JJ Abrams says he initially turned down Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Director didn't want to be known as 'the sequel guy'

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Director JJ Abrams has revealed that he initially turned down the chance to direct the movie, before a chat with his wife changed his mind.

Three of the four films Abrams had directed at the time of the Star Wars offer were sequels, with the director also involved in Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Abrams didn’t want to be known as “the sequels guy.”

Abrams told The Times Magazine that he “didn’t want to do” the movie, having taken a look at his career.

“When Kathy [Kennedy, LucasFilm President] called I did something I don’t normally do, which is look at my career. I really did feel like ‘that sounds like the wrong idea’,” Abrams said, before explaining that his wife Katie McGrath later persuaded him to take the offer.

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Abrams continued:

“I wanted people to feel the magic of what Star Wars was: the sense of romance, the sense of heart, the loyalty, the sweetness, the friendship, the unexpected scenarios, the discoveries the characters make, the sense of impossible scale made possible.”

“I saw the original trilogy and I thought if there was any way to be part of bringing that back, it would be incredible. Katie said: ‘If you want to do this and you don’t, you’re going to regret this.’”

The movie set new opening day records in the UK when it was released at midnight on Thursday (December 17), raking in an enormous £9.6m in ticket sales, including £2.4m from midnight screenings alone. The movie is also expected to break American opening-weekend records.

The previous UK opening day record was set by Spectre in October, when the latest James Bond film took £6.3m in ticket sales. Before that, the record was held by previous 007 movie Skyfall, which raked in £6.2m on its opening day in 2012.

As of earlier today, the 23-track The Force Awakens soundtrack is streaming on Spotify.