JJ Abrams

jjabramsstartrek2

Here’s what we know: there will be a new Star Wars movie in the next few years (2015 to be more precise). Currently producer Kathleen Kennedy has Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt working on a script for Episode VII of the saga. George Lucas will serve as a consultant. In today’s round of “it might be true but might be completely made up” Star Wars Episode VII news, several reputable outlets including Deadline and LA Times are reporting that J.J. Abrams has been chosen by Disney and Co. to head up the rebirth of one of the most prosperous franchises in the history of cinema. Which is interesting, as Abrams actively denied involvement, placing him on the ever-growing list of who won’t direct Star Wars Episode VII. Whether or not this story is true could be held inside Abrams’ Mystery Box for all we know, but it is notable that it’s making the round with otherwise responsible outlets. It would be unprecedented to see Abrams take over Star Wars just after rebooting Star Trek, but it also might not be such a bad thing. As Star Trek fans can attest, Abrams does have the goods. In more concrete news, Abrams does have Star Trek Into Darkness coming out on May 17.

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klingon-star-trek-into-darkness

As any enthusiastic, detail oriented Trekker would tell you, the DVD and Blu-ray release of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot included several deleted scenes that involve villain Nero (Eric Bana) and his crew being caught and imprisoned by the iconic Enterprise adversary the Klingons. The trip to the Tower of Klingon was cut from that movie, but the design of the Klingon getup and the promise of their presence in this newly created Star Trek world was there. Now a new prequel comic for Star Trek Into Darkness is adding fuel to the fire that burns inside those of us who want to see Klingons emerge amongst the many lens flares.

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jjabramsstartrek2

While answering questions about something very few people care about (NBC’s Revolution) writer/director/mystery boxer/producer J.J. Abrams went on the defensive about his secrecy concerning projects. The filmmaker, who has his hands in many, many different pies, has long been known to keep relatively mum about his projects, whether they’re television shows like Lost or the upcoming sequel to Star Trek. Abrams said that it was no fun always having to keep mum on his projects, but ultimately it’s worth it. On the subject, he said “all the work we’re doing is about making this a special experience for the viewer; let’s preserve that as long as we can.” He went on to say that, as a movie fan himself, he doesn’t understand why people are always clamoring for information. While Abrams and I may disagree on the subject of lens flares, on this one we are 100% in agreement.

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Star Trek Into Darkness

While the announcement trailer (which is something studios are doing now) was decidedly dark, there’s a shining kind of hope in this new look at Star Trek Into Darkness (via iTunes) even as the Tom Waits Lite voice of Benedict Cumberbatch issues threats and Bruce Greenwood tells Chris Pine‘s Captain Kirk that his arrogance is going to be his (and everyone around him’s) downfall. Maybe it’s because we’re given glimpses of those people, crew members that we’ve already come to know and care about from the first movie. Or maybe there’s cause for celebration with the scope of this film. Or maybe it’s just because it isn’t as dark as it could have been.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Poster

J.J. Abrams and friends are going to introduce Star Trek Into Darkness to the world in a big way when they show a 9-minute prologue to audiences salivating to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This is par for the course for giant films, and so is showing off the work to movie website runners before everyone else.  While we caught early footage of the first Abrams Trek and were lucky enough to sit next to Leonard Nimoy for the surprise Drafthouse premiere, we didn’t go early into the Darkness. Fortunately, we have eyeballs and internet browsers, so we collected a lot of the first responses. Granted, these come with a shovel-full of salt (just like insane trailer/poster speculation), but the overall message from pundits and fans? All is well. Calm down. Into Darkness is set up for greatness. Gird your loins for a few minor, opening scene details but not for who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Poster

There has been plenty of speculation over whether Khan (Khan!!!!) will appear as Star Trek 2‘s villain. This trailer — which is packed with tons of footage for a teaser — almost feels like a confirmation that Khan is indeed the antagonist of Star Trek Into Darkness. While no character outright says his name, there is a specific shot and line which implies they Abrams and his team were heavily inspired by Wrath of Khan. Or, knowing Abrams, that’s just a game of misdirection Paramount is playing… Take a look at the domestic trailer for yourself and decide, courtesy of Apple:

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Star Trek Into Darkness Poster

