Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ving Rhames Out of MI4?

The Independent.ie is reporting that Ving Rhames might be out of Mission: Impossible 4 is an agreement cannot be reached on salary. The actor is pretty straight forward saying that money is the issue.
Ving, 51, is the only actor besides Tom to appear in all three installments of the franchise. But he said: "I don't know (if I'll be in the film), we're negotiating money. If I'm not paid properly, will I be working with him again on this one? No".

Ving, promoting his new film Death Race 2, added: "I live a very simple life. If I'm supposed to make 7.7 million US dollars and they're offering me three, I don't know if that's going to work. I did the last one for more than three million, there's no misunderstanding - it's 7.7 million or no!"
Considering Rhames is currently promoting direct to video Death Race 2, he sure does seem to be overly confident of his negotiating position, value and time. Usually his asking price is reserved for rising B-list or above stars with recent proven box office draw, something that Rhames no longer qualifies. The film has already been in production for well over a month so it seems likely that the studio has decided he simply isn't worth the price.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Alcatraz Cast Coming Together

JJ Abrams next major television project, Alcatraz, is starting to come together as core cast members seems to have been hired over the last few weeks. The pilot episode is being prepped on a maybe series that "centers on a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day. It chronicles the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance thirty years prior. The casting highlights include Sam Neill and the gorgeous Parminder Nagra.

The cast:
Sarah Jones (Sons of Anarchy) as Rebecca Madsen - smart, thoughtful police officer (source)
Jorge Garcia (Lost) as Dr. Diego Soto, hippy geek expert on Alcatraz (source)
Jonny Coyne (Undercovers) - lead role, specifics unknown (source)
Jason Butler Harner (Fringe) - supporting role, specifics unknown (source)
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) as Emerson Hauser - government agency head (source)
Parminder Nagra (ER) as Lucy - Hauser's lab technician (source)
Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) as Ray Archer - retired detective, now bar owner (source)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Super 8 Monster Concept Art?

MovieWeb has posted what it claims could be a piece of concept art from JJ Abrams' Super 8 which he is currently directing in West Virginia. Like all his projects, the film is classified with even the basic details of the plot being withheld. The image has the expected Paramount and Bad Robot logos along with a design aesthetic that reminds me of the Cloverfield creature but that could also mean someone just put a little extra effort in their fake image. A strike against the picture is the source is an IDMB user who posted:

"So, my friend's brother's wife works for a company that does marketing for films, video games, music, etc. Occasionally she'll get chain mails from these companies, which aren't supposed to go to them. A few days ago she received a chain mail intended for the production staff within Paramount."

Once a project is finished, IMDB.com can be a solid source of information as I suspect they get the official details about a film or TV show direct from the studio. Until then, information is often provided by the community resulting in a lot of inaccuracies. As a result, unless Paramount issues a takedown notice, take the image as a rumor but not fact for Super 8.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cruise Films M:I 4 Stunt

It seems that Tom Cruise is one of the few actors that is not exaggerating when he says he does his own stunts. As the video below shows, the actor is performing a stunt on the Burj Khalifa for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Called "the world's tallest building" the stunt seems to involve his character of Ethan Hunt has he runs and walks along the outside of the building. (via AICN)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Undercovers Cancelled

It looks like JJ Abrams producing plate just got a little bit lighter as Undercovers was officially canceled by NBC for bad ratings. Three episodes remains, probably burned off on Saturday after November sweeps ends. Not really sure why the show was given a shot on a different night but NBC's inability to schedule has been a major issue for the network for years now.
NBC is pulling the plug on J.J. Abrams' spy series Undercovers.

The network is declining to pick up a full season of the show.

Undercovers will air three more episodes in the coming weeks. The addition three episodes in the can "will likely" air at some point, but there's no date set.

Undercovers broke the mold by casting two black leads as the show's main characters. But middling reviews and declining ratings made the show increasingly destined for the chopping block. Last night's airing only delivered 5.8 million viewers and a 1.3 adult demo rating.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mission: Impossible 4 Official Title

In a press conference for Mission: Impossible 4, the official title of the film was revealed. As has become the norm for sequels, this one drops the numbering scheme for a subtitle resulting in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" The film is currently filming Dubai, United Arab Emirates with stars Tom Cruise Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. The scheduled release date is December 16th, 2011.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Super 8 Release Date, Set Videos

J.J. Abrams is currently hard at work in West Virginia filming Super 8. While we know next to nothing about the movie (the norm for Abrams' projects) we at least now know the release date - June 10, 2011. In addition, Before the Trailer found three videos that show off a little bit of what is being filmed in Weirton, WV.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leonard Nimoy Returns to Fringe

Despite retiring from acting earlier this year (for who knows how many times), it seems that Leonard Nimoy just cannot stop scratching that itch. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) revealed at the Star Trek Convention in Rosemont, Illinois that the actor co-guest stars with him in an upcoming episode of the series. Nimoy's William Bell character apparently died in last season finale of Fringe, willing everything to Dr. Bishop so should be an interesting trick if the character is actually returning. If he does, fantastic, but I can't help but wonder if the character might have a part in the episode but not necessarily in a way that requires an actor to play him.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Abrams Producing Polar Bear

