J.J. Abrams Almost Turned Down Chance To Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’
Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at 8:00 pm
One has to wonder what a Star Wars: Episode IX would have looked like under Colin Trevorrow‘s direction. But he was no longer attached to the project before production could even start. J.J. Abrams was then signed on to direct his second Star Wars feature.
But for a franchise that looked like it was going to have different directors attached, Disney and Lucasfilm must have made a very enticing offer to the filmmaker. That’s because Abrams almost turned down Star Wars: Episode IX. More on the report below.
In an interview with Fast Company, Abrams said he was already busy working on other projects, but then a call from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy came in. Here’s what he said:
“I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t the guy, ya’ know? I was working on some other things, and I had something else that I was assuming would be the next project, if we’d be so lucky. And then Kathy Kennedy called and said, ‘Would you really, seriously, consider coming aboard?'”
While it may sound like one thing led to another, Abrams is pretty open about how it nearly didn’t happen. “There was an actual moment when I nearly said, ‘No, I’m not going to do this.'” Though he calls his return a crazy leap of faith, Abrams was reluctant to return:
“I was trepidatious to begin with, getting involved because I love Star Wars so much and felt like it was . . . . It was almost, on a personal level, a dangerous thing to get too close to something that you care that much about. And yet, with Force Awakens, I feel like we managed to introduce these new characters””for some people, new actors””and continue a story in a way that I thought had heart and humanity and humor and surprise.”
Ultimately, it was Abrams’ wife, Katie McGrath, who convinced him to come back:
“Katie said, ‘You should do this.’ “¦ And then I thought, she’s usually right about stuff. And when she said it, I think that she felt like it was an opportunity to bring to a close this story that we had begun and had continued, of course. And I could see that even though the last thing on my mind was going away and jumping back into that, especially with the time constraints that we were faced with”¦”
Star Wars: Episode IX opens in theaters on December 20, 2019.