This Is How Lucasfilm Convinced J.J. Abrams To Direct Star Wars

This Is How Lucasfilm Convinced J.J. Abrams To Direct Star Wars


After the J.J. Abrams news broke out, a lot of folks were in shock — wait, he’s going to direct both Star Trek and Star Wars? And, more importantly, didn’t J.J. say he wasn’t going to do Star Wars, anyway? What happened; how was he convinced?

In a profile about Kathleen Kennedy, the Hollywood Reporter reveals that the way Lucasfilm got J.J. to say yes was surprisingly simple and direct. Kennedy — the president of Lucasfilm and brand manager to Star Wars — asked for a meeting with Abrams, who initially stated he was too busy to consider the job.

They met anyway, and here was her amazingly simple pitch: “Please do Star Wars.”

She also told Abrams that she had Michael Arndt, behind Toy Story 3, as well as Lawrence Kasdan, behind The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi onboard — news which apparently made Abrams flip out and more eager to work on the project.

Sure, Abrams still had his reservations: mainly how filming outside of LA — his residence — would affect his home life, and he knew what the daunting drawbacks to approaching a pre-existing franchise were.

“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,” Kennedy explained. And, eventually, she won him over.

“I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is,” Abrams stated.

Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy on ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Lincoln’ and Secret J.J. Abrams Meetings [The Hollywood Reporter]

Comments

  • Nice, cannot wait for the next Star Wars movie… is this a foreshadowing that J.J. might work on a “STAR TREK WARS” movie in the long future? combination of both worlds!? that’d be nice.

      • So people didn’t learn anything from Alien V’s Pedator? They’ll do anything as long as they think they can make a buck out of it.

    • I like both franchises, but most of what makes Star Trek good, the themes of morality from purely logical or empathetic/emotional viewpoints is completely distinct from the morality of Star Wars, in which everyone is either good or bad depending on their magic alignment. I don’t think you can have the force and retain anything from Star Trek worth having.

      • Plus Star Trek has more overt science fiction elements to it, while Star Wars is traditionally more of a space opera/adventure story that just happens to have a bunch of cool geeky stuff in it.

        That being said, if somebody offered me a video-game mashup while leaving the movies alone, I wouldn’t say no. Either some kind of fighting game where you can get away with random characters, or an adventure game with some kind of story like perhaps the Enterprise warps through some interdimensional rift or something and ends up in the middle of a battle between the New Republic and the remnants of the Empire, and eventually they end up discovering that they’re not in another dimension but went back in time to another galaxy far far away… I would kill to hear Spock/Leonard Nimoy say those words…

    • They did make an Aliens Vs Predator so why not a Star Trek Wars or Star Trek Vs Star Wars………cooowalllll……….!!!

      • I don’t know if you know this, but Ridley Scott and James Cameron were going to make Aliens 5 together in a sort of reboot, but decided not to because of the mash up. Not only was AvP terrible, it actually may have costs us something worth seeing.

  • I was surprised by his initial no. Not only is he friends with Lucas and Spielberg, but anyone who has seen Super 8 will understand why he is the obvious choice for Starwars.

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