J.J. Abrams is the official choice to fill the director's chair for "Star Wars: Episode VII." / Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY
The final frontier isn't enough for J.J. Abrams. Now he wants to explore a galaxy far, far away, too.
According to the Hollywood media/business blog The Wrap, the Star Trek filmmaker and co-creator of TV's Lost will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first Star Wars movie since the last of the prequel trilogy, 2005's Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The new film is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2015.
The filming of a new Star Wars trilogy was part of Disney's $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm last fall.
Fan reaction was generally positive after the news of the sale, but in Abrams they are getting someone with serious nerd cred to move from Kirk and Spock to the universe of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
In addition to creating the TV shows Lost and Fringe, Abrams rebooted the Star Trek franchise with two movies - the second, Star Trek Into Darkness, arrives in theaters May 17 - and also directed 2011'sSuper 8, a sci-fi paean to Steven Spielberg movies.
Oscar winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) is writing the screenplay for Episode VII, the first not penned by Star Wars creator George Lucas. Abrams is the first Star Wars film director other than Lucas since Richard Marquand with Return of the Jedi (1983). Lucas directed and wrote the original 1977 Star Wars, and Irvin Kershner helmed The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.
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