JJ Abrams says he almost did not direct the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX and taking up the project was a “crazy leap of faith” for the filmmaker.
The director, who helmed Episode VII: The Force Awakens, said it was President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy who asked him to give it a go.
“I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t the guy, ya’ know? I was working on some other things. And then Kathy Kennedy called and said, ‘Would you really, seriously, consider coming aboard?’ The whole thing was a crazy leap of faith. And there was an actual moment when I nearly said, ‘No, I’m not going to do this.’
“It was almost, on a personal level, a dangerous thing to get too close to something that you care that much about. I felt a little bit like I was playing with fire. Like, why go back? We managed to make it work. What the hell am I thinking?” Abrams told Fast Company.
The director also shared it was challenging to commit completing the film he came onboard in 2017, with Disney committing to a release date in 2019.
“You’ve got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing. You don’t have the story, you don’t have the cast, you don’t have the designers, the sets,” he said.
Abrams also said that following the story in Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” was another task.
“It was a completely unknown scenario. I had some gut instincts about where the story would have gone. But without getting in the weeds on ‘Episode VIII’, that was a story that Rian wrote and was telling based on seven before we met. So he was taking the thing in another direction.
“(‘Episode IX’) was not just following what we had started, it was following what we had started and then had been advanced by someone else. So there was that, and, finally, it was resolving nine movies,” he said.
The final film in the sequel trilogy is slated to be released on December 20.