JJ Abrams’ backs Ava DuVernay to become ‘Star Wars” first female director

Abrams' says 'Selma' director would "kill it"

JJ Abrams has backed Selmadirector Ava DuVernay to direct a film in the Star Wars expanded universe.

With Disney planning a large number of films in the franchise over the next decade, the possibility of a female director seems likely to happen.

Speaking to Nerdist this week, Abrams was asked who he would like to see helming one of the films and he picked DuVernay, known for her work on the Oscar nominated Selma as well as a number of smaller projects, including an episode of Scandal.


“The knee-jerk reaction, if I had to, is Ava DuVernay, who I think would just kill it,” Abrams said. “When you look at her work in Selma, which was as well told and as sophisticated and humane a film as I think has come out in the last decade, if she can do that story that well, there’s no question she would kill this movie.”

DuVernay responded to Abrams backing, tweeting: “The force is strong with this one.”

It is already confirmed that the direct sequels to Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be directed by Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow. However, the spinoff Anthology film series offer more options for directors to become involved in the franchise.

The first in this series will be Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story while Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will direct a young Han Solo project.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in UK cinemas on December 17 and a day later in the US, where it has been given a roughly equivalent PG-13 rating.


The story takes place 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jed but specific plot details are being kept tightly under wraps. The film’s script was penned by director J.J. Abrams, Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt and Star Wars franchise veteran Lawrence Kasdan.

Alongside the returning trio of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, the film’s cast includes Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. Ford recently confirmed that he has already seen the film, calling it “wonderful” and “a real big movie”.