J. J. Abrams
|J. J. Abrams|
|Born||Jeffrey Jacob Abrams
June 27, 1966
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Sarah Lawrence College|
|Occupation||Director, producer, screenwriter, composer|
|Spouse(s)||Katie McGrath (m. 1996)|
Jeffrey Jacob Abrams (born June 27, 1966) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. He is known for work in the genres of action, drama, and science fiction. Abrams wrote and/or produced feature films such as Regarding Henry (1991), Forever Young (1992), Armageddon (1998), Cloverfield (2008), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).
He created or co-created a number of TV drama series, including Felicity (co-creator, 1998–2003), Alias (creator, 2001–2006), Lost (co-creator, 2004–2010), and Fringe (co-creator, 2008–2013). Abrams won two Emmy Awards for Lost—Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Drama Series.
His directorial film work includes Star Trek (2009) and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Mission: Impossible III (2006), and Super 8 (2011). He also directed and co-wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and his highest-grossing film, as well as the third highest-grossing of all time.
Abrams's frequent creative collaborators include producer Bryan Burk, actors Greg Grunberg and Simon Pegg, writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, composer Michael Giacchino, cinematographers Daniel Mindel and Larry Fong, and editors Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey.
Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, the son of television producer Gerald W. Abrams (born 1939) and executive producer Carol Ann Abrams (née Kelvin; 1942–2012). His sister is screenwriter Tracy Rosen. He attended Palisades High School. After high school, Abrams planned to go to film school rather than an academic college but eventually enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, following his dad's advice: "it's more important that you go off and learn what to make movies about than how to make movies."
Abrams's first job in the movie business started at 15 when he wrote the music for Don Dohler's 1982 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's first produced film, which starred Charles Grodin and James Belushi. He followed 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.
In 1994, he was part of the "Propellerheads" with Rob Letterman, Loren Soman, and Andy Waisler, a group of Sarah Lawrence alums experimenting with computer animation technology who were contracted by Jeffrey Katzenberg to develop animation for the film Shrek. Abrams worked on the screenplay for the 1998 film Armageddon with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay. That same year, he made his first foray into television with Felicity, which ran for four seasons on The WB Network, serving as the series' 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, 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 spoke at the TED conference in 2007.
In 2008, Abrams produced the monster movie Cloverfield. In 2009, he directed the science fiction film Star Trek, 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. In 2008, Abrams co-created, executive produced, and co-wrote (along with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) the FOX science fiction series Fringe, for which he also composed the theme music. He 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's Undercovers as its first new drama series for the 2010–11 season. However, it was subsequently cancelled by the network in November 2010.
In 2008, it was reported that Abrams purchased the rights to a 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 & Co. and Marjorie Merriweather Post, for six figures and was developing a film titled Mystery on Fifth Avenue, with Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions, and 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. 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.
He wrote and directed the Paramount science fiction thriller Super 8, while co-producing with Steven Spielberg and Bryan Burk; it was released on June 10, 2011. Abrams directed the sequel to Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, released in May 2013. On January 25, 2013, The Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm officially announced Abrams as director and producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh entry in the Star Wars film saga. Disney/Lucasfilm also announced that Bryan Burk and Bad Robot Productions would produce the feature.
Following the news that he would direct The Force Awakens, speculation arose as to Abrams's future with Paramount Pictures, with whom he had released all of his previously directed feature work, and which had 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. Abrams directed, produced, and co-wrote the screenplay for, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, working alongside Lawrence Kasdan, following the departure of co-writer Michael Arndt. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in theaters on December 18, 2015. It grossed over $2 billion at the box office, making him the second director to make a $2 billion movie since James Cameron's Avatar.
Abrams announced at the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit that Bad Robot had made a deal with Valve Corporation to produce a film based on either the video game title Portal or Half-Life. On September 9, 2013, it was announced that Abrams would release a novel, S., written by Doug Dorst. The book was released on October 29, 2013.
Abrams is married to public relations executive Katie McGrath and has three children. He resides in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California. He is Jewish and his wife is Roman Catholic, and he sometimes takes his children to religious services on the Jewish holidays.
