J.J. Abrams Turned Down Directing New Star Wars Movies

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J.J. Abrams Turned Down Directing New Star Wars Movies

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The director said he's committed to the Star Trek franchise.

Back when George Lucas announced he was stepping down from head of Lucasfilm and handing over the whole company to Disney for a cool $4 billion, the idea of a who would make the next Star Wars film was on everyone's mind. Names were bandied about like so many TIE fighters, with fan-favorites like Joss Whedon (Firefly, The Avengers) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man) at the top of the list. But the one director many people wanted to see helm the re-emergence of the Star Wars brand was the guy who'd deftly handled another sci-fi reboot - J. J. Abrams. He turned them down.

"There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things," Abrams said in an interview with Empire Magazine.

"I declined any involvement very early on," he said. "I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."

I can't say I think Abrams would have been the best choice anyway; We'll be spared the disappointment of a fantastic premise ending badly (Lost) or young pretty officers bickering and banging (Star Trek). On the other hand, with Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) picked to write Star Wars Episode VII, I'm not sure the new film will be what fans really want.

Honestly, given how much the prequels burned through my love of the original films, I'd like to see what a Wes Anderson Star Wars movie would look like.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Permalink

I can't help but imagine how a Star Wars movie directed by Quintin Terantino would turn out.

A Wes Anderson Star Wars? Sure, why not. Never had much of a personal connection to the Star Wars franchise so i actually wouldn't mind if they tried to take it into an unusual direction. Now, sadly i know very well that they probably won't take any risks with it but a man can dream...

I mean, can you believe that once David Lynch was considered to direct a Star Wars movie? That would have been amazing!

Sure why not Wes Anderson, Who'd have thought Kenneth Branagh could make a half decent superhero movie?

Greg Tito:
Honestly, given how much the prequels burned through my love of the original films, I'd like to see what a Wes Anderson Star Wars movie would look like.

Bill Murray could be the wise old sage Jedi, and Mark Mothersbaugh could handle the soundtrack.

...

Shit, I kind of wanna see this now.

So now we know why the Star Trek reboot turned out to be such a smelling turd.

JJ is a Star Wars fan.

///

Anyway, the right director for a gritty Star Wars movie is Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow). But since SW is now Disney's... I guess not.

David Fincher.
I want a David Fincher Star Wars movie.

I'm delighted it's not Abrams though, Star Wars as a group of perfect almost-characters partially obscured by lens-flare, what a thought.

*Beats head against wall.*

Star Wars, you had one job!

BoogieManFL:
I can't help but imagine how a Star Wars movie directed by Quintin Terantino would turn out.

30 minute Cantina scene with Han and Greedo playing pictionary.

I'm personally glad. He did a decent job with the Star Trek movie, but it's certainly nothing like old school Star Trek. And Lost, Revolution, and Super 8 were all just terrible.

Maybe it all he does is direct, but I don't think he should have hardly any control on a script.

Even JJ knew that he would suck directing a new Star Wars movie, and as a fan couldn't handle another bad one. This is great news, really glad we dodged a bullet with this.

P.S. Revitalizing a franchise by destroying what the franchise was is not how to keep fans happy.

Good, that would have been BLASPHAME. BTW the only two things that suck about new star trek are: Lens flare and the fact that Uhura has replaced McCoy in the main 3.

I keep saying, just get Joe Johnston to direct and everything should be gravy.

Dana22:

30 minute Cantina scene with Han and Greedo playing pictionary.

BoogieManFL:
I can't help but imagine how a Star Wars movie directed by Quintin Terantino would turn out.

Return of the Jedi when Luke reaches for his lightsaber and Vader blocks his strike
Emperor: You didn't think it was gunna be that easy, did you?
Luke: For a second there, yeah I kinda did.

You forgot 2 things about J.J. Abram's movies:

Lens Flares
image
and LENS FLARES!
image

I wouldn't dare let him near the Star Wars franchise. 5 seconds with a lightsaber and the whole world would go blind.

