JJ Abrams thinks Selmas Ava DuVernay should direct a Star Wars movie

Any conversation about female directors in Hollywood right now would be incomplete without Ava DuVernay. The filmmaker did a fantastic job on the Martin Luther King biopic Selma (read our review here), and we're not the only ones who thought so.

Speaking to Nerdist ahead of the impending release of The Force Awakens, director JJ Abrams weighed in on who he'd like to see take the reins of a future Star Wars movie: "The knee-jerk reaction, if I had to, is Ava DuVernay, who I think would just kill it".

"She is as much a fan of genre movies, and hearing her talk about not just Star Wars, but hearing her talk about those kinds of films is evidence that she would just kill it," Abrams continued. "When you look at her work in Selma, which was as well-told and as sophisticated and humane a film as I think has come out in the last decade, if she can do that story that well, there’s no question she would kill this movie."

For her part, DuVernay responded to Abrams' comments on Twitter with a familiar Star Wars idiom...

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The big question mark here is less about DuVernay's ability than it is about the studio machine. It's well known that DuVernay recently turned down an opportunity to direct Marvel's Black Panther because "it really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film". It's likely that the Star Wars franchise would have similar constraints, but if they were able to come to an agreement it would be a win for all parties.

Directed by Abrams and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is released in UK cinemas on December 17, 2015 before opening in US theatres a day later.

Amon Warmann

Amon is a contributing editor and columnist for Empire magazine, but is also a Film and TV writer for GamesRadar+, Total Film, and others. He has also written for NME, Composer Mag, and more, along with being a film critic for TalkSport. He is also the co-host of the Fade to Black Podcast, and a video mashup creator. Can also do a pretty good Bane impersonation.