In the upcoming issue of The Hollywood Reporter, an interview with Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy reveals how the pair persuaded J.J. Abrams to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
As the President of Lucasfilms, Kathleen was asked if she had ever thought to ask Steven to direct the first installment of the new Star Wars trilogy. She answered, “No. Steven and I had many conversations about J.J.” Following her response, Steve stepped in to further explain how the duo then convinced J.J. Abrams to helm the film.
“I brought J.J.'s name up. I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode 7 and I called J.J. and said 'Would you do it if it was offered to you?' He said, 'I would but my wife won't let me 'cause she doesn't want me to restart any more franchises.' But I went to Kathy and asked if I could get J.J. to say yes to this would you consider it? Kathy said 'Are you kidding? Of course I would. But why would J.J. do Star Wars; he's already done Mission Impossible and Star Trek,’” Stevens recounted.
Unsure of how to make JJ Abrams’ wife agree to her husband’s offer, Steven decided that taking the couple out to dinner with his own wife might do the trick. He said, “So I take Katie Abrams and J.J. to dinner that night to Giorgio with my wife, Kate, and right in front of Katie Abrams I popped the question. I said to Katie, 'I think there's a chance that J.J. could direct Star Wars. What do you think of that?' And Katie turned to J.J. and said, 'That would be amazing. Really?' And I went outside the restaurant, picked up my phone, called Kathy and said, "When can we meet with J.J.?" And that's how the whole thing began.”
Considering how successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been, both Kathleen and Steven are surely relieved that their decision to recruit J.J. Abrams was for the best. Though J.J. will not be directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, the director has set the new trilogy off to a good start as both new and old fans flocked to see the film last December. Little is known about the upcoming film, but J.J. Abrams is apparently wishing he could take the project back from director Rian Johnson as the film’s script is that good.
Considering that JJ Abrams is still attached to the next Star Wars film as an executive producer, fans of Star Wars hopeful and thankful to the director for his faithful and fresh reprisal of a well-loved franchise.