J.J. Abrams is smack-dab in the middle of the biggest press tour of his life thanks to the imminent release of what’s also the biggest movie of his career in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While Abrams won’t be doing another Star Wars film (at least not in the near future), he’s already given his reccomendation for who he’d like to see helm a new entry in the franchise.
Speaking to Nerdist recently, Abrams highlighted Selma director Ava DuVernay when asked which female filmmaker he thinks would be a prime candidate for a future Star Wars installment.
“To me, the knee-jerk reaction if I had to [name someone] is Ava DuVernay, who I think would just kill it,” said Abrams.
“She is as much a fan of genre movies … and hearing her talk about, not just Star Wars, but hearing her talk about those kinds of films is evidence that she would just kill it,” he continued. “When you look at her work in Selma, which was as well told, sophisticated, and humane as I think has come out in the last decade, I mean, she is just — if she can do that story that well, there’s no question she’d kill [a Star Wars] movie.”
DuVernay seemingly relished Abrams’ rousing endorsement, posting a response on Twitter.
The force is strong with this one. xo https://t.co/FivfnY3Mud
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) December 9, 2015
As of right now, all upcoming Star Wars films have male directors, with Gareth Edwards on Rogue One (2016), Rian Johnson on Episode VIII (2017), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on the Han Solo film (2018), and Colin Trevorrow on Episode IX (2019).
DuVernay is one of Hollywood’s biggest female filmmakers right now, so she would be a natural choice if Disney and Lucasfilm want to hire a woman going forward. That being said, DuVernay and Disney recently had a falling out over Black Panther, with DuVernay walking away from the project over creative differences. Hopefully the two parties would be able to come over to an agreement over Star Wars if the opportunity ever arises.