AceShowbiz - J.J. Abrams' return to "Star Wars" franchise has received mixed responses and Paramount Picture is reportedly among those displeased with his decision to direct "Star Wars Episode IX". The helmer took the gig and replaced Colin Trevorrow who left the project earlier this month.
Abrams, who has made his home at Paramount since 2006 with a deal now said to be worth a hefty $10 million a year, last directed a Paramount movie when he worked on 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness". He then directed 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens".
According to The Hollywood Reporter, then-Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey worked to make sure that the next movie Abrams directs is for Paramount. However, the "Star Wars Episode IX" gig will now keep him occupied for the next two years and this reportedly has "irked" current Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos.
Though so, Gianopulos "accommodated the move" because he didn't want to alienate Abrams. Moreover, fighting Abrams would have meant taking on other parties involved with him and the "Star Wars" franchise, such as Lucasfilm, Disney and possibly even Steven Spielberg, who reportedly had a big role in luring Abrams to helm "The Force Awakens".
The best thing Gianopulos can do is extracting money from Disney for taking Abrams away again as a consolation prize, but the reported less than seven figure is not much to cover a two-year absence. A Paramount insider begs to differ, claiming that the figure is higher.
Abrams' current deal runs through summer 2018, when he'll still be working on "Star Wars Episode IX". Paramount, however, will likely still renew that deal as he has delivered a solid amount of content for the studio as a director, producer and writer.
After announcing Abrams as the new director for "Episode IX", Lucasfilm has pushed back the release date for the movie from May 24, 2019 to December 20, 2019.