Major waves hit the Star Wars universe last week when director Colin Trevorrow was effectively fired from co-writing and directing Episode IX. There has been a lot of speculation about who the studio would tap to replace the him with for the ultimate entry in the Skywalker Saga, and it appears we have an answer. Earlier today, Lucasfilm announced that none other than Episode VII The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams would return to complete the trilogy he started.
Abrams will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Abrams co-wrote The Force Awakens alongside Lawrence Kasdan, so I’m not terribly worried there. Terrio on the other hand, while having an academy award for the screenplay for Argo, also co-wrote Batman v Superman. So… it’s a mixed bag? On the upside, if Kathleen Kennedy doesn’t like what he rights, she’ll just can him too.
Is it the most ideal outcome? Maybe not. Finishing a story has never been JJ Abrams’s strong suit. I mean, I literally made a big deal about that during last night’s podcast. That said, Abrams has made movies that I love, while Trevorrow made a couple “movies I’m okay with.”
So I’m choosing to be optimistic.
Star Wars Episode IX is due out May 24, 2019 December 20, 2019.
Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, Underground creator Misha Green, Bad Robot and Warner Bros TV are making an anthology series for HBO called Lovecraft Country. Based off of the Matt Ruff novel of the same name, The Wrap summarizes the series pretty succinctly:
When his father goes missing, 25-year-old Atticus Black joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find him. And so begins their fight to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.
So yeah, it’s going to be a combination of mid-20th century racism and Lovecraftian horror — and it sounds amazing. Green is writing the pilot and showrunning the series, and will executive produce alongside Peele, and Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson.
Okay, I’ll admit it — the headline is a little misleading. The promo does tell us something, just not much about the actual show. Castle Rock, named after the fictional Maine town where many of Stephen King’s stories take place, is (according to Deadline) a limited anthology series put together by King and J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions.
The road to the promo is right in line with J.J. Abrams’s obsession with “Mystery Boxes,” where they tweeted out a “mysterious” image on Friday which included a URL to the video:
The promo just shows a list of stories, places, and characters all associated with the fictional town, and while it’s tantalizing it’s also kind of irrelevant as these are all things that probably won’t be anywhere near the show. At the very least this does establish the show’s tone.
J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot has just hired Julius Avery to direct a film being described as a World War II supernatural film. Written by Billy Ray (based on a concept Ray and Abrams came up with together), the story follows a pair of paratroopers sent to take out a communications tower during the D-Day invasion. When they get there, they find not just the Nazis they were expecting but something far more supernatural.
Currently using the working title Overlord, the going theory is that this is the fourth Cloverfield film. With the likely third installment, God Particle, coming this fall, it’s not impossible — but we have to remember this is all conjecture. This really could just be about fighting Nazi zombies with zero larger connections.
11/22/63 is based off the Stephen King bestseller of the same name, and tells the story of a time traveling English teacher trying to stop the JFK assassination. The series is produced by Bridget Carpenter and J.J. Abrams (who just can’t help working on everything it seems).
The show will be a self contained, nine-hour limited series that tells just a single story. Some have speculated that if the show does well, further seasons may be commissioned. But those seasons would have to tell different self contained stories… which would make the 11/22/63 title awkward.
J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars Episode VII, got into a little bit of Star Wars vs. DC Comics one-upsmanship with Zack Snyder. For the most part, it’s relatively ignorable — but it finished with J.J. Abrams posting a video of a steadycam shot of the Millenium Falcon set piece he’s currently using in Episode VII.
And tucked into the hodgepodge of kibble was a model of “The Tumbler,” the Batmobile from the Dark Knight trilogy.
While Disney is dead set on Episode VII coming out in December 2015, it’s being reported that director J.J. Abrams has been repeatedly asking that the film’s release be delayed to 2016 (for a May 4th release). Disney’s Bob Iger isn’t having any of this though. Latino Review wrote:
And he still, to this day, [Abrams] thinks that his Star Wars should be released in May like all the other Star Wars movies have been. Kathleen Kennedy feels this way too. But Bob Iger of Disney? He’s making December of next year happen. Postponing is not an option. Harrison Ford’s leg be damned, if Fast and Furious 7 can still be coming with a much more serious casting problem, how can something like Star Wars, a franchise with theoretically infinite money behind it, let something as tiny as a broken leg stop them?
Abrams invested a lot of time in preproduction — enough so where Disney already allowed him to delay the film from May 2015 to December 2015. The real question is whether or not Abrams is actually in a state where he doesn’t think he can pull off the movie on this schedule, or if he just thinks it will do better in the box office with a May release.
Or maybe that isn’t the question at all. Maybe it’s really, “Will Iger budge?”