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J.J. Abrams Wants Out of the Reboot/Remake/Re-Whatever Business

Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

J.J. Abrams made his bed, stuffed it with money and gold bricks, but now he‘d rather not lie in it. The director has risen to the top of Hollywood’s most-wanted list in recent years as a serviceable conductor of franchise pictures; he did right by the Mission: Impossible series, then moved on to mount the massive Star Trek resurgence, and brought Star Wars back to the grateful people of Earth with Episode VII. But this whole money-in-the-bank reputation comes with its downsides. Speaking with People, Abrams indicated that he‘s had his fill of franchise pictures and would prefer to explore some original concepts in the years to come.

Abrams was on the scene at the Golden Globes last night to represent Westworld, and in a brief conversation with People Magazine, he stated that he plans on changing course in the next few years. He’s interested in returning to his roots and telling fresher stories not based on pre-existing properties:

You know, I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten involved in things that I loved when I was a kid. In fact, even Westworld, which we’re here for tonight, is one of them. But I don’t feel any desire to do that again. I feel like I’ve done enough of that that I’m more excited about working on things that are original ideas that perhaps one day someone else will have to reboot… You know, I do think that if you’re telling a story that is not moving anything forward, not introducing anything that’s relevant, that’s not creating a new mythology or an extension of it, then a complete remake of something feels like a mistake.

Apart from his Spielbergian passion project Super 8, Abrams has never directed an original tale for the screen, having produced and written many other people‘s movies and kept most of his direction constrained to the world of TV, where he created FelicityAlias and Lost. We really don’t know too much about Abrams’ identity as a directorial voice, as he’s usually stuck doing covers of someone else’s material. It’ll be curious to see how he expands his repertoire moving forward.

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