I had never seen a Star Trek episode or movie until I saw J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek. Afterward, I watched a handful of the first season, caught Khan and then dug deeper into Next Generation thanks to my wife’s loving insistence. The short version: I’m by no means a Trekker. Still, Abrams’ flick was a lot of fun, and it’s obvious why the franchise has captured the imaginations of so many millions. Through humanity and high adventure, it has secured untold dedication from the most hardcore of fan bases – a details-oriented group that cares about canon and gets genuinely excited by the core message of exploration and human achievement pumping from the heart of Gene Roddenberry’s vision. And now here’s the Star Trek Into Darkness poster – a piece of advertising that is so clearly lifted from The Dark Knight/Rises that every movie website made the connection immediately (Den of Geek even put them side by side). On top of a half-stolen smoldering logo concept, it’s a poster so generic that you can’t even quite tell who’s on it. We all know it’s Benedict Cumberbatch, but it might as well be Neo or Captain Jack Harkness or Captain Jack Sparrow. Hell, even the typography mimics Transformers the way the plot synopsis echoes what every sequel has tried to do since Empire. This is a lot to level at a piece of marketing, but the sheer scope of how unoriginal this image is draws into focus how this, like many […]

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Tom Hardy Star Trek

Would it be cool if Chris Pine fistfights a sentient nuclear bomb named Fat Man in J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek Into Darkness? Of course it would. Unfortunately, they’ve gone with a human villain which means that we’ll be deprived of that gift to humanity(unless the set footage was an elaborate rouse, and Benedict Cumberbatch is voicing the anthropomorphic atomic missile). What we won’t be deprived of, according to the plot synopsis, is the kind of second act tragedy that has to befall freshly minted heroes for a sequel to work well. If they can cut off Luke Skywalker’s hand while changing his entire self-identity, something terrible has got to happen to the farm boy who became king of the Enterprise. Also on the menu? The aforementioned “one man weapon of mass destruction.” Spoiler alert: it won’t be Tom Hardy playing a clone. It’s not hard to parse the tough parts out of the official synopsis for the film (even though it struggles with the basic rules of syntax). If you care to be enlightened, check it out for yourself:

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Early work from J.J. Abrams! Paul Walker speaking in a high-pitched lady voice! Jaw-ripping pranks gone wrong! After gaining incredible popularity on YouTube and making one of the best sequences in V/H/S, the gang from Radio Silence goes out on a limb to celebrate the underserved horror classic movie, Joy Ride. Can they convince you to fall in love with it? Download Episode #153

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Channel Guide - Large

The dialogue in NBC’s less than revolutionary new adventure series Revolution is filled with pointless obfuscations. “It’s all going to turn off,” warns Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee), a frazzled family man who knows…something. “It’s going to turn off and it will never, ever turn back on.” Technology is the “it” being discussed in this vague statement that simultaneously establishes the show’s gratuitously theatrical tone and sets up the central conflict—lights, computers, cars, planes, iPhones (!), and all of the other essential, electronic thingamajigs that we take for granted, abruptly, stop functioning. The premise is provocative enough (albeit in an ordinary “What If?” game sort of way) but Revolution’s series opener is tepid—made up of recycled bits and pieces from other overblown post-apocalyptic dramas—and, at times, unintentionally hilarious. Created by Supernatural’s Eric Kripke, Revolution is supposed to be this year’s epic—the event show that sucks everyone in with its mythology and intrigue. Post-Lost, we’ve been given at least one of these Abrams-esque dramas every season. Sometimes, like this one, J.J. Abrams is actually involved with the production (Abrams and Jon Favreau are executive producing), which only fuels the hype. Revolution has all of the standard features of this class of show—the large ensemble, the misdirection, the sci-fi. The most lamentable flaw, then, is that it never rises above its role as the requisite Abrams show.

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How awesome is it to be Edgar Wright right now? First off, he’s finally getting down to brass tacks on his long-teased Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy finale, The World’s End, with best buds Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. After that? He gets to direct another long-desired project, an Ant-Man feature film for Marvel. And, on top of that, the Brit looks to be getting into bed with no less than J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions for a super-secret sci-fi film called Collider, which Abrams and Bad Robot will produce (alongside Wright’s long-time producer, Nira Park). Deadline Wherever (via /Film) reports that Paramount Pictures has hired Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor, the Old Boy remake, and the hard-to-believe-it’s-happening Jurassic Park IV) to pen the script for the film with Wright (who will also direct) from Wright’s own original idea. Nothing else is known about the project as of now – the only available information is that tantalizing title and the non-surprising revelation that it falls under the sci-fi genre – but all the talent attached is cause enough to be excited (we’ll forgive you for Legend, Protosevich, at least for now). What could this possibly be about? The Large Hadron Collider? The punk band Collider? Movie website Collider? The possibilities are endless.

