Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Upcoming Fringe Episode Info

Fringe is currently on a holiday hiatus, standard for network television this time of year. New episodes are expected to start January 20th. Via Fringe Television is a few details about the next three episodes.
- Fringe episode 111 "Bound" is written by J.J. Abrams, Jeff Pinkner, Alex Kurtzmen, and Roberto Orci.
- Fringe episode 112 "The No-Brainer" is written by David H. Goodman and Brad Caleb Kane.
- Fringe episode 113 "The Transformation" is written J.R. Orci and Zach Whedon. The director is Brad Anderson.
- Akiva Goldsman just signed to direct episode 117 (starts shooting 2/19)
- John Polson is directing the current episode and Brad Anderson is about to start his second episode (In Which We Meet Mr. Jones was his first)
- Fringe is gravitating heavily to feature directors... HINT... HINT... *cough*J.J.*cough*

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Abrams and Ford To Team On Movie

Variety is reporting that Harrison Ford has joined "Morning Glory", a comedy that JJ Abrams is producing. The film will be from Paramount Pictures and directed by Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill, Venus). Paramount is also currently negotiating with Rachel McAdams to join the production.

The film will apparently involve "an aspiring new producer" (McAdams) trying to save a morning show and has to deal with its "feuding anchors" (Ford and uncast female). I guess firing one of them isn’t an option (unlike most morning shows) and assume one will fall in love with the other. The script is from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada). Currently no production date or release date has been set.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fringe's The Observer Appearances

The central mystery of JJ Abrams' Fringe is something called "The Pattern" which is a generic name for all the odd events the heroes of the series investigate each week. An aspect of those events is a bald white man that has the nickname of "The Observer" whose job seems to be to record those events that "The Pattern" influences. The character played by Michael Cerveris, is almost a regular on the series as he pops up briefly in multiple episodes. The below compilation of appearances is a good test on the eyes to see if you spot him before the video shows him. What role he has in the series remains to be seen.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fringe's Olivia Gets A Sister

EW's Ausiello Files is reporting that Fringe's Olivia will get at least a three episode visit from her sister. Ari Graynor landed the role which will premiere sometime in January.
Per a Fringe insider, Graynor's character pays Olivia a surprise visit and ends up crashing at her place for a few weeks. "She's dealing with some man trouble back home," the insider explains. "But the exact nature of that trouble isn't clear."

'Lil sis also has a 'lil travel companion: a daughter.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fox Fix Anna Torv Interview

Via Fringe Television, a brief interview with the gorgeous Anna Torv. She gushes over the show and talks briefly about some of the various characters in the show. Nothing new to speak of really.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Producers Talk Fringe Video

Via Fox, a video where the Fringe producers Jeff Pinkner, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman discuss some ofthe overarching secrets of the show that may or may not be revealed as the season progresses.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

John Noble Fringe Interview

In an interview with Fringe Fanatic, John Noble discusses Fringe and his character of Walter Bishop. The full interview is here but below are a few choice Q&As.
How do you feel about the reception to Peter and Walter’s relationship?
Well, it’s become one of the most talked about aspects of the show, which is kind of pleasing in a way, that with all of the things going on with Fringe in a week that one of the things people have kind of hooked into almost at an emotional level is the relationship between the two Bishops. Certainly, people that stop me on the street and talk to me about it [Fringe] find that relationship very endearing, challenging, and thought-provoking. It’s been one of the little joys we’ve found in it, mind you I think J.J. Abrams always hoped that would happen.

What is your picture of Walter before he went into the asylum and do we see any of that informing Walter’s present tense.
In some ways he’s not so hard to relate to, he’s obviously incredibly bright. He’s in that point-one-percentile of people who have IQs of around 200. He was brilliant, but also myopic I think, his main focus in life would be his work and we still see that, there is absolute joy in Walter when he has something to do, a joy in experimentation, he’s thrilled at the time. I hope that is evident, because every time he gets to do an experiment he’s almost child like and overjoyed. Being that type of man, he’s not a particularly social animal and doesn’t have a high threshold for society – that’s true with a lot of high achievers, Jon, and it would probably be the case with him. I don’t think he was in evil man in any kind of way, but I think he likely stretched ethics for the sake of science, and chose to do science rather than considering the ethics of what he was doing. That’s also consistent with a lot of brilliant people, sadly.

Walter’s history with William Bell is another thing that is always there in Fringe. Do you expect we’ll be meeting up with William Bell in the near future?
There’s two very strong schools of thought about this. I think as long as William Bell remains this reclusive Howard Hughes type character we’ll always have that tantalizing thought. If we introduce him, it’s a bit like instant gratification. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll see some visage of him. There are all kinds of funny ideas about who he is, he’s Nina’s arm or some other crazy things. To directly answer your question, I think we will meet William Bell, but I hope it’s not too soon, or too graphically.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reeves Talk Cloverfield Sequel

Cloverfield Director Matt Reeves spoke with MTV about the possibility of a sequel to Cloverfield. Essentially the idea of a sequel is still alive but just in the tossing around ideas stage with nothing concrete in motion.

“There are a couple ideas that have potential but we haven’t quite cracked it yet,” says Reeves who is juggling his orginal screenplay, “The Invisible Woman” and his remake of “Let the Right One In” among his future projects. Trying to pin down just what those “Cloverfield” sequel ideas are though is easier said than done. One thought was to return to the source of the inspiration for the film. “When we were in Japan we thought, wouldn’t it be cool to do it here,” he said.

One things seems certain. Don’t expect a traditional sequel picking up right after the first with the same (still living) characters. Rather the filmmakers behind the hit film have discussed a sequel that “wasn’t necessarily right after that night but had intersections with the original.”

Then there’s the possibility that Reeves might not direct the sequel at all. Muck like Danny Boyle did for “28 Weeks Later,” Reeves said “There was the thought that maybe we’d bring in some young exciting people and we’d produce their take.”

“I don’t know at this point,” Reeves said. “I think if we find something that would be incredibly fun to make and that we would want to watch then that’s what would push it over the top. It’s a weird puzzle.”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fringe Ratings

After the sixth episode of Fringe, it appears it has found it's ratings level with 9.1 million total viewers which nearly matches the premiere episode. Not bad for a new show where the tendency is to shed viewers in the first few weeks. While the show came in third behind Dancing with the Stars and The Mentalist for the night it was number one in the time slot for the key 18-49 and 18-34 demographic groups that advertisers love.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Star Trek Stills, Info

New information about Star Trek has come out in the form of movie stills, EW articles and multiple interviews. For me, the best information is official confirmation that the first trailer is coming out on November 14th with Quantum of Solace. The info is on my main Star Trek XI blog.

Movie images
EW article
Trek writers comment on images
Trek producer comment on images

Fringe's TV Guide Cover, Article

Next week's Fringe is the feature article and cover for TV Guide. I have to admit I am still not sold on the series, I am most definitely sold on the gorgeous and skilled actress that is Anna Torv and the cover highlights that beauty well.

