So just how did Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy convince J.J Abrams to direct “Star Wars : Episode VII”, especially considering he had already turned it down once?
“Please do Star Wars”, Kennedy asked Abrams when he agreed to a meeting on December 14, 2012.
Abrams was already “flipping out” when he heard “Empire Strikes Back” scribe Lawrence Kasdan had been brought onboard to consult on the picture, not to mention delighted to hear Michael Arndt (“Toy Story 3”) was writing the screenplay.
“I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is”, Abrams (“Star Trek”) tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The thing about any pre-existing franchise — I’d sort of done that…But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalizing.”
Kennedy, Abrams and the writers conversed for a few hours on Dec 19.
“J.J. was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door,” Kennedy tells the trade, adding that Abrams was still concerned that he wouldn’t be able to do the film due to his commitments to the “Star Trek” series. “If there was any pause on J.J.’s part, it was the same pause everybody has — including myself — stepping into this,” she says. “Which is, it’s daunting.”
“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,” she adds.
Kennedy is confident Abrams is going to be in the director’s chair when the film begins rolling, but isn’t so confident the film will be ready by 2015.
“Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we’ll see what happens,” says Kennedy. “The timetable we care about is getting the story.”
Meantime, the trade also reports that Kennedy may join forces with Steven Spielberg again soon to make another “Indiana Jones”. Spielberg’s stipulation? That “it’s based on George’s story”.