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)









[05/05/15 - 02:34 PM]
The CW Pulls "Cedric's Barber Battle" from Friday Lineup
Back-to-back episodes of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" will now fill the 8:00/7:00c hour.

[05/05/15 - 02:31 PM]
Syfy and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television Reuniting to Develop Aldous Huxley's Classic Novel "Brave New World"
In the series, humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in "hatcheries."

[05/05/15 - 01:07 PM]
It's Time to Get Saved with Lifetime(R)'s All-New Docuseries, "Preach" Premiering June 5
The six-episode series follows four powerful female leaders who believe God has given them the ability to heal the sick, see the future and rid people of their addictions.

[05/05/15 - 12:50 PM]
College Softball Conference Tournaments: 50 Games, 11 Championships
The ACC Championship Game (ESPN) and American Athletic Conference Championship Game (ESPN2) will be televised Saturday, May 9.

[05/05/15 - 12:45 PM]
Production Begins in Pittsburgh on WGN America's "Outsiders," New Original Drama Series from Peter Mattei, Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti
David Morse, Joe Anderson, Thomas M. Wright and Ryan Hurst star in the 13-episode series, due in early 2016.

[05/05/15 - 12:34 PM]
U.S. Women's National Team Preps for World Cup in Two Send-Off Series Matches on FOX Sports 1
The series begins on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 10, with an important friendly against the Republic of Ireland, followed by a match against Mexico on Sunday, May 17.

[05/05/15 - 12:24 PM]
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' Original Movie, "Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery" Becomes the Network's Most-Watched Film Among W25-54, Households, and Total Viewers
The Hallmark Channel spins the numbers for Saturday, May 2.

[05/05/15 - 12:01 PM]
C. Thomas Howell and Henry Rollins to Guest Star in ABC Family's New Procedural Drama "Stitchers"
Howell will guest star in a recurring role as Daniel, a mysterious person Kirsten (series star Emma Ishta) knew long ago.

[05/05/15 - 11:48 AM]
Esquire Network Partners with Buick for "Knife Fight" Season Three - Debuts Short-Form Series "Eat Like a Man"
Select episodes feature on-air "pantry tours" with host Ilan Hall sourcing the latest secret ingredients in the Buick Regal GS.

[05/05/15 - 11:46 AM]
Josh Charles Joins Hit Series "Masters of Sex" in a Major Guest-Starring Role
He'll play Daniel Logan, a self-made businessman working in the scent industry.

[05/05/15 - 11:03 AM]
E! Continues to Expand Pop Culture Prowess with Two New Series and Dynamic Original Development Slate
"The Comment Section" and "Just Jillian" are on tap for late summer 2015 and early 2016, respectively.

[05/05/15 - 10:08 AM]
Poppy Montgomery Guest Stars in "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love" Premiering June 6
Eric Mabius, Kristin Booth, Crystal Lowe and Geoff Gustafson return for this world premiere two-hour movie from Martha Williamson.

[05/05/15 - 09:19 AM]
Chiller Unveils 2015-2016 Original Programming, Including Original Movies and Network's First-Ever Original Series
"Slasher" follows the plight of a young woman who returns to the small town where she was born, only to find herself the centerpiece in a series of horrifying copycat murders - based on the widely-known, grisly killings of her parents.

[05/05/15 - 09:14 AM]
HBO Offers Bonus Presentation of "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" Next Sunday, May 10
Widely acclaimed at film festivals and in its recent limited theatrical run, the documentary debuted Monday, May 4.

[05/05/15 - 09:06 AM]
"Conan" to Film from Comic-Con(R) International July 8-11
This will mark the first time ever a late-night show has broadcast from San Diego during Comic-Con.