The article itself (no link available) doesn't really provide any insight into the central mystery of the show, The Pattern, but gets more into the development of the show and the plans for the overall season. Some highlights are below.
- John Noble: "Walter's always remembering things, so he doesn't really know how much he's got to do with the Pattern. That gets revealed in bits and pieces, some that are wonderful and others that are horrific."
- Anna Torv: "I'm loath to put [Fringe] in some sort of neat box. Fringe sort of slides seamlessly among quite a few different genres."
- Anna Torv: "I came in and read, [the producers] had a few little notes, and then we had a few phone conversations. I flew to Los Angeles and met with the guys, and then flew to Toronto in, like, a day to film the pilot. It was all very, very fast."
- JJ Abrams on Anna: "There is a very serious quality about Anna, but when she smiled, her face just lit up. She was beautiful, but not in a way that felt phony or plastic. I believed what she was saying."
- JJ Abrams on avoiding Lost level mythology: "We want to make sure that we're telling stories that aren't too simplistic or too complicated because we don't want to exclude the casual viewer. We also don't want to use the deus ex machina of crazy-insane invention all the time, and yet part of the fun is watching these characters play with the idea of where science could go, not where it is already."
- By episode 10, we will start to see Nina Sharp's (Blair Brown) "deeper connections" to the main characters.
- There is "an epic truth" to the Bishop boys that is "a big idea that, if exposed now, would be difficult to swallow."
- Producer Jeff Pinkner: "With every fiber of our being, we don't intend this to be a mythology-driven show. One of the things The X-Files did the very best was that there was a controlling mythology to the entire series, but most of the episodes you could watch at any time, in any order, and you knew enough to enjoy the episode. One of the mistakes we made in Alias is that the mythology overwhelmed the storytelling."
- Pinkner on random images in the show: "We have all kinds of Easter eggs and details in our show that are only there for the people who care to find them. They don't necessarily give you more. If you don't care to find them, they won't interfere with your enjoyment or understanding of the show. But if you care to find them and you piece them together, they will certainly give you clues to what is coming up in a way that is really just for the fun of it."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fringe Comics Delayed

DC Comics has announced that the current run of the six issue Fringe comic book series has been cancelled and restart back in January. From Newsarama:
According to Hank Kanalz, VP – General Manager, WildStorm, the plan is not to make the series even more tightly tied to the television series, which required some retooling.

“The writers of the show want to make sure the comic book is integrated into the mythology of the Fringe world, so we have decided to refocus the direction of the comic book. Unfortunately, this means that we will have some delays, but will be back in January.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fringe Gets Full Season Order

Fox has ordered a full season or the "back nine" episodes of JJ Abrams's Fringe according THR Feed. With an able assist from House, the show is averaging a 4.2 rating/11 share in key 18-49 demo and averaging 10.7 million viewers a night which makes it one of the top rated new programs of the season.

"We're thrilled to get the full-season order," Abrams says. "As with many new series, 'Fringe' is just starting to find its groove. Knowing we'll be around beyond the first thirteen episodes means we'll get to realize the full potential of the show, and for that we are extremely grateful."

Personally the show is just ok to me but I am starting to develop a bit of a crush on the lovely Anna Torv so will probably stick around for the long haul. Abrams eye for talent and beauty combo continues.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Abrams Talks Fringe, Cloverfield, and Trek

JJ Abrams spoke with BBC's Chris Moyles and discussed his various projects including Fringe, Cloverfield and Star Trek. The full 37 minutes video is here but here are the Star Trek related highlights.

Fringe
- When write plane sequence for Fringe pilot, was actually on plane from Hawaii, found the experience "disturbing"
- [Fringe] science is the "stuff that happens outside the mainstream. Stuff as a kid I as obsessed with ... like Dr. Frankenstein...Altered States, stories about smart grownup people do insane things that all kids want to be doing."
- The various symbols and the like that pop up during the show are clues to the next episode (I will just take his word for it).
- Says that they are trying to avoid the depth of mythology that Lost, Alias and others had where missing an episode could lead to confusion about future eps. As the host mentioned, I find that excuse stupid, especially the ease in which recaps and summaries are available to catch anyone up to date.
- Gives a hint to "watch out for an observer."

Cloverfield
- In regards to the online viral campaign, verified they did have multiple sites, some that no one picked up on.
- Spoke about the Ethan Haas, which he confirmed had nothing to do with the movie (turned out to be for a video game that I don't even know if it came out or not).
- Is working on a follow-up to Cloverfield, no details given

Star Trek XI
- Couple of weeks away from locking Star Trek
- Visual effects are coming in.
- The Original Series was only series Abrams ever watched. ...one of the writers is a rabid fan that knows "arcane facts" about the series.
- The approach to the movie was to make it feel real, to treat it "as a new thing. Make it legitimate." The concern was to avoid crossing over into campy (which I agree can be easy to do with Star Trek). Sometimes the "biggest challenge was to not make the moment suck."
- There is a "red shirt" moment in the movie. The reference is what a running joke in TOS became where the red shirted security guards always died in episodes to establish the "danger" before Kirk and co. did their thing.

Misc
- Joked that he does TV shows so he can create the theme song for it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Massive Dynamic Website

It appears that as part of the promotion for Fringe, JJ Abrams has stared a viral campaign. The company involved with the core conspiracy of the show, "The Pattern", has their own website. The Massive Dynamic's site actually looks slick and feels like a real business website.

The site has contact info, little information on the divisions and other bells and whistles. If you seek tech support for Massive Dynamic products, a number is provided, 1-877-8-MSSDYN (877-867-7396) that has a message that ends with "Please leave a message after the tone and we will find you as soon as possible."

There is also an employee access section of the site but I wasn't able to figure out the username and password combo that might work.

Thanks to Taylor for the find.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Abrams and Jackson Talk Fringe

In an interview to help promote Fringe (Tuesday at 9pm on Fox), show executive producer JJ Abrams and series star Joshua Jackson participated in a conference call. IESB wrote out the transcript of the call and below are a few select bits from it.
Q: Thank you, guys, both for taking a couple of minutes for coming on. J.J., this is actually a question for you. In regards to all the different types of, I guess, going into this Fringe science, are the writers, is everybody sitting around and wondering how far can we push it before it becomes unbelievable? Or is that one of the nice things about this type of genre work where you can keep everything together and be able to tell something maybe far-fetched, really true science fiction type stuff to still keep the audiences in?
J.J. Abrams: Thanks for the question. The truth is that when we did the pilot for Lost, we had the monster appear at the end of the first act. We did that very consciously because we wanted to say to the audience, “We’re jumping the shark now,” like we’re doing crazy stuff from the beginning. We’re not going to wait. On Fringe, we very consciously did what is in many ways a preposterous out there, far-fetched scientific story point in order to say to the audience, “This is what you’re going to be getting on the show.” Now it may be more extreme in some cases, less so in others.

Some shows, I think, as we’re writing scripts will deal with science very much as it exists. But I think for the most part the fun about it for me with movies and TV shows, especially in the genre of either horror of sci-fi is that pushing of the envelope and going further than you might otherwise. I think the show will definitely be pushing the edge of the envelope, but I don’t think it’s going to be about that. I don’t think we’re going to be trying to top ourselves every week because then we’ll just be in a race against ourselves and then there’s no way to win that one.

So I feel like the key is to tell stories that are as compelling, as emotional, as funny and certainly as weird and out there as possible, but not to try and have it be exploiting that aspect of the show. I would rather be delving into who these people are and what makes them tick than doing something just for shock value.

Q: This is kind of a split question, so I apologize. But, J.J., for you what did you see in Josh that made him right as your “Peter Bishop”? Josh, for you, talk about working with John Noble and Anna Torv and what interests you about “Peter’s” relationships with their characters?
J. Jackson: Actually, the answer to both ultimately becomes the same because while there’s a lot of stuff going on with “Peter Bishop,” what I’m finding is a lot of the fun of playing him is exactly what you described, the relationship basically which boils down to being a translator more often than not between “Walter,” who is brilliant, but sort of half cracked, and then “Olivia,” who is an intensely no-nonsense type person. She’s not the type of character that you would sit down and have a lyrical, philosophical conversation with. She’s very much a “Just the facts, ma’am” type of person.

And you bring this other character, this “Peter” character, into that world who has to try and be the go-between, and initially the extremely reluctant go-between who’s really only brought in by happenstance and then can’t get himself out. That’s an interesting dynamic because ultimately what that boils down to in my mind, and J.J., feel free to correct me, is a very typical dysfunctional family. And you put that dynamic, something that’s relatable and understandable to everybody, and you put it in this fantastically outrageous world of Fringe and it makes for an interesting day’s work.

