J. J. Abrams

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J. J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams by David Shankbone.jpg
Abrams at the Time 100 Gala in Manhattan, 2010
BornJeffrey Jacob Abrams
(1966-06-27) June 27, 1966 (age 47)
New York City
ResidenceLos Angeles
EducationSarah Lawrence College (attended)
OccupationFilm and television producer, director, writer, actor, composer
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Katie McGrath (1996–present)
Children3
 
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J. J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams by David Shankbone.jpg
Abrams at the Time 100 Gala in Manhattan, 2010
BornJeffrey Jacob Abrams
(1966-06-27) June 27, 1966 (age 47)
New York City
ResidenceLos Angeles
EducationSarah Lawrence College (attended)
OccupationFilm and television producer, director, writer, actor, composer
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Katie McGrath (1996–present)
Children3

Jeffrey Jacob "J. J." Abrams (born June 27, 1966) is an American film and television producer, screenwriter, director, actor and composer. He is well known for his work in the genres of action, drama, and science fiction.

Abrams wrote and produced feature films before co-creating the television series Felicity (1998–2002). He also created Alias (2001–2006) and co-created Lost (2004–2010), Fringe (2008–2013), Undercovers (2010) and produced the television series Person of Interest (2011–present), Revolution (2012–present) and Almost Human (2013–present), among others.

His directorial film work includes two Star Trek films; Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), along with Mission: Impossible III (2006) and Super 8 (2011). He will also direct Star Wars Episode VII (2015), the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.[1] Abrams produced the films Cloverfield (2008), Morning Glory (2010), and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011). He also played a role in the film Six Degrees of Separation.

Many of the films he has directed or produced are distributed by Paramount Pictures, while his television series were co-produced by either Warner Bros. Television or Touchstone Television. Abrams' frequent creative collaborators include writers Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, composer Michael Giacchino, cinematographers Daniel Mindel & Larry Fong, and editors Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo Markey.

Early life[edit]

Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, where he attended Palisades High School. He is the son of television producer Gerald W. Abrams and executive producer Carol Ann Abrams (née Kelvin).[2] His sister is screenwriter Tracy Rosen.[2] Abrams is Jewish[3] and attended Sarah Lawrence College.[4]

Career[edit]

Abrams' first job in the movie business started when he was 16 when he wrote music for Don Dohler's film Nightbeast. During his senior year at college, he teamed with Jill Mazursky to write a feature film treatment. Purchased by Touchstone Pictures, the treatment was the basis for Taking Care of Business, Abrams' first produced film, which starred Charles Grodin and James Belushi. He followed that up with Regarding Henry, starring Harrison Ford, and Forever Young, starring Mel Gibson. He also co-wrote with Mazursky the script for the comedy Gone Fishin' starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover.

Abrams collaborated with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay on the 1998 film Armageddon. That same year, he made his first foray into television with Felicity, which ran for four seasons on The WB Network, serving as the show's co-creator (with Matt Reeves) and executive producer. He also composed its opening theme music.

Under his production company Bad Robot, which he founded with Bryan Burk in 2001,[5] Abrams created and executive-produced ABC's Alias and is co-creator (along with Damon Lindelof and Jeffrey Lieber) and executive producer of Lost. He later co-wrote the teleplay for Lost's third season premiere "A Tale of Two Cities." As with Felicity, Abrams also composed the opening theme music for Alias and Lost.

In 2001, Abrams co-wrote and produced the thriller Joy Ride, and wrote an unproduced screenplay for a fifth Superman film in 2002.

In 2006, he served as executive producer of What About Brian and Six Degrees, also on ABC. Abrams directed and wrote the two-part pilot for Lost and remained active producer for the first half of the season. That same year, he made his feature directorial debut in 2006 with Mission: Impossible III, starring Tom Cruise.

Abrams at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010

Abrams spoke at the TED conference in 2007.[6]

In 2008, Abrams produced the monster movie Cloverfield.[7] In 2009, he directed the science fiction film Star Trek,[8] which he produced with Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. While it was speculated that they would be writing and producing an adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series of novels, they publicly stated in November 2009 that they were no longer looking to take on that project.[9]

In 2008, he co-created, executive produced, and co-wrote (along with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) the FOX science fiction series Fringe, for which he composed the theme music as well.

Abrams was featured in the 2009 MTV Movie Awards 1980s-style digital short "Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions", with Andy Samberg and Will Ferrell, in which he plays a keyboard solo.

NBC picked up Abrams' Undercovers as its first new drama series for the 2010–11 season.[10] However, it was subsequently cancelled by NBC in November 2010.

