16 Jun 2016 10:57 AM +00:00 UTC

Steven Spielberg Reveals How He Convinced J.J. Abrams To Direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Image Credit: Lucasfilm

It's no secret that J.J. Abrams has had plenty of experience working on science fiction-related projects, but as it turns out, the man who brought back the Star Wars franchise wasn't supposed to have been involved with The Force Awakens in the first place. Apparently, we should thank Steven Spielberg for that.

While the legendary filmmaker isn't particularly interested in helming Star Wars, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he revealed how he convinced Abrams to do so and how he broached the possibility to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. He said:

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I brought J.J.'s name up. I thought J.J. would be the best person to directEpisode 7and 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 doneMission ImpossibleandStar Trek.'

Abrams has been involved in science fiction for almost two decades of his entire career, so it's no wonder Kathleen Kennedy was open to the idea of the filmmaker resurrecting the Star Wars franchise. Thankfully for fans, Spielberg was prepared with a plan on how to propose the idea to Abrams and convince him and his wife of the opportunity. He said:

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 thewhole thing began.

And so the new era of Star Wars began. In January 2013, Abrams was officially announced as the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After almost two years of planning and filming, the movie became successful both critically and successfully, with the franchise engaging both long-time and new fans into the Force-inspired universe. Steven Spielberg may not have helmed The Force Awakens, but it's clear that he cares about Star Wars, so much so that he made an effort to revive the franchise.

Thank you Steven Spielberg!

The next episode in the series, Star Wars: Episode VIII, is currently in principal photography and is being directed by Rian Johnson, but J.J. Abrams is executive producing the movie as well. It hits theaters on December 15, 2017.

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