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GustavoLeao

JJ Abrams Says No More Movie Reboots

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You're never going to create a franchise if you're busy working in someone else's franchise.

 

Yes, it comes after the fact.  You don't know until it's done.  But the great directors/writers do get it done.  And an original franchise where no one has any attachment to in the beginning is very hard to create from scratch. 

If Spielberg only worked in other people's franchises, he would not be considered a big deal at all.  Same with Lucas. 

Abrams needs to do that before he is considered a great, and so far, he has not come close in movies.  But the fact that he has succeeded very well in TV shows a lot of potential.

Writing for the Star Trek contests of the 1990s was a blast, so I disagree that it is a never situation. I was also doing my own stuff, and it was often fan fiction parodies and they came off like Star Trek, but were not rip offs either. They were more like playing with their characters. Although ultimately I did get rejection letters, they were encouraging and noted my grasp of the characters on Deep Space Nine at the time, especially the banter between Quark and Odo who were central to the mystery in the story, involving the Dominion, which the script coordinator who wrote to me also commented they would like to do instead of letting a fan do it. It was great fun learning how to come up with an actual teleplay, using their techniques and pacing, and not over thinking and over writing it.

I was given a second opportunity though. Voyager was new, so it was a bit harder to know how the characters were going to act, but even there the ultimate rejection letter was positive, stating that they did look at it twice, but that too many episodes had been devoted to Tuvok and Janeway solving yet another mystery but about alien contact, and they were looking for something about the other cast members. You had to learn that if it was going on TV you could not be so florid, as it is a different animal making a script than a novel.

A script is kind of like a short story with very few descriptions. Later writers and the director will add transitions and what the world looks like. With a short story you control everything and can write there. Playing in the Trek sandbox is fun and easy.

The Pocket books contests were also interesting in a different way, because you had to come up with a short story for them, and make it work quickly. You couldn't make it a 50 page for 45 minute episode. It had to be under 25 pages for a 20 minute 'episode' but you could be more creative and add details. I was never notified as to that contest's conclusion or about if my story ever got read, but in that case they evidently liked the title and used it. That was cool.

I have since published original works, so there is a fun experience in world building and I recommend anyone with raw talent go for it, as it is great fun giving birth to a universe! You don't write because you have to. You write because you want to tell a story, and you love to do it! If stories just come to you at night and you must write them down, then that is easy. So in a way, yes it does come naturally to come up with stories, for many people.

I preferred the short story form, which mostly leads to me making a novel, over script writing. It is more fun, and I can ramble on and have control of my characters. I suppose world building is hard for some, even those that work for the TV business and the movies, and that's why they keep rehashing older idea.

Back to the topic. It's when they blatantly rip them off, like fantasy movies this past summer ending with an omnipresent spirit thing or all powerful demigod attacking and the heroes having to stop said demigod, that is a rip off. Each studio knew that was the ending of the other group's movie and simply copied the template. That is the essence of not being so original.

Well with fantasy we give them a pass because how many outcomes to a scenario like that are there? You have a team if super heroes, possibly the underdogs, and they have to fight the final boss, and overcome him. It's the classic David and Goliath.

So with superheroes there will be some crossover. Most of the Marvel movies work because they use a similar template each time. The DC ones don't work because even though they get the template, they do not get the characters. I've learned it is all about how the characters behave and interact, more so than flashy special effects. If you can feel for the characters as you're watching, it doesn't matter if the end result is 'defeat the final boss together'.

The heroes must team together to fight an all powerful being that has either possessed someone or is powerful already, and gains amazing powers and will crush the world, city, etc.

This is the case in Doctor Strange (many characters, but not the cloud alien fighting each other),

X Men Apocalypse and the main bad guy (who the X men must stop),

Ghostbusters and the main bad guy (misunderstood so he is possessed and tries to take over),

Batman v Superman, (a Doomsday creation made from corrupt DNA threatens all and Supes must fight him, with help),

Moana, (girl and demigod fight another demigod),

Suicide Squad, (villains fight a demigod in a possessed woman their boss let out in the first place),

and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the wizards, like demigods, fight a more powerful one that is attacking the city).

So long of wind, here is why last summer's big blockbusters weren't very original but at least had some high points, and we like the formula, but it's all in the execution and characters.

