Interview With Steven Spielberg: The Pressure Is On For JJ Abrams And ‘The Force Awakens’

Steven Spielberg: Pressure is on for JJ Abrams and Force Awakens

Everyone is getting out some energy before the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film hits theaters this Thursday. And according to an interview with Steven Spielberg, there’s a lot of pressure riding on the film and its director, J.J. Abrams.

“J.J. is terrified,” Spielberg said in a new interview on 60 Minutes.“There’s a lot of pressure on J.J., to start paying Disney back for, you know, the franchise they bought from George Lucas.”

Spielberg, however, believes that Abrams is up for the challenge. He explained in the interview that it was he who recommended Abrams for the job, telling producer Kathleen Kennedy that he was the “only one director” to do the film justice. That’s a lot of faith to put in Abrams who took the reigns on Disney’s $4 billion dollar investment.

Spielberg stated that he knew Abrams would be the right man to do such a prestigious film justice. His faith in the man dated back to when he knew Abrams in his younger days.

“He was just absolutely, deliriously, madly in love with the film business and with making movies,” Spielberg said.

Before undertaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams was noted for his incredible production of Avatar, which broke box office records and had critics drooling over the cinematography. He was also involved with the hit TV series Alias, starring Jennifer Garner, and Lost, which went on for eight seasons. Abrams was also the genius behind the Mission Impossibles and the latest Star Trek films. The irony of that last one is not lost on Star Wars fans and Trekkies alike.

There's no doubting that J.J. Abrams is extremely talented and has a good resume to do the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" film, but there's still a risk that he might not live up to fans' potential. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney)

Spielberg has worked with Abrams before, most recently on Super 8. That’s one of the many instances where Spielberg was able to assess the potential in the 49-year-young director.

Abrams seems to have a fairly coherent grasp on what he’s gotten himself into with this production. There’s a lot riding on its success for both his career and the name of Disney’s new franchise. He doesn’t seem to be exactly worried about it, but it doesn’t exactly sit well either.

“You just know that there will be people, no matter what you do, that will have issues with some aspect. You just know there is some number that is being thrown out there that will not be hit. You just know,” he told Spielberg.

The box office predictions have also come out after months of hype and shameless merchandising. There’s no question that the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be huge in the world of cinema. Tickets are already sold out in theaters all over the nation. In fact, the night the tickets came on sale, it basically broke the internet as theater websites were overcome with users trying to purchase tickets.

The record for most made on opening day for a film goes to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011 with an opening day haul of $91 million. There’s also the record for most made in an opening weekend, which went to Jurassic World this past June with $208.8 million. The most made for a film ever in the box office goes to another J.J. Abrams film, Avatar with $760.5 million.

Harrison Ford, along with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Peter Mayhew, will all be returning to the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga, which is a major reason that there's so much hype surrounding the film. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

There are many predictions for the overall sales of this film, but some are saying that it could realistically reach $3 billion.

J.J. Abrams may be terrified about the performance of The Force Awakens in theaters this weekend, but there’s no doubt that it will do well based on prestige alone.

[Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]