After agreeing to take on the outrageously daunting task of resurrecting the Star Wars legacy (and setting the blueprint for Disney’s multi-billion dollar franchise), filmmaker J.J. Abrams will be handing over the reins to future installments in the new trilogy. And now he’s wishing that wasn’t the case.
Actor Greg Grunberg, a long-time friend of Abrams who plays Snap Wexley in The Force Awakens recently told the Washington Post‘s Comics Riffs that the director read the script for Episode VIII and thought it was “so good” that he wishes he were helming the film.
According to Grunberg, it’s rare to hear Abrams “express regret like that,” so the fact that he was so blown away by the script that he’s had second thoughts is a promising indication of what’s in store for fans. Rian Johnson, the man primarily responsible for the Episode VIII script, is also set to direct the film. Although his credits may not be as high-profile as some of Abrams’ so far, he’s known for the sci-fi flick Looper as well as his excellent take on film noir, Brick.
Moving forward, Abrams isn’t completely leaving the project behind. He’ll continue as an executive producer and had shared early cuts of The Force Awakens with Johnson prior to its release to make the transition more seamless. The change is a little nerve-wracking for fans, considering that Abrams brought us arguably the best Star Wars film since the original trilogy, but he seems to be leaving the fate of the series in good hands.
The Force Awakens has, of course, been a dominant force at the box office since its December 18 release. The film bested Jurassic World‘s seemingly indomitable opening, not to mention the fact that it shattered single-day box office records around the world. The film even inspired one devoted (and hardcore) fan to watch it nine times in a row to win an insane challenge.
With all of the momentum that the Star Wars franchise has now, we’re optimistic for its future — no matter who’s behind the camera. The Johnson-directed Star Wars Episode VIII is set to hit theaters in May 2017.