Update 1/26: Disney confirmed the news late last night.
“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
“I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller,” Goerge Lucas said. “He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
Previously: An official press release has not come out yet, but pretty much every news outlet is reporting that it is pretty much a “done deal” that J.J. Abrams, currently in charge of Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek movie franchise, will direct at least one episode of the Disney-revived Star Wars franchise. J.J. has reportedly signed (or is about to) to direct Episode VII, the first movie up and currently being written by Michael Arndt.
I’m surprised that either side would have wanted one person delving into both of the top science fiction saga franchises there are, but still I like the idea. Not as much as a “Joss Whedon is my master now” Episode VII, mind you…but Disney is planning plenty more.
Update: Roberto Orci appears to confirm the story on Twitter:
— roberto orci (@boborci) January 25, 2013
There are some questions as to what this means for the Star Trek franchise, especially since Paramount has historically not liked to share their talent. It remains to be seen, but Star Trek: Into Darkness might be the last one that involves Abrams.