JJ Abrams has been confirmed as the director for the next Star Wars film.

A statement has been released by Lucasfilm regarding the next installment in the sci-fi franchise, called Star Wars: Episode VII.

"After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet", the statement reads.

"Yes, JJ Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay."

"To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honour. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid", Abrams said in the statement.

Speaking about the appointment, George Lucas added: "The legacy couldn't be in better hands".

The film is due out in 2015. Abrams' next film, Star Trek: Into Darkness, will be released this summer.