or


[01/25/13 - 09:01 PM]
J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII
Lucasfilm makes the news official, with Abrams, Bryan Burk and Kathleen Kennedy producing.

[via press release from Lucasfilm]

"Star Wars Is Being Kick-Started with Dynamite"

J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII

After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet. Yes, J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.

"It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie," said Kennedy. "J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture."

George Lucas went on to say "I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He's an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."

"To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor," J.J. Abrams said. "I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."

J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.

Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year's Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm's preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.

Past Star Wars veterans, dating back to the classic trilogy, offered words of praise from their direct experience with Abrams:

Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren, ASC, whose credits include the original Star Wars trilogy as well as landmark films such as E.T. and Jurassic Park, also worked with Abrams on Super 8. "He puts everything he has into his work," said Muren. "He totally immerses himself. He's got such a visual eye, which is so important to the Star Wars films. It seems that a lot of the same things that were in George when he made the first Star Wars films are also in J.J. I think he's going to fit into the other movies perfectly, with the energy that J.J. has. We're kick-starting Star Wars again with dynamite. It will knock people out, including the people who get to work on it. I think it's a great choice."

Ben Burtt, responsible for such iconic Star Wars sounds as Darth Vader's breathing, R2-D2's beeps and the classic lightsaber, has worked with Abrams as sound designer and sound editor on Star Trek and Super 8. "J.J represents the next generation of filmmakers from those that were making Star Wars when I started," said Ben Burtt. "When he was a teen, he was a fan of Star Wars, and a great deal of his love for movies came out of his reaction of that first Star Wars film. You feel that he's already invested so many years in it, and he's going to propel it forward in a new way. In other words, you're having a fan who has grown up and developed tremendous directorial skills finding himself at the steering wheel to take the franchise into the next stage. I feel like I'm there watching history turn over from one era to another."

Matthew Wood, who served as supervising sound editor on Super 8, similarly grew up as a Star Wars fan before working on the films through the prequels. "Working with him, it was so obvious to me that J.J. and I have the same nostalgic love of that era. Now we have someone from that generation who is going to be at the helm of the Star Wars franchise that I've known and worked on, so it's a great circle. Just seeing what he did with Super 8 and capturing those moments, and knowing what was so special about that era, it's going to speak to a new generation of audience as well."





  [january 2013]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)









[04/19/14 - 09:02 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Tops Demos with "Shark Tank," "20/20"
The Alphabet's veteran newsmagazine posts big gains from last week among adults 18-49.

[04/19/14 - 08:34 AM]
"Hannibal" Is Up 29% Week to Week in Adults 18-49 with Its Top Result in Three Weeks
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, April 18.

[04/19/14 - 08:32 AM]
ABC Wins 3rd Straight Friday with the Top 2 TV Shows - "20/20" Surges to 2nd-Highest Ratings This Season
ABC spins the numbers for Friday, April 18.

[04/18/14 - 03:21 PM]
ESPN NFL Programming Highlights - "Draft Academy" Debuts April 22
Projected first-round picks Blake Bortles, Jadeveon Clowney and Marqise Lee will be part of the four-week series.

[04/18/14 - 12:09 PM]
First Lady Michelle Obama and Kellie Pickler Guest Star on "Nashville"
Said installment revolves around a charity concert at Fort Campbell.

[04/18/14 - 11:25 AM]
"Saturday Night Live" to Celebrate 40th Anniversary on Feb. 15, 2015
Past and present cast members, as well as special and musical guests from the show's incredible five-decade run, will appear on the telecast, with the specific lineup of guests to be determined in the coming months.

[04/18/14 - 10:56 AM]
New truTV Series "The Carbonaro Effect," Starring Comic Magician Michael Carbonaro, Set To Premiere Thursday, May 15th at 10pm ET/PT
The new 12-episode and hilarious series follows Carbonaro as he tricks, amazes and amuses the unsuspecting public.

[04/18/14 - 10:21 AM]
TLC Stitches Up Season Two, And Says I Do to More "Something Borrowed, Something New"
Season three, currently scheduled to premiere in November, promises to deliver more tears shed over old shredded threads.

[04/18/14 - 10:13 AM]
Video: "The Normal Heart" - Trailer (HBO Films)
The trailer will air this Sunday, April 20 just before "Game of Thrones" at 9:00/8:00c.

[04/18/14 - 10:02 AM]
Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone, Becky G, Zendaya, R5 and Fifth Harmony to Perform at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards
"Disney Channel Presents The Radio Disney Music Awards," a television special originating from the event, will be presented Sunday, April 27 on Disney Channel.

[04/18/14 - 09:32 AM]
Syfy's Hit Competition Series "Face Off" to Return for 7th Season in July
Season 7 will also introduce new judge, Lois Burwell, a renowned Academy-Award winning makeup artist known for her work on Lincoln, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and War of the Worlds.

[04/18/14 - 09:30 AM]
Shakira to Sing "Empire" from New Self-Titled Album on Live Tuesday, April 22 Telecast of "The Voice"
In addition to the Grammy Award-winning Shakira, "The Voice" coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will perform a song with their respective teams on the April 22 telecast.

[04/18/14 - 08:43 AM]
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" Scores Its Best-Ever Numbers at 11:35 p.m.
ABC spins the late-night numbers for Thursday, April 17.

[04/18/14 - 08:42 AM]
"Parenthood" Jumps 18% Versus Last Week in 18-49, Making It Its Top Episode in Three Weeks
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, April 17.

[04/18/14 - 08:22 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Scandal" Finale Powers ABC Into the Top Spot
The Alphabet takes home the adults 18-49 crown but falls just short as the most-watched network.