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Star Trek 2 Teaser

Update: So, yes. This is a fan-made trailer. But it’s insanely good. And it must have taken a lot of effort. Apologies for posting it as official. The Klingon picture on the other hand, is definitely confirmed as real. Original Post: Benedict Cumberbatch appears to be stuck in a sci-fi beehive in the new teaser trailer for Star Trek 2. Or it might be some sort of rejuvenating bath. Either way, the trailer boasts an eerie, technologically ambitious voice over which promises to find the final solution for all of our problems. Usually when someone seeks that out, a bunch of people die. That’s probably why Chris Pine‘s Captain Kirk looks so concerned. This is Christmas in June for Trek fans, because this trailer is excellent, and because J.J. Abrams just sneaked an image of a Klingon into some recent footage. Check out both below:

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JJ Abrams Directing Star Trek

In typical fashion when it comes to J.J. Abrams films, Paramount has given fans of the director’s sequel to his smash hit Star Trek remake zero confirmation on just who will be Star Trek 2‘s villain. Yet, we all must have known that this “top secret!” information would get out sooner or later. Now, as expected, someone has reportedly blown J.J. Abrams’s mystery, meaning he won’t get to have a trailer or poster shock us with his villain’s true identity! What a shame… [Possible spoilers after the jump]

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Attack the Block Chuck Taylor

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has a bit of a fashion sense, a sometimes sexy side and perhaps even a creepy streak. It will use and abuse all of these facets of its game in tonight’s edition. This one, as they say, is a must-read. We begin tonight with an image of custom Attack the Block themed shoes made by Toni Taylor-Salisbury, whom you may know as Mrs. Junkfood Cinema. The lovely Kayla Kromer tweeted them earlier this evening, as yet another example of Mrs. Salisbury’s amazing work in the realm of geek footwear. You can check out her other work over on her Etsy store. Do it now. Then come back, because there’s more news.

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Benedict Cumberbatch

As pre-production on the J.J. Abrams directed sequel to 2009’s Star Trek intensifies, we are beginning to see some updates from the folks at Paramount. Namely casting rumors about villains, rumors about what villains will appear and a few things about Benicio Del Toro being in, out and everything in between. Tonight brings us reason to forget about all that and celebrate something slightly more official. Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of Steven Moffat’s incredible BBC series Sherlock, Steve Spielberg’s War Horse and soon to be the voice of ‘Smaug the Dragon’ in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, has joined returning cast members for the still untitled but very much anticipated Star Trek sequel.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

After all of the hype from the fall television premieres has died down, we are now in for the second wave of excitement that happens midseason. If all of the shows that begin airing in September are dinner, then the ones that come in the winter are dessert – of course, that dessert can be horrible, you know, maybe taste a little like Sons of Tucson. This metaphor is wearing thin, so before I start talking about oatmeal raisin cookies and non-fat yogurt, here’s a list of the midseason series premieres that I have my eye on.

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Movie News: Justified Returns

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that doesn’t mess around. If it tells you to leave town or else it will shoot you on the spot, then you’d better believe that it will shoot you on the spot. Lucky for you, it would never ask you to leave town. All it asks is that you come back and read on a nightly basis. Or else. We open tonight with a bit of news for your boob tube. FX has set dates for the return of Justified and Archer, two favorite shows of mine. Both are coming back in January. They’ve also given the green light to an animated comedy called Unsupervised, which features the likes of Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Kaitlin Olson and Alexa Vega. It’s about teens who are forced to navigate through life without parental supervision. Either way, did I mention that Justified is coming back? Walton Goggins, man…

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New Prometheus Photos

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that, at least for tonight, will divert your attention away from it being a slow news day by using a rousing round-up of visual stimuli. That’s right, we’re busting out infographics! We begin tonight with one of a few hot-off-the-press photos from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, featuring the cast. Among them was this shot of dreamy Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, also dreamy. There’s also some pretty kick-ass science fictiony stuff promised alongside this oozing sexuality.

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Welcome back to Commentary Commentary, your weekly dish of directorial insight and/or, as indicated by last week’s column, shenanigans. This week we’re looking inside the mystery box with director Matt Reeves and uncovering what he has to say about our favorite recent monster movie, Cloverfield. Reeves did this commentary all by his lonesome, but something tells me J.J. Abrams was standing over him with a loaded gun lest Reeves divulge too much information. I’ll be listening intently for any Morse Code warnings or cries for help. Since this commentary track was laid down years ago, and since Matt Reeves has since directed Let Me In – more Morse Code messages. Hmmm – I have a feeling everything turned out okay. So here, in all of its Slusho wonder, is what I learned on the Matt Reeves commentary for Cloverfield. I wonder if there are going to be any Lost secrets. I hope there are Lost secrets. Or Star Trek 2. Okay, wishful thinking is over. Shutting up now.

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Editor’s Note: This article contains words that often arrange themselves into SPOILERS and should not be read by anyone. Cole Abiaus was a bit too kind in his full review of Super 8 and glossed over the disaster that is the film’s third act, but it’s still worth a read for everything he got right, so check it out here. As a response to the review and to start a discussion on some of the film’s secrets, Robert Fure and Rob Hunter have compiled the list below of the things they liked and the things they didn’t. Give it a read and then let us know what you thought of the movie below.

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