J.J. Abrams No Longer Wants To Be Mr. Franchise Saver | Film News
J.J. Abrams has long been the major studios’ saving grace, a director-for-hire that could replenish any dead franchise with a glossy new coat via modern updates, added cool and a whole heap of intertextuality.
First, he took the Mission Impossible franchise from the hands of John Woo, who had temporarily sunk it into a deep hole of action clichés that even Tom “I do my own stunts” Cruise would have had trouble stunt-climbing out of, and rebirthed it with his slick third instalment.
Following that, he rebranded Star Trek from nerdy niche into blockbuster franchise, and recently made Star Wars fans forget about the nightmare of Jar-Jar Binks. But now, he wants out.
At the Golden Globes Sunday night, where he represented HBO’s Westworld, Abrams indicated that he’s no longer interested in franchise revivals and reboots, and instead wants to focus on his own original projects, much like his ode to Steven Spielberg from 2011, Super 8:
“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”.
While Abrams has had more than his share of recent success, he has also been criticised in some circles for taking the heart out of many of the franchises he’s helmed, effectively moulding each blockbuster into one homogenous heap.
Whether that is fair or not, this is Abrams’ chance to flex his muscles and show the world he’s not a play-it-safe franchise steerer and create something bold and original. He’s shown promise on the smaller screen, having created successful series such as Alias and Lost. Time will tell if he can transfer that bold originality to the silver screen.
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