JJ Abrams set to direct Star Wars VII

Star Trek director to defect to the dark side to helm Star Wars Episode VII

UPDATE: This has now been confirmed by Disney.

JJ Abrams is set to direct the seventh 'Star Wars' film, according to reports.

Following months of speculation since Disney bought up Lucasfilm and announced at least three new films, Deadline is reporting that it is 'a done deal' with the 'Star Trek' and 'Star Trek Into Darkness' director.

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Abrams... to helm Star Wars VII (Copyright: Rex)

Movie site The Wrap, meanwhile, says that 'Argo' main man Ben Affleck was also in the running to helm the first instalment.

Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy is said to have been courting Abrams - who with his Bad Robot company has been behind TV and film hits including 'Lost', 'Fringe', 'Cloverfield', 'Star Trek' and 'Super 8' - for some time.

The news comes after Abrams said that he had ruled himself out of the running, along with the likes of Brad Bird, Zack Snyder and Guillermo Del Toro.

“There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to 'Star Trek', and also just being a fan [of 'Star Wars'], I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things,” he told Empire magazine.

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He added that he'd 'rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making the film'.

Reps from Lucasfilm and for Abrams have so far declined to comment on the story, but both Deadline and The Wrap are considered among the most reliable sites in the movie business for breaking exclusive news.

Last night, Abrams' 'Lost' co-creator Damon Lindelof tweeted: “Hey, everybody. What did I miss?”

Disney bought up George Lucas's Lucasfilm for just over $4 billion (£2.5 billion) last year, and then announced that it was re-starting the sci-fi franchise.

It was later confirmed that Michael Arndt, the screenwriter behind 'Toy Story 3' and 'Little Miss Sunshine', would pen the first new episode in the saga.

The film is due in 2015, the first since 2005's 'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith'.

What's your take on the appointment? Will Abrams do a decent job on Episode VII?