*Eye-roll* And the old-time Star Trek fans start raging. This may come as a shock, but the original Trek cast was TV pretty for their time and giant, rubber suits are not passable special effects 50 years later. Oh.. and there's young, attractive men and women in the space-military and they're letting their emotions and physical desires manifest? The hell you say? Good there our military is nothing but fat, ugly slobs who are certainly not attractive nor ever having sex. Who-ever heard of women finding a man in uniform sexy. I know I haven't. Kirk NEVER had sex with anything in the original series.

Obviously they should have had the original cast reprise their roles for this movie with the same budget and effects people they had in 1965. I'd love to see Nimoy and Nichols making out and Shatner banging some green chick. That'd be so hot.

Hey, Trekkies, appreciate what you got. At least your child-hood memories aren't in the hands of Michael Bay. I'd happily trade a little lens flare if it meant I didn't have to see Devastator's scrotum.

Good. I have no faith in J.J. Abrams any more, nor any of the Lost producers anyway. When I was watching Prometheus and Damon Lindelof's name came up in the writing credits my mind went immediately to "uh-oh". I wasn't wrong. Also, Star Trek and Super 8 were fun but I agree the lens flare is just too much of a directorial vice. There's too much, just way too much. It tarnishes otherwise nice images. Though, with the amount of crappy CGI thrown about in the Star Wars filsm, maybe all that bliding light might make them more tolerable.

Sylveria:
*Eye-roll* And the old-time Star Trek fans start raging. This may come as a shock, but the original Trek cast was TV pretty for their time and giant, rubber suits are not passable special effects 50 years later. Oh.. and there's young, attractive men and women in the space-military and they're letting their emotions and physical desires manifest? The hell you say? Good there our military is nothing but fat, ugly slobs who are certainly not attractive nor ever having sex. Who-ever heard of women finding a man in uniform sexy. I know I haven't. Kirk NEVER had sex with anything in the original series.

Obviously they should have had the original cast reprise their roles for this movie with the same budget and effects people they had in 1965. I'd love to see Nimoy and Nichols making out and Shatner banging some green chick. That'd be so hot.

Hey, Trekkies, appreciate what you got. At least your child-hood memories aren't in the hands of Michael Bay. I'd happily trade a little lens flare if it meant I didn't have to see Devastator's scrotum.

This man is on the money.. well said.

As someone who had never seen the original Star Trek in any incarnation at all (the 2009 film being my first exposure to the franchise), I thought the J.J. Abrams Star Trek film was brilliant, with well fleshed out characters, a decent enough plot, and it was well paced with solid directing (with the exception of the lens-flare porn).

Well they can't possibly make Star Wars any worse than the last three movies,

So disney's first one is a kind of freebie for them...

Like the idea of Josh Wheedon in charge though.

NotALiberal:

Sylveria:
*Eye-roll* And the old-time Star Trek fans start raging. This may come as a shock, but the original Trek cast was TV pretty for their time and giant, rubber suits are not passable special effects 50 years later. Oh.. and there's young, attractive men and women in the space-military and they're letting their emotions and physical desires manifest? The hell you say? Good there our military is nothing but fat, ugly slobs who are certainly not attractive nor ever having sex. Who-ever heard of women finding a man in uniform sexy. I know I haven't. Kirk NEVER had sex with anything in the original series.

Obviously they should have had the original cast reprise their roles for this movie with the same budget and effects people they had in 1965. I'd love to see Nimoy and Nichols making out and Shatner banging some green chick. That'd be so hot.

Hey, Trekkies, appreciate what you got. At least your child-hood memories aren't in the hands of Michael Bay. I'd happily trade a little lens flare if it meant I didn't have to see Devastator's scrotum.

This man is on the money.. well said.

As someone who had never seen the original Star Trek in any incarnation at all (the 2009 film being my first exposure to the franchise), I thought the J.J. Abrams Star Trek film was brilliant, with well fleshed out characters, a decent enough plot, and it was well paced with solid directing (with the exception of the lens-flare porn).

That you were new to the franchise is why you thought the 2009 movie was good. Being a Trek fan since TNG in the late 80's it isn't so simple for me to enjoy this movie after the credits rolled. It was a fun ride but when all is said and done, it isn't a great Trek film.

