J. J. Abrams

JJ Abrams Directing Star Trek

The sequel to J.J. Abrams’ slick and successful Star Trek reboot was originally supposed to come out on June 29, 2012. That date didn’t really take into consideration that Abrams was a busy guy doing a lot of other things though. Because of his directorial and promotional duties on Super 8, there was no way he was going to hit that date and make it good. Thankfully, instead of forcing Abrams to rush the project out, or flat out firing Abrams and then hiring Brett Ratner to rush the project out, Paramount had the good sense to pull back on their expectations, give Abrams a reprieve, and actually try to make a good movie.

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Can it be? Is it true? Have the stars aligned to ensure that J.J. Abrams is ready to start rolling cameras on Star Trek 2. According to Star Trek Movie, January 15, 2012 is the day that Abrams takes a seat in the director’s chair, tugs his uniform down and calmly says, “Make it so.” Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are currently polishing a script to fit within the budgetary confines that Paramount has outlined. Apparently Industrial Light and Magic is already working on some of the effects shots that can be done before filming even starts. So it’s finally happening. Now, the only real question is whether it will be ready for its vague 2013 release date. With a full year of production, it seems more than likely. How will you celebrate?

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A lot of movie-goers liked J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise because it introduced a modern aesthetic to the property, injecting it with exciting action sequences, while also making it feel less like a bunch of people standing around spewing jargon in a space ship (something for nerds only), and more like a big budget adventure that everyone could enjoy. I just liked it because it was Abrams finally paired up with some material that he couldn’t treat like a great big mystery. It was Star Trek, we know what Star Trek is, so sorry, Mr. Abrams, no super secret viral ad campaign there. Of course, once he got a chance to start marketing the “what’s in the train” aspect of his next film, Super 8, he was back up to his old tricks. And now Deadline New Suffolk reports that Abrams has yet another top secret project in the pipeline, which has just been picked up by Paramount. This one pairs him with red hot screenwriter Billy Ray, a guy who not only is scripting a Peter Pan movie called Pan for Joe Roth, but also a Tom Hanks-starring vehicle directed by Paul Greengrass called A Captain’s Duty, the long-awaited 24 movie for Fox, and a remake of The Secret in Their Eyes, which he will also direct. Busy guy. The film that Abrams and Ray are working on is said to come from an idea that they brainstormed together, and it’s going to be a mystery adventure of […]

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It’s been over a year since the Lost finale, and it doesn’t seem like the outcries have died down yet. “I loved it!” and “It sucked!” are the most popular responses the ending has seemed to gotten. However, when you’re hitting the message boards, you’ll mostly come across the “it sucked” sentiment. Now, J.J. Abrams asks those “it sucked” folks if they can do better: “For years, I had people praising Lost to death, and now they say: ‘I’m so pissed at you for the end of Lost.’ I think a lot of people who were upset with the ending, were just upset that it ended. And I’ve not yet heard the pitch of what the ending should have been. I’ve just heard: ‘That sucked.’”

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr relives his childhood by running around with a Super 8 film camera, trying to capture a train derailment on film. He deftly uses the cover of shooting a home movie with a bunch of local tweens who ride around on their bikes all day like some extras in a Spielberg film. However, when the cops come after him for suspicious behavior, he ducks into the local cinema to catch the live-action big screen adaptation of the Judy Moody books. This might not be helping his case.

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The future of J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek sequel has been a mystery for a while now. The movie industry has turned into a brand name driven environment where as soon as a film makes ten bucks over its budget, a release date gets set for the sequel. And it’s usually a date that’s closer than the filmmakers would like. So what’s been going on with Star Trek? Are we going to get a sequel? And if not, why not? Who does J.J. Abrams think he is? Recently a clue surfaced in the ongoing mystery when co-writer/producer Roberto Orci said that while a script wasn’t finished, they had a big ol’ outline done, and they were just waiting for Abrams to get done with his current projects before they pushed production into high gear. And now a second clue has come to light. While talking to Cinema Blend, Abrams himself confirmed that Star Trek 2 would in fact be his next project; and he even talked a bit about its release date and whether or not he’s looking to make it in 3D. He started off by saying, “The next thing we’re working on, and hopefully we’ll be able to pass information out sooner or later, is the next Star Trek.” When asked about the too close for comfort release date that Paramount has the film penciled in for, June 29th 2012, Abrams was less than committal. “I care much more that it be good than it be ready,” he said, “I’m, obviously […]

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With as much of a success as J.J. Abrams’s relaunch of the Star Trek franchise was, both financially and critically, there has naturally been a lot of talk about what’s going on with the sequel. The biggest head-scratcher about the whole situation is that word keeps coming out that the script isn’t even finished yet. How can a film that has the potential to be this huge not even have a script together at this point? Shouldn’t we be knee deep in the production process already? I mean, it’s been two years since his first Star Trek film, and this is Hollywood. What gives? Thankfully, co-writer/producer Roberto Orci has popped over to the Trek Movie forums and cleared up some of the speculation as to what’s going on with the project. He assures that they’ve, “Just been waiting for JJ to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish the script. Once he says go, we’ll have it in no time. Meanwhile, our outline is detailed enough (70+ pages!) to do some prep :)” So it appears that at least some work on the film has already been done, and the only real holdup has been Abrams’s ridiculous schedule. And it sounds like the rest of the crew only needs the formality of Abrams signing off on things before they really kick things into high gear. Orci added in an email to Trek Movie that, “In the meetings we’ve had with […]

