J. J. Abrams

Dec. 23, 2013 | 5:20 p.m.

‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Hunger Games,’ Batfleck: 2013 in review

The year was a gift for fans of genre entertainment.  Click through the images for a detailed look at some of the most memorable moments of 2013. (Photos, clockwise from top left, by BBC; Warner Bros.; Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times; Lionsgate)
2013 was a superb year for fans of genre entertainment. Major comic book heroes celebrated milestone anniversaries, as did “Doctor Who.” “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” continued to demonstrate that fantastic tales, both grim and transporting, can make for compelling, compulsory viewing. Dragons, female warriors and Tom Hiddleston stormed the multiplex in blockbuster fashion, while next-generation gaming consoles arrived, just in time for Christmas. There was plenty of big news about 2015 projects as well — namely, that J.J. Abrams will direct the first live-action “Star Wars” film since 2005, and that Ben Affleck will take over the role of Batman from Gotham City’s previous Caped Crusader, Christian Bale. Following are the Hero Complex picks for some of the most memorable moments in film, TV, comic books and games, in no particular order. Feel free to share your […]
Dec. 06, 2013 | 6:01 p.m.

‘Star Trek 3′ recruits screenwriters Payne, McKay to join Orci

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in "Star Trek Into Darkness." (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)
Screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been hired to join Roberto Orci in penning the next installment in the “Star Trek” film franchise. The as-yet-untitled sequel has no release date, and no director set, though rumors have suggested the job could go to Joe Cornish (“Attack the Block”). By this point, Orci is a “Trek” veteran, having written the scripts (with Alex Kurtzman and then Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof) for the previous two movies in Paramount’s rebooted series that were directed by J.J. Abrams, 2009′s “Star Trek” and this past summer’s “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The recent movie prospered at the box office, earning more than $444 million worldwide after opening to mostly positive reviews in May, though many fans groused about the veil of secrecy that surrounded the villain who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, a character first […]
Dec. 03, 2013 | 12:56 p.m.

Star Wars Instagram: Darth Vader takes a selfie in first post

Darth Vader on Instagram (featured image)
Star Wars is officially on Instagram, and the first post from the new account features Darth Vader taking a self-portrait. The Sith Lord poses in front of a fallen Stormtrooper and holds up a front-facing cellphone camera. “Another day at the office,” the caption reads. “#StarWars #DarthVader #selfies #gpom.” (For those unfamiliar with the lingo, “#gpom” stands for “gratuitous picture of myself.”) The picture, posted Monday, has already garnered more than 30,000 “likes.” Subsequent postings from the Star Wars account include a picture of Vader facing off against Luke Skywalker (“#latergram”) and a photo of a concept model for a Star Destroyer in “A New Hope,” from the Lucasfilm archives. PHOTOS: Hero Complex Geek Gift Guide 2013 The account was likely started in preparation for the upcoming “Star Wars” sequels, the first of which is slated for theatrical release on […]
Nov. 30, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Almost Human’: J.H. Wyman talks sci-fi cop show’s brighter futurism

John Kennex (Karl Urban) and Dorian (Michael Ealy) are dispatched to investigate a murder and high-profile missing persons case in the second episode of "Almost Human," titled "Skin." (Liane Hentscher/Fox)
When it comes to sci-fi, bleak and brutal are all the rage, but with his new Fox series “Almost Human,” J.H. Wyman is attempting to shine a little light onto all the darkness. “When you think about shows or movies that are placed in the future, the tendency is it rains all the time and the atmosphere is messed up,” Wyman said. “In the future, you’re telling me that no one has a 7-year-old daughter that they have a birthday party for and maybe buy her a present? Nobody’s happy? I don’t believe that.” With its gleaming silver skyscrapers and high-tech gadgetry, “Almost Human” is more late-model “Star Trek” than fashionably dystopian nightmare, which is perhaps not surprising given both J.J. Abrams’ executive producer role and the presence of star Karl Urban. Fresh off two stints as Leonard “Bones” McCoy […]
Nov. 07, 2013 | 1:25 p.m.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams’ film to open December 18, 2015

It’s official — “Star Wars: Episode VII” has a release date: J.J. Abrams’ new film will open December, 18, 2015. The news appeared in an announcement Thursday on StarWars.com. “We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII,’ where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, in the announcement. PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ at the box office Late last month, word came that director Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were taking over screenwriting duties on the newest “Star Wars” film from Oscar winner Michael Arndt. Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″) had been announced as the original screenwriter for “Episode VII” last November, shortly after word surfaced that […]
Oct. 24, 2013 | 12:35 p.m.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan to pen script

J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are taking over screenwriting duties on the newest “Star Wars” film from Oscar winner Michael Arndt, according to a statement issued today. Abrams was tapped to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII” back in January; Kasdan, of course, has a long history with Lucasfilm, as a screenwriter on “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.” “I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement posted on StarWars.com. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a ‘Star Wars’ story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved […]
Sept. 27, 2013 | 11:56 a.m.

‘Star Wars’: Animated open letter to J.J. Abrams makes four demands

Star Wars, J. J. Abrams (featured image)
A new animated video calls on J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming and highly controversial sequel “Star Wars: Episode VII,” to handle the beloved franchise with care. Created by Prescott Harvey with the creative agency Sincerely, Truman, the animated open letter offers the director four rules “to make ‘Star Wars’ great again”: 1. The setting is the frontier; 2. The future is old; 3. The Force is mysterious; and 4. Star Wars isn’t cute. “I’ve spent most of my recent years wondering why the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy was so awesome, and the new movies were so terrible,” Harvey told sci-fi site io9, which debuted the video. “I took an empirical approach, determining what elements were in the original movies that differed from the prequels. My first major epiphany was that, in the originals, the characters are always outside somewhere […]
Aug. 19, 2013 | 11:33 a.m.

J.J. Abrams releases mysterious new ‘Stranger’ teaser

J.J. Abrams' "Stranger" (featured image)
J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot has released a mysterious new teaser for a project labeled “Stranger.” It’s a beautifully shot, subtle piece of black-and-white filmmaking that concludes with a haunting image of a man with his lips sewn shut. We’re guessing this has nothing to do with Abrams’ next planned feature, the much-anticipated “Star Wars: Episode VII,” due to go into production next year. Abrams, of course, values secrecy as a key means to surprising audiences in both his film and television projects, and it’s hard to draw too many conclusions from the teaser. The director, famously, kept his cards close to the vest concerning the big baddie in his summer blockbuster, “Star Trek Into Darkness.” For months, Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain was known only by the name John Harrison, and not that other, far more well-known moniker. Anyone who […]
July 22, 2013 | 8:30 p.m.

J.J. Abrams not dropping out of ‘Star Wars’ sequel, Lucasfilm says

J.J. Abrams (featured image)
J.J. Abrams is not dropping out of the next “Star Wars” film, contrary to certain online reports. “There is no truth to the rumor,” Lucasfilm said in a statement issued Monday. “J.J. is having a great time working on the script and is looking forward to going into production next year.” “Star Wars: Episode VII” will be written by Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3,” and will be shot at England’s historic Pinewood Shepperton Studios. Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm last year, announced in April it will release a new “Star Wars” film every year beginning in 2015 with “Episode VII,” the first installment in a planned trilogy. George Lucas will serve as a “creative consultant” on those three films, but has no plans to write or direct. In an interview with Hero Complex […]
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 […]
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