Tag Archives: J.J. Abrams

Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode IX!

It’s official. We reported that Abrams was the top choice to direct Star Wars: Episode IX a couple of years ago.

And then Colin Trevorrow was hired to direct the film. After a couple of years of pre-production on the film, Trevorrow was let go, leaving the director seat empty.

A few days later Lucasfilm announced that J.J. Abrams would return to the trilogy he started to helm the closing chapter of the new trilogy.

It all makes sense to me. Abrams is a steady hand at directing, his first Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, was very well received to the tune of $2 billion at the box office, introduced great new characters to the saga. It was both familiar and new, bringing new ideas to a universe that felt comfortable. The film could have very easily spent a lot of time with the old characters like Han, Luke and Leia, but it took some risks by not bringing in a single recognizable character for the first forty minutes of screen time. Not just that, but fan-favorite Luke Skywalker only briefly appears at the end without a word to say! To claim that the film took no risks is to forget about these very large ones. I would have appreciated another scene with Luke and Han sharing the screen together (and maybe it’ll happen with a surprise flashback scene at some point in The Last Jedi or Episode IX), but we’ll hopefully get a scene with Luke and Leia in The Last Jedi.

Before I can even speculate as to the content of Episode IX, I have to see The Last Jedi. That film is the mid-point that will catapult the cast toward whatever end the trilogy has in-store for us. Will The First Order be defeated? Will they win?

I say this as a fan of the saga and also as a business man…. the only way that smaller, independent or original (re: not sequels or remakes) are made are will the income that comes from the familiar. People buying tickets to Star Wars films in no way detracts from the creation of original films. It inspires the creation of original films. George Lucas was told “no” by nearly every studio in Hollywood until someone that had seen and enjoyed American Graffiti took a chance on it. Even Lucas’ friends thought he was crazy and that his idea wouldn’t work. It became the largest film franchise the world has ever seen, period. Avatar, Harry Potter, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tolkien… All of these put up a decent fight (save Avatar… that is still to be seen if 4 more movies will stand up to the weight of the first film). But Star Wars is a movie saga made for the whole family, and each film is an event. And the dollars that come in help Disney to be able to afford such films as Queen of Katwe, Up, Inside Out, etc. etc. etc. So let’s not lament that tentpole films exist, but celebrate that they do to help the studio continue to bring original IP to the silver screen. As a business man…. original IP is much more difficult to get moving than known quantities. I know from experience. We build a new IP this year and are having difficulties getting the sales up next to our existing IP. It’s not impossible, but it’s harder. It’s not wrong that our existing IP exists and will continue to do so (i.e. Star Wars) because that feeds the engine that makes the new IP possible. Without the existing IP, the new IP would not be possible. I used to believe that studios had run out of ideas, that only original films should ever be released, but now that I own a business of my own, I can see why things are the way they are.

And, for the record, just because we have an existing IP doesn’t mean that we don’t put the same amount of care into the product that we do with new IP. That would be ridiculous, because if we didn’t put the same care into each and every IP, then we would break the trust of our customers. I.E. Disney / Lucasfilm / Pixar etc…. they put the same amount of care into every film that they make… they’re not going to say “Star Wars prints money, so just slap the name onto a piece of junk.” They’re going to say “Star Wars prints money, but only as long as the fans trust us to do right by them, so let’s build their trust (The Force Awakens) and through some curveballs at them from time to time (Rogue One, Han Solo), so that we can properly bring them films that are a happy medium between the old and the new, with some of the best directors working today getting a chance to play in that sandbox. Rian Johnson got a chance, and now J.J. Abrams is getting another turn. I’ve also heard that Rian Johnson may have signed a contract to do two Star Wars films… the next one will, most likely, be a stand-alone Star Wars Story… like Rogue One, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, etc.

The reason that Colin Trevorrow was fired, I’ve heard, is because he started to get an ego that was hard to work with. He’d done quite well with Jurassic World, but then his next film bombed as he didn’t really listen to anyone’s suggestions (as this unnamed producer put it)… so you have to listen to the company and be willing to work with the studio, and not go off-script with your film. (Rian Johnson also said he wished he had more oversight than he did, which is ironic, considering everything that’s been said about him being “forced to make a movie that looks like the other films” in a 90 second teaser. When you’re writing chapter 8 of a 9 chapter book, the language has to be the same or the reader won’t know why it changed so much.)

