J. J. Abrams

July 20, 2013 | 11:54 p.m.

Comic-Con: ‘Person of Interest’ will go more sci-fi to outpace reality

Many have said CBS’ “Person of Interest” is one of the best science-fiction shows on TV, and others haven’t even realized it is science fiction. But according to series creator Jonathan Nolan, it may have become even more obviously science fiction to avoid being a docudrama. “I’m unabashed about the fact that it’s a science-fiction show,” Nolan told the crowd at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday. “Part of the reason science fiction fans may not embrace it is they sense that it’s true. Now that reality has caught up to us, we aim to push a little further in the third season out into that [science-fiction] space.” Though the action drama series has always enjoyed mainstream popularity,  real news events have conspired to put the show about government surveillance into a unique position, where it could possibly grow even […]
July 09, 2013 | 2:27 p.m.

George Lucas: ‘Star Wars’ stood on the shoulders of ‘Star Trek’

The documentary “Trek Nation” chronicles Rod Roddenberry’s personal journey to explore the importance of the legendary sci-fi franchise dreamed up by his father Gene. The film comes to DVD on Tuesday, and among the bonus materials included in the release is an interview with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas talking about the important role “Star Trek” played in paving the way for his own space opera. “‘Star Trek’ softened up the entertainment arena so that ‘Star Wars’ could come along and stand on its shoulders,” Lucas said in an interview — Hero Complex readers can check out a clip from the conversation above. A number of other genre luminaries, Stan Lee and J.J. Abrams among them, speak on camera about the legacy of “Star Trek” on the double disc DVD, which also includes home movies from the Roddenberry estate and […]
May 23, 2013 | 11:02 a.m.

Benedict Cumberbatch showers ‘Trek’ director J.J. Abrams with praise

Director J.J. Abrams, in an appearance last night on the TBS talk show “Conan,” shared a very brief deleted scene from his sci-fi blockbuster “Star Trek Into Darkness,” showing actor Benedict Cumberbatch showering. Abrams played the clip after the conversation with host Conan O’Brien turned to the charges of sexism that have erupted over a scene that did make the final cut of the film — in which Chris Pine’s Kirk ogles Alice Eve’s Dr. Carol Marcus in her underwear. (“Some people felt like it was exploiting her. While she is lovely, I can see their point,” Abrams conceded.) Though the shower footage has the Internet all aflutter, it’s not necessarily the best example of the dynamic performance Cumberbatch delivers in the film as the villain (can we finally name him now?) whose identity was kept secret for so long. […]
May 17, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.

J.J. Abrams on ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: ‘Spectacle is irrelevant’

With 2009′s “Star Trek,” filmmaker J.J. Abrams breathed new life into one of science fiction’s most venerable franchises. His sleek cinematic reboot re-introduced moviegoers to brash but loyal Capt. James T. Kirk and his level-headed foil Spock, played with a winning hint of modern bromance by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Now, Abrams has returned to the USS Enterprise with “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which beams into theaters on a course toward what’s expected to be a roughly $100-million opening. The Times’ Betsy Sharkey raved in her review that the film, “bursting at the seams with enemies, wears its politics, its mettle, its moxie and its heart on its ginormous 3-D sleeve.” She went on to describe the movie as the best release of the summer movie season so far. Late last month, before Abrams embarked on a whirlwind publicity […]
May 07, 2013 | 11:26 a.m.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ beams into theaters one day early, May 16

The wait to see J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” just got a little shorter. Paramount announced Tuesday that it will release the film May 16, one day earlier than its original opening date of May 17. Directed by Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci, “Into Darkness”  sees the return of Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew as they face a new villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). As with so much in the fictional worlds Abrams creates (“Lost,” “Super 8”), many details around the movie have been cloaked in mystery, including the true identity of Cumberbatch’s character. But in a recent interview with The Times, Pine and Quinto shared insight into John Harrison — and the movie’s present-day parallels. “This film is about earthbound terror,” […]
May 04, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Star Wars’: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto on J.J. Abrams’ ‘Trek’ future

