J.J. Abrams to Direct Next Star Wars Movie?

Rumor has it the director has changed his mind about the project and is almost done negotiating a deal

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J.J. Abrams speaks onstage at the "Revolution" panel session during the 2013 Winter TCA Tour on Jan. 6, 2013 in Pasadena, Calif.

The Death Star-sized Star Wars rumor du jour is one that, in a sense, sci-fi and fantasy fans could have probably predicted: J.J. Abrams, the creative force behind everything from Lost to the most recent Star Trek movies—and a noted Star Wars fan—will direct Star Wars: Episode VII.

Ever since the news broke in October that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas and planned to add to the cinematic Star Wars canon, the Internet has regularly erupted with rumors about possible directors, and Abrams’ name had been a common guess. Today, Deadline reports that “it’s a done deal” for Abrams and Disney. The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t go quite so far, but says the talks between the two parties are in late stages of negotiations. The movie, according to the Los Angeles Times, will be written by Toy Story 3‘s Michael Arndt.

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For many Star Wars observers, Abrams seems like a natural choice. On the other hand, it’s something that people paying attention to the Star Wars news might not have predicted—because they had already been told that there was no point thinking about it. It wasn’t even a month ago that Abrams was telling interviewers he was absolutely not going to direct the movie. In November, Abrams told Entertainment Weekly that, although he (along with Brad Bird and Steven Spielberg) had been sent a treatment of the  script, he would not take on the project. Then, in late December, he further explained that he could not be loyal to Star Trek—his next installment of which comes out May 17—and Star Wars at the same time, and that he’d rather just be a fan, seeing the action unfold in a theater rather than seeing how his intergalactic sausage gets made.

Now, however, it seems that his fandom may no longer be holding him back. As a certain Sith might say: he was once but the learner, but he may soon become the master.

Weigh in with your thoughts below – is Abrams the right pick?