Director J.J. Abrams has revealed that production on the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII, is likely to begin in London early next year.

He was speaking at the Produced By conference over the weekend saying "We are, most likely, if all goes as planned, going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie."

He said of picking up the baton on the franchise "It is so massive and so important to people. I think the key to moving forward on something like this is honouring but not revering what came before."

The film is set to be penned by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire writer Michael Arndt.

Substantial parts of all the previous films in the franchise have been filmed in the UK and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said that Episode VII would follow suit while Abrams has to date filmed exclusively in Los Angeles. He has said the plan will be disruptive for his young family joking "When you're 13 and 14, it's like, **** that, I don't care what the movie is."

The director also spoke about Star Wars creator George Lucas who will act as an advisor on the film saying "It was like, George vs. Hollywood" of his mixed relationship with the film industry. He also said Lucas has for several years expressed an interest in making smaller, movies adding "I hope he finally does, because I would love to see what those look like."

The film is set to be released by Disney in 2015.