How J.J. Abrams is helping with Star Wars: Episode VIII


Even though J.J. Abrams isn’t directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, he’s still attached as the executive producer. He has revealed to Wired how he is helping out Rian Johnson, who’s the director of the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He also talks about working with composer John Williams and the casting.

“The script for VIII is written. I’m sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are. But what Larry (Kasdan) and I did was set up certain key relationships, certain key questions, conflicts. And we knew where certain things were going. We had meetings with Rian and Ram Bergman, the producer of VIII. They were watching dailies when we were shooting our movie. We wanted them to be part of the process, to make the transition to their film as seamless as possible. I showed Rian an early cut of the movie, because I knew he was doing his rewrite and prepping. And as executive producer of VIII, I need that movie to be really good. Withholding serves no one and certainly not the fans. So we’ve been as transparent as possible.”

“Rian has asked for a couple of things here and there that he needs for his story. He is an incredibly accomplished filmmaker and an incredibly strong writer. So the story he told took what we were doing and went in the direction that he felt was best, but that is very much in line with what we were thinking as well. But you’re right—that will be his movie; he’s going to do it in the way he sees fit. He’s neither asking for nor does he need me to oversee the process.”

Star Wars: Episode VIII is written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper) and Benicio Del Toro thinks that he’ll be the villain. The film is produced by Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy and it will hit theaters on May 26, 2017.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18, 2015.

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John Nguyen
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