Of course, I enjoyed Insurrection because it was more like the TV series than a Hollywood blockbuster so take my opinion at that value. Action movies bore me for the most part so I really didn't think First Contact was as great as most people do.

Considering that, IMO, Star Trek '09 was a far, far worse prequel than any of the new Star Wars films, I'm perfectly fine with this.

I know there are a hundred angry Old Trilogy fans eager to pounce on me now, but at least the Star Wars prequels felt like they were trying to be part of the same setting. They had the same hokey dialogue, the same emphasis on ship-to-ship space combat, the same mix of binary Good/Evil philosophical musings and lightsaber duels...

ST09 just felt like a generic sci-fi film that had the Star trek logo branded on top. There was absolutely nothing special about it, nothing memorable, nothing that captured the imagination.

Sylveria:
*Eye-roll* And the old-time Star Trek fans start raging. This may come as a shock, but the original Trek cast was TV pretty for their time and giant, rubber suits are not passable special effects 50 years later. Oh.. and there's young, attractive men and women in the space-military and they're letting their emotions and physical desires manifest? The hell you say? Good there our military is nothing but fat, ugly slobs who are certainly not attractive nor ever having sex. Who-ever heard of women finding a man in uniform sexy. I know I haven't. Kirk NEVER had sex with anything in the original series.

Obviously they should have had the original cast reprise their roles for this movie with the same budget and effects people they had in 1965. I'd love to see Nimoy and Nichols making out and Shatner banging some green chick. That'd be so hot.

Hey, Trekkies, appreciate what you got. At least your child-hood memories aren't in the hands of Michael Bay. I'd happily trade a little lens flare if it meant I didn't have to see Devastator's scrotum.

Le sigh...

You know, people have legitimate complaints with the Star Trek reboot, right? Complaints that go way beyond the fact that the cast all look like Topshop models, or that there's lens flare absolutely bloody everywhere.

For one, there was absolutely none of the moral and ethical dilemma that made the various Star Trek and its spin-off series so popular. The original Star Trek was one of the first TV shows to put its characters in morally difficult situations, and find answers to difficult ethical questions. In the reboot, there was none of that. The one narrative element that has continually defined the Star Trek franchise, and there wasn't any ethical dilemma at all. No moral conundrums. No hand-wringing over the right and wrongs of one choice of action over another.

Honestly, the original Mass Effect was a better successor to the series in that regard. At least Mass Effect managed to bring moral dilemma to science-fiction in the 21st Century. The reboot was just... meh, in that regard.

Secondly, the plot makes no sense. At all. While Star Trek has been guilty of less-than-watertight plotting in the past, the reboot suffers from the fact that the central premise just doesn't make sense at all.

That's just one of my many, many issues with the plot of the reboot.

And it's interesting how you complain about the Transformers films. Are you perhaps aware that the screenwriting duo responsible for the Transformers films also wrote the screenplay for the Star trek reboot?

Star Wars can have him. I did quite like Star Trek but as an action blockbuster you see every two weeks. It wasn't a Star Trek movie, and I want one of those.

However, Nemesis was worse and just about killed my TNG nostalgia. If it's a choice between Abrams and Nemesis I know which one I would go for.

Remus:
You forgot 2 things about J.J. Abram's movies:

Lens Flares
image
and LENS FLARES!
image

I wouldn't dare let him near the Star Wars franchise. 5 seconds with a lightsaber and the whole world would go blind.

You know why he did that, right? It was to make it look futuristic. Heck, I never noticed until rabid fanboys pointed it out.

saintdane05:

Remus:
You forgot 2 things about J.J. Abram's movies:

Lens Flares
image
and LENS FLARES!
image

I wouldn't dare let him near the Star Wars franchise. 5 seconds with a lightsaber and the whole world would go blind.

You know why he did that, right? It was to make it look futuristic. Heck, I never noticed until rabid fanboys pointed it out.

Did you watch the special features? If memory serves, he did it because he likes lens flares, nothing more. No matter his reasons, he overdid it.

He also put lens flares in Super 8 which was a movie that took place in the past.