He wrote and directed the Paramount supernatural movie Super 8, while co-producing with Steven Spielberg and Bryan Burk; it was released on June 10, 2011.[11] Abrams directed the sequel to Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, released in May 2013.[12]

Under development (due in 2013[13]) is Abrams' film with Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions, Mystery on Fifth Avenue. It is based on the New York Times article "Mystery on Fifth Avenue" about the renovation of an 8.5 million dollar co-op, a division of property originally owned by E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post. In 2008, it was widely reported Abrams purchased the rights to the Times article for six figures,[14] and enlisted comedy writers Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky to write the adaptation. According to the article, a wealthy couple Steven B. Klinsky and Maureen Sherry purchased the apartment in 2003 and live there with their four children. Soon after purchasing the apartment, they hired young architectural designer Eric Clough, who devised an elaborately clever "scavenger hunt" built into the apartment that involved dozens of historical figures, a fictional book and a soundtrack, woven throughout the apartment in puzzles, riddles, secret panels, compartments, and hidden codes, without the couple's knowledge. The family didn't discover the embedded mystery until months after moving into the apartment.[15][16] After Abrams purchased the article, Clough left him an encrypted message in the wall tiles of a Christian Louboutin shoe store he designed in West Hollywood.[17]

Abrams will produce, under Bad Robot and with Bryan Burk, Earthquake for Universal Pictures. The film is being scripted by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black, and while it shares a title and event with Universal's 1974 feature starring Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner, it will not be a remake.[18]

On January 25, 2013, The Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm officially announced Abrams as director and producer of Star Wars Episode VII, the latest entry in the Star Wars film saga. Disney/Lucasfilm also announced that Bryan Burk and Bad Robot Productions would be producing the feature.[19]

Following the news that he would indeed direct Star Wars Episode VII, speculation arose as to Abrams' future with Paramount Pictures, with whom he has released all of his previously directed feature work and which has a first-look deal with his Bad Robot Productions. Paramount vice-chairman Rob Moore stated that Abrams will continue to have a hand in the highly successful Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises going forward.[20]

Abrams announced at the 2013 D.I.C.E. Conference that Bad Robot has made a deal with Valve Corporation to produce films based on the video game titles Portal and Half-Life.[21]

On September 9, 2013, it was announced that Abrams will be releasing a novel, S., written by Doug Dorst.[22] The book was released on October 29, 2013.[23]

In October 2013, it was announced that Abrams had taken over screenwriting duties for Star Wars Episode VII, working alongside Lawrence Kasdan following the departure of Michael Arndt.[24] Star Wars: Episode VII is expected to open in theaters on December 18, 2015.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Abrams is married to public relations executive Katie McGrath and has three children: sons August and Henry and daughter Gracie.[4][26] He resides in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California.[27][28]

Campaigns he has contributed to include those of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Sestak, Bill Bradley, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Bob Casey, Jr., Mark Udall, Harry Reid, Russ Feingold, Patrick J. Kennedy and Tim Kaine. However, he has also donated $2,000 to the Republican Robert Vasquez.[29]

Filmography[edit]

Feature credits[edit]

YearFilmDirectorProducerWriterActorNotes
1990Taking Care of BusinessYes
1991Regarding HenryYesYesDelivery boy; also co-producer
1992Forever YoungYesalso executive producer
1993Six Degrees of SeparationYesDoug
1996The PallbearerYes
1997Gone Fishin'Yes
1998ArmageddonYes
The SuburbansYes
2001Joy RideYesYes
2006Mission: Impossible IIIYesYesFeature directorial debut
2008CloverfieldYes
2009Star TrekYesYes
2010Morning GloryYes
2011Super 8YesYesYes
Mission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolYes
2013Star Trek Into DarknessYesYes
2015Star Wars Episode VIIYesYesYesPre-production
Untitled Mission: Impossible 5[30]YesPre-production
2016Untitled Star Trek 3[30]YesDevelopment

Television credits[edit]

YearProgramCreditNotes
1998–2002Felicityco-creator, writer, executive producer, director, co-composer of theme music
2001–2006Aliascreator, writer, executive producer, director, theme music composer
2004–2010Lostco-creator, executive producer, writer, theme music composer, director
2005The Catchcreator, executive producerunaired pilot
2007The Officeguest directorSeason 3, Episode 18
2006–2007What About Brianexecutive producer
Six Degreesexecutive producer
2006Jimmy Kimmel Live!guest director
2008–2013Fringeco-creator, executive producer, theme music composer, writer
2009Anatomy of Hopeexecutive producer, writer, directorpilot
2010Undercoversco-creator, executive producer, writer, director, theme music composer
2011–presentPerson of Interestexecutive producer, theme music composer
2012Alcatrazexecutive producer, theme music composer
Shelterexecutive producerpilot[31]
Family Guyguest starepisode: Ratings Guy
2012–presentRevolutionexecutive producer
2013–presentAlmost Humanexecutive producer[32]
2014Believeexecutive producerpilot[33]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
1999Razzie AwardWorst ScreenplayArmageddonNominated
2002Emmy Award[34]Outstanding Writing for a Drama SeriesAliasNominated
2004PGA AwardBest DramaNominated
2005ASCAP Film and Television Music AwardsTop TV SeriesLostWon
Directors Guild of AmericaBest DirectorNominated
Emmy Award[34]Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series - PilotWon
Outstanding Drama Series[34]Won
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Pilot[34]Nominated
2006ASCAP Film and Television Music AwardsTop TV SeriesWon
PGA AwardBest DramaWon
Writers Guild of America[35]Dramatic SeriesWon
2007Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror FilmsBest DirectorMission: Impossible IIINominated
BAFTA AwardBest InternationalLostNominated
PGA AwardBest DramaNominated
Writers Guild of AmericaDramatic SeriesNominated
2008Emmy AwardOutstanding Drama SeriesNominated
2009Emmy AwardOutstanding Drama SeriesNominated
Writers Guild of AmericaLong FormFringeNominated
New SeriesNominated
2010Emmy Award[34]Outstanding Drama SeriesLostNominated
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror FilmsBest DirectorStar TrekNominated
Empire AwardsBest DirectorNominated
PGA AwardTheatrical Motion PictureNominated
2012Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror FilmsBest DirectorSuper 8Won
Best WritingNominated
2013PGA AwardNorman Lear Achievement Award in TelevisionWon

