JJ Abrams had originally turned down the Star Wars directing gig and commented on it publicly by the end of 2012. Indeed, I published a story about this on Christmas Day. Abrams said:
There were very early conversations and I said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming.
As you might imagine, this became a big talking point online. In the days after Christmas I saw Abrams’ comments appearing just about everywhere. The Hollywood Reporter, for example, ran with the story on Boxing Day.
But Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm and Disney weren’t done.
According to a new Hollywood Report, Kennedy visited Abrams in January:
[She] is said to have won over the filmmaker with her pitch. She will now develop the property with Abrams and writer Michael Arndt, who has been writing the script since October.
There’s an interesting twist, though.
Disney and Lucasfilm had set Episode 7 for a release in 2015, which would mean that production would have to get started very soon. With Abrams working on Star Trek post-production, and possibly marketing, this schedule was starting to look silly.
And Abrams has, of course, realised this. The report goes on:
Abrams has not committed to that release date, meaning the date could be changed if the development process requires it.
It’s another indicator of how much they wanted Abrams for the gig that they let him take the Tipp-Ex to their planner.
The first Star Trek made it to cinemas about five months later than originally planned and the gap between the first and second Trek films has ended up being over four years. Abrams clearly won’t rush for the sake of it.
Obviously, that’s a very good thing. And anyway, 2015 has the second Avengers film to eat up everybody’s money and dump it in the Disney vaults. I don’t think their shareholders are going to mind to much if Star Wars ends up slated for 2016.