Q: And, J.J.?
J.J. Abrams: To answer your question, I’ve known Josh a little bit for a long time back in the days of Dawson’s Creek. I was doing Felicity, so we were sort of in that same universe—
J. Jackson: Actually, not to make this too romantic, but I remember the first time we met.
J.J. Abrams: At Disney.
J. Jackson: Yes, exactly, at the screening for Felicity.
J.J Abrams: That’s right. I’ve always been a fan and loved his sense of humor and also the gravity that I thought that he could bring to something, even something as soap operatic as the stuff you were doing on the WB. I felt that same way about when I was working with Keri Russell. It’s like you find, there are actors, you go, “Okay, they are really good, they elevate the material. They make it better.” As a director/writer/producer, all you ever want is to work with actors who make you look better, who make the work you do seem as good as it can be and even better than it is. I always felt that Josh had that ability. I’m thrilled to finally get a chance to work with him.

Q: So with the Anna and Josh chemistry we have going on, will there be love in their future? Josh, you also mentioned at the premiere that it would be kind of inappropriate for their characters to get together. Inappropriate how, if you could both touch on that?
J. Jackson: I’ll leave the big question to you, J.J., but the little question, actually what I said at the premiere was that it would be inappropriate in the pilot because it’s awkward hitting on a woman when her boyfriend is dying in front of her eyes. But the big question I’ll leave to you, J.J.
J.J. Abrams: The odds are so much better. There’s no doubt going to be a sort of slow burn relationship that develops between the two of them. I don’t think it will happen exactly as you might think. But there obviously will be a dynamic there that we will play up, but like Josh said, it needs to be burned and it needs to be done right. There’s a lot going on their lives on the show that are more urgent issues, but there’s definitely going to be over time a relationship between the “Peter” and “Olivia” characters.

Q: Hello, J.J., I wondered is there some point you want to make about corporations in this and how much will that figure in the show?
J.J. Abrams: The show doesn’t quite hit on the corporate conspiracy aspect, as the pilot might suggest, but there definitely is an ambiguous role that is played by Blair Brown. She works for a company that it’s much more important, the relationship between her boss, who we have yet to meet, and “Walter,” John Noble’s character. Their back story, how they ended up where they are, these are things that are much more about the characters than about a sort of cliché, cynical look at corporate culture. Having said that, I don’t trust corporate culture at all.

Q: Can you tell us who is playing her boss and how soon we might see him?
J.J. Abrams: I can’t tell you that yet, but I can tell you that you will definitely meet him, he’ll definitely be a featured part of the show. We want to make sure that when you meet him it’s something you’re hungry for, as opposed to something that you’re just experiencing. So the way it’s going to happen, which will happen over time, but by the end of the first season you’ll meet “William Bell.”

Q: J.J., you have a really great track record with your leading ladies, Keri Russell, Jennifer Garner, Evangeline Lilly. How did you find Anna Torv?
J.J. Abrams: Our incredibly talented casting director … showed us a video audition that Anna did for another show, a movie. We were trying to see as many people as we could and I saw this audition. It’s just that feeling that you have where you just immediately know that’s the person. I wish there was some really cool, clever technique that we use to do this, but the truth is whether it’s Keri Russell walking through the door, Jennifer Garner, who I’d gotten to work with on Felicity, and who my wife was insistent was going to be a star, or Evangeline Lilly, who I got a video of her audition, or now Anna, it’s simply the fact that when you see the right person, the first thing you’re concerned about is, “Oh my God, can we actually get her? Is she really available?” Like it’s no longer about giving her the part, it’s just we have to make this work. When I saw Anna, I just knew that she had a quality that was unique and smart, and she was beautiful, but not in a way that felt like she was phony. She seemed tough and sophisticated. I just felt like she was the right one.

Q: I’m wondering about, one of the more important questions that have come up, Fringe is done in such a cinematic fashion and we’re seeing a lot of shows now on television deal with this, we’re seeing more kind of a movie type atmosphere. Do you like this direction for dramatic shows? Do you think more shows should incorporate it into their style?
J.J. Abrams: I do. I feel like obviously the standard for what TV looks like changes all the time. There’s certainly a cinematic quality to much of what you see on TV. In fact, it’s funny when you watch some movies now, they’ve gone to a much more rough, the Bourne films, for example, that feels almost documentary style the way Paul Greengrass does his stuff. So it’s funny how television has taken on a very sort of cinematic look, more sophisticated lighting and camera moves. A lot of movies have gone to a rougher place.

So it’s interesting to think the line is so blurred now, it’s hard to know. If you just want to look at something in a vacuum, I don’t know if you’d be able to say, “That definitely is a TV show. That’s definitely a movie.” I think it’s sort of become, just as, by the way, actors and writers and directors are seemingly existing in television and film without real regard to being a TV star or a movie star, if you’re an actor, you’re an actor and the medium is less important than the material.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fringe Premiere Ratings So-So

The ratings for premiere episode of Fringe is in and its not looking so good. From TV.com:
In J.J. Abrams terms, the Fringe debut was a flop. Only 9.1 million people watched it, according to Nielsen, a number Fox was hoping would have a "1" in front of it. That breaks down to just above one dollar per set of eyes, if the alleged $10 million price tag for the pilot is to be believed.

The heavily hyped program was one of the season's most eagerly anticipated, or so we thought. By comparison, Lost, another J.J. product, debuted in 2004 to a whopping 18.6 million viewers. In fact, no first-run episode--season premiere or otherwise--of Lost has drawn less than 10 million (as The Washington Post points out), and that includes the numbers from season three, when the show was thought to have lost its way.

It's probably unfair to compare Fringe to Lost or assume that everything J.J. Abrams puts his name on is ratings dynamite, but something is amiss. People seem to like Fringe, and it currently holds an 8.0 rating on TV.com. Was it the less-than-stellar reviews? Was it the fact that it leaked online months ago? Is it those darned digital video recorders all you whippersnappers are using nowadays?
I have the deeling once DVR is added combined with online viewership, the numbers will improve. Probably the biggest hurdle is that "appointment" TV just hasn't geared up for most people. I still keep forgetting when new stuff is on because I am still in the summer viewing cycle. Another problem is probably the lack of buzz on the show. People simple where not talking about it before it came out and their really not talking about it after. If the episodes that follow are of good enough quality, the viewers will come. The real issue will Fox have the patience to wait and found out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Abrams Talk Fringe

JJ Abrams briefly discussed Fringe (which premieres tonight) with SciFi Scanner.
Q: What inspired you to create Fringe?
A: The show was born out of our love of all things bizarre and kooky in media we loved growing up. The X-Files was definitely one of the sources of inspiration, as were things like The Twilight Zone and Nightstalker. We actually did an episode of Alias once guest starring David Cronenberg as a mad scientist. It was something I felt could be a TV show -- the idea of a Frankenstinian mad doctor, the classic cliché character, but done in a way that Cronenberg has treated a lot of his out-there protagonists, where he makes them broken people and emotional characters.

Q: X-Files creator Chris Carter likes to say his show takes place in the realm of extreme possibility. Would you say the same about Fringe?
A: Yes, especially given that Fringe is not about overtly paranormal stuff. The X-Files was from the beginning a show about aliens and the possibility of being abducted. Fringe is going to be a much more science and technology-based extreme reality. The key to The X-Files was that there was always a kind of gray hypothetical, if not far-fetched, rationale for what was happening. So to that end I would say that Fringe shares a similarity.

Q: You say you wrote Fringe as a fan of TV shows. So what role will fans play in shaping the show as it goes along?
A: We're obviously making the show for those people, and the great thing about the Internet is to be able to very quickly get a consensus about what people are feeling. That's not to say if the reaction to something that you believe in isn't exactly what you want, you abandon the idea. But if the opinion resonates with you, it's something you should listen to.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fringe Premieres Tomorrow

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow is the premiere of JJ Abrams' Fringe. The television show will premiere with lmited commercials on Tuesday at 8/7c. Also you can later watch full shows, see clips, view the gallery, etc here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fringe Comic Out

Just a quick reminder that Fringe: the Comic is out now at your local comic book store. Next week is the grand premiere of the show on TV.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fringe Streamed to Dorms

Fox has announced it plans to stream the premiere episodes of Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles online to college students at the same time they premiere on TV. To view the stream, the computers must be located on a .edu domain probably limiting its streamers to those that live in college dorms.

