JJ Abrams set to direct new ‘Star Wars’ movie

There's no official confirmation yet but several film industry reports say he's a shoo-in

JJ Abrams is to direct the next Star Wars movie, according to several film industry reports.

The news was broken by The Wrap, which claims Ben Affleck had also been in contention for the job. The Hollywood Reporter says Abrams is in “late-stage talks” to direct the film, while Deadline calls it a “done deal”. However, there has been no official confirmation yet from Disney or Lucasfilm.

The news comes as a surprise given Abrams’ recent comments on the project. Last month, he told Empire he had turned down Star Wars “because of my loyalty” to Star Trek, adding: “I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”

Disney has slated Star Wars: Episode VII for release in 2015 and hired Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt to pen the script. Back in October, the Mouse House announced plans to make a new trilogy of Star Wars films after buying Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion (£2.5 billion). George Lucas will serve as “creative consultant” on the new movies, but will not play a hands-on role in their development.

Meanwhile, Abrams’ latest film Star Trek Into Darkness is set to open in cinemas worldwide on May 17. Abrams has helmed three previous movies: 2011’s Super 8, 2009’s Star Trek and 2006’s Mission: Impossible III. He is also co-creator of numerous hit TV shows, including Lost, Alias and Fringe.