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Tag: J. J. Abrams (1-10 of 44)

J.J. Abrams vs. Christopher Nolan: Which filmmaker does secrets better?

If you went to see Interstellar this weekend, chances are you didn’t know much about the movie beyond “Matthew McConaughey in space.” That’s intentional—Christopher Nolan is famously tight-lipped about his films, and the trailers that accompany them are pretty good about leaving large chunks of the plot untouched. This makes Nolan something of a unicorn: an Internet-Age blockbuster director who actively strives to preserve of the filmgoing experience as he can.

But he’s not alone in this, either—which probably makes him less of a unicorn. (Maybe he’s more like a white antelope.)  J.J. Abrams, Hollywood’s biggest sci-fi steward, is equally obsessed with keeping details about his films under wraps before they debut. It’s an admirable goal—but one that each director pursues in very different ways. Given that they both specialize in something that’s inherently frustrating—the keeping of secrets—who’s better at it? Less frustrating? Rewarding?

The answer lies with the biggest difference between the two—their relationships with fans.

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John Oliver shoots salmon at Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, everyone else in TV

Last Week Tonight called in a few friends for its final episode of the year, uniting all of television, and a few film stars, under one idea all audiences can enjoy—celebrities being hit in the face by salmon.

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Secrets behind J.J. Abrams' lens flare revealed (you'll be surprised)

J-J-Abrams-Lens-Flare-Video.jpg

Have you ever noticed a subtle light glowing in one of J.J. Abrams’ films? Probably not. I mean, with Captain Kirk in the frame…

But Luke Knezevic has certainly paid attention to Abrams’ penchant for the technique, prompting him to make a comedy short revealing the truth behind the lens flare. Turns out that flash of light is actually an actor.

Meet Lorenzo Flarius, the Human Lens Flare. Abrams “discovered” Flarius after hitting him with his car. Feeling guilty, the director placed the wannabe actor—who essentially has a flashlight for a head—in his films. Like, all of his films. In multiple scenes. Flarius even refers to himself as “the hardest working man in show biz.”

Flarius’ roommate is less impressed by the actor. (“He’s just an overpaid human flashlight!”) Watch the drama ensue below, and find out which Abrams project Flarius will appear in next.

'Star Wars': Who might Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie play?

After much harrumphing that the new Star Wars film was in danger of not being Title IX compliant, the Force was somewhat balanced yesterday with the announcement that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie had been cast in J.J. Abrams’ space epic. That’s hardly gender parity — with Carrie Fisher and newcomer Daisy Ridley the only other females currently announced — but it’s certainly a substantial and necessary improvement for a traditionally boys-heavy franchise entering the post Hunger Games universe. Thus far, the only significant female Star Wars characters in six episodes have been a princess and a queen — but Abrams has a solid reputation for strong, well-drawn female characters, from Felicity to Alias to Fringe. 

Speculation based on seating order at the recent Star Wars read-through and preconceptions about Han and Leia’s inevitable offspring hinted that Ridley will play their teenaged daughter and perhaps be the keystone to Episode VII‘s story. But what of Nyong’o and Christie? Who might they play? And does the fact that they were not part of the first round of casting announcements indicate that they’re background players and not essential personnel?

Based on the popular profile and pedigree of both actresses, it’s unlikely that either Nyong’o or Christie will be relegated to Lobot or Cantina-dancer status. And though Lucasfilm has announced that the Expanded Universe is no longer gospel — not that it ever technically was — the studio is not against plucking favorite characters and storylines from previous material. “While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded,” Lucasfilm said back in April. “Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe.” With that in mind, here are three hopeful character possibilities for both actresses, based entirely on wishful thinking. READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars' sequel lands working title? Is 'The Ancient Fear' the next chapter?

