My kids constantly bring up a quote they attribute to Benjamin Franklin, which is, roughly, “don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” I continue to be less than dazzled about the casting progress made so far on a relaunch of Star Wars, web reports continue to have me concerned and underwhelmed about the picture that JJ Abrams is putting together over there at Disney.
First, we have rumors that Harrison Ford will sign a three-picture deal to return to the new Star Wars films that JJ Abrams is putting together. Now, in a magazine called Palm Beach Illustrated, we have Carrie Fisher confirming on the record that she will bring back Princess Leia. The other thing she does is confirm what we are all thinking when asked what Princess Leia is like today. “Elderly,” she said jokingly. “She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home.” Fisher long ago moved on to become a successful script doctor and author, and this feels to me a bit like Sally Field returning for one more installment of Gidget.
Even though George Lucas came as close as humanly possible to running Star Wars into the ground with that prequel trilogy and the unsuccessful attempt to launch all six pictures as 3D conversions before selling the whole thing to Disney, JJ Abrams is two for two in fixing franchises, after working with Tom Cruise as producers to relaunch Mission: Impossible with Ghost Protocol, and in the reboot of Star Trek. Am I the only one who finds the prospect of the original Star Wars cast to be profoundly unexciting, in the same way I felt about the last Indiana Jones movie, when Ford stayed too long at the dance? I also wish Abrams was expending his considerable talents on original projects the way his hero Steven Spielberg (excusing that Indy Jones pic) continues to do.
UPDATE, 8:56PM TODAY: Disney has just confirmed J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Screenplay is written by Michael Arndt. Abrams, his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are producing along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are consulting. Kasdan was screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot partners JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk are going to make a movie about the epic rise and fall of doping bicyclist Lance Armstrong. They’ve just closed a … Read More »
BREAKING: Paramount Pictures will release the first 9-minutes from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness on 500 IMAX 3D screens beginning December 14 on runs of the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit. That’s way before the film’s release … Read More »
The Producers Guild Of America will honor JJ Abrams with its 2013 Norman Lear Award For Television, which it will present during the 24th Annual PGA Awards on January 26. The writer-producer-director started out in television with the WB drama Felicity, which he co-created. He went on to create ABC’s Alias and co-create Lost. Abrams is the founder and president of Bad Robot, which he runs with producing partner Bryan Burk. The company has three series on the air Fox’s Fringe, which Abrams co-created; CBS’ Person Of Interest; and this year’s breakout hit for NBC Revolution. “J.J. Abrams has produced some of the most iconic and highest-rated television shows of the past decade and longer, series that have changed the landscape of television,” said Producers Guild Awards chair Michael DeLuca. “His talent is astonishing, and through his commitment to ingenious storytelling, compelling characters and television programming of the highest quality, he truly lives up to this award’s namesake.” Read More »
Entertainment Weekly announced today that Geoff Boucher is coming to the official magazine of receptionists to join the Movies team as a senior writer. This is after the Los Angeles Times moronically let him walk out on its … Read More »
BREAKING: CAA has signed JJ Abrams, the impresario behind such TV series as Alias, Lost, Fringe, Alcatraz, Person Of Interest, and the upcoming Revolution, and the feature director of Mission: Impossible 3 (and producer of 4), the rebooted … Read More »
Paramount Pictures has firmed up the title Star Trek Into Darkness for the JJ Abrams sequel that brings back Chris Pine and the rest of his Trek cast. The Paramount/Skydance film will be released May 17, 2013.
With Fringe heading into its final season, the series’ JJ Abrams and J.H. Wyman have set up a new futuristic drama at Fox.
In a competitive situation, the network has nabbed … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning scribe Dustin Lance Black has been set to script Earthquake, a big scale disaster film for Universal that is being produced by JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk and their Bad Robot banner. While Universal made … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is mobilizing a sci-fi film called Collider, and it is a collision of several of the top guys in the genre. Edgar Wright will direct the film, and he is co-writing the script with I … Read More »
Lost alumna Elizabeth Mitchell is reuniting with the ABC drama’s co-creator/executive producer JJ Abrams. Mitchell is joining Abrams/Eric Kripke’s upcoming NBC series Revolution as a regular. The action drama, which landed NBC’s marquee post-The Voice time slot, follows … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount is wrapping up a seven-figure deal for screen rights to the Jonathan Tropper novel One Last Thing Before I Go. The film will be produced by JJ Abrams through the Bad Robot banner. The book will be published in August by Dutton. The deal was made in an competitive situation with multiple studios involved. The deal includes Tropper writing the script.
Here’s the logline: Book focuses on Silver, a man in full midlife crisis. He has begun to accept that life isn’t going to turn out as he expected, with his ex about to marry a guy too nice for Silver to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant — because he’s the one she cares least about letting down. With the wedding looming and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles, bonds, and comes together only to risk damaging each other even more. Silver has another major complication: he discovers he could die at any moment without an operation he refuses to have. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, the last pilot lead this season has been cast. Zachary Abel (Make It Or Brake It) has landed the lead role in the CW’s Mark Schwahn/J.J. Abrams drama pilot Shelter. Also cast in the Warner … Read More »
The Cape star David Lyons has been cast in the JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke NBC drama pilot, directed by Jon Favreau, about a group of survivors in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist. He will play the charismatic Marine Bass, a role which became vacant after Billy Burke, who was originally cast in the role, was just promoted to play the lead Miles. Burke’s deal for that has now closed. Also cast in the pilot is Maria Howell in the supporting role of the regal and fiercely intelligent Grace.
Trent Ford (The Vampire Diaries) has been cast in a supporting role in another Abrams-produced drama pilot, the CW’s Shelter, set at an historic New England summer resort. Ford, repped by Global Artists Agency and Luber Roklin, will play Tyler Green, a former British rock star staying in the penthouse at the Shelter Bay Inn.
NeNe Leakes, who has been recurring on the current season of Glee as rival cheerleading coach Roz Washington, is re-teaming with Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy on his NBC comedy pilot The New Normal, about a blended family of a gay couple and their surrogate. On the project, co-created by Ali Adler, The Real Housewives Of Atlanta star NeNe will play the heavily recurring role of Rocky. She is with The Collective and attorney Darrell Miller. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Twilight‘s Billy Burke will play the lead in NBC’s untitled JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke drama pilot (form. Revolution), directed by Jon Favreau. The high-octane action drama follows a group of people struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in … Read More »
John Schoenfelder is leaving Mulholland Books to be SVP for producer Scott Rudin. Schoenfelder spent 2 1/2 years at Mulholland, and the same amount of time at the St. Martin’s Press imprint Thomas Dunne. His choices as … Read More »
Giancarlo Esposito, hot off his villainous turn on AMC’s Breaking Bad, has been tapped for a lead role on NBC’s JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke drama pilot Revolution, directed by Jon Favreau. The high-octane action drama follows a group of people struggling … Read More »