JJ Abrams has signed on to produce Infinitely Polar Bear. Despite the title, the story is really about "a bipolar man who attempts to hold onto his stability in order to take care of his two daughters while their mother does her best to start a career." The movie will be written and directed by Maya Forbes (The Rocker) with Mark Ruffalo up for the lead.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Giacchino to Score Super 8, M:I4

Collider.com is reporting that long time go-to composer for JJ Abrams will provide the music Abrams' current projects of Super 8 and Mission: Impossible 4. He previously worked with Abrams on Alias, Lost, and Star Trek. He will also be busy scoring Cars 2 and John Carter of Mars. Most recently he scored an Oscar for Up.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brad Pitt in Super 8, Set Footage

Shock Till You Drop has posted two videos and a nugget of unproven rumor in regards to JJ Abrams' Super 8 movie that is currently filming in Weirton, West Virginia. A source to the site indicated that Brad Pitt might have a role in the film, saying "it's be rumored (emphasis on rumored) that Brad Pitt has been staying in the area. The area is very small, so chances are that IF he is in fact here, he's attached to this project. But, that is all hearsay." Lots of caveats. Chances are it is not true; something Shock supports saying there is "no connection between Pitt and the film."

As for the videos, the first one shows tanks rolling down a street while blasting away. The second video, it was filmed on Friday on a set that had "a lot of military vehicles, soldiers, and 70's cars. (We even caught glimpse of one of the stunt cars) The whole place was lit up by huge stadium lights and it looked like they were shooting with a camera on a big crane arm."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mission: Impossible 4 Begins Production

New images posted by Accidental Sexiness shows that Mission: Impossible IV has official begun production. The images, taken in Prague, Czech Republic, show Cruise both in and out of custume. The rest of the gallery can be found here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Josh Holloway Joins M:I 4

Casting continues on Mission: Impossible 4 with the addtion of ex-Lost cast member Josh Holloway. The actor will join the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) that is lead by Tom Cruise's character of Ethan Hunt. The Brad Bird directed, JJ Abrams produced production is expected to start production sometime in the next few months.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Super 8 Filming Schedule

Super 8 News has posted the shooting schedule for JJ Abrams film Super 8 that he wrote and is directing now in Weirton, West Virginia. While I am sure the set is closed to the public, guess might see something worthwhile if in the area. There was also a description of a scene filmed on Wednesday.
Last night around 9 pm I watched them a film 1 of the scenes for the movie. The scene shows the long blonde haired girl riding a bike down a little hill turning right heading up the street, then seconds later a mustang or camaro comes flying down, slams on the breaks, and peels to the right (looks like chasing her) I took a few photos of the street..they had lights of all different colors to make it super white and a few to make it look like dusk...Along with cars from the 70s park all on the road.

9/21 and 9/22 Brightway between Hanlin and Euclid
9/23 and 9/24 Main St and Taylor
Taylor and Orchard
9/27 New Cumberland
9/28 Fernwood and Crystal
9/29, 9/30 and 10/1 20th St and Booker

10/4 St. Paul Cemetery and Greenbrier Rd
10/5 West St and Mildred then back to St Pauls
10/6 10/7 and 10/8 Taylor and Virgina
10/11, 10/12 and 10/13 Main St, Taylor, Booker, 22nd, 20th st. and 17th
10/14 Downtown Main Street then back to Weirton Hgts

Mission Impossible 4 Find A Villain

JJ Abrams' Mission: Impossible 4 has found its big bad in the form of Michael Nyqvist who most famous role (at least overseas) is playing Mikael Blomkvist in the The Girl with the Dragon Tatto and the other two film adaptations. No specifics on what the name of the character or the agenda.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Abrams' Odd Jobs Goes to NBC

In the space of a week, JJ Abrams has managed to sell three television show pitches to three networks. The latest is a series preliminarily called Odd Jobs with Lost actors Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn as ex-black-ops agents. THR announced that NBC has picked up the show which will likely run next season. The other two programs, Alcatraz and Person of Interest landed at Fox and CBS.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seven More Join Super 8

Normally the casting of a movie is settled and announced months in advance of the beginning of principle photography of a movie. However, this is a JJ Abrams project and he loathes giving anything away until he has to. So despite filming apparently having begun on Super 8 in Weirton, West Virginia, it seems the cast of the film is just now being released. Friday, we learned that Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler were part of the cast and today brings news of six more cast members.

The Wrap is reporting that Ron Eldard (Sleepers), Noah Emmerich (White Collar), Gabriel Basso (The Big C), and newcomers Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee and Zach Mills have joined the cast of the film. No specifics on what roles they will be playing. I get the impression that the "newcomers" will be the kids that join Elle Fanning on whatever adventure is the thrust of the movie (which more and more makes me think "Flight of the Navigator" for no real reason I can pin down).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Super 8 Principle Photography Begins

Super 8, the movie written and directed by JJ Abrams, has apparently begun judging by the set pictures that Ain't It Cool News has posted. The pictures show the Marland Heights area of Weirton, West Virginia being transformed into 1979 Lillian, Ohio complete with ice cream shop, Arcade (with pin-ball and skee-ball being the prime attractions), middle school and more. Below is the set report and a few select images, with the rest here.

