With Star Trek Into Darkness opening around the world, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Simon Pegg. While we’d planned for an in-depth video interview in Los Angeles, his busy shooting schedule for his next movie turned our interview into an email exchange. Since we covered so many different subjects, I’m breaking it up into two or three parts, and we’re starting with Trek.
During our interview, Pegg talked about finally being able to speak openly about the sequel, if he felt any additional pressure playing Scotty in the sequel, his preparation process, what it was like working on the huge practical sets, filming the bridge scenes first, lens flares, what he took home from set, who broke character the most on camera, what he remembers most about making both films, voicing the video game, deleted scenes, Trek 3, and more. Finally, Pegg sent over a video he made on set with Zoe Saldana and Anton Yelchin using the Bad Robot’s Action Movie app. You can watch it when he brings it up during the interview. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
While everyone associates Bad Robot with J.J. Abrams, he actually has a producing partner that rarely does press and usually stays out of the limelight: Bryan Burk. If you look over his IMDb profile, you’ll see he’s tremendously involved in all Bad Robot productions and was a key component in both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness.
With the movie getting ready to premiere around the world, I recently landed an exclusive interview with the busy producer. During our wide-ranging interview, we talked about making the sequel, the editing process, the secrecy, the title, if we’ll get Star Trek 3 in less than four years, whether a new Star Trek TV show could happen in the near future, and more. We also talked about other Bad Robot productions like Star Wars, Mission: Impossible 5, Infinitely Polar Bear, Person of Interest, Revolution, Alfonso Cuaron‘s pilot Believe, Karl Urban‘s pilot Almost Human, and more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
If you’re a fan of Bad Robot and live in Los Angeles area, it’s time to head over to the new Gallery1988 location at 7308 Melrose. That’s because the gallery has teamed up with some great artists to create a new gallery show focused on the TV shows and movies produced by Bad Robot, like Fringe, Lost, Super 8, Person of Interest, Alias, Cloverfield, and Star Trek. The show opens tonight and runs until May 18th, so you’ve got plenty of time to check it out. However, since many of the items are very limited or original pieces of art, you probably want to head over soon if you want to buy anything.
Last night the gallery held a private reception for Bad Robot and I was able to stop by and take about 100 pictures of everything on display. Hit the jump to see the pictures.
With Stephen King’s Under the Dome set for its series debut on CBS this summer, the acclaimed author may be setting his sights on another TV show. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is vying for the TV rights to King’s time-traveling John F. Kennedy assassination novel, 11/22/63. An adaptation of the book was previously attempted for a feature film, but there were creative disagreements over how to handle the unwieldy tome. It looks like 11/22/63 may be bound for cable as a Warner Bros.-backed TV series instead of a full-length feature. Hit the jump for more.
Late last year I got to visit Bad Robot studios, a company founded in 1998 by J.J. Abrams, the prolific writer/director/producer that previously made Lost, Fringe, Alcatraz, Cloverfield, (named after a street near the studio), Mission: Impossible, Super 8 and, of course, Star Trek. The reboot of the Star Trek series, which was able to respect the legacy and create room for a whole new generation, will keep telling its story in Star Trek Into Darkness—I went to Los Angeles to find out more about the movie.
My tour of the studio began at the department of special effects where we were shown some footage of an action scene that reminded me of the freefall from the first movie. Without getting into too much detail, it’s safe to say that Abrams has done it again: the tension of Into Darkness is intense, but leaves room for the sharp dialogue that is the trademark of the franchise. Hit the jump for more on the special effects, costumes and props, the soundtrack, IMAX, the creatures, and so much more.
It appears as though spearheading both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises just might not be enough for J.J. Abrams. Though it’s been clear that Abrams is keen on juggling multiple producorial projects at once by way of his Bad Robot banner, he might eventually have his hands on yet another couple of geek-friendly properties: Portal and Half-Life. Speaking during a keynote conversation for DICE earlier today with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, the prospect of feature film adaptations of the wildly popular video games Portal and Half-Life came up, and Newell expressed his desire to have Abrams involved with the films. Hit the jump for more.
A Lance Armstrong movie is indeed moving forward, but it’s probably not the one that the famous cyclist had in mind. A biopic of the seven-time Tour de France champion had been in development for a quite a while with Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal involved in the project at different times, but now following Armstrong’s confession regarding doping charges, a feature film is in the works that focuses on the darker side of the cyclist’s life. Deadline reports that J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk have acquired the screen rights to the book proposal Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by author Juliet Macur.
It’s unclear in what capacity Abrams and Burk will be involved, but one assumes they’re solely onboard as producers. Paramount Pictures and Abrams and Burke’s Bad Robot will produce the film, which is likely to draw a considerable amount of attention.
While director Ron Howard is currently knee-deep in post-production on his upcoming Formula 1 racing drama Rush, it appears that he may have found his next project. Howard is now attached to direct an adaptation of the 2003 Israeli TV movie Kol Ma She’Yesh Li (translated to All I’ve Got). The project has been in development at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot for a couple of years, but it looks like Howard’s involvement will start moving this thing closer to production. Hit the jump for more details on the film, which is described as a mix between The Notebook and Albert Brooks’ fantastic 1991 pic Defending Your Life.