The move is said to be an attempt to get students that probably have a computer but not a TV to watch the show. More likely the it’s an attempt to curtail later bittorrent downloads of television shows as the networks continue to have the false assumption that one download = one loss sale.

"We talked about what we could do with colleges given the fact that we have so much traffic coming from them," said Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori. "The light bulb went off -- by simul-streaming 'Fringe' and 'Sarah Connor,' (the college students) get to see the show, and we get the increased fanbase and buzz."

Terminator premieres September 8th and Fringe on September 9th.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Earthquake in Abrams Future

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that JJ Abrams is joining Omen screenwriter David Seltzer to create an earthquake related disaster movie for Universal. The movie will not be a remake of the 1974 film "Earthquake."

The articles says, "Details of the story are being kept in a seemingly tremor-proof vault, though as is Abrams' modus operandi, relationships will be at the core of the project. Abrams arguably rewrote the rules for disaster flicks with "Cloverfield," which thrust the big story to the background by making the audience see the bedlam through the prism of a personal relationship."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fringe The Comic

Newsarama recently spoke with Athena Wickham to talk about Fringe the comic serires coming from Wildstorm on August 27th, before the series pilot airs on September 9th. Wickham is a TV executive for JJ Abram's Bad Robot production company and also was a co-story consultent for the comic series.

Wickham joins quite a few other people who are making sure the comic fits seamlessly with the show. Series creators Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci (the writers behind the upcoming Star Trek movie) are co-developing the comic book story and approving all scripts and art. Then the six issues of Fringe are being crafted by TV show staff writers Zack Whedon and Julia Cho along with Superman/Batman scribe Mike Johnson, who works with the Kurtzman/Orci production company. The comic will also have contributions from other members of the television show's staff of writers, including Alex Katsnelson, Danielle Dispaltro, and Matthew Pitts.

The Fringe show, which centers on "fringe sciences" like telekinesis and reanimation, follows the story of FBI agent Olivia Dunham. Working with scientist Walter Bishop and his son Peter, she discovers that a specialized government department is looking into a recent series of reality-bending events called the "Pattern."

As the comic series opens, Wickham said the first issue "begins when the yin and yang of fringe science first meet face to face."

"The issues will consist of two parts. Part A will tell the back-story story of two of our key characters: Walter Bishop and William Bell. Part B will consist of stand-alone stories," Wickham said. "Readers will be introduced to a range of characters -- from those at the epicenter of the pilot to others who might not live to make a series appearance."

Comics artist Tom Mandrake will provide art for the back-story. "He will be joined by Simon Coleby in the first issue, with surprise artists to come in upcoming issues," Baronoff said. "Mandrake just jumped out at us with his extremely emotional and creepy art. He's producing amazing work. Coleby is a rising star whose style is perfect for Fringe."

"We are working with the amazing team at Wildstorm so that both the artists' work and the physical book itself will be reflective of the story's place and time," Baronoff said. "Much like the series, we hope this comic will run the gamut from dark and eerie to funny and profound."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pinkner Talk Fringe With Newsarama

Fringe Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner spoke with Newsarama about JJ Abrams upcoming television series Fringe. He discusses the series premise, the characters and the casting of the leads.
"The premise is that an event happens that brings FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, onto a case,” explains Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner. “In the course of it, her partner is actually injured and in an effort to try and save him, she seeks out a brilliant scientist who himself has been incarcerated in an institution for the last 17 years for various reasons. He is doing research in the fringe sciences, the very out there concepts, which of course are all very real like telekinesis and reanimation. The only way she is able to get him out of the asylum is with the help of a family member so she is forced to seek out his son Peter who has had no relationship with him over the last 20 years. He has no interest in helping but does so because he sees how emotionally invested Olivia is.

"The three of them are able to actually solve the case and during the course of it, it is revealed to her that there is actually a very specialized department of Homeland securities unit looking into a series of recent events that the government is referring to as The Pattern. These are unexplained events which seem to call into question what we understand as reality. With the help of the scientist, Walter Bishop, played by John Noble, and his son Peter, played by Joshua Jackson, the three of them set out to discover what the hell is going on.”

“Olivia is just an incredibly driven, incredibly brilliant agent with her own complicated past that we will peel back over time,” reveals Pinkner. “She is exposed to these events which seem to be taking place around the globe at more regular intervals than previously and sets out to solve these cases, if anyone is behind them, if they are simply freak natural occurrences, and at the same time, figure out her life.”

“Peter is sort of a jack of all trades. He is a brilliant person with a lot of his father’s innate intelligence but given his relationship with his Dad, he has turned his back on science and what he believes in. He has sort of lived by the seat of his pants for many years and in the process, has left a wake of disappointment with business partners and vengeful ex girlfriends.

"Peter is sort of a guy running from his own shadow, living by the seat of his pants, and cutting business deals as he globe trots. He is forced by honor and duty to join the team as well. He has one foot in and out and isn’t happy about being his father’s babysitter. Peter is understandably freaked out with the matters they are looking into but he finds a certain satisfaction in his own degree of expertise and being able to help. He has feelings for Olivia, a complicated relationship with his father, and starts to find his faith in the world as he moves along.”

“Walter is perhaps one of the most brilliant scientists known but in the name of science, and on behalf of the government back in the 70’s and the Vietnam/Cold War era, he has perhaps left a lot of harm in his wake. He has potentially damaged a lot of people and developed a lot of technologies that others may have exploited in the past. As a consequence, there either was or wasn’t a series of events that caused him to lose his mind and break down. He was found criminally guilty and put into an institution where they have done all kinds of advanced therapies to him, which have further damaged his mind. Despite all that, he’s the only person we can rely on to help us solve all these cases.”

“Walter Bishop had a former partner, William, back at Harvard when they were both working for a government corporation called Massive Dynamics. William has since gone on to become one of the richest men on the planet. Think Bill Gates. He runs a company which has its hands in every kind of consumer goods you can imagine from energy to television sets.”

“William’s chief operating officer is a woman named Nina Sharp who takes a maternal interest in Olivia and a concern for her looking into these cases. Nina has clearance to know about The Pattern so the corporation has vast interest in these events taking place around the world because at the very least, they could affect Massive Dynamics’ business. It’s also possible they are trying to harness these events to exploit them either for profit or some other reason.”

“To be honest, Josh was one of the first people who read for us,” recalls Pinkner. “People also had Pacey in mind and Josh is not Pacey by any means. He is very much all grown up. Josh is an adult now and Pacey was an adolescent. Every other actor we auditioned, it was like ‘We need Joshua Jackson.’ Josh is perfect for the role and interestingly enough, he forced everyone to reconsider him because everyone had a little bit of a Pacey hangover. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but actually great. The character is just not Pacey. This character is a lot darker, a lot more soulful, and Josh came in and nailed the role and convinced everyone he is Peter. He is incredibly talented and pretty much emails me every couple of days going ‘When can we get started?’ The other fantastic thing about Joshua is he is wildly intelligent, as is his character, so he just brings a depth and gravity to everything he does.”

“As for Anna Torov, the process for Olivia had gone well past the 12th hour because nobody was willing to settle. Somehow, someone discovered Anna, an Australian actress who hadn’t really worked in New York before. She was put on tape in Australia and as soon as everybody saw her audition, it was instantly ‘There’s our girl! We found her! Moving on!’”

