jj abrams star wars episode vii J.J. Abrams turned down directing 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

Ever since it was announced, “Star Wars: Episode VII” has been one of the most anticipated properties around. While many have been speculating on whether the stars of the original “Star Wars” trilogy will return for this set of sequel films, the other big question surrounding the project is who will direct it.

Well, it won’t be J.J. Abrams. The “Star Trek Into Darkness” director explains in a new interview that he turned down the opportunity out of respect to his other series set in outer space.

“There were very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to ‘Star Trek,’ and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things,” he tells Empire. “I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”

At least that validates everyone who was convinced that Abrams should be director, since it seems like Disney felt the same way. Now the most likely candidate is “X-Men: First Class” director Matthew Vaughn, who dropped out of directing its sequel, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” in a somewhat surprising — and unexplained — move.

Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy teased recently that there should be a big “Star Wars” reveal in January, so it could be who the director is. “Star Wars: Episode VII” is slated to come out in 2015.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz