Star Wars Scum and Villainy

How J.J. Abrams was persuaded to direct 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

New 'Star Wars' director J.J. Abrams and LucasFilm boss Kathleen Kennedy have talked about how Abrams was convinced to take the job of a lifetime.

In an in-depth interview conducted by The Hollywood Reporter the pair talked about their meeting, held on December 14th at Abrams' Santa Monica base of operations.

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Abrams had previously cited his incredibly busy schedule as a reason not take on the enormous responsibility of yet another beloved sci-fi franchise.

Kennedy's pitch however couldn't have been simpler, "Please do Star Wars".

Of course there was a little more talking than that, but this is how the no-fuss Kennedy chose to describe her successful attempt to woo the 'Star Trek' director.

"I learned first-hand how incredible and persuasive she is," said Abrams of his new collaborator. "The thing about any pre-existing franchise - I'd sort of done that. But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalising."

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Eventually, Kennedy went into further detail, "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."

"If there was any pause on J.J.'s part," she said, "It was the same pause everybody has - including myself - stepping into this. Which is, it's daunting."

It was a second meeting with the film's writer Michael Arndt and consultant Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi') that really helped persuade him.

Kennedy revealed that Abrams "was flipping out when he learned" that the pair of screenwriters were involved in the project and that he was "on the ceiling when I walked out the door."

We hope that's literal.

However it wasn't until January 25th that the deal was done despite Abrams still claiming to the bitter end that he wasn't 100% committed yet.

Kennedy also confirmed reports that the film's planned 2015 release date is also in some doubt, saying, "Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we'll see what happens. The timetable we care about is getting the story."