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It's official: Abrams to direct new 'Star Wars' film". CNN. January 26, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Carol Ann Abrams dies, Producer, author was mother of J.J. Abrams". Variety Magazine. June 5, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ Berrin, Danielle (May 6, 2009). "Now It's J.J. Abrams' Turn to 'Trek'". JewishJournal.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b J.J Abrams Biography Archived 15 February 2011 at WebCite
  5. ^ Warner, Tyrone (May 11, 2010). "J.J. Abrams not worried about writers block on 'Fringe'". CTV. Retrieved June 29, 2011. [dead link]
  6. ^ "J.J. Abrams' mystery box". TED. March 24, 2011. Archived from the original on March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ J.J. Abrams Talks Cloverfield Sequel Archived 15 February 2011 at WebCite
  8. ^ J.J. Abrams on 'Cloverfield' Sequel, "We're Working on Something" Archived 15 February 2011 at WebCite
  9. ^ "J. J. Abrams on Star Trek and Cloverfield 2". Comingsoon.net. February 23, 2008. Archived from the original on February 25, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2008. 
  10. ^ "NBC Picks Up New J.J. Abrams Drama Series". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. 
  11. ^ Pamela McClintock (May 6, 2010). "Abrams, Spielberg confirmed for 'Super 8'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ "J.J. Abrams Will Direct STAR TREK 2". NextNewMovies. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Mystery on Fifth Avenue". IMDB. 
  14. ^ Seigel, Tatiana (June 17, 2008). "Paramount, Abrams keep house". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2008. 
  15. ^ Reagan, Gillian. "J.J. Abrams to Produce NYT's Fifth Avenue Mystery". New York Observer. Retrieved June 18, 2008. 
  16. ^ Green, Penelope (June 12, 2008). "Mystery on Fifth Avenue". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ Schwartz, John (December 6, 2010). "Monumentally Mystifying: Power of Secrets Inspires Public Art". New York Times. 
  18. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Universal, JJ Abrams Set 'Milk' Scribe Dustin Lance Black For 'Earthquake'". Deadline.com. 
  19. ^ "Star Wars Is Being Kick-Started with Dynamite J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII". StarWars.com. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ "J.J. Abrams directing 'Star Wars': What happens to 'Star Trek'?". The Los Angeles Times. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Graser, Marc (February 6, 2013). "J.J. Abrams will develop 'Half-Life,' 'Portal' games into films". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ http://social.entertainment.msn.com/movies/blogs/post--second-trailer-reveals-more-of-jj-abrams-mystery-project
  23. ^ "Stranger". Soonyouwillknow.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  24. ^ "JJ Abrams to script as well as direct". Guardian UK. 25 August 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "'Star Wars: Episode VII' script delayed". 
  26. ^ "EW Gets the Stories Behind Those Goofy TV Production-Company Logos", Entertainment Weekly, December 7, 2001: "The title came to creator J.J. Abrams during a writers' meeting, and he recorded his children, Henry and Gracie (ages 2 and 3), saying the words into his Powerbook's microphone. 'That day in the office while editing,' says Abrams, 'I put together sound effects on my computer, burned a QuickTime movie on a CD, gave it to postproduction, and three days later it was on national television.'"
  27. ^ "Jj Abrams – JJ Abrams, Katie McGrath 4th Annual Pink Party to... – Picture 2072721". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  28. ^ Director J.J. Abrams and wife, actress Katie – Media (3 of 46) Movie Premieres: 'Star Trek,' 'Angels, "Director J.J. Abrams and wife, actress Katie McGrath, parade on the red carpet as they arrives at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood for the premiere of the movie 'Star Trek' in Los Angeles on April 30, 2009.
  29. ^ J.J. Abrams' Federal Campaign Contribution Report
  30. ^ a b "Collider JJ Abrams producing star trek 3 & mission: impossible 5". 
  31. ^ CW Picks Up 3 More Drama Pilots Including JJ Abrams & Mark Schwahn’s Shelter. Deadline.com. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  32. ^ Hibberd, James (January 25, 2013). "J.J. Abrams' robot cops show gets pilot order". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  33. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 25, 2013). "NBC Orders J.J. Abrams Drama, Bill Lawrence Comedy to Pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b c d e "The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences". Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2008. 
  35. ^ "Awards Winners". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 

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