"Fringe, unlike Alias or Lost, will have cases of the week, cases that we well get involved with and may solve at the end of each episode,” reports Pinkner. “At the same time, there will be a much larger mythology running through the whole series. What I enjoy about that is we are literally exploring a world. The show is about things much larger than itself. What I enjoy about TV is spending time with characters that grow. What is great about these shows with mythologies is that at the same time that the characters are changing, we are exploring different aspects of a real fictional universe so our canvas is very vast. We as writers and creators can explore themes or ideas that interest us. We don’t feel limited because anything that interests us we can chase down. That is really fun for me.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fringe Trailer

Whee, a trailer for Fringe. Sigh, Abrams and his secrets makes running a blog very difficult.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

AOTS Abrams Interview

Attack of the Show's Alison Haislip interviewed JJ Abrams and the cast about Fringe during the San Diego Comic-com.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bad Robot Statue

If your a fan of JJ Abrams and have some money to burn, you might be able to get hold of one of the Bad Robot mascot figurines. The limited edition run of 500 was designed off the same 3D printer that created the Cloverfield monster and Star Trek's new phasers. How you can get one and how much it’s going to cost was not released. It would be something I wouldn't mind having but sadly I am saving up for a new computer instead (my current is 7 years old).

AICN On Fringe Preview

Yesterday the San Diego Comic-Con held its "Preview Night" where it showed the broadcast version of the Fringe trailer and AICN was there to review it.
Not surprisingly, the pilot is a real attention grabber, with Abrams & Co. (including Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the team behind Abrams' Star Trek movie) giving us yet another series opener that begins with a fated airliner. Unlike "Lost," nobody survives this flight from Germany, which lands on autopilot in Boston. In fact, the way the passengers and crew die is pretty fucking gruesome, especially a certain co-pilot. FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Australian lovely Anna Torv) is brought in to investigate by her overbearing, often cruel boss (played by "The Wire's" Lance Reddick, who also appeared in a couple "Lost" episodes this last season). The evidence leads Dunham and fellow agent John Scott (Mark Valley of "Boston Legal"), who also happens to be Dunham's secret lover, to a storage facility where they find a strange lab and a familiar-looking man operating it. The ensuing chase results leads to near-fatal results for Scott when an unknown mixture of chemical causes his skin to crystalize and actually become see through. The effect is unbelievably cool.

Dunham search becomes two fold: find the possible terrorist who killed a plane load of people and find a cure for her dying boyfriend. Both searches lead her to Walter Bishop (John Noble), a former Harvard researcher who has been locked up for crazy for the last 20 years. The only way Dunham can interview him is to get the permission of a family member, so she finds Bishop's son, Peter (Josh Jackson), an intelligent wheeler-dealer who sometimes seems more con artist than actual genius. The rest of the show is a wild ride toward a scientific cure that takes this group of investigators and researchers from trying to cure one man to uncovering what may be a global conspiracy to turn portions of the world's population into human lab rats--a phenomenon known as "The Pattern" in certain whispering circles. I love that the Abrams bunch has pretty much taken the documentary THE CORPORATION and turned it into the basis for this promising show. The idea that apparently random events in recent history (such as massive tsunamis) may have been the result of testing on a giant scale. I'm guessing it's no coincidence that our Dr. Bishop shard a lab at Harvard back in the day with a man who now runs one of the largest industrial science-based complexes in the world.

The cast is across-the-board strong as a rock. Torv is a great new face who seems pretty game as a skeptical investigator whose work on this case opens up a new career for her--to look into criminal or dangerous abuses of "fringe science," such as teleportation, invisibility, and reanimation. Yes, I said it! Re-fucking-animation! Also very good in the cast is Blair Brown as the ice-cold corporate mouth piece for the big corporation. She's only in a couple of scenes, but they are two of the most revealing sequences in the film, and she's just masterful. Noble's portrayal of Dr. Bishop might be in need of a little toning down. This incarnation of Bishop might be too "nutty professor," which I realize is exactly what he is. But it just felt a little forced. That being said, he delivers some of the show's best lines, especially when he sets out to cook up a batch of homemade LSD.

In many ways, "Fringe" is a more reality-based version of "The X-Files." I'm sure I'm not the first person to say this, nor will I be the last. But that's because the tone of the show and the potential cases that Dunham and the Bishop men will look into seem right out of a more believable, science-based version of "The X-Files." Whether the series can keep up the immediacy of the first episode is unknown, but I'm thinking yes. The pilot is a slam dunk, and at the very least, check that out in September and prepare to be immensely entertained.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Abrams: "Deeply Involved" in Fringe

JJ Abrams answered some Fringe related questions at the Television Critics Association press tour the other day. As part of that he declared he was "going to be deeply involved in the show. I feel jealous I didn't get to [direct] the pilot." How involved remains to be seen but with the many projects on his plate I am betting his role will be advisor level at best.

He also Fringe "doesn't require the sort of insane, absolute dedication" to follow as his past shows such as Lost and Alias required. As for the bit torrent pilot episode now online, that was not leaked by them and it is not the broadcast version. X-Files was cited as a source of inspiration but so was the Twilight Zone and Night Stalker.

So there you go, if you’re an Abrams fan this is good news but I remain skeptical about how much input he will have in the show over the long haul.

High Expectations for Fringe

Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly inidcated he has high expectations for Fringe according to TV Guide.
Fox’s greatest hope this fall is unquestionably J.J. Abrams’ big-budget, high-concept sci-fi thriller Fringe, which Reilly and boss Peter Ligouri aggressively pursued. “We offered him a series day one. We knew the log line, that it was sort of The X-Files, Indiana Jones kind of thing. This show just feels right,” says Reilly.

“I do feel that ultimately any pressure or expectations for this or any other show could ruin a show,” [Abrams] said in a separate TCA panel. “It’s like if you expect something that’s going to change your life, no matter what it is, it’s almost invariably going to be disappointing. … I don’t think any one show can save the fall.”

Abrams says Fringe was spawned from his fascination with the work of David Cronenberg and the writings of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, among others: “that weird place where medicine and science meets real life.” He also cited The Twilight Zone, The X-Files and Night Stalker as inspirations. Orci adds that Abrams’ team, including fellow collaborator Alex Kurtzman, “sat in a room and kind of listed off our shows. For me, I always wanted to do kind of a real genius solving problems. Alex was a huge fan of Twin Peaks and J.J. was a huge fan of Altered States [whose star Blair Brown has a crucial role in the series]. So it’s a cross of those things. Obviously, The X-Files left an impression, but that’s not where we started.”

“Fringe is in many ways an experiment for us,” says Abrams. “We’re trying very deliberately to do a show that doesn’t require the insane absolute dedication to a series that if you miss an episode, you have no idea of what is going on.” (Abrams told an hilarious story about tuning into an episode of Alias during its run at actor friend Greg Grunberg’s house and thinking, “I was so confused. It literally was impenetrable. … [Alias] was definitely a show that while I loved working on that show and miss it, I can see how it was difficult.”)

Fellow executive producer Jeff Pinkner says, “The standard we are trying to hold ourselves up to is that when the first commercial hits, ideally people are calling their friends and saying you won’t believe what just happened on Fox. You have to change the channel and check out this show.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pinkner Talks Fringe

Fringe Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner spoke with Newsarama about JJ Abram's Fringe discussing the overall plot and provides more information about each of the characters.
“The premise is that an event happens that brings FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, onto a case,” explains Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner. “In the course of it, her partner is actually injured and in an effort to try and save him, she seeks out a brilliant scientist who himself has been incarcerated in an institution for the last 17 years for various reasons. He is doing research in the fringe sciences, the very out there concepts, which of course are all very real like telekinesis and reanimation. The only way she is able to get him out of the asylum is with the help of a family member so she is forced to seek out his son Peter who has had no relationship with him over the last 20 years. He has no interest in helping but does so because he sees how emotionally invested Olivia is.

