TAG | J.J. Abrams
With an official release date of December 18, 2015 now set, director J.J. Abrams and his Star Wars: Episode VII team are working towards a firm deadline with production set to get underway early next year. Just in case you thought Abrams and Co. were twiddling their thumbs, the Bad Robot twitter just unveiled a behind-the-scenes image of Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy posing with a rather familiar-looking robot in their workshop where pre-production on Episode VII is well underway. It’s a fun teaser image that may or may not confirm that R2-D2 will make an appearance in the Star Wars sequel.
Hit the jump to take a look at the image, and if you’d like to submit a video audition to be in the film, click here.
Via Bad Robot's Twitter.
Get caught up with our latest Star Wars coverage here, or check out some recent articles below:
Disney Accepting Video Auditions Nationwide for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Will Open in 3D on December 18, 2015
J.J. Abrams Says He and Lawrence Kasdan Took Over STAR WARS Scripting Duties to "Meet Time Frame"
Rumor: Chiwetel Ejiofor Might Be in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; J.J. Abrams Wants to Take Franchise Back to Grittier Roots
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Team Sought Delay to 2016; Disney Adamant about 2015 Release Date
J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan Take Over Scripting Duties on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
These Four “Rules” Will Not Make STAR WARS Great Again
Propaganda Poster and Official Synopsis for STAR WARS: REBELS; Rumored Working Titles for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
Michael B. ...
A couple weeks ago, we learned that screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) had left Star Wars: Episode VII, and director J.J. Abrams would write the script with Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back). A week later, it was reported that although producer Kathleen Kennedy had sought to push the film's release to 2016, but Disney refused to budge and held on to the previously-announced 2015 release. Now the two stories have converged with J.J. Abrams explaining that in order to meet the release date, they needed to bring in Kasdan.
Hit the jump for more.
During a conference call to promote his upcoming series Almost Human, Abrams said that the demands of the schedule necessitated bringing in the old pro:
“Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process. And working with Lawrence Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie, is unbeatable. It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry, in this way, was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be. That doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future, at all. I couldn't say enough good things about him. He's one of the smartest guys, and one of the best writers around.”
In other words, "Nothing to see here, nothing is fucked, we're going to get ...
While we certainly haven’t been short on news regarding the very busy schedule J.J. Abrams has in front of him with regards to Star Wars: Episode VII, the filmmaker has also been juggling producing duties on the next installment of Star Trek at the same time. Abrams’ Episode VII schedule prevents him from directing Star Trek 3, but he’s staying involved with the franchise as the producer of the Into Darkness follow-up, and now it appears that Abrams and his team are zeroing in on who will take over as the director of the Trek franchise. The exciting contender for the job is Attack the Block helmer Joe Cornish. Hit the jump for more.
There has been no shortage of rumors with regards to the director’s chair of Star Trek 3 over the last few months, as both Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) have been mentioned in connection with the gig. Wyatt felt the most likely possibility, and Abrams went so far as to unofficially endorse the filmmaker for the job, but the Apes director recently committed to directing The Gambler remake at Paramount with Mark Wahlberg set to star, seemingly complicating his schedule.
So who is actually close to landing the gig? Deadline reports that Paramount and Skydance Productions are very keen on Joe Cornish directing Star Trek 3, which would be a major opportunity for the Attack the Block helmer. Cornish made his directorial debut with the well-received 2011 sci-fi ...
Despite reports that Michael Arndt was writing Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm has announced today that the official title of screenwriter will be shared by director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi!).
"I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a recently released statement.
"There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production."
We know that John Williams will be scoring Star Wars: Episode VII and that Saoirse Ronan has auditioned, as has Michael B. Jordan. But, beyond that… everything about the film thus far has been kept secret in a galaxy far, far, away.
There is no way J.J. Abrams did not know the world of Star Wars was filled with passionate fans when he took the job as director of Star Wars Episode VII. And it also is no surprise that since he scored the rarest of positions as the person who will shepherd the most beloved franchise of all-time into a new chapter, Abrams has been quite quiet.
The entire project has been shrouded in secrecy since it was announced that Disney bought Lucasfilm and Star Wars Episode VII was on its way.
So, one can imagine the joy when -- in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly -- he actually commented on the gig for the first time. And it was those fans that came up first.
“It’s been nice seeing how important [Star Wars] is and to be reminded how important it is to so many people. We all know that [George Lucas'] dream has become almost a religion to some people,” Abrams said.
