While Lucasfilm doesn’t think women are ready to direct Star Wars films, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions doesn’t have that problem at all, today announcing that Outlander director Anna Foerster will be helming Lou, about a young mother enlisting the help of an older woman to find her kidnapped child.
If anyone can keep a secret in Hollywood, it’s J.J. Abrams. His Bad Robot-produced Cloverfield was promoted with a sneaky viral marketing campaign in late 2007, and earlier this year the second film in the franchise remained a complete mystery until weeks before its release. Last week we learned the third Cloverfield film will reportedly be the Abrams-produced God Particle, but that film is so top secret that its lead actress had, and still has no idea about its connection to the Cloverfield universe.
It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’” Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf, asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.
J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield universe is quickly becoming one of the more interesting cinematic universes. Instead of stringing together a series of connected sequels and spinoffs à la the Marvel and DC cinematic universes, the 2008 found footage thriller has spawned something a little more ambiguous. This year saw the surprise release of Bad Robot’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, which was less a sequel to the 2008 movie and more of a blood relative. And now we finally have confirmation of what the third film in the Clover-verse will be.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens underwent a bunch of reshoots, as is the norm for blockbusters these days, and while, at the time, those reshoots were mostly kept a mystery, now some news has come out about one key scene in particular. Apparently J.J. Abrams and Ava DuVernay are good friends (who knew??) and frequently trade footage and screeners back and forth to one another to get some notes and suggestions. And one very important scene in The Force Awakens probably would not have been as cool without DuVernay’s guiding hand.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was, for most people, a deeply satisfying experience. Director J.J. Abrams and his cast and crew returned the franchise to its former glory, reuniting beloved old characters with exciting new ones. It was the best Star Wars movie in at least 30 years.
The cake might be a lie, but plans for a Portal movie aren’t according to J.J. Abrams, who is still working on developing it and Half Life into films. Video game company Valve announced Abrams would be working on the projects three years ago, but so far we haven’t seen many updates. However, they’re still on Abrams’ mind, as he promised we’d get some news “fairly soon.”
J.J. Abrams has long since kept a hand in TV after his movie career, but Meryl Streep isn’t a name we expected to see on the small screen anytime soon, let alone together. So it is, that Streep is likely to lead a TV adaptation of breakout Nathan Hill satire The Nix, as directed and produced by none other than Abrams himself.
The entire marketing campaign and dialogue around Star Trek Into Darkness — not to mention most of the runtime of the actual movie — was about the mysterious identity of its villain. Who was this guy Benedict Cumberbatch is playing? Was he an old character from an earlier movie? Could he be Khan? Oh, no, he’s “John Harrison.” Wait, who the hell is John Harrison? Why all the secrecy around a nobody named John Harrison? Are we sure he’s not Khan? No, J.J. Abrams insisted he wasn’t Khan and he wouldn’t straight-up lie to our whoops no never mind he straight-up lied, he’s Khan.
Does it seem rude to talk about the next Star Trek movie while Star Trek Beyond is still in theaters? I sort of feel bad. While Matt Singer may have enjoyed the movie a little more than me, Star Trek Beyond is still a pretty fun ride and deserves at least a few days of appreciation before we move right along to the next thing. Part of me feels like I’m going over to my coworker’s desk the day he announces his retirement so I can pick through his things and claim them for my own cubicle. Then again, maybe if my coworker didn’t want his stuff stolen, he shouldn’t have announced his retirement so early. So that makes it J.J. Abrams’s fault.