The great thing about taking over the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas is that it will be virtually impossible for J.J. Abrams to be criticized for the title to his 2015 sequel. Not after The Phantom Menace and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Now that the core cast has been announced, attention has shifted to what the film will be called, and Harry Knowles at Ain’t It Cool is confident that the working title is Star Wars: Episode VII — The Ancient Fear. Reportedly, the title “refers to Max Von Sydow’s villain who makes Pazuzu look like a p—y!” — Pazuzu being the demon that Von Sydow’s priest battled in The Exorcist. READ FULL STORY

J.J. Abrams made you a mystery box

Anyone who watched Lost knows that creator J.J. Abrams is into mystery. And now he’s using his love of mystery for charity — kind of.

In 2007, Abrams gave a TED talk in which he spoke about a box his grandfather gave him. Abrams never cracked open the lid. Why? On principle: “The thing is that it represents infinite possibility,” Abrams explained. “It represents hope. It represents potential. And what I love about this box, and what I realize I sort of do in whatever it is that I do, is I find myself drawn to infinite possibility, that sense of potential. And I realize that mystery is the catalyst for imagination.” Ahh, so that’s why he’s so into creating mysteries that we never find out the answers to.

Bitterness aside, Abrams’ entire TED talk is worth watching for anyone interested in why his work is the way it is. And it serves as a fitting setup to his latest project: the Mystery Box.

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reveal 'Star Wars VII' roles; J.J. Abrams responds

Things seem to be going pretty well these days for Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. They are about to host the Golden Globes for the second year in a row, they’re both producing multiple shows for multiple networks, and they’re serving as guest editors of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. But what people really want to know is: When will these Saturday Night Live/Baby Mama co-stars find a way to join forces for another TV show or movie?

During our Q&A with the pair for this special issue, the 30 Rock creator/actress and Parks and Recreation star declared their desire to star together in a drama. And we mean together. “We want to play Siamese twin judges on a law procedural,” says Fey. “Our condition does not get in the way of our judgment,” adds Poehler. “And that’s what the show’s about: Even though we’re bound together, we’re not bound to each other’s ideals.” Fey agrees: “One of us is very conservative and the other is a recovering alcoholic, so it makes for great drama.”

But it was a high-profile project on the big screen that truly lit up their faces, as Fey and Poehler revealed that they have scored roles in the new Star Wars film as… Darth Vader’s mothers.
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Want to be in the new 'Star Wars'? Here's your chance.

Someone tell George Michael Bluth!

Disney and LucasFilm want you to be in the new Star Wars movie.  Disney has posted an open casting notice for anyone with a video camera. A rep for LucasFilm confirmed to EW that the casting notice is legit and is for Star Wars.

Here are the official casting descriptions: READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars': A look back at Year One of the Disney regime

The still un-subtitled Star Wars sevenquel just received an official release date. If all goes as planned, J.J. Abrams will reboot his second straight Star franchise on Dec. 18, 2015. The key line being “if all goes as planned.” First announced just a little over a year ago, the new Star Wars film sits at the uneasy nexus of corporate ambitions: It’s the first step in a larger plan to revitalize one of the most popular franchise in the last half-century of fictional media, with an earnings potential of several billion dollars at stake.

There’s a lot on the line. The film’s first year of gestation was closely monitored and rife with rumor and hearsay and sudden twists. And the story of the development of the next Star Wars movie is also the story of the new regime gradually rebuilding the Star Wars universe (while destroying certain remnants of the old regime.) Forthwith, a look back at Year One of Episode VII. READ FULL STORY

J.J. Abrams apologizes for loving lens flares so so much

star-trek

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: J.J. Abrams, lens flares, joke joke joke. As a producer and a multi-platform pop storyteller, Abrams has become a defining figure of his geek generation. As a visual stylist, Abrams’ main contribution has been to fill the screen with lots of eye-tickling points of light flickering from every corner of his images. Spielberg did lens flares; Abrams loves Spielberg; Abrams does everything faster and more intense; ergo, Abrams uses lots of lens flares. Star Trek had lens flares and Star Trek Into Darkness had more lens flares, and it was beginning to seem possible that Abrams’ Star Wars movie would be a two-hour lightsaber fight composed almost entirely of lens flares.
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