HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy lauded J.J. Abrams as "the perfect director" to tackle the next "Star Wars" film after signing him to a deal earlier this week.
Disney announced Friday it had landed Abrams to direct the seventh installment of the "Star Wars" franchise after months of speculation as to who would helm the epic sci-fi film.
Abrams had previously denied to EW.com plans to take over the series.
Kennedy won over the "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible III" director in early January after visiting him at the Santa Monica, Calif., offices of his Bad Robot production company, sources told The Hollywood Reporter
"It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new "Star Wars" movie," Kennedy said. "J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the "Star Wars" experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture."
"Little Miss Sunshine" scribe Michael Arndt is writing the script for the next "Star Wars," which is set for theatrical release in 2015.