During Vanity Fair’s discussion on “Inventing Worlds in a Changing One,” J.J. Abrams revealed that he has the final cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (via /Film and The Playlist). In Hollywood terms, this means that Abrams has control over the editing process and what the resulting “final cut” of the film will look like.
Photo by Annie Leibovitz
While it seems like it should be a no-brainer that a director should have control of how his or her project ultimately turns out, it turns out it’s not that simple.
/Film provides an explanation below.
"…Abrams also added that “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…”That likely means that the contract is written in such a way that if Abrams was working on The Force Awakens and it turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, Disney probably has the right to take the movie away from him and do as they wish. That’s not surprising when a studio is dealing with a multi-billion dollar property such as Star Wars, but it sounds like Disney has a lot of faith in Abrams and haven’t had to interfere with his vision for the beginning of this new trilogy."
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If you have faith in J.J. (which I do, having no reason to doubt his skills as a director and his dedication to preserving the legacy of Star Wars), it’s welcome news that Disney is basically handing him the reins for the entire The Force Awakens project. And for those afraid Disney is going to “ruin” Star Wars, J.J. himself indicated that’s far from being the case.
"“I cannot say enough about how [Bob] 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. They let us make the movie we wanted to make.”"
You can watch the full video of Abrams, Ive, and Grazer below.