I'm glad we dodged this bullet. Now, let's just put the whole franchise into the trusty hands of M. Night Shyamalan

Remus:
You forgot 2 things about J.J. Abram's movies:

Lens Flares and LENS FLARES!
[humorous images snipped]

I wouldn't dare let him near the Star Wars franchise. 5 seconds with a lightsaber and the whole world would go blind.

I though the same thing. Death star blasts would be so bright the first five rows of viewers would become translucent.

I don't know about this Wes Anderson, but it's been proven that Star Wars, as near perfect a property as it gets, can be fumbled fantastically by even it's creator. To be honest I find it impossible to get excited about anything Star Wars. The new trilogy murdered my childhood fondness for the series then had it's way with the carcass in strange and unnatural fashion.

Let's be silly and suggest some fun directors an imagine their vision. How about Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Side Rises" or M. Night Shyamalan's "The Wookie"? I'd pay good money to watch those.

James Cameron? After all, he claims he got into the business after watching Star Wars. Pay you dues, man!

I feel pretty glad about this. I don't hate JJ Abrahms but after watching how he devolved the Star Trek premise I feel like he wouldn't get Star Wars. I'd like to see them hand it to the Thor director and writer personally. They took retro designs and story of the original Thor and made it cool again while still finding an audience. Star Wars does not need more action and crazy flashy light saber duels to please its fan base.

Good riddance if you ask me. But I disagree on hiring someone like Tarantino or Anderson. They should get someone who's competent but doesn't have such a poignant directing style. Inasmuch as Tarantino's take on SW might be funny it would be more of an amusing thing than anything else. And I think at this point we need our faith on the saga renewed rather than turn it into something merely amusing o interesting.

Abrams had nothing to do with Lost after the first season or so, and Star Trek was great. Likewise, the new writer just needs to be a good fucking writer; experience in the genre is entirely secondary to that requirement.

I am totally with the Wes Anderson vote, though.

BoogieManFL:
I can't help but imagine how a Star Wars movie directed by Quintin Terantino would turn out.

Bloated and irritating, I imagine.

Can't we just let the corpse of Star Wars lie in peace without digging it up and raping it every decade? I loved IV - VI inclusive, loved them like a fat kid loves jellybeans. (Apropos enough, since I was that fat kid, but I digress.) I was ready to love the prequel trilogy as well, but three straight attempts to recapture the old magic were pissed right down the drain, leaving me the cynical and indifferent lump I am now. I'm not even angry about all this forced nostalgia; it's just sad to me that our society has become so gun-shy that spinning out a franchise where every nuance has inextricably wormed its way into the American zeitgeist -- a franchise so shackled by its success as to be enslaved by its own consumer base -- is not only seen as a good idea, but one brilliant enough to be attached to the names of every vaguely important person in Hollywood. Why is everyone so excited?

So go ahead and make VII - IX if you want, Disney. Go ahead and make all the gaiden-spinoffs of the expanded universe that you like. I may even watch them if I'm bored enough.

(I did see Moviebob's "defense" of Episode 1, before you ask. He raises a few valid points, but they don't excuse the fact that the screenplay was deeply flawed on many levels.)

The new Star Trek film basically WAS Star Wars, only shit.

So we know exactly what his take on the series would be like anyway. I'm glad he's staying away from it.

Also I have no desire to see Tarantino turn Star Wars into a talkie talkie 3-minutes-of-action-in-the-whole-movie experience.

Sewa_Yunga:
I'm glad we dodged this bullet. Now, let's just put the whole franchise into the trusty hands of M. Night Shyamalan

That could work.

In the end we find out...... The prequels never happened.

deep.

Squilookle:

Also I have no desire to see Tarantino turn Star Wars into a talkie talkie 3-minutes-of-action-in-the-whole-movie experience.

That sounds like the original Star Wars movie (aka A new Hope).

Of course he would turn it down, he's too busy making Star Trek more like Star Wars anyway. He stated he wanted to make Star Trek more like Star Wars, there was even a section on the special feature of the Star Trek dvd saying so.

Considering how shitty his Star Trek movie was it's probably for the best.

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