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Report: J.J. Abrams to direct the next 'Star Wars' film

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:07 PM   |   Comments

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Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Disney or Lucasfilm has yet to confirm the news, but The Wrap is reporting that "Star Trek and "Super 8" director J.J. Abrams is nearing a deal to direct the next episode of the "Star Wars" franchise, a role he had previously denied any interest in.

The Hollywood Reporter's sources confirmed the story.

According to the report, execs passed on tapping "Argo's" Ben Affleck for the job, offering it instead to the Bad Robot Productions owner, a longtime "Star Wars" fan boy.

The news contradicts Abrams' own claim back in December that he would remain loyal to "Star Trek."

Here's what he told Empire magazine:

There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to "Star Trek," and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things. 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.

If the news is true, as The Atlantic Wire points out, Abrams "will be at the helm of the two biggest nerd franchises that don't involve orks."

Abrams next "Star Trek" film, "Star Trek into Darkness" opens May 18.

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