Date: 25th January 2013
J.J. Abrams is set to direct the next instalment of Star Wars, which Disney has said will be Episode Seven and due out in 2015, according to reports.
Disney bought Star Wars maker Lucasfilm last month for 4.06 billion US dollars (£2.56bn).
The Emmy-award-winning director of the TV show Lost also captained the reboot of Star Trek for rival studio Paramount Pictures, with the next instalment in that series, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), set to hit cinemas in the United States on May 17.
Citing unnamed sources, the news was reported earlier by Hollywood trade outlets The Wrap, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety.
Soon after the news broke, websites were flush with chatter.
On Twitter, JJ Abrams, Star Wars and #Star Trek were all trending topics.
Roberto Orci, a producer and writer who has worked with Abrams on Star Trek, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Mission: Impossible III, appeared to confirm the reports on Twitter.
In response to a question about Abrams' involvement, Orci tweeted back "True!"
He also responded to a Spanish-speaking questioner, "Creo que si!" ("I think so").
Despite denying his interest in directing the next Star Wars following The Walt Disney Co's October announcement, many tipped Abrams as the most obvious choice.
Source: Press Release