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J.J. Abrams wants to stop rebooting your childhood

01.10.2017

Whatever you think of J.J. Abrams as a writer/director, the man has nonetheless helped shape our current pop-culture landscape. From his dual reboots of STAR TREK and STAR WARS, as well as bringing new life to the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE franchise, Abrams' wide-spread influence will continue to ripple on for years to come. 

However, Abrams seems wary of continuing on rebooting everything, as he recently told People at the 2017 Golden Globes, which he attended for his role as executive producer on HBO's WESTWORLD (itself, he notes, a reboot as well):

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...But film is a fairly young medium and there are stories that have lasted for centuries...And it’s not uncommon, I think, for stories to be retold — whether it’s at campfire or on film, but I think you always have to be additive. You can’t just be remaking something just for the sake of remaking it.

That's a lot to unpack, but I agree with everything he's saying. We need new ideas so that future generations can have the same awe and wonder that those who saw the ship battles in STAR WARS or the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK  on screen for the first time did. And, even better, his admonishment of the practice of reboots is nuanced. He isn't decrying the act of remakes and reboots themselves. As he says himself, stories are re-told throughout history - just that you have to add something to the mythos you're re-telling, otherwise what's the point? What are you adding to art and society? Remakes aren't the problem (as THE THING, THE FLY, and MALTISE FALCON can attest to), it's bad remakes that are. 

And, look, like a lot of fans (though, as I'll most definitely hear in the comments, not all), I've been very vocal about my distaste for EPISODE VII as just A NEW HOPE in new clothing, the nonsense Kahn reveal in INTO DARKNESS, and the overt-Spielberg homage SUPER 8 which was only original in the loosest of terms. But I can sense Abrams growing as a creative force with these statements, and whatever my criticisms of Abrams in the past, I've always felt the man had talent, and hopefully we can now finally see him using that talent to its full potential going forward. I for one am greatly looking forward to it.   

Extra Tidbit: J.J. Abram's first feature screenplay was REGARDING HENRY, which ended up starring Harrison Ford.
Source: People

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