Since Johnston was one of a number of directors whose name popped up as being potentially attached to the series, one has to wonder whether he'll actually end up working with Abrams in the not-too-distant future in light of Disney's announcement earlier today that they're developing spinoff films built around non-Skywalker characters from the Star Wars universe.
"J.J. Abrams is the perfect choice to get the third trilogy off the ground," Johnston told The Huffington Post. "These films are big logistical nightmares to direct, like any $150 million plus project. They're like military operations in the attention to detail required while trying to retain a grasp of the big picture. J.J. has more than proven he can handle the pressure, plus it doesn't hurt to have a guy at the wheel who has produced, written, and created shows of his own. If anything he may be overqualified."
That last bit was meant as a joke, though the article does note that, relative to the directors who previously took on the franchise, it's arguably a true statement.
J.J. Abrams's next big theatrical release is Star Trek Into Darkness, coming in May. After that, he'll be at work on Star Wars Episode VII for 2015.