J.J. Abrams Will Direct New 'Star Wars' — but Ben Affleck Almost Did?

Connor Simpson
The Atlantic Wire

One of the choices was obvious, and the other was, well, Ben Affleck, but Disney and Lucusfilm executives have apparently King of the Nerds J.J. Abrams to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. The Wrap is now reporting that Disney execs have settled on Abrams as the director for the first entry in the expanded Star Wars film universe, but the trusted Hollywood trade site also suggests that Affleck, the rising director who just took home the Golden Globe for Argo, was in contention.

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Of course, this means Abrams will be at the helm of the two biggest nerd franchises that don't involve orks: the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises. Abrams previously threw out a red herring to fans in December when he said he had no desire to be involved with the project. Maybe that's an early indication as to what his vision might look like: There will be twists! In any case, it's slated for a 2015 release, behind a script from Michael Arndy of Little Miss Sunshine (there will be kids!), and should go into production at some point after Abrams finishes up the next Trek and the rest of his upcoming slate.

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So far, the reaction to the apparent end of a pretty quick and much rumored search process has been, well, out of this world.