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J.J. Abrams on Why Ava DuVernay Should Direct STAR WARS

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in just over a week, everyone and their mother is clamoring to find out what happens in the seventh episode of the sprawling space fantasy saga. Yet others are already looking toward the future of the franchise, speculating about who else will be helming subsequent adventures to the galaxy far, far away. Historically speaking, Star Wars has been something of a boys club in terms of writers and directors, with the exception being the late Leigh Brackett, who penned an early draft of The Empire Strikes Back. At long last, it seems that the status quo is changing.

In a report from the Los Angeles Times, talent agent Adriana Alberghetti (of the William Morris Endeavor agency) was able to “[procure] meetings for four female directors and three female writers on upcoming Star Wars films.” Earlier this year, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that they wanted to bring more female directors into the fold, noting that Disney “very much support[s] the fact that we are trying to grow in the workforce the number of women in executive positions.”

We gave our own analysis of who should take the mantle in a recent episode of Nerdist News, but in order to take things one step further, we sat down with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams at a recent Los Angeles press day. When asked about specific female writers and directors he would like to see tackle Star Wars, Abrams was quick to note that there are “a number of incredible writers and directors,” as well as to applaud the work Kathleen Kennedy is doing as a producer. However, as Abrams said, his “kneejerk reaction” is none other than Selma director Ava DuVernay, a dynamic filmmaker whose name seems to be popping up every time there’s a big-budget blockbuster waiting to be made nowadays. (And rightfully so.) Abrams cited DuVernay’s passion for genre filmmaking and the deft hand she showed with bringing Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign for equal voting rights to life in the Oscar-winning film. Considering that DuVernay was recently immortalized as a now-sold-out Barbie doll that comes complete with a director’s chair, it seems fitting that she should be given a chance to tackle one of the most massive franchises in pop culture.

What kind of Star Wars story would you like to see Ava DuVernay direct? Who else would you like to see tackle the galaxy far, far away? Let us know in the comments below.

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