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!

Visit us at: http://montclairfilmfest.org/2015/09/colbert-abrams/
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MontclairFilmFest
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MontclairFF #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.

Collider geeks out while asking Abrams about Star Wars: The Force Awakens

J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams has directed what is, since The Hobbit, the most anticipated movie coming to the big screen. It is possibly the most anticipated film of at least three generations of fans, as it’s a sequel where anything can happen, and we don’t really know what’s going to happen.

Here, Abrams addresses response to that lightsaber seen in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser. He’s having fun seeing the positive and negative reactions, and said that people have been having the same conversations they had early on about this lightsaber that started as a design, but the conversations were in reverse. How were they in reverse? Good question.

Abrams also mentions that he’s executive producing Episode VIII and Episode IX, and that Rian Johnson is director on at least the next one. This is something that a lot of people seem to miss. Rian Johnson may not direct Episode IX. Those duties may return to Abrams or go to another director.

There will only be one exciting sequence in IMAX but Abrams won’t say what is involved there. He said it’s a fun one.

They’re also still cutting the movie and haven’t seen the movie together yet.

He also mentioned that while they did build sets and do practical things as much as possible, using the Sun for lighting when outside, and things like that, there’s an incredible amount of CG in the film. He mentioned that a lot of the CG used is to remove things from shots.

After that, they moved on to the next Star Trek film. He said that he’s not really sure that it’ll be Star Trek 3, but more of a Star Trek: Adventures in Space. It is possible that it won’t be a direct sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness, and instead more of a singular adventure.

J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars with MTV

J.J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams spoke with MTV about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Here are a couple of quotes.

“All I know is that it is, without question, an intense and terrifying prospect…The opportunity, I think, is greater than the fear, than the risk. I’m more excited about the work everyone has done on the movie and this incredible cast.”

“It was an amazing experience making this movie, I mean for everyone. There was a sort of weird buzz in the air when we were making this movie, but we were all aware how hard we had to work to make it something worthy of people’s time.”

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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

Abrams willing to compromise on Star Wars secrecy

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....While talking to the Daily Telegraph, J.J. Abrams spoke about the secrecy surrounding Star Wars: Episode VII.  I love the idea of going into the next new Star Wars movies completely blind, but I also can’t wait to learn more about the sorts of characters and settings that the stories will revolve around.  Knowing a little bit about who the characters are, and what they’re going to be like isn’t the same as knowing what’s going to happen, afterall.

“I’m working on the Star Wars script today and the people in my office have covered up all my windows with black paper. I guess they wanted to make sure no one could see what I was doing. It seems rather extreme.”

And this point about all of the spoilers that are out there, thanks in large part to the internet: “We’re living in a moment of instant information and a sense of entitlement to that information. But I think it’s nice to remember that there’s nothing wrong with a sense of anticipation.”


Before the release of last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams tried to keep secret the identity of the villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch – something he now regrets. “We were trying to preserve the unexpected for the audience, but it came across as if we were trying to be too clever,” he says.

Star Wars is in every way a different animal. It’s always been a more open, fan-engaged universe than I’ve been used to, so I’m sure there’ll be some sort of compromise. But it feels to me like there’s a purity in not knowing every little thing.”

Star Wars: Episode VII Script is Ready

Luke, Leia and HanShooting on Star Wars: Episode VII begins in May.  The script, written by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, is now ready, and pre-production is in full-swing. “We’re working really hard and we’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep. Full steam ahead, y’know.”

They are taking to many actors to flesh out the cast of the film.  While no official announcements have been made, Carrie Fisher has all but confirmed that she’ll be prepping to film in March or April, alongside Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.

“I’d like to wear my old [cinnamon buns] hairstyle again — but with white hair,” she says. “I think that would be funny.”

As the movie gets closer to production, the idea of a new Star Wars is actually beginning to sink in.  Though I don’t think it’ll feel real to me until the first teaser is released for it.