A buddy of mine snagged some pictures from the area where Super 8 begins shooting this week...in the Marland Heights area of Weirton, WV.

Attached are photo's of: The "Lillian Heights Pharmancy" ; "Lillian Heights Post Office" ; Interior shots of the Lillian Heights 7-11 & Post Office (once a Marland Heights Market & Ice Cream Shop) ; Lillian Middle School (once an old Marland Heights Primary School) and some shots of the 70's era buses behind the building ; Arcade from downtown Lillian, OH (actually shot in the older section of Main Street, Weirton, WV) ; Used Car Sales lot in the same vicinity. The last photo is the older area of Weirton, where the Arcade, Used Car Lot and most of the city shots will be taking place downtown.

Filming begins this week in the Marland Heights and there will be night shots around the school area. The casting calls are being sent out between Sept 20th and the end of October so we're hoping that sometime in the next couple weeks we hear something and be a part of Hollywood! Enjoy the photo's, we'll see if we can get some shots of cast or crew in the coming weeks! If ya use this, I'm Cookie and my buddy's name is 3Huck, thanks AICN!

Abrams' Adds Third TV Show for Next Season

JJ Abrams seems to love exec producing shows as he has added a third show to his intended 2011-2012 TV season schedule. NYMag.com is reporting the currently title project, Odd Jobs, would team Lost castmates Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson together as a pair of black ops agents. EW added that already three networks have expressed interest in the show. If purchased (which is a near guarantee thanks to the power of Abrams), the show would be written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Alias). The other two shows, Alcatraz and Person of Interest, have recently found homes on Fox and CBS. It is probably a good thing that most of the time "Executive Producers" are the big picture guys that dip their toe in to check the temperature and then dive back out as the main producers run day to day operations. Otherwise Abrams wouldn't have time to even eat much less work on his various movie projects that are also in the works.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Join Super 8 Cast

The Vulture is reporting that JJ Abram's next project, Super 8, has its first official cast members. Elle Fanning (The Lost Room) and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Early Edition) are joining the cast of the film that Abrams wrote and will direct. The casting of Fanning seems to match a casting call leak in early summer that described the character of Natalie as a 13-14 year old who is a "natural beauty – she is stunning, but not the “cheerleader” type. Strong and confident, but has an underlying sadness. Should have a Midwestern feel."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Abrams' Person of Interest Heads to CBS

Yesterday, JJ Abrams found a home for his show Alcatraz and now today he found a home with CBS for his other called Person of Interest. The show is an hour long drama that was co-created by writer Jonah Nolan (The Dark Knight, The Prestige). Following the usual television process, a pilot will be commissioned and if good enough the show will be picked up for probably the 2010-2011 television season.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Aries" Starts Filming in December

The next Mission: Impossible film, codenamed "Aries", will start principle photography on December 6th and continue to film until March 7th according to Collider. There have been indications that the franchise might actually try to avoid using "Mission: Impossible" as part of the film's title but doubtful if Aries is that alternate title. I can't help but wonder if the codename might hint at possible plot point of the film. The film's executive producer is JJ Abrams with Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg returning. New cast members include Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alcatraz Goes To Fox

One of JJ Abrams' television projects, Alcatraz, has found a home with Fox. The network is already the network of Abrams' Fringe and judging by the shows description, it could make a good lead-in for the new show. From The Hollywood Reporter:
The network has given a pilot commitment to Abrams' latest mysterious TV endeavor, whose official logline is as cryptic as one might expect: "A show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz."

Abrams is reteaming with veterans from his other island-based show, "Lost" -- Elizabeth Sarnoff is the lead writer and joins Abrams as an executive producer, and Bryan Burk is an executive producer. Co-executive producers and writers include Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

JJ Abrams Adds Two Projects to Plate

It seems JJ Abrams doesn't have enough to do with directing Super 8, executive producing Fringe, Mission Impossible 4, Undercovers, Star Trek 12 and Boilerplate. He now seems to have signed to create two new television shows.

Not details are yet available but one of them is a crime-thriller TV series that would be collaboration between Jonah Nolan, brother of The Dark Knight and Inception director Christopher Nolan. The other project is collaboration with Lost executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff for a show called "Alcatraz" about the San Francisco prison.

Personally all I want to know is if he will be directing Star Trek 12 or not. That decision probably will not be made until next year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Dark Tower Trilogy, TV Series Planned

At one time JJ Abrams was a contender to take Stephen King's epic series and bring it to movies screens worldwide. Back in April, Abrams plans were dashed when Ron Howard and Brian Grazer took over the potential franchise. Since then nothing was heard. Finally it seems there is movement on the picture with an ambitious plan involving both the TV and movie divisions at Universal(which owns NBC).

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the overall goal is to take the seven books in the series, along with comics that fill out The Gunslingers life story and create a trilogy of films with a TV series that will act as bridges to each sequel. The first film will be directed by Ron Howard and written by Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman. The pair previously worked together on A Beautiful Mind, Angels & Demons, and The Da Vinci Code.
"I've been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world," King said. "Ron, Akiva, Brian along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for the 'The Dark Tower' series and I know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in 'The Dark Tower' that fans have come to love."

