You close your eyes for a split second, and the next thing you know, J.J. Abrams is directing STAR WARS AND STAR TREK, he will continue to produce STAR TREK, he has two pilots greenlit, and he has some choice words about taking over STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. Read on for updates on the busiest man in Hollywood.
When it was announced that Abrams would be directing the highly anticipated STAR WARS EPISODE VII, STAR TREK fans were concerned that he would leave the franchise in the dust. While he won’t be directing a third STAR TREK movie, he will be on board to produce the next film, meaning his vision and involvement will remain intact. He is also apparently on to produce at least one more MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film, proving the rest of us to be a bunch of lazy people.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS opens May 17th and stars Chris Pine, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, and Peter Weller.
Speaking of the STAR WARS announcement, here’s the official word from Disney and Lucasfilm, anointing JJ Abrams as a god of nerd culture:
J.J. 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.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
George Lucas went on to say “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.”
“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 honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.
This is what J.J. Abrams had to say about the exciting and nerve-wracking new job:
“It really is an incredible thing, It’s wildly surreal. It’s obviously way too early to talk specifics, but I’m excited to actually start it.” [EOnline]
“I can just say what I want to do: I want to do the fans proud. I want to make sure the story is something that touches people. And we’re just getting started. I’m very excited.” [The Huffington Post]
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII is aiming for a 2015 release, with LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE’s Michael Arndt penning the script.
And, just to remind you that Abrams’ pedigree came from TV and that won’t be going away, two more pilots from Abrams and Bad Robot have been greenlit for the upcoming season. We had heard about both of them, but it looks like they’re advancing to the next level. They are…
NBC: This project is from Abrams and CHILDREN OF MEN auteur Alfonso Cuaron, and will “follow a girl in possession of special powers – which will come into their own in seven years – and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down.”
FOX: From Abrams and J.H. Wyman (FRINGE), it’s basically a futuristic buddy cop film in TV form. About “a cop in the not-too-distant future where all human officers are paired with android partners.”
What will Abrams do for an encore? Or maybe I should phrase it: what WON’T Abrams do?