George Lucas's Lucasfilm, bought by entertainment giant Disney for US$4 billion in October, said Oscar-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for "Star Wars: Episode VII," due out in 2015.
"It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard, leading the charge as we set off to make a new 'Star Wars' movie," said Kathleen Kennedy, who took over last year as president of Lucasfilm, confirming industry media reports.
"J.J. is the perfect director to helm this... He understands the essence of the 'Star Wars' experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture," she added, in a statement issued by Disney.
George Lucas added: "I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He's an ideal choice to direct the new 'Star Wars' film and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."
Abrams himself said the collaboration was "an absolute honour."
"I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid," he added.
Abrams, 46, directed "Mission: Impossible III" (2006), "Star Trek" (2009) and "Super 8" (2011). He is the co-creator of the popular television series "Lost," and is currently finishing work on "Star Trek Into Darkness."