Abrams is thigh-deep in post-production on Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to his 2009 Star Trek reboot. Abrams has been unapologetic in sharing that his vision for the Trek franchise is very much influenced by his affection for the original Star Wars trilogy, and it shows in Star Trek.
In November, after seeing a detailed treatment for the new movie, Abrams told Entertainment Weekly that he wouldn't be directing the new Star Wars.
According to The Wrap, however, fanboy favorite Abrams is on board to be the first Star Wars director whose name isn't George Lucas since Richard Marquand helmed Return of the Jedi in 1983. Citing an "individual with knowledge of the talks," the report of Abrams' involvement also makes mention of Ben Affleck as a contender to direct Episode VII. That's...odd, considering Affleck's directorial output so far.
By contrast, Abrams has done his two very Star Wars-ian Star Trek movies, as well as Mission: Impossible III and the Steven Spielberg-produced Super 8. Through Bad Robot, he's also served as an executive producer on television series such as Lost, Alias, Fringe, and Revolution.
Apparently, new Lucasfilm head honcho and Episode VII producer Kathleen Kennedy pursued Abrams for the directorial gig.
Of course, nobody has official commented as of yet, so this could be smoke getting blown up our collective rump.
Assuming he is helming, though, Abrams will have to get to work on this sequel post haste, since Disney plans on getting the film in theaters during the summer of 2015. He'll be working from a screenplay by Michael Arndt, the Oscar winning screenwriter behind Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3. Arndt also contributed to this April's science fiction actioner Oblivion starring Tom Cruise.
Disney also has Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan and X-Men: The Last Stand's Simon Kinberg at work on other Star Wars movies, which are probably Episode VIII or Episode IX, but which might also be spin-offs. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm outright in October, the company announced that a new Star Wars would be arriving every two to three years.
So it seems we're getting some strange sci-fi franchise cross pollination with J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars: Episode VII. Since Abrams loves his secrets, expect two years of mystery box marketing in which a ludicrously tight lid is kept on the continuing adventures a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.