We’re getting close to the premiere of Hulu’s James Franco / J.J. Abrams / Stephen King thriller 11.22.63, early buzz of which has been pretty strong. You can see for yourself in the first clip, as Franco learns of the deep mystery surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald and JFK’s assassination, as outlined by Chris Cooper. It’s like time-travel Mad Libs!
J.J. Abrams is a fine filmmaker, but he might be an even better huckster. It wasn’t too long ago that Rolling Stone declared him to be “this generation’s P.T. Barnum,” praising the man’s unique talent for creating mystery around a project and generating buzz. He turned Star Wars: The Force Awakens into the can’t-miss cinematic event of a year that had already produced three of the ten highest-earning movies of all time. As the producer of Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield, Abrams took it upon himself to facilitate the creation of an ‘alternate-reality game’ that led determined fans to tantalizing new tidbits attached to the film. And it seems that now, Abrams is up to his old tricks.
J.J. Abrams pulled off some pretty effortless misdirection, keeping us all so occupied with Star Wars: The Force Awakens that we had no idea about this little indie project he was producing titled 10 Cloverfield Lane. The trailer arrived with no warning, followed by Abrams confirming that the film is indeed related to Cloverfield, though it’s not really a direct sequel. One of the stars of his new mystery project is Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has opened up just a tiny bit about the secrecy surrounding the film and what we can expect when it hits theaters.
If any rumor runs longer than word of a new Star Wars trilogy, it might be the promise of a live-action TV series set in the same galaxy far, far away, one which has been through multiple iterations over the last decade. Now, Lucasfilm bosses and other insiders officially shoot down hopes for a Star Wars tie-in on TV, not wanting the follow the Marvel path.
Reports began to surface this evening via social media that a trailer for Bad Robot’s upcoming mystery project is attached to screenings of Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. The film is titled 10 Cloverfield Lane, and while many suspect it’s a secret Cloverfield sequel, there is some evidence to support that this not quite true, including a statement from J.J. Abrams himself. So what is 10 Cloverfield Lane, exactly?
One of the biggest questions following Star Wars: The Force Awakens was that of Rey’s parentage. She could be a Skywalker a Kenobi, a Hutt…we just don’t know. Well at least we don’t know. There’s one guy that knows: J.J. Abrams. Which shouldn’t be a surprise because, duh, J.J. Abrams wrote the movie.
There was a lot of paranoia about spoilers in the days and weeks (and months [and years]) leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Trailers gave almost no indication of a plot beyond the presence of a) stars and b) wars. The official poster didn’t include a picture of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker for fear of revealing his fate. Even press screenings were delayed until the last possible moment to keep the lid on J.J. Abrams’ latest mystery box for as long as humanly possible.
With a movie as epic as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you know there has to be lots of footage that didn’t make the final cut. Reports have been out there for a while now about several scenes that were cut from the film, and while you will get to see some of those scenes when the film eventually hits DVD and Blu-ray, J.J. Abrams says you shouldn’t hold out hope for an extended version of The Force Awakens.
There is no combination of the phrases “James Franco,” “time travel,” “save JFK,” or “Hulu” that fails to amuse, and yet, J.J. Abrams and Stephen King have gone ahead and given it their darnest. Anyway, watch James Franco go back in the closet to 1963 for the first full trailer of Hulu’s time-travelin’, JFK-savin’, Franco-fronted 11.22.63! Some Chris Cooper required.
The great franchise toy saga continues, as J.J. Abrams has weighed in on the absence of Daisy Ridley’s Rey from much of The Force Awakens merchandising. The new lead character of the Star Wars franchise isn’t featured in nearly as many toys and merchandising as her male counterparts, inspiring the Twitter hashtag #WheresRey. And following Paul Feig’s reveal of new Ghostbusters action figure prototypes, it seems more crucial than ever that we criticize Disney for their lack of Rey merch — and Abrams is doing just that.