Category Archives: J.J. Abrams

UCB Comedian to Host “FELICITY”-themed “George Lucas Talk Show”

Felicity - The George Lucas Talk ShowFor the past year and a half, comedian Connor Ratliff has hosted “The George Lucas Talk Show” at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre East in New York. Described by The Guardian as “surreal,” it’s a monthly talk show in which Ratliff pretends to be 70-year old filmmaker George Lucas while interviewing real guests accompanied by his sidekick, “Jar-Jar” (played by comedian Shaun Diston.) Now, in anticipation of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Ratliff is preparing to devote an entire episode to Abrams’ late 90s TV series, Felicity.

“The concept behind the talk show is that once Lucas retired from filmmaking he went into stand-up comedy to become a late night talk show host,” said Ratliff. “And since J.J. Abrams is about to release a new Star Wars movie, it makes sense that we’d devote an entire show to Felicity.”

Ratliff, a veteran UCB performer familiar to viewers of The Chris Gethard Show, has done more than twenty shows as Lucas (including a showcase performance at this year’s SXSW) interviewing guests from SNL, Broad City, The Tonight Show, Late Night, VEEP and The Colbert Report, along with musical guests like Wesley Stace, Mike Doughty and Emilyn Brodsky, but some of his most spectacular shows have been “theme” episodes, like when he celebrated “Life Day” (the Star Wars version of Christmas from the notorious “Star Wars Holiday Special“) or a recent episode about the peculiar relationship between Star Wars and M&Ms.

“We just did a whole hour about M&Ms,” he said. “It started as an offhand remark and before I knew it I’m at UCB East tossing over $500 dollars’ worth of M&Ms at the audience. It was insane.”

Ratliff’s version of Lucas is skeptical about J.J. Abrams, but Ratliff himself is a big fan. “The first two seasons of Alias are among the greatest television ever made, and he’s produced so much amazing TV since then, like Fringe and Person Of Interest, which is one of the very best shows on TV right now. And I don’t think you can watch his first Star Trek movie without becoming very excited to see what he’s gonna do with Star Wars. But my Lucas character is a little more threatened. My take on it has been to sort of question every move J.J. makes. That was sort of the origin of this Felicity show.”

For November’s episode, Ratliff is currently binge-watching all four seasons of Felicity so that his Lucas character can devote the whole hour to discussing the show, and he’s hopeful that maybe he can wrangle a surprise guest or two. When he recently did a “Labor Day” show, he went looking for guests who had really worked for Lucas, and ended up interviewing an actual former Industrial Light & Magic employee, a video game designer who had worked on an official Star Wars game, and an actor who had unsuccessfully auditioned for Episode VII. He has high hopes that November’s Felicity show might land a few guests who worked on the show at any point during its four seasons.

“That’s the dream: to get a cast member or crew person who worked on Felicity to come to UCB East and talk to me while I pretend to be George Lucas. If Keri Russell or J.J. Abrams want to come onto the show as guests, please let them know they are welcome. They don’t even need to let me know in advance, they can just show up and walk onto the stage, mid-show.”

The next George Lucas Talk Show (“The FELICITY Awakens”) is on November 6th at midnight at UCB Theatre East.


The George Lucas Talk Show

Celebrity Nerd-Off with Stephen Colbert and J.J. Abrams!

Stephen Colbert and J.J. AbramsJoin Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, for an evening of conversation and fun with director J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek, Super 8). This event will feature the pair in a wide-ranging on-stage discussion of their influences, ideas, and creative work. Come and see which geek shall inherit the earth!

WHO: Stephen Colbert & J.J. Abrams

WHAT: Celebrity Nerd-Off!

WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

WHEN: Saturday, November 21st, 2015, 8:00pm

HOW: MFF Member tickets on sale NOW.
Tickets for the General Public go on sale September 11th.

PLUS! The Montclair Film Festival will team up with Omaze to raffle off a special fan experience, with details to be revealed soon.

Proceeds from this event and raffle to benefit The Montclair Film Festival, New Jersey’s leading film non-profit.

We hope you will join us and pass this info on to your fellow fans!

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Follow us on Twitter: #MFF #ColbertAbrams

J.J. Abrams bought Pizza for the Line at Star Wars Celebration

J.J. Abrams orders PizzaSeeing as this is Star Wars and camping out is a favorite past-time for fans of the franchise, it should come as no surprise that there is a line of people waiting to get in to Star Wars Celebration, which begins tomorrow in Anaheim, CA. Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams thought those waiting in line might be hungry, and ordered pizza for everyone.

J.J. Abrams tops list of directors for Star Wars: Episode IX?