While there are always many projects in development in the studio system, 1952 is near the top of my list. That’s because not only is Damon Lindelof writing the film, it’s going to be directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), who only makes awesome movies. While plot details are under wraps, everything points towards a large scale mystery film that may star George Clooney. The last thing we heard about the plot was, “the picture is said to center on the journey of a middle-aged man and his contact with alien life,” but this one liner could easily be wrong.
At a recent Bad Robot press event for the Star Trek sequel (more on that soon), I got to speak to Lindelof about 1952 and asked how it’s going. He revealed that he hopes to be in production in mid-2013, that Bird is now co-writing the film, and how he got Bird to direct the project. He also says the film is not yet greenlit but when they figure out some casting elements and the budget, “we’ll be able to announce what this movie is.” Hit the jump for more.
Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have found a director for the intriguing sci-fi pic God Particle. Per Variety, the film “follows an American space station crew left abandoned after a problem with a Hadron accelerator causes Earth to vanish entirely.” It sounds a bit like Danny Boyle‘s Sunshine, though seeing Earth completely disappear might be a bit more disturbing/terrifying for this space crew. J.J. Abrams is set to produce, and newcomer Julius Onah has been hired to tackle directing duties with a script by Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat: Rebirth). Having helmed a number of critically lauded shorts, Onah recently made his feature directorial debut with the thriller The Girl Is in Trouble. God Particle will be developed through Paramount’s Insurge arm, and thus will be made for a budget around $5-10 million.
As with every Abrams project, further plot details are being kept firmly under wraps. The premise is highly intriguing, though, and is made all the more enticing by the fact that the film will be produced on a smaller budget.
The NBC drama series Revolution, premiering on September 17th, tells the story of a family that struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones and even lights — has mysteriously blacked out forever. The show is centered around one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos), whose brother is kidnapped by militia leaders, forcing her to reconnect with her estranged uncle (Billy Burke), in order to rescue Danny (Graham Rogers), overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America, all while they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed and if it will ever return.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, show creator/writer/executive producer Eric Kripke (Supernatural) talked about how the idea for the show started, how both J.J. Abrams (as executive producer) and Jon Favreau (as the pilot’s director) got involved, wanting to tell a character-driven adventure tale, how Revolution will have a slightly different and less snarky tone than Supernatural, his decision to immediately address the fact that the lack of electricity is not quite what it initially seems, the challenges of going from doing a show with two main characters to doing a show with a large ensemble cast, and how he already has a really solid idea about what Season 2 is, as well as possible notions for Season 3. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Paramount has teamed up director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) with screenwriter Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend) for Collider, which is easily the best title in the history of film. The sci-fi film will be directed and co-written by Wright, who will also share producing credits along with J.J. Abrams and Nira Park of Bad Robot. Any plot details are non-existent at the moment, but it could very well involve an intrepid group of web journalists who unite to save the world…or maybe the recent news surrounding the Large Hadron Collider at CERN; either way. Hit the jump for more on Wright and Protosevich’s upcoming projects to see where Collider might land.
Paramount was involved in two property acquisitions with high-profile producers today:
- Paramount teamed with J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot to option the nazi hunter spec script Wunderkind, written by Patrick Aison.
- The studio acquired the screen rights to Libba Bray‘s upcoming novel The Diviners. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will produce through their Fake Empire banner.
Hit the jump for details on both projects.
Chernobyl Diaries marks the directorial debut of visual effects maven Brad Parker. The film eschews its found-footage conceit early yet still maintains that sub-genre’s documentary/cinema verite aesthetic. Chernobyl Diaries is a less-is-more type flick, with a majority of the “creatures” completely enshrouded in darkness and most of the character deaths happening just off frame. In the following interview, director Brad Parker discusses settling on a “looser” camera, the surprising films he emulated for Chernobyl’s ‘look’ (hint: think Woody Allen) and the budgetary & creative principles behind his less-is-more aesthetic. I also try and find out about his Bad Robot project, but he’s been trained well. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Given that Fox’s Alcatraz is produced by J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot production company, the show features a pretty hefty mythological bent alongside its “criminal of the week” procedural aspect. Bad Robot has gone all out on a viral campaign for the show, and we’ve already brought you our report from the viral scavenger hunt event at the actual Alcatraz prison in San Francisco. Today we’re bringing you yet another report on a viral event for the series, this time in the form of a video. Fans were sent to investigate a robbery at Skylight One Hanson, former home of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn, New York. They followed clues, interrogated “witnesses”, and used tools given to them in order to solve the case.
One of the more crucial aspects of the viral event was the use of a Ford Mustang in their investigation. Participants had to use UV light inside the car to search for fingerprints that lead them to a cryptic Bluetooth message. Interestingly, Ford Motor Company seems to be integrating themselves pretty heavily into the viral campaign in order to advertise their new car. It’s definitely a different approach, and one that we’ll probably see more of in the future. Nevertheless, you can watch the video wrapping up the entire viral event after the jump. Alcatraz airs Mondays at 9/8c.