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The Playlist

The Lost, Forgotten & Unmade Projects Of J.J. Abrams

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 16, 2013 3:10 PM
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  • 5 Comments
It's easy enough to think of J.J Abrams as some kind of overnight success. After all, it's only seven years since his first film as director, "Mission Impossible III," and "Star Trek Into Darkness," which opens on Friday, marks only his fourth film to date. And yet, even when he made that first film, he was already a brand name -- the man behind two bona-fide TV pop culture phenomena in "Alias" and "Lost," and that's only become more true since; his films have all taken at least $200 million worldwide, he's birthed several other successful TV shows, and he's taking over the Holy Grail of nerddom, "Star Wars," with 2015's "Episode VII."

The 10 Most Promising Network Shows For Fall 2013

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 16, 2013 1:01 PM
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  • 8 Comments
This week concluded the yearly "up-fronts," where advertisers and affiliates convene in New York City so that the various networks can trot out their exciting new fall products. It brings an end to "pilot season," in which initial episodes are furiously produced and then handily judged, and kicks off the excitement for the following fall. (Even though, as we're becoming increasingly aware, the traditional notions of when shows are supposed to air and how long they're supposed to be are blurring considerably.) Out of all of the new shows – dozens and dozens of hours of freshly scripted content – we have chosen the ten shows that we find the most promising; five hour-long dramas and five sitcoms. Don't change that dial.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 14, 2013 12:57 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Star Trek Into Darkness, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto
This week, one of the most hotly anticipated (and deliberately mysterious) movies of the summer movie season boldly goes into theaters nationwide. "Star Trek Into Darkness" is director J.J. Abrams' follow-up to the ridiculously entertaining 2009 "Star Trek" reboot, which introduced audiences to a younger, sexier Enterprise crew and turned the occasionally lifeless original series into a zippy space opera. The first film was the best kind of surprise – Abrams only had a single feature under his belt (the somewhat disappointing "Mission: Impossible III") and had yet to solidify his magic-loving geek-cred persona into an identifiable, Steven Spielberg-like brand. "Star Trek Into Darkness" is less of an unknown quantity in that respect, but Abrams and his confederates have tried, tirelessly, to keep the movie shrouded in mystery, offering all sorts of red herrings and deliberate attempts at obscuring plot details from being delivered prematurely. Still, there are some things we can tell you about this new 'Star Trek' experience. And so, without further ado, we will deliver five things you might not know about "Star Trek Into Darkness." Because in space, no one will hear you nerd out.

Review: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Often Thrills, But Undone By An Underwritten Villain & Thin Story

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2013 5:44 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Cast your mind back four years or so, to stardate early May 2009, and remember a time when J.J Abrams wasn't yet the anointed savior of Hollywood. He had an ever-growing fanbase, and had already been behind at least one bona-fide small screen pop culture phenomenon. But his influence on the big-screen up to that point only extended to a few screenwriting credits, mostly forgotten, a producing credit on disposable sleeper hit "Cloverfield," and directing "Mission: Impossible III," an enjoyable, but somewhat interchangeable entry to the Tom Cruise spy franchise.

10 Things J.J. Abrams Needs To Do With 'Star Wars: Episode VII' To Make It Great

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 25, 2013 3:09 PM
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  • 24 Comments
So the question that's been dominating the movie world for the past few months has finally been answered. After lots of rumors and speculation, with Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Jon Favreau, Guillermo Del Toro, Matthew Vaughn and Colin Trevorrow among the many names linked to the project, firm news has emerged that J.J. Abrams, creator of TV shows "Felicity," "Lost," "Alias" and "Fringe," among others, and director of blockbusters "Mission Impossible III," "Star Trek," "Super 8" and the upcoming "Star Trek Into Darkness," has been hired to direct "Star Wars Episode VII," the continuation of George Lucas' classic sci-fi saga.

J.J. Abrams Defends His Secretive Approach To Marketing, Says He Wants To Preserve The 'Special Experience' Of Seeing A Film Fresh

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • January 8, 2013 11:20 AM
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  • 6 Comments
In an age where it seems that you walk into some movies knowing the majority of the major plot beats that will unfold over the next two hours before the projector even starts up, some find it extremely refreshing that there are filmmakers like J.J Abrams who are secretive about almost every aspect of their projects. Others find it frustrating though, and you could even argue that the shroud of secrecy around Abrams’ “Super 8” left the final product feeling somewhat anticlimctic, when it may have been appreciated more had the secrecy around the film not morphed into a snowball of hype.

Benedict Cumberbatch Overlooks Ruined London In First Poster For 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 3, 2012 6:22 AM
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  • 19 Comments
We remain continually impressed by the extent to which J.J. Abrams is able to keep things under wraps on his major movies; less than six months to release, and all we know about his "Star Trek" sequel is that it's got a title -- "Star Trek Into Darkness," a vague logline, and the internet's boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. But Abrams' mystery box can't stay shut forever, even for a guaranteed hit like next summer's blockbuster, and the floodgates are soon to open, with a trailer on its way next week, and nine minutes of IMAX footage from the film set to play before "The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey" next week.

Paramount To Debut Nine Minutes Of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' In IMAX 3D Before 'The Hobbit' From December 14th

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2012 7:40 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Looks like J.J. Abrams is borrowing a trick from the Christopher Nolan playbook. So far, all that's been seen officially from next summer's "Star Trek Into Darkness," one of the more anticipated blockbusters of 2013 after Abrams' surprisingly strong first film, is a snippet lasting only a few frames jokingly unveiled by the director (and subsequently breathlessly reported on by most of the movie blogosphere). With the release of the sci-fi sequel creeping up, the notoriously secretive Abrams can't keep things under wraps forever, and it looks like Abrams will be unveiling a glimpse of the film in the biggest possible way this Christmas.

McG Says Robert Downey Jr. Would've Been Lex Luthor In His 'Superman'; Describes His Original, Darker Ending For 'Terminator: Salvation'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 20, 2012 10:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
It may have been a no-win situation when McG signed on for "Terminator: Salvation." Fans were generally displeased with "Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines," but at least that film featured Arnold Schwarzenegger and an R-rating. McG, perhaps best known for the "Charlie's Angels" films, was working with a PG-13 rating, vowing to tell the untold story of the fabled war against Skynet. It was a no-brainer for the director who told us in a recent interview, "I’m a huge fan of the franchise, and I’m fascinated with Jim Cameron. I leapt at the chance to work with Christian Bale." And who wouldn't? But during press rounds for his latest, "This Means War," he commented that he "pussed out" on the film. We talked to McG and hoped he would clarify, and he revealed to us that his hopes were for the heavily-rumored original ending.

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