J.J. Abrams Says He Had Final Cut on ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
The trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been incredibly promising and exciting, but there’s always that nagging worry that the final product could disappoint. We’re a couple of months out from the release, and J.J. Abrams has given us another reason to be optimistic, as the director has revealed that The Force Awakens won’t be a generic, Disney-fied blockbuster.
By now, you’re likely aware of the way things work with Disney’s Marvel films, which are all a collaborative process between studio, director, writer(s) and in-house writers, as Marvel and Kevin Feige have a distinct vision for each film and phase of the MCU. There’s a reason why these movies all feel sort of similar, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the Marvel films are definitely branded products.
Can we expect the same from the new Star Wars films? Brian Grazer moderated a discussion with J.J. Abrams for Vanity Fair, in which the director was asked if he was given final cut on the film, to which he replied, “Yeah, yeah,” but also admitted, “When you do a Disney project, there’s a clause in there that you kind of go, ‘Well, if I were a lawyer I could probably drive a truck through it....’”
It’s not uncommon for studios to have clauses in their contracts that make it possible for them to essentially take a blockbuster out of a director’s hands if they don’t feel as though that director is achieving what they want in the editing room. But it’s good to know that Abrams had the final word — and that Disney liked what he delivered.
Abrams adds “They let us make the movie we wanted to make,” and went on to speak highly of Disney and Lucasfilm executives:
I cannot say enough about how Bog Iger and Alan Horn have understood this thing that is now part of the Disney company. And they’re not trying to Disney-fy it, they’re not doing anything other than, I think, an incredibly smart thing, which is letting Kathleen Kennedy — who is a remarkable person and producer — run and lead Lucasfilm to a place where I think it wants to go.
With Rian Johnson set to direct Episode 8 and Colin Trevorrow directing Episode 9, the interesting part will be seeing how these directors put their individual stamps on the films while also making them feel as though they exist in the same universe and are cut from the same cloth.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.
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