When Disney announced in January that J.J. Abrams would direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the news had major implications for the geek faithful. While some rejoiced at the prospect of Hollywood’s A-list nerd-auteur shepherding the next entry in the beloved sci-fi franchise, many fans of that other beloved sci-fi franchise, “Star Trek,” wondered what Abrams’ new gig would mean for them. After all, Abrams had successfully revived “Star Trek” with his 2009 Paramount film, casting Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, and crafting a movie that managed to win over both “Trek” die-hards and newcomers to the series. He had already shot “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, and was on track to make a third movie. It turns out it wasn’t just fans wondering what Abrams taking on “Star Wars” […]
April 26, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: Pine, Quinto on film’s real-world parallels

Actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto play  Kirk and Spock in the new movie "Star Trek Into Darkness." (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)
“Star Trek” has always been about more than a spaceship crew hurtling through the cosmos — over the decades, the sci-fi series in all its forms has tackled earthly issues such as race, gender and the Vietnam War. When it comes to shining a spotlight on contemporary conflicts, the film and television franchise’s newest entry, the movie “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is no exception. Directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci, “Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, sees the return of Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew, as they face a new villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). As with so much in the fictional worlds Abrams creates (“Lost,” “Super 8”), many details around the movie have been cloaked in mystery, including the true […]
April 17, 2013 | 2:38 p.m.

‘Star Wars’: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a scene from 1977's "Star Wars." (20th Century Fox)
The Force is strong with Alan Horn. At CinemaCon on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Studios chairman said the company plans to release three “Star Wars” films by the end of the decade — one in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In between those movies, “we expect to have pictures derived from that universe,” Horn said, indicating that spinoff movies should be expected in 2016 and 2018 as well. The news comes six months after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a surprise deal for $4.05 billion. At the time of that deal in October, the company said it planned to release a seventh live-action “Star Wars” movie in 2015. It has since been announced that J.J. Abrams will direct that film, while Oscar winner Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″) has been tapped to write the screenplay. PHOTOS: J.J. Abrams career […]
April 17, 2013 | 1:35 p.m.

‘Star Wars’: Patton Oswalt reveals his dream plot for ‘Episode VII’

Patton Oswalt on "Parks and Recreation." (NBC)
Leave it to comedy genius Patton Oswalt to figure out a way to bring Tony Stark into the “Star Wars” universe. The actor is set for a guest-star spot on the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation” this week, playing a character who appears at a Pawnee City Council meeting to filibuster a vote. Oswalt apparently launched into an eight-minute improvisational speech about his ideas for the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and they are appropriately cosmic in scope. His vision begins with Brian DePalma being tapped to write the introductory credit scroll (as he did for “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope,” Oswalt points out) and in minutes, he’s managed to resurrect Boba Fett and rope in some prominent Marvel characters. By no means is that an easy feat. It’s a grand masterpiece of a tapestry Oswalt’s woven […]
April 16, 2013 | 12:52 p.m.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ new trailer, posters spotlight Capt. Kirk

'Star Trek Into Darkness' Chris Pine poster (featured image)
“Star Trek Into Darkness” is only a month away, but fans who can’t wait for the film to hit theaters May 17 (or May 15 in IMAX theaters) can sate their otherworldy appetites with a new trailer and new posters. Paramount Pictures released the final trailer for “Star Trek Into Darkness” today, and it boasts an epic score, plenty of action and a more desperate tone than the previously released trailers that in turn focused humorously on James T. Kirk’s brash recklessness and on John Harrison’s deadly threat. “You think you can’t make mistakes,” Bruce Greenwood’s Christopher Pike tells Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) at the beginning of the new trailer. “But the choices you make could get yourself and everyone under your command killed. But I believe in you Jim.” What follows is a rundown of the events fans have […]
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