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Continuing with our on-going coverage of all things TV for the next few days, NBC has made yet another pick up announcement for four more series orders. The four pilots that have been picked up to series are “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, starring Laura Prepon, Free Agents, starring Hank Azaria, Bent, starring Amanda Peet, and BFF (formerly Best Friends Forever)” according to TV By The Numbers. The astute reader will notice that all of these series are comedies. Could NBC be planning another day worth of prime time comedy in addition to their already stacked Thursday night comedy block? It’s looking very likely. As for the cancellations? The peacock has decided to finally pull the plug on the god awful demon spawn that is The Event. The show has been an absolute mess since day one with a forcefully, and annoyingly convoluted plot. Let this failed show be a sign to all other networks, just because one sci-fi show is successful (LOST), doesn’t mean all of them will be. Of course, that’s not all that got cut.

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The first question you must be asking yourself, if you aren’t in the know, is what the heck D-Box is. Turns out it’s a ridiculous version of a standard theater seat that jerks around and vibrates while you’re watching a movie. Anyone with spinal issues or hemorrhoids might want to avoid this new breakthrough technology, but for the rest of us it sounds like an exciting new development in movie watching. Right? Okay, maybe not. But it’s an idea that could be poised to grow. It doesn’t take a gypsy fortune teller to predict that J.J. Abrams’s upcoming Amblin Entertainment love letter Super 8 is going to be a huge, gigantic success at the box office this summer. Even from the first trailer alone I can tell that people are going to be seeing this movie multiple times, talking about it all summer, and maybe even drinking out of Burger King cups with its logo on them. The good news for D-Box is that Super 8 is going to be using their shaky chair technology on 50 select screens. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere near the 50 D-Box enabled theaters that can be found on a map here, then you might be the perfect guinea pig to try this growing craze out.

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It might be nice to have a timeline on this so we know exactly how long we have to be on the edge of our seats, but J.J. Abrams has nevertheless dipped his toes into what might become his next project over at Paramount. According to Deadline Omaha, Fringe co-executive producers Monica Breen and Alison Schapker have been hired to re-write a script for Zanbato – a story involving Japanese history, fighting robots, and whatever else the pair has up their sleeves. As we all know, Zanbato is a type of large sword called a “horse-chopping sword” because it was built to kill a rider and his horse in one fell slice. Robots with big swords? Abrams? The Fringe writers? How long do we get to be in this state of excitement again?

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On a wet, nasty Wednesday evening in New York, Paramount CEO Brad Grey, J.J. Abrams and the rest of the studio’s team gathered a group of journalists and other VIPs for a showing of select scenes from Abrams’s much-anticipated summer blockbuster Super 8. By the power of Film School Rejects, I had the privilege of attending the fete at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. Grey first took the stage. In between jokes about “springtime” in NYC and a heartfelt tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor, he got down to the business at hand: celebrating the studio’s unequivocally notable turnaround under his nearly six-year stewardship. Noting the Mount’s annual blend of tentpoles, smaller franchises and Academy Award-worthy fare, the boss pointedly stressed the personal importance he placed in upholding the legacy of one of Hollywood’s iconic institutions in this, its 100th year. After an extended promotional montage connecting Paramount films of old with the 2011 slate – – which includes Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tin Tin and sequels to Paranormal Activity and Transformers — Abrams, the man of the hour, got up to speak.

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We live in cynical times, so it (at least seems) like a rare thing when a sequel doesn’t immediately follow a box office-ly successful movie. It’s even enough to cause a single tear when a filmmaker or producer says essentially what fans would say when it comes to the money grab. Cloverfield was a hit – the highest grossing movie of any January release when it came out. It propelled director Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams into the world of movies, so it seemed obvious that a sequel would start rolling immediately. It didn’t. And it may not ever. Matt Reeves can explain why, and it’s a statement that deserves applause.

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I have no idea why we should celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first Tom Cruise Mission Impossible with even more Tom Cruise Mission Impossible.

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jj-abrams-1

There are few sure things in this world. In the world of film, there are even fewer sure things, but one can usually “put five on” the fact that any project J.J. Abrams is involved in will turn out fairly well – critically, commercially, or both.

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abrams-cruise-impossible

Few people thought it would happen (and even fewer want it to) but it looks like Paramount has officially greenlit a fourth Mission: Impossible film with Tom Cruise.

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Control Freaks: TV Reviews with Attitude

Science fiction craziness and ominous intrigue abound in J. J. Abrams’ latest series about FBI Agents who investigate paranormal activities.

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