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JJ Abrams will direct the next Star Wars film according to numerous film industry reports. Abrams previously directed Star Trek in 2009 and the film's sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, which will be released in the United States in May.
The next Star Wars film will be the first since Disney bought the franchise from Star Wars creator Lucasfilm for 4 billion in October 2012. Disney has said that the next installment will be Episode VII and that it will be released in 2015.
The Wrap, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter were among the titles that reported the news from unspecified sources. Star Wars: Episode VII has subsequently appeared on Abram's IMDb page, listed as being in pre-production.
Sci-fi fans have taken to the internet to comment on the news, with mixed views. Abrams has been congratulated for reviving the the Star Trek franchise with his 2009 film, which was the highest-grossing of the franchise in North America and received positive reviews. While Abrams has a strong reputation, Star Wars' loyal fan base prove difficult to please.
A poll carried by Empire online has shown nearly half of participants think Abrams is a wise choice. Many fans commented and joked about the news on Twitter, where JJ Abrams, Star Wars and #startrek were trending after news broke. Robert Orci, a producer and writer who has been working with Abrams on Star Trek, teasingly replied to questions from fans on the social network, saying he thought the rumours were true.