J.J. Abrams latest director to turn down ‘Star Wars’

By Daniel S Levine,

J.J. Abrams has already revived one of the most revered science fiction franchises with his 2009 success Star Trek. That’s why many fans had hoped that he would be considered to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, but since he’s already committed to Star Trek, that seemed unlikely to happen. Now, Abrams himself has ruled himself out.

“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time,” the Lost creator told Hollywood Life Friday. “I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”

Abrams’ decision mirrors that of Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, who said he is too much of a Star Wars fan to want to get involved. “I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it],” he told the Los Angeles Times recently. “I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.”

Hollywood Life also spoke with Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens director Jon Favreau, who sounded a little bit more interested. He has a history with Disney, having worked on the Iron Man films and voiced a character on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He had several great things to say about George Lucas, before adding, “I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We’ll see.”

Other directors who have said that they won’t do Star Wars: Episode VII include Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg.

Also on Friday, Lucasfilm and Disney confirmed that Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt will write the new film.

Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness is due out on May 17, 2013.

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