Howard, Grazer and Goldsman plan first film in the trilogy to be immediately followed by a TV series that will bridge the second film. After the second film, the TV series will show the adventures of The Gunslinger as a young man as a bridge to the third film and beyond.

"The worlds of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected," Goldsman said. "By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours--and with a view to telling it completely--we have our best chance of translating Roland's quest to reach 'The Dark Tower' onto screen. We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity."
This seems like an incredibly ambitious plan for a series of books that is going to be very difficult to translate to film. It should be interesting to see if this plays out but I suspect that these initial plans will undergo multiple changes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mission: Impossible IV A Reboot With New Title, Cast Member

According to Variety, it seems that JJ Abrams' produced Mission: Impossible IV is taking the Spider-Man route with a reboot of the franchise. Tom Cruise will reprise the Ethan Hunt role but the rumors indicate the goal is to essentially pass the torch on to a new character and likely phase out Cruise's role in future installments. The person tapped to replace him is Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) who is said to have as much screen time as Cruise does.

Another odd rumor is they plan on copying The Dark Knight by choosing a title that references the franchise without using the name. The idea of passing the torch sounds like a good one but the risk of confusing audiences with a title that is unlikely to invoke the franchise seems silly. Anyone with even passing interest in Batman knows what "The Dark Knight" meant before the movie came out. Just like naming a Superman film "The Man of Steel" would work for the same reason. Mission: Impossible simply doesn't have that same built in recognition.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Super 8's Creature Creator Interview

Wired.com has posted an interview with Tron: Legacy concept designer Neville Page as he talked about the movie and also about working on the creature design for JJ Abrams' Super 8. He also worked on "Big Red" for the Star Trek movie and Avatar. The interview starts off as the trailer was Page's introduction to the creature in the movie. He described the experience as "I got to design something that comes [out of the boxcar]. Block of marble. It’s in there for JJ. He knows what it is sorta and I have to extract it from the boxcar. When that door blows open, it’s the ultimate reveal. It’s Elvis or something. ...With JJ you have to find the answer by exploring multiple avenues." I attempted to embed the video below but if doesn't play click here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mission: Impossible IV A Go

A leaked Paramount memo has brought some attention to their upcoming slate of films. A few need some work but a few are gearing up for production. One of those is Mission: Impossible IV. The movie will not be directed by Abrams, he will be an executive producer on the film. Tom Cruise is already on board as is Ving Rhames. Simon Pegg is in talks but nothing yet. Brad Bird (The Incredibles) is set to direct for a December 16, 2011 release date. The movie was considered on the edge of being cancelled due to the lackluster box office of Cruise’s Knight and Day but he negotiated a salary decrease that satisfied the studio so could move forward.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Abrams Game for 7 Minutes in Heaven

JJ Abrams has to be one of the busiest men in Hollywood right now with prepping to write and direct Super 8, offering advice on Star Trek 2, and adding yet another project to his producer’s plate. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Abram's Bad Robot is "developing a thriller based on the teenage make out game of snogging in the closet" called 7 Minutes in Heaven. The project is from Jack Bender, who directed for Lost including its last episode. Right now the project has no writer, schedule or budget so could be a little while before it moves forward. I believe that Abrams will be executive producer on the project so his other endeavors should really interfere with production once a script is settled on.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mission: Impossible 4 Gets Boost

It seems that the odds of a JJ Abrams' produced Mission: Impossible IV getting made just increased by a significant amount. Collider is reporting that Tom Cruise has agreed to take a significant up front pay cut in an effort to get the film made. Instead he will get back-end profits which might mean more money long term but for the bean counters it increases the likelihood of getting a return on their $135 million investment which increases the chances of getting the greenlight. Tom Cruise's star has recently sunk to new lows has Knight & Day failed at the box office. It seems he is hoping M:I4 puts him back on top of the action game (or at least just behind Will Smith).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Abrams Producing Boilerplate

Boilerplate creators at Wondercon '10It seems that JJ Abrams doesn't have enough on his plate as he has decided to produce another movie according to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie will be done under his Bad Robot banner. Right now it’s all in the preliminary stages with Paramount buying the rights to the novel "Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel" by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett and turning over to Abrams to turn into a movie.

THR describes Boilerplate as "the story of the world’s first robot, who, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia, journeyed to the South Pole and was involved in the silent movie business before disappearing on the battlefields of World War I." We will probably hear more about this next year as the movie is likely at least one to two years away from getting before the cameras, if it ever does. Until an official greelight, no movie and right now all this idea has is a strong advocate to get it made but no guarantees.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Whedon and Abrams The Visionaries Panel

The San Diego Comic-Con is over but the videos are being uploaded even as we speak. One of them includes coverage of "The Visionaries" panel with Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams. If the highlights wasn't enough information, check the panel playlist below thanks to The Buffyfest Blog.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Abrams, Whedon SSDC Panel

Yesterday two great sci-fi minds shared the stage at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con as Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams participated in a Q&A panel together. Sadly these two are also huge fans of keeping secrets so not a whole lot of information was leaked. If you are hoping for collaboration, it’s not in the cards but the panel for con fans anyway, not really to promote a particular project.

