Directing 'Star Wars' a 'Once in a Lifetime' Opportunity, J.J. Abrams Says

'It's just about about approaching it from as authentic a place as possible'

J.J. Abrams
Marianna Massey/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International
J.J. Abrams
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Although J.J. Abrams is out promoting his new movie Star Trek Into Darkness, the director seems to be fielding nearly as many questions about the other sci-fi franchise he's taking over: Abrams' next project is Star Wars Episode VII, the first of three planned new movies.

Abrams has obliged, telling the BBC that after Star Trek Into Darkness, he had expected to work on a lower profile film, a "small comedy drama." Then the Star Wars offer came along. "It was one of those things where Star Wars felt like one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that forced me to stop and reconsider whatever the rulebook was," Abrams said.

J.J. Abrams 'Just Getting Started' on New Star Wars Film

Although the director said he's wary of becoming too closely associated with rebooted movie franchises – "It was one of the main reasons I initially said no to Star Wars," he said. "I thought, 'I can't be that guy.'" – his Star Wars fandom won out. 

Disney announced a new trilogy of Star Wars movies after purchasing Lucasfilm last fall for more than $4 billion. The company later said it also plans to make stand-alone films that follow other characters outside the main story arc. Abrams said he would have to put his "geeky fan-boy" feelings about Star Wars aside as much as possible while making Episode VII, which is expected in 2015.

"It's just about about approaching it from as authentic a place as possible, and not trying to apply what you believe or think, as much as trying to filter everything and get at it from the core of the characters," he said. "[It should be] what you deeply want to see, never what you assume the fans might like."