"The three of them are able to actually solve the case and during the course of it, it is revealed to her that there is actually a very specialized department of Homeland securities unit looking into a series of recent events that the government is referring to as The Pattern. These are unexplained events which seem to call into question what we understand as reality. With the help of the scientist, Walter Bishop, played by John Noble, and his son Peter, played by Joshua Jackson, the three of them set out to discover what the hell is going on.”

Although there were reshoots recently in New York and a completely finished pilot hasn’t been previewed yet, somehow the fledgling show is already being compared to other cult hits.

“Olivia is just an incredibly driven, incredibly brilliant agent with her own complicated past that we will peel back over time,” reveals Pinkner. “She is exposed to these events which seem to be taking place around the globe at more regular intervals than previously and sets out to solve these cases, if anyone is behind them, if they are simply freak natural occurrences, and at the same time, figure out her life.”

“Peter is sort of a jack of all trades. He is a brilliant person with a lot of his father’s innate intelligence but given his relationship with his Dad, he has turned his back on science and what he believes in. He has sort of lived by the seat of his pants for many years and in the process, has left a wake of disappointment with business partners and vengeful ex girlfriends.

"Peter is sort of a guy running from his own shadow, living by the seat of his pants, and cutting business deals as he globe trots. He is forced by honor and duty to join the team as well. He has one foot in and out and isn’t happy about being his father’s babysitter. Peter is understandably freaked out with the matters they are looking into but he finds a certain satisfaction in his own degree of expertise and being able to help. He has feelings for Olivia, a complicated relationship with his father, and starts to find his faith in the world as he moves along.”

“Walter is perhaps one of the most brilliant scientists known but in the name of science, and on behalf of the government back in the 70’s and the Vietnam/Cold War era, he has perhaps left a lot of harm in his wake. He has potentially damaged a lot of people and developed a lot of technologies that others may have exploited in the past. As a consequence, there either was or wasn’t a series of events that caused him to lose his mind and break down. He was found criminally guilty and put into an institution where they have done all kinds of advanced therapies to him, which have further damaged his mind. Despite all that, he’s the only person we can rely on to help us solve all these cases.”

“Walter Bishop had a former partner, William, back at Harvard when they were both working for a government corporation called Massive Dynamics. William has since gone on to become one of the richest men on the planet. Think Bill Gates. He runs a company which has its hands in every kind of consumer goods you can imagine from energy to television sets.”

“William’s chief operating officer is a woman named Nina Sharp who takes a maternal interest in Olivia and a concern for her looking into these cases. Nina has clearance to know about The Pattern so the corporation has vast interest in these events taking place around the world because at the very least, they could affect Massive Dynamics’ business. It’s also possible they are trying to harness these events to exploit them either for profit or some other reason.”

“To be honest, Josh was one of the first people who read for us,” recalls Pinkner. “People also had Pacey in mind and Josh is not Pacey by any means. He is very much all grown up. Josh is an adult now and Pacey was an adolescent. Every other actor we auditioned, it was like ‘We need Joshua Jackson.’ Josh is perfect for the role and interestingly enough, he forced everyone to reconsider him because everyone had a little bit of a Pacey hangover. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but actually great. The character is just not Pacey. This character is a lot darker, a lot more soulful, and Josh came in and nailed the role and convinced everyone he is Peter. He is incredibly talented and pretty much emails me every couple of days going ‘When can we get started?’ The other fantastic thing about Joshua is he is wildly intelligent, as is his character, so he just brings a depth and gravity to everything he does.”

“As for Anna Torov, the process for Olivia had gone well past the 12th hour because nobody was willing to settle. Somehow, someone discovered Anna, an Australian actress who hadn’t really worked in New York before. She was put on tape in Australia and as soon as everybody saw her audition, it was instantly ‘There’s our girl! We found her! Moving on!’”

Monday, July 14, 2008

SDCC Fringe Panel

The San Diego Comic-Con finally released its full Saturday and Sunday schedule. As part of that Fringe will have its own panel to go along with the screening of the pilot episode on Thursday. In addition Wildstorm has its panel which will include discussion of the Fringe comic books series from the publisher. Finally, Zoic Studios will have a panel discussion its FX works for various television programs including Fringe.
July 26th, 4:45-5:45 Fringe Q&A and Trailer Screening— J. J. Abrams (Lost), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman—the team behind Mission: Impossible 3, Alias, and the upcoming Star Trek feature—join fellow Fringe executive producers Bryan Burk (Cloverfield) and Jeff Pinkner (Lost), as well as stars Anna Torv (The Pacific), Josh Jackson (Shutter), and John Noble (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), for an exclusive Q&A about one of the most anticipated new television series of the fall season, a drama that will thrill, terrify and explore the blurring line between science fiction and reality. The session will kick off with the screening of a trailer for the series. Television Week deputy editor and columnist Joe Adalian moderates. From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Fringe premieres September 9 and airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM on FOX. Ballroom 20

July 26th, 6:30-7:30 WildStorm Brewing— Get the inside scoop on what’s coming up from DC’s wildest imprint from VP Hank Kanalz, superstar artist Jim Lee, editorial director Christos Gage (WildCats: World’s End), and creators Neil Googe (WildCats: World’s End), Wes Craig (Wildstorm Revelations), Brian Denham (X-Files), Joshua Ortega (Gears of War), and Jason Craig (Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash). Find out about WildStorm’s newest creator-driven books, plus the latest on The Authority, WildCats, Stormwatch, Gen 13, The Lost Boys, X-Files, J. J. Abram’s Fringe, and much, much more! Room 8

July 26th, 6:00-7:00 Exceeding Expectations and Exploring New Worlds: Feature Effects for the Small Screen— Zoic Studios moderates a discussion with VFX supervisors on their passion for creating narrative enhancing, eye-popping effects for television. Some of the best in the business discuss future trends as well as their contribution to the television series Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, The Middleman, Lost, Eureka, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Smallville, and the new fall show Fringe. Room 32AB

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fringe at SDCC

The San Diego Comic-Com has released its schedule for the convention being held from July 23-27th. For the first time this year there is a "Preview Night" where several new fall TV series show their pilot episodes including Fringe.
6:00–7:30 and 7:30-9:00 Fringe Pilot Screenings—Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television proudly present two exclusive premiere screenings of the pilot episode of Fringe, the highly anticipated new FOX series from J.J. Abrams (Lost), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the team behind the upcoming Star Trek feature, Mission: Impossible 3 and Alias. When an international flight lands at Boston’s Logan Airport and the passengers and crew have all died grisly deaths, FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv, The Pacific) is called in to investigate. When the search nearly kills her partner, Special Agent John Scott (Mark Valley, Boston Legal), a desperate Olivia searches frantically for someone to help, leading her to Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), our generation’s Einstein. There’s only one catch: He’s been institutionalized for the last 20 years, and the only way to question him requires pulling his estranged son, Peter (Josh Jackson, Shutter), in to help. Under Special Agent Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick, The Wire), our trio will discover that what happened on that fatal flight is only a small piece of a larger, more shocking truth. Fringe also stars Kirk Acevedo (Oz), Blair Brown (The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd) and Jasika Nicole (The Mastersons of Manhattan). From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Fringe premieres September 9 and airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM on FOX. (Please note: we will clear the room between screenings. Seating is limited. Pick the screening time that works best for you!) Ballroom 20
To my knowledge the episode is available on bittorrent but now you can also see it (if your early enough) while at the convetion. Let the site know if its any good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

AICN Fringe Review

Last week was a pretty negative review of the pilot episode of Fringe. This week AICN weighs in and their opinion is much kinder. Below are some quotes but you can read the full review here.

I’d be shocked if we see another fall pilot this year as good as this one. Scary, funny, suspenseful and superslick “Fringe” will fire imaginations and, like the three Abrams-scripted pilots before it, leave viewers craving more.

That “larger, more shocking truth” business is interesting, and complicated. The description of superscientist Walter Bishop as “our generation’s Einstein” represents a rare bit of understatement on the part of Fox’s publicity department. Bishop is more like this generation’s Milo Rambaldi, the shadowy 15th century seer/inventor who haunted the events of “Alias” by designing technology he saw in our future. Bishop’s twentysomething son (who turns out to be plenty brainy himself) believes with Sydney Bristow-esque naivety that his chemist father made his living in a basement below Harvard University, “doing research for a toothpaste company.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

JJ Abrams Next Project

Thanks to an article in the New York Times, JJ Abrams has found the next project he wants to produce. The article, "Mystery on Fifth Avenue" discusses a house that Steven Klinksy had renovated for his wife and four children. Designer Eric Clough redesigned the house with a furniture and walls that conceal messages and other treasure but to get at them you have to solve a series of puzzles. A gallery explain some of them can be found here.

Included in the design is a soundtrack by Canadian singer Kate Fenner and a fictional book called "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler." The retrofit of the apartment was the decision of Maureen Sherry (the wife) after meeting the designer Clough. The decision to add the secret compartments and puzzles was a secret addition after the couple made vague references about wanting a poem hidden in a wall somewhere "as if were a time capsule."

From that came inspiration and his firm, 212box went to work devising the secrets built into the walls and furniture. That idea later led to a book about friends finding the apartment and making discoveries as they unlock its secrets. The book was written by his colleague Heather Bensko and later used to help the family in the treasure hunt.

It took over 4 years to complete the project, with Clough eating some of the costs and getting the help of is friends. The couple moved in May, 2006 and with a little subtle assistance from Clough began to discover the 18 clues that unlocked the various secrets. After a long hunt and many steps in between, the family finds...a hidden poem written by Mr. Klinksy to his family.

Personally I find the concept of an apartment full of secret apartments and puzzles intriguing and the idea of a movie around that grabs my interest. The story ideas are pretty boundless. Abrams could use the fictional book for his movie or do something wholly original. Either way, I am curious to see what develops from this foundation.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fringe Comic Coming

USA Today is reporting that a Fringe comic is in the works at DC Comics regarding the Fringe television series that JJ Abrams created. The comic is expected to hit stands on August 27th two weeks before the TV series premiere airs. What the story is about is unknown.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fringe Cast Photos; New Premiere Date

If your interested in checking out the cast in high quality style, check out the Fringe-Forum which has one for each cast member. Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham) is the one on the left.

Fox has also released is schedule premiere dates for its shows. The two hour pilot of Fringe was scheduled to premiere on August 25th, but that has now changed to Tuesday, September 9th at 9PM.

Friday, June 6, 2008

First Review of Fringe

Bloody-Disgusting has scored the first review of JJ Abrams' Fringe. They watched the 80 minute pilot and pretty much came away cold. They enjoyed the opening sequence with a violent event occurring on a plane but once the cast starts getting introduced and the story moved along couldn't decide if the show took itself seriously or not. The cast varied between outstanding to lackluster and veered into farce at moments. Basically his thinking that the pilot showed that much tooling was still need for the series run.

The full interview is here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cloverfield on Blu-Ray Coming Tuesday

Apparently I am a little behind on the loop but it appears that Cloverfield is finally coming to Blu-Ray. I thought the disc was released at the same time as the DVD but clearly I was wrong. Any case it coming Tuesday, has the same features ad the DVD and probably isn't worth the extra cost since the HD and sound is mostly irrelevant since the movie was filmed with handhelds.

Monday, May 19, 2008

No Cloverfield Sequel?

In a recent interview with Sci-Fi wire, JJ Abrams indicated that he has discussed a Cloverfield sequel but would rather persue another idea with his partners on that film, Drew Goddard and Matt Reeves.

"We're talking about it," Abrams said of Cloverfield 2 during an interview at the Fox upfront presentation for advertisers in New York on May 15, where he was promoting his upcoming SF TV series Fringe. "But the truth is there's another idea that I'd rather do with the same people than do a sequel. It's a whole new thing."

Abrams added, "So my dream is to work with [Goddard and Reeves] again, but do something that's [new]. Having said that, Drew and Matt both, separately, have really good ideas for what [Cloverfield 2] could be. So I don't know. We'll see. I know the studio wants it."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fringe Promos and Stills

Fringe-Online, an already pretty eleborate website for the show, has posted several promo videos (see below) and galleries of stills from the show. Most of the galleries appear to be stills released to the media and grabs from the promos.
Promo I


Promo II

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cloverfield Trailers and Posters

Cloverfield Movie Official Site
http://www.cloverfieldmovie.com/

Tagruato Corp
http://tagruato.jp/

Jamie & Teddy; PW: jllovesth
http://www.jamieandteddy.com/

1-18-08
http://www.1-18-08.com/

Slusho
http://slusho.jp/

Project Cloverfield
http://1-18-08.blogspot.com/

Cloverfield Clues
http://cloverfieldclues.blogspot.com/

Cloverfield Central
http://www.bananapod.com/cloverfield

TV Spot #18 - Arrived




TV Spot #17 - See It




TV Spot #16 - Impossible




TV Spot #15 - Extreme




TV Spot #14 - Breathe




TV Spot #13 - Cobra Mix




TV Spot #12 - Who Would You Save




TV Spot #11 - Discover the Secret




TV Spot #10 - Some Thing Has Found Us




TV Spot #9 - Witness




TV Spot #8 - Incredible




TV Spot #7 - Teaser




TV Spot #6 - Who Would You Go Back For?




TV Spot #5 - Some Thing Has Arrived




TV Spot #4 - We Are Not Alone




TV Spot #3 - Their Only Hope Is Each Other




TV Spot #2 - Monster




TV Spot #1 - Robert




Theatrical Trailer




Teaser Trailer


Poster:

Official Cloverfield PosterMonstrous?

Fringe Premiere Date, Less Commericals

Fox has announced plans of a new commercial TV model they are calling "Remote-Free TV" that will run with JJ Abrams' Fringe and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. The plan is to reduce commercial breaks from an average of 15 minutes per hour to around five freeing up those extra minutes for the program.

From the article:
"It's a simple concept and potentially revolutionary," Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Liguori said. "We're going to have less commercials, less promotional time, and less reason for viewers to use the remote. We're going to redefine the viewing experience."

Both "Fringe" and "Dollhouse" would have network commercial loads of about five minutes per hour, about half the usual. The commercial pods would also be shorter and they would have about half the promo load as well.

In an interview after the presentation, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly acknowledged that "Remote-Free TV" was a risk but there needed to be a "paradigm shift" in network TV.

Cutting down commercials will make the two already pricey sci-fi series even more expensive as they have to produce longer episodes. To offset that and the reduced commercial inventory, the network is planning to charge advertisers a premium.

Ad buyers were generally upbeat about the idea, and said they liked the two shows picked.
Also, the premiere date of Fringe is August 25, 2008 with the two hour pilot produced earlier this year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fringe Lands On Fox's Schedule

Fox released its planned 2008 TV schedule and Fringe has found a home on Mondays 8pm, a time slot currently occupied by Bones. The description is from the Fox press release but note it basically just summarizes the pilot episode and may not reflect any changes that made after. Also, even though the program is from the minds of JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, I get the feeling their part is done and a showrunner will be assigned to do the heavy lifting from here on out.

Fox's show description:
Fringe
(Sci-Fi Mystery Drama, Tuesdays 9pm)
When an international flight lands at Boston's Logan Airport and the passengers and crew have all died grisly deaths, FBI Special Agent OLIVIA DUNHAM (Anna Torv) is called in to investigate. After her partner, Special Agent JOHN SCOTT (Mark Valley), is nearly killed during the investigation, a desperate Olivia searches frantically for someone to help, leading her to DR. WALTER BISHOP (John Nobl), our generation's Einstein.

There's only one catch: he's been institutionalized for the last 20 years, and the only way to question him requires pulling his estranged son PETER (Joshua Jackson) in to help. When Olivia's investigation leads her to manipulative corporate executive NINA SHARP (Blair Brown), our unlikely trio along with fellow FBI Agents PHILLIP BROYLES (Lance Reddick), CHARLIE FRANCIS (Kirk Acevedo) and ASTRID FARNSWORTH (Jasika Nicole) will discover that what happened on Flight 627 is only a small piece of a larger, more shocking truth.

From J.J. Abrams ("Lost"), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the team behind "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III" and "Alias," comes a new drama that will thrill, terrify and explore the blurring line between science fiction and reality.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fringe Gets Season Order

Fox has decided to order Fringe for the Fall 2008 season. The number of episodes is unknown but I would guess somewhere in the 13 range.

From Variety:
Drama "Fringe," from Abrams' Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV, revolves around a young femme FBI agent who works with an offbeat scientist to tackle cases involving unexplained medical and scientific phenomena. Pilot was penned by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and helmed by Alex Graves. Skein's cast includes Aussie thesp Anna Torv, Mark Valley and Joshua Jackson.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Details, Deals on Tuesday's Cloverfield DVD

The DVD and Blu-Ray release of Cloverfield is Tuesday. Ironically I am going to pass on purchasing the movie (considering how I blogged about it) but figure many others are getting it. The DVD has the usual commentary, deleted seens and making of featurettes. To my knowledge, there is no additional special content exclusive to the Blu-Ray edition of the film. Considering the handi-cam filming style of the movie I can't help but think that buying the movie on Blu-Ray is a waste of money since I doubt the picture quality will be any different.

Special Features:
• Commentary: Commentary by Director Matt Reeves
• Featurette: The Making of Cloverfield
• Featurette: Cloverfield Visual Effects
• Featurette: I Saw It! It's Alive! It's Huge
• Featurette: Clover Fun
• Additional Scenes: Congrats Rob
• Additional Scenes: When You're in Japan
• Additional Scenes: I Call That a Date
• Additional Scenes: It's Going to Hurt
• Additional Scenes: Alt Ending #1
• Additional Scenes: Alt Ending #2
• Easter Eggs: Slusho!
• Easter Eggs: Person of Interest - JLVD Video 2
• Easter Eggs: Person of Interest - JLVD Video 5
• Easter Eggs: Person of Interest - JLVD Video 9
• Easter Eggs: Person of Interest - JLVD Video 11
• Easter Eggs: Rack 'Em & Pack 'Em
• Easter Eggs: Fighting the X

Deals:
Target - $15.99
Wal-Mart - $16.87 (but probably $14.99 on the day if history is any guild)
Circuit City - $14.99
Best Buy - $15.99
Trans World Entertainment Corp (Fye, Wherehouse Music, Suncoast and others) - Steelcase edition, usually first week of release they sell for $19.99, $24.99 after if any left

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pinkner Joins Fringe As Exec Producer

The Hollywood Reporter posts that Jeff Pinkner is joining Fringe as the exec producer and showrunner. Fringe is from JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who are all currently still working on Star Trek XI. Pinkner previousily worked on other Abrams' shows of Alias and Lost.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Two Cloverfield Alternate Endings

Below are two alternate endings for Cloverfield. At least until they get pulled. I assume the same footage is on the DVD set coming out April 22nd. The endings are not that much different from the movie, really they are alternate takes rather then endings.
Alternate Ending 1


Alternate Ending 2

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cloverfield DVD Details

The details regarding the DVD release of Cloverfield are finally out. The April 22nd release date has been confirmed. Below are the pictures of the front and back cover of the upcoming DVD that will also be released on Blu-Ray.

"Extras will include a commentary by Director Matt Reeves, 4 featurettes (The Making of Cloverfield, Cloverfield Visual Effects, I Saw It! It's Alive! It's Huge, and Clover Fun), 6 additional scenes (Congrats Rob, When You're in Japan, I Call That a Date, It's Going to Hurt, Alt Ending #1, Alt Ending #2), and multiple eastereggs."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cloverfield DVD Release Date 4/22?

Sorry its been a while since posted. I have not forgotten about the blog its just that JJ Abrams love of secrecy makes it very difficult to get new information about any of his projects. For example, the release date of the Cloverfield DVD.

Nowadays the average turnaround time from theatre to street date is about 4-6 months. Long before that though, to get interest going and so forth, the DVD release date is announced. Amazon is usually awesome for getting preliminary release dates way in advance of most places but in this case absolutely nada.

However, due to my love of DVD Steelbook, it appears that is possible that a date has been set and Cloverfield will get a steelcase via Trans World Entertainment Corp (Fye, Wherehouse Music, Suncoast and others). Steelbooks are metal cases for DVD releases that usually cost about $5 more. Canada has been enjoying them for a while but its now just a new thing in the states. I think its worth the little extra cost.

So based on a forum I monitor to know about upcoming new Steelbook releases, the preliminary release date for Cloverfield is 4/22/08. That is a rumor and could change once something official is announced (hopefully soon).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Abrams Comments On Cloverfield 2, Dark Tower

ReelzChannel briefly interviewed JJ Abrams where he discussed some of his current and upcoming projects.(source)

The highlights:
- Love release date of Christmas for Star Trek but thinks the change to summer will give it a larger audience.
- An idea has come up for Cloverfield that they "are exploring."
- Likes the hand held point of view but doesn't worry about it being beat to death and "wearing out its welcome...while people are watching the movie."
- Early stages of doing an adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower. (sweet!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hasbro's Cloverfield Monster Revealed

Hasbro has updated its listing for the online exclusive version of the Cloverfield monster toy. I have to admit I am less then impressed and don't believe its worth the $100 price tag.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cloverfield Toy Revealed Tomorrow

Hasbro has sent out an email saying it will finally reveal pictures of what their Cloverfield monster toy will look like tomorrow, February 15th. The toy is available only through HasbroToyshop.com for $99.99.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Secret Abrams Project?

At the Visual Effects Society Awards on Sunday, IESB.net interviewed members of the Transformers Visual Effects crew from ILM. They discussed Transformers and the planned sequel.

They also revealed that their next project is a JJ Abrams project that isn't Star Trek XI or Fringe. They are pretty excited about what it is but gave no details on really anything other then that JJ Abrams is involved.

So that leaves the question, on top of all his other balls up in the air, what new thing does Abrams plan on unleashing on the world?

The full video is here.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fringe Casting

The upcoming new TV series from JJ Abrams has found its lead in the name of Joshua Jackson. You may recognize him from his role as Pacey in Dawson's Creek and other various roles.

In the X-Fileish show, he will play Peter Bishop who teams with FBI Agent Olivia Warren (Anna Torv) and his father Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) as they hunt down unexplained phenomena.

The $10 million two-hour pilot is currently filming in Toronto and no release date has been announced. Included in the cast are Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Kirk Acevedo and Jasika Nicole.

Site Note

Cloverfield may be out, but the site will continue. Now you know why the site address is jjabramsprojects and not some version of Cloverfield. So what is next on the known plate of Producer, Director and Writer JJ Abrams?

Next is the project he is currently directing Star Trek XI which is coming out December 25th, 2008. I have another blog tracking that movie here. For now I am going to just post Star Trek news over there. I am still debating if I should cross post or not.

Also planned is Fringe, a TV series ordered by Fox that will premiere in the fall. The show is created and produced by the Star Trek XI team of Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci. Not entirely sure of his level of involvement suspect it will be like Lost, long enough to get the ball rolling and then step away while still enjoying the financial benefits.

Already an expensive $10 million 2-hour pilot is in the works about unexplained phenomena. It’s currently shooting in Toronto. The show will follow a trio as they explore unexplained phenomena that are described as a cross between the X-Files and Altered States.

Also this site will watch for any future Abrams' projects and of course continue to keep watch for the Cloverfield DVD details and the sequel that is sure to be made considering the success of the movie.

If you have any ideas, suggestions and so forth, feel free to share by either commenting or send an email (link on the right column).