BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- J.J. Abrams calls getting assigned to direct the seventh live-action Star Wars film "as surreal as it is exciting."
The director-producer-writer spoke with a handful of media outlets on the red carpet before darting into the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday night. Abrams was there to accept the Norman Lear Achievement Award for such television works as Felicity (1998-2002), Alias (2001-2006), Lost (2004-2010), Fringe (2008-2013) as well as the current series Person of Interest and Revolution.
Abrams also is proving to be a go-to director of successful new films for long-established franchises, such as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible.
Last week, Lucasfilm officially announced Abrams' hiring for Star Wars: Episode VII, which has a tentative release date of 2015. Star Wars creator George Lucas personally endorsed Abrams in a statement: "I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He's an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."
-- The Associated Press