About the information that was revealed was confirmation of the months long rumor that Whedon has been tapped to direct The Avengers movie for Marvel. JJ Abrams confirmed that he is directing Super 8 with production starting this September but still would not confirm if he would be directing Star Trek 2.

He also said he would not be releasing the film in 3D, bucking the current overdone trend. "When you put the glasses on, everything gets dimmer. It all gets a little gray and muted. You get into it, my brain adjusts to it after a while, but for the first few minutes, it seems less than the experience…I’m not totally on board."

More details of the panel can be found at Ugo.com and TrekMovie.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mission: Impossible 4 Remains Barely Alive

The JJ Abram's produced (but not directed) Mission: Impossible 4 remains on life support according to The Hollywood Reporter. Paramount has been waiting on the results of Tom Cruise's latest film, Knight and Day, to determine if they would green light the next film in the franchise. Well the domestic results are in and the film was basically a box office disaster in the states.

However, while Cruise's star may have fallen here, he remains popular overseas. Paramount has decided on a wait and see stance to see how the film does overall before making decision since worldwide sales could make a failure into a huge success. Recent billion dollar films of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland owe its huge grosses to overseas sales so the precedent has now been firmly established that a film doesn't necessarily have to make big buck in the States to succeed.

According to the article, Knight and Day needs to at least pass the $300 million worldwide mark before Paramount will give serious consideration to a green light. As it stands, Box Office Mojo is reporting a total of $103.3 million so that seems highly unlikely but then again the film still has not opened in all major markets.

Assuming Knight and Day doesn't achieve the box office requirements Paramount is seeking for an easy green light, which leaves three possibilities for the franchise. One, is to kill it (highly unlikely), two is to recast the lead role (a la James Bond), and last is a complete relaunch (like Spider-Man). At this point, I don't think a decision will be made until the relaunched Spider-Man is released just to see how audiences handle that option. Long story short, it will probably not be until after Star Trek 2 is released before M:I4 becomes a possibility. Another unanswered question is if the franchise continues without Cruise, will JJ Abrams remain on board as producer?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Abrams in Running to Direct Wicked Movie?

Deadline is reporting that four big name Hollywood directors are vying for the chance to direct the movie version of Wicked. The list is of rumored directors is JJ Abrams, James Mangold (Knight and Day), Ryan Murphy (Glee), and Rob Marshall (Nine). Wicked is a Broadway musical based on the fictional story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Considering that Abrams is expected to start filming Super 8 this fall and Star Trek next summer, I don't see how he can even be on the short list unless Universal is willing to wait until 2012 to start production. So take at least the Abrams part of the rumor with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

JJ Abrams Joining Joss Whendon in San Diego

The geek heaven that is the San Diego Comic-Con (one year I will go) will have a match made in geek heaven with a two-man panel of JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon. Yep the two most powerful sci-fi/fantasy masters in Hollywood today will participate in a panel that Entertainment Weekly is hosting. Details beyond that bit of news is unknown, I just hope a recording of the panel pops up on YouTube. The Comic-Con will be from July 22-25th.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fringe Season 3 Update

JJ Abrams' created show Fringe will be back this fall and production is about to start back up. While at the Saturn Awards last weekend, stars Anna Torv and Lance Reddick dropped about few hints about the upcoming season. Click here to view the video interviews (worth it just to look at the lovely Torv and hear her Australian accent) from TrekMovie.com. Highlights below.
Lance Reddick
- Expects S3 of Fringe to "spend a lot of time going back and forth between universes"
- Expects to see "a lot of development" between the two Olivias
- He has "absolutely" lobbied for a part in Star Trek, but it was too late for first movie, Abrams said maybe a role in the sequel
- Thinks it is possible that William Bell (Nimoy) can return to Fringe, as "anything is possible" with JJ Abrams

Anna Torv
- Shooting starts next week on season 3
- Expects that the casting of her mother is for the mother of the alternate universe Olivia
- She didn’t until later her scenes with Nimoy for Fringe were to be his last as an actor, but says he still got a huge round of applause when he wrapped

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mission: Impossible IV Dead?

Deadline is reporting that the J.J. Abrams produced sequel Mission: Impossible IV may be killed by Paramount. The reason for the sudden turnaround is the "lackluster tracking" for Tom Cruise's current film "Night and Day" that was produced by 20th Century Fox. It seems that Paramount believes that if this spy film fails, then the $150 million MI4 is also doomed to fail so why spend the money needlessly. This is despite pay concessions from Cruise, a risk-sharing partner and desire to keep Abrams through his production company Bad Robot. Basically, if you are a Mission: Impossible fans, this weekend’s box office will likely make or break the chances of the film getting made.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Undercovers Pilot Script Leaked

IO9.com has posted images and a summary of the pilot episode of Undercovers that was written by show creators J.J. Abrams and Josh Reims. The script it’s with a disclaimer about the intended pace of the show as "scenes moving lightning fast."

