It was always clear that J.J. Abrams would receive a lot of criticism for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, no matter how good or bad the movie would turn out to be, but I think it’s fair to say that he did a pretty good job considering that he was tasked with bringing the franchise back to life. The director himself had some hesitations before signing on to direct the project and almost turned it down at one point, but his wife eventually convinced him to take the job with the help of another filmmaker: Steven Spielberg.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Spielberg revealed that he was the one who brought up Abrams’ name to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy while the studio was looking for the person who would direct Episode VII and explained how he managed to get him on board despite his hesitations:
“I brought J.J.’s name up. I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode 7 and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’ He said, ‘I would but my wife won’t let me ’cause she doesn’t want me to restart any more franchises.’ But I went to Kathy and asked if I could get J.J. to say yes to this would you consider it? Kathy said ‘Are you kidding? Of course I would. But why would J.J. do Star Wars; he’s already done Mission Impossible and Star Trek.’ So I take Katie Abrams and J.J. to dinner that night to Giorgio with my wife, Kate, and right in front of Katie Abrams I popped the question. I said to Katie, ‘I think there’s a chance that J.J. could direct Star Wars. What do you think of that?’ And Katie turned to J.J. and said, ‘That would be amazing. Really?’ And I went outside the restaurant, picked up my phone, called Kathy and said, “When can we meet with J.J.?” And that’s how the whole thing began.”
It’s nice knowing that Abrams had so much support before taking on what would surely become his biggest challenge as a filmmaker to date. I mean, who wouldn’t want someone like Spielberg recommending him for a Star Wars movie? That probably boosted his confidence quite a bit. What do you guys think? Did you enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Sound-off your thoughts in the comment section below.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter