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Abrams, J J

Entry updated 3 October 2023. Tagged: Film, People.

(1966-    ) US creator of Cinema productions and Television series, including works of major genre interest in both categories. In a precocious debut at age 15 he wrote the music for the Horror in SF film Nightbeast (1982) directed by Don Dohler (see The Alien Factor). Early sf work as screenwriter includes the movies Forever Young (1992) – of which he was also executive producer – and Armageddon (1998) with Jonathan Hensleigh and others. His debut as film director was the spy thriller Mission: Impossible III (2006), foreshadowing a fondness for action-adventure tropes and vehicle crashes in subsequent films. This was followed by a reboot of the Star Trek franchise with a new acting team in Star Trek (2009); the standalone Super 8 (2011), which Abrams also scripted; Star Trek Into Darkness (2013); and a move into George Lucas's Star Wars franchise – taking the story forward at last after the initial trilogy and three prequels – with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), co-scripted by Abrams. Forthcoming in 2019 is «Star Wars: Episode IX», again directed by Abrams. Further film credits as producer or executive producer include Cloverfield (2008) and its "spiritual successor" 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016); the above-cited Star Trek, Super 8 (with Steven Spielberg as a co-producer), Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; and Star Trek Beyond (2016).

In Television, Abrams was executive producer of – among other series – the "spy-fi" Alias (2001-2006), the intriguingly convoluted if ultimately unsatisfying Lost (2004-2010), the X-Files-like Fringe (2008-2013) and the film reboot Westworld (2016-2022), the first two created and the third co-created by Abrams himself. Credits for all of these except Fringe, and for several of the films cited above, include his own production company Bad Robot (founded 1998).

Abrams has established himself as a reliable creator of both cult-attracting television series and big-budget franchise film spectacles. [DRL]

Jeffrey Jacob Abrams

born New York: 27 June 1966

about the filmmaker

  • Robert Arp and Patricia Brace, editors. The Philosophy of J.J. Abrams (Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014) [nonfiction: anth: hb/photographic]
  • Barbara Sheen. J.J. Abrams (Farmington Hills, Michigan: Lucent Books, 2015) [nonfiction: hb/photographic]


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