Producer/director J.J. Abrams at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 26, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - It's official. The force is with J.J. Abrams.
The Walt Disney Co. issued a statement Friday night confirming reports that had been circulating for two days that Abrams, creator of TV's "Lost" and director of 2009's "Star Trek" movie, has been pegged to direct the seventh installment of the "Star Wars" franchise.
Disney said the movie will have a script from "Toy Story 3" writer Michael Arndt and a 2015 release.
Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote two of the movies in the original trilogy, will work as a consultant on the new project.
Disney bought "Star Wars" maker Lucasfilm last month for $4.06 billion.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas said in the statement that Abrams is the "ideal choice" of director and his legacy "couldn't be in better hands."
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