked up my phone, called Kathy and said, "When can we meet with J.J.?" And that's how the whole thing began."

Of course, Abrams later accepted the role of director in 2013 and delivered a film that was met with overwhelming praise from critics and fans. Abrams is remaining as an executive producer for Episode VIII, though the film is being directed by Rian Johnson. 
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