The pilot does what it’s supposed to of setting up the home life/cover of Steve and Samantha Bloom's catering business while explaining why they rejoin the CIA (to hunt down their missing friend Leo Nash). Being a JJ Abrams show, there seems to be a central mystery involving something called Black Swan. Basically it seems like a more family-centric approach to the spy world, almost like Chuck without all the goofy characters and humor. Click here to view some of the pages from the script.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Super 8 Casting Call?

Slashfilm is reporting that Paramount Pictures has sent out a casting notice for an unnamed Paramount feature film that might be Super 8. The written and directed film by JJ Abrams will start filming in the fall. I am unclear on what makes the site think this is related to Super 8 beyond a rumor that indicates a rumor that the film is set in 1979 and focuses on kids that used their Super 8 to film something "sinister". If the rumor is true, then this is a description of characters that may be in the film.

Seeking 13-14 year old Boys & Girls for the lead roles in a new Paramount feature film. No previous acting experience is necessary, but must have great energy and a wonderful sense of humor and thoughtfulness.

JOSH: Male 13-14. Josh is cute, but could be on the scrawny side – definitely not the school jock. Loveable, empathetic, smart and interesting. Must have a great sense of humor. Should have a Midwestern feel.

COLLIN: Male 13-14. Slightly, or more than slightly, overweight. Collin is confident, driven, optimistic and a natural leader. Must have a great sense of humor. Should have a Midwestern feel.

NATALIE: Female 13-14. A natural beauty – she is stunning, but not the “cheerleader” type. Strong and confident, but has an underlying sadness. Should have a Midwestern feel.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Abrams' Heist Get A Writer

The Hollywood Reporter says that Phil Alden Robinson has been hired to write the script for a movie that JJ Abrams will be producing. The movie will be based on a Wired article called "The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist". The right was bought by Paramount in March 2009 and is about a group of Italian thieves that in 2003 somehow conquered 10 layers of security to at the Antwerp Diamond Center to steal estimated $100 million theft of diamonds, gold, and jewelry.

The movie currently does not have a title or potential release date. Robinson's previous work includes having written and directed both Sneakers and Field of Dreams. His latest screenplay is Sinatra that is coming out sometime next year.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Super 8 Viral Site Countdown Ends

The "download" countdown discovered on ScariestThingIEverSaw.com has ended and the result is a little bit of more teaser information about Super 8. Super 8 is the next movie written and directed by JJ Abrams that remains completely mysterious with the only real information coming from the trailer released a week ago.

MovieViral.com has compiled the current new information with the latest site update. The result is more questions, no answers. Now the website loads but the only command that works currently is "PRINT RSCOM8" which shows the newspaper clipping below. The first page is an ad for Rocket Poppeteers, another Super 8 viral website that is currently down. The second page is transcript of President John's F. Kennedy's "Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" from July 26, 1963 which suggests the paper pages might be from that day or more likely July 27th.

First Glimpse at Undercovers

NBC is announcing its upfronts this afternoon and with that is a peek at JJ Abrams next television show called Undercovers. According to the leaked information of an upfront test run, the show is scheduled for Wednesday at 8-9pm EST timeslot. The basic idea is a married CIA couple is called back into action.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Super 8 HD Trailer and Secret Website

Last week was the official announcement and trailer for Super 8, the next movie that J.J. Abrams is writing and directing with Steven Spielberg producing. While the film will not start filming until this fall, the teaser trailer was released with Iron Man 2. Until now only bootleg copies were available online but now the official HD version is at Apple.com.

The official website is also up, which currently just links to other things including ability to sign up for updates. Super 8 being an Abrams project, according to TrekMovie.com there is a viral website that was found embedded (somehow) in the frames of the trailer. Scariestthingieversaw.com is a very old school design site. It has a "Copyright CBCD ata 2002" message on load and then a very old style desktop appears with a command line program. Very early 80s in design. Follow the various prompts to "load" a program which seems to hang at a certain point and slowly load. Trek speculates that is a timer counting down to May 15th.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Super 8 Teaser Trailer (Bootleg Version)

The teaser trailer has hit the internet, at least a camera copy of it. I assume the official HD version will become available soon. The official website is also up but so far it doesn't show anything of consequence.

Mission: Impossible IV Scheduled

Paramount has announced that the J.J. Abrams produced Mission: Impossible IV starring Tom Cruise will be released on December 16, 2011. It seemed the studio was holding out, hoping that Abrams would direct the film but recent news that he was directing Super 8 this fall for Steven Spielberg ended any hopes of that. The rumor is The Incredibles' Brad Bird is closing to signing on as director.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Abrams, Spielberg Team for Super 8

It turns out the trailer for Super 8 that permieres with Iron Man 2 is for a movie that doesn't really exist yet. According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog the movie is a rumored collaboration between Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams. The origin was from a year ago when the two moviemakers discussed their early filmmaking experiences.

Super 8 will be written and directed by JJ Abrams with Steven Spielberg, Abrams, and Bryan Burk as producers. The film goes before the cameras this fall with a $50 million budget for a Summer 2011 release. The summer 2011 release will join an already crowded slate with Thor, Kung Fu Panda 2, Transformers 3, and Captain America.