Yup, it’s up there with a religion and the fact that Abrams has embraced that fact gives us credence that something truly special will be coming at us in 2015. “I remember reading a thing somewhere, someone wrote about just wanting [the new film] to feel real -- to feel authentic. I remember I felt that way when I was eleven years old when I saw the first one. As much of a fairy tale as it was, it felt real. And to me, that is exactly right.”
And while rumors as to casting continue to become a sport -- such as yesterday's about Saoirse Ronan and Benedict Cumberbatch getting close to a deal -- Abrams reported on the progress of the next chapter in the Star Wars universe. The helmer, who recently gave us Star Trek Into Darkness, said that the feel of his Star Wars is still a work in progress. “It’s going to be an evolving thing," he admitted.
"I would say we are working really hard to make a movie that feels as emotional and authentic and exciting as possible. Whatever your favorite Star Wars movie is and how to compare it is really sort of subjective.”
So, tell us… what;s your favorite Star Wars movie?
Director J.J. Abrams is staying predictably tight-lipped about Star Wars: Episode VII, and at this point, I don't really mind. We're still at an relatively early stage, so this isn't the "mystery box". This is "the-movie-is-about-two-years-away". EW, knowing that he wouldn't go into any details, pitched him some more open-ended, non-specific questions about his general feelings regarding Star Wars and the upcoming sequel. As far as the previous six movies, he couldn't really compare any of them to what he's doing with Episode VII:
“Impossible for me to say because it’s going to be an evolving thing. I would say we are working really hard to make a movie that feels as emotional and authentic and exciting as possible. Whatever your favorite Star Wars movie is and how to compare it is really sort of subjective.”
Hit he jump for more. Star Wars: Episode VII opens in 2015.
The biggest takeaway from Abrams incredibly brief interview with EW was this snippet where he talked about any advice he's received regarding what he should do with Episode VII:
“It’s been nice see that how important it is and to be reminded how important it is to so many people. We all know that [creator George Lucas'] dream has become almost a religion to some people. I remember reading a thing somewhere, someone wrote about just wanting [the new film] to feel real; to feel authentic. I remember I felt that way when I was 11 years old when I saw the first one. As much ...
Despite raking in a worldwide gross of $465 million and nabbing an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek Into Darkness has been facing some considerably loud negativity over the past few months. Of course it doesn’t help when one of the writer/producers lambasts fans with a “fuck you” or when Paramount botches the Blu-ray release by spreading the special features out over various separate "exclusive" retail versions, but now director J.J. Abrams has spoken up about a different aspect of the film’s release that he felt personally affronted by: the loosely-related video game Star Trek. Hit the jump for his surprising comments on why the game "hurt" Into Darkness.
Digital Extremes released a third-person action-adventure video game called Star Trek this past April that used the likenesses of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto for Kirk and Spock, with the actors lending their voice talents to the roles themselves. The game didn’t follow the same story of the film and instead focused on the Gorn, but it was released to universally negative reviews.
I had completely forgotten that this video game existed until today, when the following comments from Abrams at the STID Blu-ray release landed online courtesy of Polygon (via The Dissolve):
“To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefited the series and was an exciting, fun game with great gameplay and instead it was not and was something that I think, for me, emotionally it hurt, because we were working our asses off making the movie and then ...
There could not have been a more perfect locale to catch up with Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams and cast members Simon Pegg, John Cho, Alice Eve and Peter Weller than the California Science Center in Los Angeles. In the shadow of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, recently added to the center’s collection, Movie Fanatic chatted up all things Star Trek and the arrival of the Star Trek Into Darkness DVD, Blu-Ray and digital.
The locale’s importance was not lost on the film’s director. “It’s an amazing thing. It’s one thing to make a big fantasy action adventure movie. It’s another thing to be humbled by the actual ship that has traveled into space as many times as this has. It’s an incredible thing to remember that this is not just all fantasy… this happens,” Abrams said.
As it is rumored that Abrams will hand over directing duties to someone else for the third Star Trek chapter in his trilogy, we asked Abrams if he never films another frame of Star Trek, what he felt he accomplished and what the “endeavor” meant to him.
“I feel lucky to have been involved in something that has meant so much to so many people,” Abrams admitted. “You can’t please everybody all the time but we did the best we could to tell a story that was funny and exciting and surprising and full of adventure that tried to honor the things that came before it but also blaze a new trail.”
As seen in this Star Trek Into Darkness DVD clip, Abrams put supreme importance on building elaborate sets to not only enhance his actors' performances, but the enjoyment for the audience.