I will not go on a Lost rant since clearly the ending was a lukewarm mess that ruined all of it, with a freaking sideways universe because they had no idea how to end it. (It was closer to Mystery Island than to The Island and other island themed shows), but it was also so convoluted they didn't know how it should end. It was basically Cast Away and Survivor more so than GI. It was definitely not Battle Royale or THG.

 

Edited by Chimera82405

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You're never going to create a franchise if you're busy working in someone else's franchise.

Really??  Tell that to Steven Moffat; I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank...  

"Sherlock" is a franchise he 'created' (he and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago) and its a huge hit.   Ditto his stewardship of Doctor Who.

Yes, it comes after the fact.  You don't know until it's done.  But the great directors/writers do get it done. 

Yes, but they don't know it'll be great at the time...

No one knew JAWS would be a hit; Warner Bros. wanted to shelve "The Exorcist."  Almost all the studios (save Fox) turned down "Star Wars."  Everybody told James Cameron that "Titanic" was going to be the biggest flop of his career.  

They get it done because a certain cadre of people and/or investors had faith.   And greatness has MANY fathers; it's a team effort, not a solo one.

Abrams needs to do that before he is considered a great, and so far, he has not come close in movies

Do you really think people are as hung up over whether or not he's done adaptations of others' works as you are?  The box office tells a different story.

ST09 could've easily gone south, since ST movies are always a bit hit-and-miss; it didn't.    It made HUGE returns because JJ Abrams directed a fun, accessible movie; ST or not.  Same with TFA, which would've made millions either way, but the fact that it was so much more entertaining than Lucas' dismal prequels is reflected in its box office as well.   TFA made more than Lucas' prequels combined.   

I would attribute some of that to the skill of the writers/director, not just the franchise name.   And Abrams is already a huge power broker in Hollywood, whether he makes an originally authored movie or not. 

 

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Really??  Tell that to Steven Moffat; I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank...  

"Sherlock" is a franchise he 'created' (he and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago) and its a huge hit.   Ditto his stewardship of Doctor Who.

Moffat is great working in someone else's franchise.  But Sherlock is not an original franchise--it's well over 100 years old.  He didn't create the character. 

Do you really think people are as hung up over whether or not he's done adaptations of others' works as you are?  The box office tells a different story.

ST09 could've easily gone south, since ST movies are always a bit hit-and-miss; it didn't.    It made HUGE returns because JJ Abrams directed a fun, accessible movie; ST or not.  Same with TFA, which would've made millions either way, but the fact that it was so much more entertaining than Lucas' dismal prequels is reflected in its box office as well.   TFA made more than Lucas' prequels combined.   

I would attribute some of that to the skill of the writers/director, not just the franchise name.   And Abrams is already a huge power broker in Hollywood, whether he makes an originally authored movie or not. 

 

Abrams wisely chose to use the original characters in ST09.  He had enough hype, the presence of Nimoy, and a real hunger to return to Kirk and crew on his side.  That movie would have made money no matter what.  Same with TFA.  If the prequels did well, anything with Star Wars would do well, especially after a break.

Abrams' truest accomplishments were Lost and Alias, because those are not universes created by someone else a long time ago.

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Really??  Tell that to Steven Moffat; I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank...  

"Sherlock" is a franchise he 'created' (he and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago) and its a huge hit.   Ditto his stewardship of Doctor Who.

Moffat is great working in someone else's franchise.  But Sherlock is not an original franchise--it's well over 100 years old.  He didn't create the character. 

Do you really think people are as hung up over whether or not he's done adaptations of others' works as you are?  The box office tells a different story.

ST09 could've easily gone south, since ST movies are always a bit hit-and-miss; it didn't.    It made HUGE returns because JJ Abrams directed a fun, accessible movie; ST or not.  Same with TFA, which would've made millions either way, but the fact that it was so much more entertaining than Lucas' dismal prequels is reflected in its box office as well.   TFA made more than Lucas' prequels combined.   

I would attribute some of that to the skill of the writers/director, not just the franchise name.   And Abrams is already a huge power broker in Hollywood, whether he makes an originally authored movie or not. 