J.J. AbramsApparently Disney is very happy with how Star Wars: The Force Awakens is turning out. So happy, in fact, that their search for a director for the final part of this new trilogy is starting with him.

Latino-Review has been able to independently verify that Abrams is the front-runner for the directing job at least four times.

This is great news for fans like me. I am excited to see where Star Wars: Episode VIII writer and director Rian Johnson takes it from the end of The Force Awakens, but returning to Abrams would be excellent.

Abrams’ name is not currently listed as a producer on either Star Wars: Episode VIII or the first spin-off, Rogue One.

Zack Snyder and J.J. Abrams having fun Star Wars & Justice League Mash-Up Twitter War

It started with Zack Snyder posting a photo of Superman dressed as a Jedi (but the red lightsaber makes him more like a Sith Lord).

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J.J. Abrams talks about Film vs. Digital

J.J. Abrams with X-Wing from Star Wars: Episode VIILately there have been multiple movie directors talking about the advantages of film over digital when it comes to film making. Abrams has used film on projects from Star Trek to Super 8, as well as Star Trek Into Darkness. Recently it seemed as if film was headed the way of the Dodo.

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Happy Star Wars Day from J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan

Star Wars: Episode VII director and co-writer J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan took some time to wish all of us a Happy Star Wars Day!

May the Fourth be with you!

Star Wars Episode 7 Cast Announcement

Exposé – Mystery Box Revealed – Released by Theory11

Mystery BoxPresented by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, in collaboration with theory11, Mystery Box is finally available! You can get a beautiful, hand-crafted lockbox, and keep it sealed forever, or open it up to access the mysteries inside. Or you can get a deck of playing cards. Either way, you’ll be helping support a charity that promotes creative writing around the USA.

The Mystery Lockbox

A handcrafted, wooden lockbox made of 100-year-old reclaimed wood, containing 12 decks of Mystery Box Playing Cards. Each box is locked with an alphanumeric combination, and the lid is iron-branded with the Mystery Box emblem.

Share the Wonder

$1 per deck purchased will be donated to 826 National, a non-profit dedicated to promoting creative writing in schools and workshops around the USA.

Design of the Details

Each deck of Mystery Box Playing Cards is sealed with a kraft paper, letterpress wrap that inspires intrigue and endless wonder. Keep it closed, tear it open, or share the experience with a friend. The choice is yours.

Printing Process

The playing cards, the outer wrapping, and the wooden lockbox are Made in the USA. Each deck uses FSC-certified paper derived from sustainable forests, vegetable-based inks, and starch-based laminates.


Each deck is individually wrapped in letterpressed kraft paper, with the Mystery Box question mark emblem printed on the front. Art direction by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Bayme.

Bad Robot will donate $1 per deck purchased to 826 National, a non-profit dedicated to promoting creative writing in schools and workshops around the USA. Help us share the wonder.


Includes 12 Mystery Box Playing Cards wrapped in letterpressed kraft paper. The decks are housed in a handcrafted wood box made of 100 year old reclaimed wood. Each lockbox is iron-branded and locked with an alpha-numeric combination lock.

The lock box includes a letterpressed note from J.J. Abrams enclosed in a kraft paper envelope stamped with a black wax seal. Each lockbox is handcrafted. Please allow one week for shipping.

Get the Mystery Box

Abrams on the ‘Disneyfication’ of Star Wars

Disney Star WarsJ.J. Abrams commented on (crazy) idea that Disney would mess with the Star Wars franchise by injecting it with their style.

“The beauty there is Disney doesn’t want that. They are well aware of this and they are very careful to make sure that…they are sensitive to that. They don’t want that at all, that’s the last thing they want. But that company, which is Marvel, they have…it’s incredible the scale of that company. They are as aware of that as anyone.”

The comment came about during a recent appearance on PBS’ The Tavis Smiley Show.

Abrams uses Movies and TV to spread Social Good

J.J. Abrams - Mashable Social GoodJ.J. Abrams spoke at Mashable’s Social Good Summit via Skype on Monday, revealing that there is more to his movies and television shows than just keeping you on the edge of your seat.  While this is something that we’ve always known, we didn’t really know about the social good that came along.

“If we have a story we want to tell and can also make a change — that’s great,” Abrams said. “Five U.N. specialists spent time with our writers, and they really helped deepen our story lines and make the challenges even bigger: How do you prevent disease? What is life really like in a refugee camp? The whole notion of warlords is gonna be an issue in the series this year.”

Abrams’ team also met with people that are currently, or have, lived without electricity. “People with real-life experiences helped enormously to give the series a grounding in reality.”

Abrams also created a spin-off of his production company Bad Robot, to help with the social good effort.  It’s called Good Robot.

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