“The most important thing is that it makes it feel more real when you’re actually shooting something that is real. There’s a tendency to use green screen and then put things in later. It was quite important to us that we, as much as possible, have practical sets because our eye can tell when something is tangible and real and when it’s not.”
Pegg, who plays Scottie, swung by to talk, and the man who has found recent success with his The World’s End that he co-wrote with longtime collaborator Edgar Wright, may just be almost prouder of his time on the Enterprise -- particularly getting in on some action in this one, as seen in the Star Trek Into Darkness trailer!
“I love a bit of action. It’s always fun as an actor to get in on it and to break a bone, to feel skull cracking underneath your knuckle,” Pegg said and smiled. He is kidding, right? “Not always on purpose!”
Gathering at the California Science Center was nice for Pegg who just completed traveling the world for The World’s End and will ship off to Australia tomorrow to start filming Kill Me Three Times. “It’s nice to get back together,” Pegg said of the Los Angeles gathering. “We all get on very well. We all relish each other’s company. We all do different stuff and we come back together and it’s a little reunion.”
Sulu himself, Cho, was the next to stop by and he shared his most treasured moment of the entire Star Trek experience. “One of the best things I did that was associated with the movie was a Google chat with actual astronauts. They all said they were fans of Star Trek,” Cho said.
Well, then there’s also the chance to collaborate with someone he believes is a once in a lifetime filmmaker. “J.J.’s a very complete storyteller, the most complete I’d ever met. From the script, relationships with actors and the tech stuff, I’ve never known someone who was a born storyteller as him.”
That was something reflected in our Bruce Greenwood exclusive interview too!
Eve, new to the franchise as Dr. Carol Marcus, upon getting the part in the sequel to Star Trek said she immediately dove into the world that spans decades. “To be part of the universe like Star Trek has been phenomenal. And the interest and obsession with the world that Roddenberry created has actually been understandable for me after learning so much about it, because it’s so well constructed,” Eve said.
When it comes to why Abrams is such a wizard at sci-fi (after all, Abrams is directing Star Wars Episode VII), Eve can pinpoint why. “He can fathom the future in a way that a lot of people find hard, myself included,” she said and laughed.
Finally the film’s true villain, in our opinion, Peter Weller came by and extolled the virtues of why after so many decades, Star Trek tales still tantalize. “The magic is in the story,” Weller reported. “When you have a story that transcends just the genre of science fiction, and deals with sanctity, safety, family and war politics, then it’s not just about special effects.”
Only at a party to celebrate the release of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray/DVD could you find yourself standing at the California Science Center beneath the wings of the awe-inspiring Space Shuttle Endeavour, as an obvious reminder of the human race’s enduring fascination with space and its exploration. Along with being invited to attend the glamorous shindig, Collider was also given a spot on the white carpet to do interviews and get updates on where things stand with the Star Trek franchise.
Before heading into the party, J.J. Abrams (who will still be a producer on the third film, even though he’ll be too busy to direct with his attention focused on Star Wars: Episode VII) talked about why he enjoys including extensive behind-the-scenes footage on home entertainment releases, the daunting task of putting your own stamp on a much-loved franchise, how important it is for him to stay involved creatively (he’s already giving input as screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci break the story), and how the next director needs to be someone who’s going to bring their own sensibility and not just do what they think he would want. Actor Simon Pegg (“Scotty”) talked about how strange it will be not to have J.J. Abrams directing the next film, that he thinks a new director can only be good for the story, as long as it’s the right person, and how he’d love to see Scotty more involved in the action. Check out what they had to say ...
A few weeks ago, we posted this mysterious trailer for a new project from the mind of J.J. Abrams. Now, the second half of that teaser has been released along with some details on what exactly that project is. It seems that Abrams mystery box not only encompasses the world of television and movies, but now books as well. This new project, titled simply S., has been revealed as a collaboration with author Doug Dorst (Alive in Necropolis) and appears to be every bit as much a mystery as Abrams' previous works. Blending the use of crossed paths of multiple characters in David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas with the unconventional presentation of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, S. tells the story of the final novel of an enigmatic author and two readers who find each other through the margins of the book.
Hit the jump for both trailers and the book's synopsis.
Here is part one:
And the newly-released part two (via EW):
Here's the synopsis for S. (via Amazon):
One book. Two readers. A world of mystery, menace, and desire.
A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown.
The book: Ship of Theseus, the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V.M. Straka, in which a man with no past ...
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