J.J. Abrams is a man of many enthusiasms, so speaking slowly is generally not his thing. But today the director arrives late for lunch at the dining facility of his company, Bad Robot, in Santa Monica. He’s carrying a plate of pasta, wearing an apologetic expression, and actually searching for words.
“I’m sorry,” he says, by way of an opener. “With today, it’s awkward. Or it’s going to be. Super awkward.”
Abrams is here to discuss Star Trek Into Darkness (out May 17; not yet rated), the 3-D sequel to his 2009 hit Star Trek and an all-but-certain popcorn powerhouse for 2013. Over the years he’s turned Bad Robot into a hub for storytellers, artists, and digital dreamers — an Algonquin with action figures and board games lining the shelves. And right now the whole building is alive and humming with postproduction work on the movie. But in a couple of minutes, Abrams explains sheepishly, there’s going to be a sonic boom when an industry website reports that he has agreed to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first Jedi film that will take the saga beyond the Viking funeral of the redeemed Darth Vader.
Abrams punctuates his explanation with one word: “Madness.” It’s a solid choice. READ FULL STORY »