Super 8 Trailer Description

Film Popper has posted a description of the trailer for J.J. Abrams' mysterious next movie called Super 8. Since the announcement of the trailer, there has been lots of speculation about what the movie could be about. At this point all we know is it's not related to Cloverfield. Spoiler Warning!
The trailer starts with a black screen, that says Steven Spielberg is the producer. Then a small written narrative begins that reads something like this. “In 1970 Area 51 was closed down and everything was shipped to an undisclosed location in Ohio”. Then you see a train carrying lots of cargo loads. Cut to a car driving down the road that jumps up on the tracks and heads straight toward the train. Cut to black screen and then the words “From Director J.J. Abrams”. Then back to the train and car colliding into each other, the train derails, the camera slowly zooms in on one of the tipped over cargo cars of the derailed train, then something is punching on the walls inside the train cart trying to escape. Cut to black screen and then the title ”Super 8“.
Could this be the rumored collaboration between Abrams and Spielberg? Who knows at this point. The trailer description doesn't even verify the cast, writer nor director (but I suspect Abrams was the writer, not the director). (via AICN)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Abrams' Denies Super 8 Cloverfield Connection

Yesterday it was revealed that JJ Abrams' next film, Super 8, would debut its trailer in front of Iron Man 2 this Friday. Pretty much no one knows what the film is about but early rumors theorized it was possibly a prequel to Cloverfield whose trailer debuted in similar surprise fashion. While at the Time 100 Gala at the Time Warner Center, JJ Abrams spoke with New York Magazine'sVulture, denying a connection to Cloverfield but did not provide any other details.
"You have to check [out the trailer]," he told us. "But it has nothing whatsoever to do with Cloverfield, despite your expert reporting." So what does it have to do with? "I won’t be able to tell you until it’s done," he said.

We asked if 8's trailer was really sent to theaters in canisters requiring special codes to open. "That is correct," Abrams told us. Certainly such conspicuous security measures only invite the kind of scrutiny that can ruin carefully planned surprises, though, right? "I don’t know if it would matter with you guys," he said, laughing. "I don’t think it matters."
To summarize the verified facts about Super 8 is has a trailer coming this Friday, Abrams is involved in some unknown fashion and trailer has lots of security (which probably means more theatres then normal will not attach it to Iron Man).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Abrams' Super 8 Trailer with Iron Man 2

J.J. Abrams may have a surprise for fans when Iron Man 2 hits theatres this Friday at 12:01am around the country. Multiple websites are reporting that the trailer for his next film, Super 8, will debut. Never heard of Super 8? Neither has anyone else. The title itself could be a call back to Abrams childhood when he use to film movies on his Super 8 camera as a child. Abrams seems to be attempting to repeat the history of Cloverfield when he caught Hollywood, the internet and films fans by surprise when that films' trailer premiered (below) with the first Transformers film (and led to the creation of this blog).

No one knows what the film was about, the extent of Abrams involvement (directing? producing? writer?), the cast, nada. Last year Slashfilm reported that Abrams and his production company were working on a movie called 500 Rads which could have been a codename for this film. It was to have been written by Jeff Pinkner for a $25 million budget and take place in Europe. No details beyond that.

The current theory is a prequel to Cloverfield as TrekMovie reports a brief description of the trailer that seems very similar to the Cloverfield one:
…it shows a bunch of kids who are shooting a movie with a Super 8 camera in the seventies or eighties. When they develop the film, they notice that there’s an alien creature in the frame.
Abrams' loves his secrets and he has shown an impressive ability to keep them so there is not telling what will, or will not happen, when the trailer reportedly will unfurl this Friday. Just a word of warning that not necessarily all theatres will air the same trailers so hopefully it will also get a web release shortly after. My only hope is another piece of history doesn't repeat itself which was the massive headache the shaky cameras in Cloverfield gave me.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Abrams' Undercovers Joins NBC's Fall Schedule

J.J. Abrams' next television show, Undercovers, has been picked up by NBC for the fall season. The spy drama stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbath-Raw as "married ex-CIA agents who get pulled back in the spy biz." Abrams was co-writer, executive producer and co-creator and director on the pilot. It isn't known the extent of his involvement in the regular series. On Fringe, he was involved in the directing and writing of several episodes so might be the same relationship as time allows. More details may be revealed at NBC's upfront presentation in about two weeks.

Official pilot synopsis:
“Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Kodjoe) and his wife, Samantha (Mbatha-Raw), are a typical married couple who own a small catering company in Los Angeles and are helped by Samantha’s easily frazzled younger sister, Lizzy (Jessica Parker Kennedy). Secretly, the duo were two of the CIA’s best spies until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and friend Nash (Carter MacIntyre) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney) to locate and rescue Nash. The pair is thrust back into the world of espionage as they follow leads that span the globe — and Steven and Samantha realize that this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides the excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing.”

Friday, April 30, 2010

Abrams Loses Dark Tower to Ron Howard

THR's Heat Vision Blog reports that J.J. Abram's Bad Robot production company has lost the rights to Stephen King's The Dark Tower book series. Instead Imagine Entertainment, lead by the long time team of Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman are in discussion to secure the rights from King. The plan is the turn the seven book series into a three movie trilogy followed by a TV series.