|Ancestors of J. J. Abrams|
|1990||Taking Care of Business||Yes|
|1991||Regarding Henry||Yes||Yes||Yes||Delivery Boy
|1992||Forever Young||Yes||Yes||Executive producer|
|1993||Six Degrees of Separation||Yes||Doug|
|Diabolique||Yes||Video Photographer #2|
|1999||The Suburbans||Yes||Yes||Rock Journalist|
|2006||Mission: Impossible III||Yes||Yes||Feature directorial debut
Also digital artist
|Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol||Yes|
|2013||Star Trek Into Darkness||Yes||Yes|
|2014||Infinitely Polar Bear||Yes||Executive producer|
|2015||Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation||Yes|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Vocal cameo|
|2016||10 Cloverfield Lane||Yes|
|Star Trek Beyond||Yes|
|1998–2002||Felicity||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-creator; writer (17 episodes), director (2 episodes), theme music co-composer|
|2001–2006||Alias||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Creator; writer (13 episodes), director (3 episodes), theme music composer|
|2004–2010||Lost||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-creator; writer (3 episodes), director (2 episodes), theme music composer|
|2005||The Catch||Yes||Yes||Co-creator; Pilot|
|2006–2007||What About Brian||Yes|
|2006||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Yes||Episode guest directed:
|2007||The Office||Yes||Episode directed:
|2008–2013||Fringe||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-creator; writer (6 episodes), theme music composer|
|2009||Anatomy of Hope||Yes||Yes||Director; Pilot|
|2010||Undercovers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-creator; writer (3 episodes), director (1 episode), theme music composer|
|2011–2016||Person of Interest||Yes||Yes||Theme music composer|
|2012||Alcatraz||Yes||Yes||Theme music composer|
|Family Guy||Guest star; episode:
|2012–2014||Revolution||Yes||Yes||Theme music composer|
|2013–2014||Almost Human||Yes||Yes||Theme music composer|
|2009||"Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions"||Performer|
Awards and nominations
|1999||Razzie Award||Worst Screenplay||Armageddon||Nominated|
|2002||Emmy Award||Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Alias||Nominated|
|2004||PGA Award||Best Drama||Nominated|
|2005||ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top TV Series||Lost||Won|
|Directors Guild of America||Best Director||Nominated|
|Emmy Award||Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series – Pilot||Won|
|Outstanding Drama Series||Won|
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series – Pilot||Nominated|
|2006||ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top TV Series||Won|
|PGA Award||Best Drama||Won|
|Writers Guild of America||Dramatic Series||Won|
|2007||Saturn Award||Best Director||Mission: Impossible III||Nominated|
|BAFTA Award||Best International||Lost||Nominated|
|PGA Award||Best Drama||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America||Dramatic Series||Nominated|
|2008||Emmy Award||Outstanding Drama Series||Nominated|
|2009||Emmy Award||Outstanding Drama Series||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America||Long Form||Fringe||Nominated|
|2010||Emmy Award||Outstanding Drama Series||Lost||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Director||Star Trek||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Director||Nominated|
|PGA Award||Theatrical Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2012||Saturn Award||Best Director||Super 8||Won|
|2013||PGA Award||Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television||Won|
|2014||Saturn Award||Best Director||Star Trek Into Darkness||Nominated|
|2016||Best Director||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Director||Won|
- "Carol Ann Abrams dies, Producer, author was mother of J.J. Abrams". Variety Magazine. June 5, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- J.J. Abrams: On Filmmaking. BAFTA Guru. May 8, 2013.
- J.J Abrams Biography Archived 15 February 2011 at WebCite
- The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks pgs. 55–56
- Warner, Tyrone (May 11, 2010). "J.J. Abrams not worried about writers block on 'Fringe'". CTV. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- "J.J. Abrams's mystery box". TED. March 24, 2011. Archived from the original on March 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- J.J. Abrams Talks Cloverfield Sequel Archived 15 February 2011 at WebCite
- J.J. Abrams on 'Cloverfield' Sequel, "We're Working on Something" Archived 15 February 2011 at WebCite
- "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.
- "NBC Picks Up New J.J. Abrams Drama Series". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011.
- Seigel, Tatiana (June 17, 2008). "Paramount, Abrams keep house". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2008.
- Reagan, Gillian. "J.J. Abrams to Produce NYT's Fifth Avenue Mystery". New York Observer. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
- Green, Penelope (June 12, 2008). "Mystery on Fifth Avenue". The New York Times.
- Schwartz, John (December 6, 2010). "Monumentally Mystifying: Power of Secrets Inspires Public Art". New York Times.
- Pamela McClintock (May 6, 2010). "Abrams, Spielberg confirmed for 'Super 8'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "J.J. Abrams Will Direct STAR TREK 2". NextNewMovies. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- "It's official: Abrams to direct new 'Star Wars' film". CNN. January 26, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- "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.
- "J.J. Abrams directing 'Star Wars': What happens to 'Star Trek'?". The Los Angeles Times. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- "J.J. Abrams to script as well as direct". Guardian UK. August 25, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- "'Star Wars: Episode VII' script delayed".
- "Disney Chief Reveals 'Star Wars: VII' Casting Almost Complete, Says Film Is Already Shooting (Video)". Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- Graser, Marc (February 6, 2013). "J.J. Abrams will develop 'Half-Life,' 'Portal' games into films". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- "Stranger". Soonyouwillknow.com. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "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.'"
- "Jj Abrams, Katie McGrath 4th Annual Pink Party to... – Picture 2072721". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- 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.
- Jewishjournal.com: Now It’s J.J. Abrams’ Turn to ‘Trek’, accessed December 16, 2015
- CW Picks Up 3 More Drama Pilots Including JJ Abrams & Mark Schwahn's Shelter. Deadline.com. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Andreeva, Nellie. "Andrew J. West To Play The Lead In CW Pilot 'Dead People' From Bad Robot". Deadline. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- "Hulu Original "11.22.63" Premieres Presidents Day 2016". The Futon Critic. October 30, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Gerard, Jeremy (August 9, 2015). "‘Westworld’ First Trailer: HBO Teases Series With Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Littleton, Cynthia (October 14, 2015). "Showtime Gives Series Pickup to Cameron Crowe-J.J. Abrams Comedy ‘Roadies’". Variety. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- "The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences". Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
- "Awards Winners". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2007.
- Kamp, David (Jun 2013). "What you should know about J. J. Abrams". In the Details. Vanity Fair 634: 36.
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