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J.J. Abrams won't direct 'Star Wars: Episode 7'

So far there's been more news about who WON'T be working on the next "Star Wars" film than who will be, and the latest name to come to light is J.J. Abrams.

The director-producer told The Hollywood Reporter that he spoke to producer Kathleen Kennedy about coming aboard, but ultimately decided not to.

"Because of my loyalty to 'Star Trek' and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things," Abrams said. "I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."

That may come as a disappointment to both Kennedy and "Star Wars" fans. Abrams, who also produced the series "Lost," has helped give the sci-fi and fantasy genres an edge of hipness and humor, two things the previous "Star Wars" films sorely lacked. And with "Super 8," he revealed a deep understanding of the old-fashioned Lucas-Spielberg style of storytelling that made the first three "Star Wars" films so appealing.

Other names being bandied about by fans for "Episode 7" are Joss Whedon, who directed "Marvel's The Avengers" and Kenneth Branagh, the unlikely but successful director of "Thor."

Abrams's next film, "Star Trek Into Darkness," is due for release next year.

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