Last year, while promoting the DVD release of Star Trek, Abrams said "The ‘Dark Tower’ thing is tricky. It’s such an important piece of writing. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now." I guess their inaction as Abrams is occupied with a lot of other projects is behind the reason for losing the rights.

As a fan of the series, I do not envy the person that has to translate those seven books into a film. I imagine the approach will be much like the Lord of the Rings where entire sections of the books will be skipped over. I just wonder how they will handle the ending (which has always been King's weakness) of the epic series.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Abrams Directing a Spielberg Project?

Photo: Michael Kovac/WireImageNew York Magazine's Vulture blog suggests that J.J. Abrams next directing project will be collaboration with Steven Spielberg, who will likely executive produce the film. The untitled film, written by Abrams, is "“a tip of the hat to [Spielberg’s] movies of the 70’s and early 80’s.” This potential directing effort should not be confused with Mission: Impossible IV, Morning Glory, Fringe and Undercovers which are projects he produces but isn't directing.
Our sources tell us that Abrams is in discussions with Spielberg, and insist the DreamWorks co-founder will be involved in some capacity, whether as an executive producer or at least as an adviser, since “J.J. wants to make sure Steven is properly paid homage to. This is really an interpretation of some of Spielberg’s earlier films, but done in a personal way.”

“It’s kind of the anti-Avatar,” explained one source, “Not that [J.J.] doesn’t love that movie or special effects movies - he has a real facility for effects. But he really wants to make this, and the way to do that is to be fiscally responsible.”
Abrams probably will never confirm this story considering his love of secrets but TrekMovie points out it is plausible. Months ago Abrams had indicated that part of the reason he decided to produce M:I4 instead of direct was because he was working a script that he was interested in directing. In additional, a "fiscally responsible" project is unlikely to have a long post-production time which will give him plenty of time to direct the film, put it the can and begin pre-production for Star Trek 2. With all the balls in the air Abrams has, there is no telling how this could shake out until either a press release confirms it or he is behind the cameras giving orders.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blog Update and Layout Changes

Believe it or not, I have not forgotton to update this blog. It's just that JJ Abrams' love of secrets makes it difficult to have regular updates. I am sure he is a very busy man, he just doesn't like the rest us know to know exactly what he is working on.

I could make this blog all about Fringe but honestly there is no point. One, I don't have the interest and two, there are a whole lot of better blogs that keep up with that TV series better then I ever could. That is why I link to them.

This leads me to the main point of this post. As you may have noticed this blog's look has changed completely. Recently Blogger added some template changes that I thought I would test out and this blog seemed perfect for that. After many hours of tweaking the code (really wish they would make goofing with width and padding easy) here are the results.

So what I need from you is your opinion. What do you think? What can I change? Different background, no background? Colors not right? Whatever you think, please let me know by emailing me or in the comments. If this becomes easy enough to tweak and use, I plan to spread it to the other blogs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

JJ Abrams in Top 10 Hollywood Earner for 2009

According to a new article from Vanity Fair, JJ Abrams entered the top 10 of Hollywood earners thanks to the success of Star Trek and payment for his next film Morning Glory. Oddly the total doesn't include Fringe so I think his 2009 earnings estimate of $36 million might actually be too low.

Here is Abrams breakdown:
Estimated 2009 earnings: $36 million
- $31 million: Star Trek (back end for producing and directing, based on worldwide gross of $385 million, and share of DVD)
- $5 million: Morning Glory (fee for producing upcoming comedy starring Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton)

The Top 10:
1) Michael Bay - $125 million (for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)
2) Steven Spielberg - $85 million ($15 of which from TF2)
3) Roland Emmerich - $70 million (for 2012)
4) James Cameron - $50 million (more coming for 2010 Avatar grosses and DVD sales)
5) Todd Phillips - $44 million (for The Hangover and Due Date)
6) Daniel Radcliff - $41 million (for Harry Potter Deathly Hallows films)
7) Ben Stiller - $40 million (various movies)
8) Tom Hanks - $36 million (Angels & Demons, Toy Story 3, etc)
9) JJ Abrams - $36 million (Star Trek, Morning Glory)
10) Jerry Bruckheimer - $35.5 million (The Sorcerer's Apprentice, etc)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

JJ Abrams: The Board Game

It has been a long time since posted here. Sorry about that but with the secrecy Abrams likes to work in, it is difficult to actually talk about whatever he is working on except Fringe which Fringe Television does better than anyone else on the web.

Until news of note comes out, how about a game? In honor of the return of Lost for its final season starting next Tuesday, IO9.com has created an amusing board game with "J.J. Widget" cards that cover many of the plots twists the writer likes to use in the various TV shows and movies he has worked on.

Click here to learn more and get large version of the game board and cards.
How to play: Take two six-sided dice and throw. Divide the result by fate versus free will to get the number of squares you can move forward. When you land on "Causality Loop," you have to keep rolling until your die roll equals the product of Faith x Science. If you land on "Symbol Overload," take a card from the "J.J. Widgets" stack in the center of the board. And yes, if you reach the final square, all of your questions will be answered!