J. J. Abrams

Feb. 12, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.

’11/22/63′: James Franco to star in Stephen King time-travel series

James Franco has been cast as the lead in "11/22/63," J.J. Abrams' new Hulu series based on the novel by Stephen King. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
James Franco has been cast as the lead in “11/22/63,” J.J. Abrams’ new Hulu series based on the novel by Stephen King. Franco (“The Interview,” “127 Hours”), who is also a producer for the series, will portray high school English teacher Jake Epping, who travels back in time to try to prevent the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy. The nine-hour event series based on King’s thriller is coming to Hulu via J.J. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot Productions. Abrams, the creative mind behind the likes of “Lost” and “Fringe,” is no stranger to bizarre tales of time-travel and parallel realities, and it seems this series will be no exception. In King’s “11/22/63,” published in 2011, Epping’s quest to save JFK is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, romance and a past resistant to change. Bridget Carpenter — whose previous credits […]
Feb. 05, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.

Mark Hamill: Actor talks ‘Kingsman’ cameo, ‘Star Wars’ anticipation

Actor Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. (Stephanie Cornfield / For the Times)
Mark Hamill might not have a lot of screen time in director Matthew Vaughn’s new film, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” but what he has is certainly memorable. In the opening sequence, which arrives in theaters Feb. 13, Hamill watches an operatically violent tussle unfold inside the remote chalet where his character, a kidnapped professor, is being held. The blood-spattered action sets the tone for the gleefully violent R-rated sendup/love-letter to classic spy flicks. The scene likely will ring familiar to comic readers who know the Mark Millar-Dave Gibbons title that inspired the film (notably, the comic was co-created by Vaughn), though it does play out a bit differently on the big screen. Hamill is not, as he was in the comic, appearing as himself, nor is he listening to complaints about the inferior quality of the “Star Wars” prequels. In […]
Dec. 26, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens': The galaxy’s main event

J.J. Abrams speaks to fans from the desert movie set in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Chris Taylor headed to San Francisco’s AMC Metreon 15 on Black Friday for a 10 a.m. screening of “Fury,” but it wasn’t just the Brad Pitt tank drama that he’d come to see. Taylor was among the throngs of fans who made their way to 30 theaters across the country that day to be among the first to watch the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will return the legendary space opera to the big screen in 2015. “There’s one guy in the theater in the back row already watching the trailer over and over again on his iPhone,” recalled Taylor, the author of the new book “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe.” Also, he said, “there were stormtroopers in the audience.” Nor was the excitement confined to cinemas; online, the clip was reportedly viewed more than 20 […]
Nov. 28, 2014 | 8:24 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer includes X-wings, Falcon, more

A scene from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." (Lucasfilm / Disney)
The debut trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is out, offering fans a glimpse of the first new live-action footage of the “Star Wars” universe in nearly a decade. The trailer, which was released on iTunes on Friday in addition to screening in select theaters, is 88 seconds long and features new characters (including “Attack the Block” actor John Boyega in Stormtrooper gear) and familiar settings, like Luke Skywalker’s desert planet home Tatooine, where actress Daisy Ridley rides some sort of speeder bike. “There’s been an awakening,” a deep voice narrates as the trailer begins. “Have you felt it? The dark side, and the light.” The trailer, below, reveals an updated Millennium Falcon, several X-wing fighters piloted by men in battered uniforms reminiscent of Rebel Alliance gear, a new kind of droid that travels using a ball and, most […]
Nov. 24, 2014 | 11:46 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens': See the 88-second first trailer this weekend

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' JJ Abrams Tweet
[This post has been updated to include the complete list of 30 theaters screening the trailer. Scroll to the end for the complete list.] The first trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is debuting this weekend, and according to director J.J. Abrams, it will reveal 88 seconds of footage from the highly anticipated seventh installment in the sci-fi mega-franchise. On Monday morning, Abrams tweeted a picture of a handwritten note, complete with Star Wars doodle, wishing fans “a most excellent Thanksgiving” and teasing the trailer. “A tiny* peek at what we’re working on — this Friday in select theaters,” Abrams tweeted. “*88 seconds.” THANKSGIVING pic.twitter.com/46811BgWiF — Bad Robot (@bad_robot) November 24, 2014 “Select theaters” could include nine Regal Entertainment Group venues; the movie theater operator announced on its website that the trailer would screen before each film playing Friday […]
Nov. 06, 2014 | 9:53 a.m.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ gets title: ‘The Force Awakens’

