Director and producer J.J. Abrams may no longer be helming any Star Wars movies, but that doesn't mean he's not still involved - and a fan. Abrams, who directed and co-wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first chapter of the Sequel Trilogy and premiere film from Lucasfilm after their sale to Disney, has not left the franchise behind. Like he did when he stopped directing Star Trek films, Abrams has stayed on the Star Wars saga as a producer.
That means Abrams is still helping develop these films, and that means he's reading the scripts, even for the films he's not directly involved with, like Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (not final title).
"I can tell you it is an amazing script, and the cast is obviously extraordinary," Abrams told Fox News in an interview. The producer talked about the thrill of getting to help bring new Star Wars tales to life after being a fan for so long.
“I think it is a thrill to be a part of something that meant so much to me as a kid and to be part of allowing it to mean so much for kids now. It is fun to see it live on in various forms and ways even five years ago I would have never imagined it would have continued and knowing what is coming up is even more exciting," Abrams said.
Abrams is an executive producer on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, coming in December, and worked closely with incoming writer/director Rian Johnson on the story and making sure the transition from The Force Awakens going forward was a smooth one. In fact, Johnson had to work very closely with Abrams, since his film picks up directly after the end of Force, a first for the Star Wars franchise. That film is in post-production now, with Han Solo in principal photography and Star Wars: Episode IX in early pre-production under director Colin Trevorrow.
Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is filming now under directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller for a May 25, 2018 release. Alden Ehrenreich stars as a young Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca in the era before Star Wars: A New Hope, before they met Leia and Luke and embarked on a galaxy-saving adventure. Donald Glover also stars as Lando Calrissian, with Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Emilia Clarke in as-yet-unrevealed co-starring roles.