Smart Move, Disney: J.J. Abrams Will Direct the New Star Wars Movie

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 24 2013 6:03 PM

J.J. Abrams Will Direct the New Star Wars Movie

159160294
J.J. Abrams

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ending months of speculation over possible contenders—Christopher Nolan? Wes Anderson?—The Wrap reports that fanboy favorite J.J. Abrams will direct the new Star Wars movie, set to be relased in 2015Deadline followed up with their own report, and a writer for The Hollywood Reporter said he was able to confirm the selection as well. Abrams has been in the running ever since George Lucas sold his property to Disney, though he initially said he wasn't interested. Thankfully, it appears the much-praised director has changed his mind, and decided to take on the daunting task of restoring balance to the force.

While there were other intriguing possibilities—Guillermo del Toro and Brad Bird both would have been interesting choices—Abrams may be the smartest move for Disney. Not only has he demonstrated his sci-fi chops with Lost and Super 8, he has demonstrated an ability to resuscitate fading franchises with the well-received Mission Impossible III and the critically acclaimed Star Trek reboot. Abrams will undoubtedly have the franchise's best interests at heart: Back in 2009, he said, "As a kid, Star Wars was much more my thing than Star Trek was."

On an even more surprising note, Deadline and The Wrap both report that Ben Affleck was also in the running for the job. With only three films under his belt as a director, Affleck would seem like a risky proposition, especially since he has no sci-fi experience, nor any professed love for the genre. (Argo does have a fake Star Wars knockoff within the movie, but we don't see anything beyond some storyboards and a few costumes.) With Abrams, Disney chose to stay true to the nature of the franchise while hopefully elevating it to the kind of creative level we haven't seen since the Ewoks celebrated on Endor.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Quora
Oct. 21 2014 11:37 AM What Was It Like to Work at the Original Napster?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.