(Disney)
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the title of “Episode VII” in the sci-fi adventure film franchise, Walt Disney Pictures announced Thursday. The title had remained a mystery since plans for the film were announced more than two years ago. Walt Disney Pictures unveiled the title in a tweet announcing the completion of principal photography for the movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has completed principal photography. #StarWarsVII #TheForceAwakens pic.twitter.com/mFTP9YbKNN — Star Wars (@starwars) November 6, 2014 “The Force Awakens,” directed by “Star Trek” alumnus J.J. Abrams, takes place 30 years after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” with original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker joining Ford as part of the ensemble cast. Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and newcomer Daisy Ridley, in addition to Irish actor […]
Oct. 16, 2014 | 3:25 p.m.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII': Warwick Davis cast in J.J. Abrams film

warwick-davis
Another “Star Wars” veteran has signed on for a role in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “Episode VII.” Actor Warwick Davis, who played Ewok Wicket in “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi,” confirmed Thursday that he had been cast in the new film, currently in production in England. The news came courtesy of a humorous video posted on the official “Star Wars” You Tube channel. Watch it below. “Star Wars: Episode VII” takes place 30 years after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” with original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker joining Davis as part of the ensemble cast. READ: Warwick Davis talks ‘Harry Potter’ Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and newcomer Daisy Ridley, in addition to Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, performance capture expert Andy Serkis and […]
Sept. 22, 2014 | 1:19 p.m.

Stephen King’s JFK time-travel thriller ’11/22/63′ coming to Hulu

Stephen King, left, and J.J. Abrams. (Brownie Harris/CBS; Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
Stephen King’s time-travel novel “11/22/63″ is being adapted for small screens. A nine-hour event series based on the thriller is coming to Hulu via J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot Productions, Hulu announced Monday. Abrams, the creative mind behind the likes of “Lost” and “Fringe,” is no stranger to bizarre tales of time-travel and parallel realities, and it seems this series will be no exception. In King’s “11/22/63,” published in 2011, high school teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy, only to face obstacles including Lee Harvey Oswald, romance and a past resistant to change. Bridget Carpenter — whose previous credits include “The Red Road,” “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights” — will write the teleplay based on the novel and will executive produce along with King, Abrams (“Lost,” “Fringe”) and Bryan […]
Sept. 18, 2014 | 12:17 p.m.

‘Star Wars’ video shows off Millennium Falcon with a Bat-surprise

(Bad Robot)
The Batmobile hitches a ride with the Millennium Falcon in a new video released by “Star Wars: Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot. The 36-second clip was posted quietly to YouTube Thursday morning under the title “Hunka Junk” — a nice nod to Lando Calrissian. The video pans across Han Solo’s iconic space freighter before ending with a shot of the “Dark Knight” trilogy’s Batmobile tumbler clinging to the Falcon’s underside. The genre mashup is the latest jab in an online battle between Abrams and “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” director Zack Snyder, who instigated the back-and-forth by tweeting an image of “Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill dressed in Jedi robes and wielding a light saber. #SuperJedi pic.twitter.com/PyNbELK8UZ — ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) July 24, 2014 Last month, Bad Robot responded with an image of C-3PO donning Batman’s […]
July 21, 2014 | 1:17 p.m.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII': J.J. Abrams reveals X-wing fighter in new video

x-wingstarwars - featured image
Want to take a spin in a battle-scarred X-wing starfighter? In his new video promoting Star Wars: A Force for Change, the charitable project benefiting UNICEF and offering a lucky fan a chance to appear in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII,” director J.J. Abrams doesn’t offer the winner a ride in the X-wing, per se, but hey, it can’t hurt to dream big, right? The video, shot from the Pinewood Studios set in London, shows Abrams standing next to the single-passenger spacecraft, coated in planetary dust. Early speculation from fans online initially labeled the needle-nosed fighter as a Z-95 Headhunter, the clone starfighter first mentioned  in the “Star Wars” book “Han Solo at Star’s End” from 1979, but Lucasfilm verified via Twitter that it is indeed an X-wing. @CDCanimation It is in fact an Episode VII X-wing, not a Z-95. — Star Wars (@starwars) July 21, 2014 […]
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