Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII" is part of big plans for The Walt Disney Co., which bought George Lucas' Lucasfilm empire last year for $4.05 billion. The company is planning three sequels and two stand-alone spinoff movies focusing on characters from the "Star Wars" universe.
Will Abrams direct the entire new trilogy? Will he be involved in any of the spinoffs? Will George Lucas play a mentoring role? He can't say.
"I never see myself doing anything more than what's in front of me," Abrams said — one film, due for release in 2015 and scripted by "Little Miss Sunshine" screenwriter Michael Arndt.
"What the approach is going to be remains to be discussed, because it's in process," he said. "So it's a weird thing to be talking about. If I'm charging down the court dribbling the ball, it's hard to comment on the layup that's about to take place.
"I feel like the ball is just getting passed to me now, to complete the annoying metaphor."
But it's a suitably energetic metaphor for the prolific creator of TV shows, including "Felicity," ''Alias" and "Lost," director of films "Mission: Impossible III" and "Super 8" and owner of Bad Robot, the film and television production company whose upcoming projects include a movie about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Compact and voluble, in natty black-framed spectacles and a dark jacket, 46-year-old Abrams is the epitome of the geek made good.