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Star Wars: Episode VII is coming in 2015, and it could mean a career defining moment for whomever Disney and Lucasfilm pick to direct. Already, just days after the film's announcement, Star Wars fans have been quick to throw out their suggestions for who should dare take on the formidable task of helming the franchise's next installment. And already some major names have shot down their involvement.
Long-time George Lucas friend and collaborator Steven Spielberg rejected the idea, declaring, "It's not my genre." Quentin Tarantino, lover of a wide array of genre films, declared he's no fan of the Star Wars movies, and "couldn't care less" about news of Episode VII. And now, J.J. Abrams, who reinvigorated the Star Trek franchise with his 2009 reboot, has joined their ranks. However, Abrams isn't pulling himself from the ring of possible directing candidates because he doesn't like sci-fi (duh) or because he doesn't like Star Wars, quite the opposite actually. Speaking to Hollywood Life, he confessed,
“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. 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 than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”
To surmise, Abrams believes a crucial element to the success of Episode VII is being able to have enough distance from the franchise to recognize what works and what doesn't about it. Being so big a Star Wars nerd, he doesn't count himself up to that task, but hopes whoever takes on this coveted spot will. Perhaps, Jon Favreau?
Favreau, who has been on many fans' shortlists for this gig, recently shared his enthusiasm for the latest Star Wars addition. Turns out he's even chummier with Lucas than we might have thought:
“I think both J.J. and I come from a generation of people who formed our whole creative persona around what we experienced as kids from watching those films, and I have had the good fortune of working with George [Lucas] and around George, and whether it is doing a voice on Clone Wars, or being at the Skywalker Ranch mixing Iron Man– so I have been very happy and lucky to just experience the culture that Lucas has created, both in my own life growing up as a kid and professional – whether it was interviewing him at film festivals on stage, he is just a really wonderful, talented gifted guy who has changed the business so much, so I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. 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.”
It seems to me Favreau is none too subtly pitching himself for the job. First, he states his love of the series, then essentially lists his Lucas-related résumé while casually mentioning that sci-fi action blockbuster he directed before stating unequivocally what a great idea he thinks another Star Wars trilogy is. Could this make him the answer to one of the many questions circling Episode VII? We'll see.