J.J. Abrams Dishes on 'Alcatraz,' 'Super 8' and 'Fringe' Moving to Friday Nights
He tells THR what to expect from his upcoming projects.
To say J.J. Abrams is a busy man is like stating the sky is blue. The prolific multihyphenate, in addition to working on a "Star Trek" sequel, has several other projects in the works -- TV's "Alcatraz," which is set up at Fox and "Super 8," which is heading for the big screen via Paramount. And he keeps adding projects, like the recent news that he's developing the crime drama "Pulp" for the small screen. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Abrams on Tuesday night at Fox's Television Critics Association winter press tour party in Pasadena, Calif., to get the latest on "Super 8," "Alcatraz" and what he thinks about the network moving "Fringe."
THR: What do you make of the resurgence in the sci-fi genre?
J.J. Abrams: I'm a huge fan of that kind of stuff, so I'm thrilled. There are cycles to everything. Obviously now True Grit is this big hit and I wonder if we're going to see a bunch of Westerns. That kind of thing will happen. If it's done well, then that's the greatest thing of all time. That genre to me is one of my favorites.
THR: How's Super 8 coming along as its June 10 release nears?Abrams: We're editing, we have a post schedule that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the luxury of time. But we have an amazing postproduction group and we're hard at work editing. I just came from the editing room right now. Fingers crossed as always.
THR: What's the latest on Alcatraz?
Abrams: We start shooting on the 19th. We have a cast that I almost can't believe is true, it's spectacular. We have an amazing director in Danny Cannon. Liz Sarnoff is as good as they get in terms of writers. I'm holding my breath that it turns out as well as the script is.
THR: How did it come together with Sarnoff?
Abrams: We had a really brilliant premise in a script and it wasn't quite what it wanted to be yet and Lost ended. The first thing I did was call Liz and say, "I don't know if you want to keep working on a show, but there's this idea that is spectacular." She came in and we talked and she got it and she turned around and wrote a script that blew our minds. We very quickly brought it to Fox and we start shooting in about a week.
THR: The Fox executives said during their TCA presentation to not write Fringe off yet after it was moved from Thursdays to Fridays. What do you think of the move to Fridays?
Abrams: Obviously I would be a complete liar if I said I was really excited about the move to Fridays. But what I will say is we are here talking at a TCA about the second half of the third season of Fringe, which is definitely a show despite the top 10 lists and accolades and awards -- which is wonderful -- but it's a show that has a very niche audience and I am insanely grateful to the network for supporting it, for allowing it to live. Maybe it's because of the move to Fridays that the network has been even more lenient with allowing us to do some stuff that we might not have been able to do on Thursdays. The show is firing on all cylinders. The creative team is spectacular. I just hope that viewers will come to a show that while I'm biased in my heart, believes an audience.
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