 

Abrams wisely chose to use the original characters in ST09.  He had enough hype, the presence of Nimoy, and a real hunger to return to Kirk and crew on his side.  That movie would have made money no matter what.  Same with TFA.  If the prequels did well, anything with Star Wars would do well, especially after a break.

Abrams' truest accomplishments were Lost and Alias, because those are not universes created by someone else a long time ago.

So...we at least agree that he DOES create, even if I still think his adapatations are as much creations as anything else.

Ditto for Moffat (as I already noted he based his stories on SACD's original stories).   If you were as familiar with the original books as I am (and you might be), you'd see the utter genius in his modern day adaptations.   He took things that a lesser author would consider modern inconveniences to the stories (such as phones and computers) and made them integral parts of the new stories.  He also cleverly combined and interweaves elements from MANY of the stories together, while adding entirely NEW elements as well.   That kind of seamless weaving isn't copying or repeating, it's NEW and ORIGINAL work, whether you recognize it or not.

We agree to disagree. 

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Really??  Tell that to Steven Moffat; I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank...  

"Sherlock" is a franchise he 'created' (he and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago) and its a huge hit.   Ditto his stewardship of Doctor Who.

Moffat is great working in someone else's franchise.  But Sherlock is not an original franchise--it's well over 100 years old.  He didn't create the character. 

Do you really think people are as hung up over whether or not he's done adaptations of others' works as you are?  The box office tells a different story.

ST09 could've easily gone south, since ST movies are always a bit hit-and-miss; it didn't.    It made HUGE returns because JJ Abrams directed a fun, accessible movie; ST or not.  Same with TFA, which would've made millions either way, but the fact that it was so much more entertaining than Lucas' dismal prequels is reflected in its box office as well.   TFA made more than Lucas' prequels combined.   

I would attribute some of that to the skill of the writers/director, not just the franchise name.   And Abrams is already a huge power broker in Hollywood, whether he makes an originally authored movie or not. 

 

Abrams wisely chose to use the original characters in ST09.  He had enough hype, the presence of Nimoy, and a real hunger to return to Kirk and crew on his side.  That movie would have made money no matter what.  Same with TFA.  If the prequels did well, anything with Star Wars would do well, especially after a break.

Abrams' truest accomplishments were Lost and Alias, because those are not universes created by someone else a long time ago.

By this logic Moffat's "truest" accomplishments is actually Coupling.  It is a fine sitcom, I like it and think it was sharp commentary on relationships...but I think he has had more creative inventive work on Doctor Who...a show he inherited.  Sherlock, as much as it is an adaptation of classic literature, is far more fresh and original than you may give it credit for, and despite starring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the stories feature far more deviations and NEW ideas than just rehashing the original stories in a modern setting. 

I think one can come into a franchise and make it their own. I do think creating something original is important to...on TV, Abrams has done that.  To a msaller extent he did it once on film.  I'd like to see him bring new fresh stories...because personally I just get bored of the same things being rehashed over and over and over and over again (oh, hi Spider-man!).  But I don't think the ONLY thing that can make a great artist is if they create an entire universe themselves. I mean I think Ronald D. Moore was one of the best Trek writers we ever had, and I think his remake of BSG was phenomenal.  Does it make him less of an artist because his two biggest claims to fame have been "someone else's sandbox?"

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Really??  Tell that to Steven Moffat; I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank...  

"Sherlock" is a franchise he 'created' (he and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago) and its a huge hit.   Ditto his stewardship of Doctor Who.

Moffat is great working in someone else's franchise.  But Sherlock is not an original franchise--it's well over 100 years old.  He didn't create the character. 

Do you really think people are as hung up over whether or not he's done adaptations of others' works as you are?  The box office tells a different story.

ST09 could've easily gone south, since ST movies are always a bit hit-and-miss; it didn't.    It made HUGE returns because JJ Abrams directed a fun, accessible movie; ST or not.  Same with TFA, which would've made millions either way, but the fact that it was so much more entertaining than Lucas' dismal prequels is reflected in its box office as well.   TFA made more than Lucas' prequels combined.   

I would attribute some of that to the skill of the writers/director, not just the franchise name.   And Abrams is already a huge power broker in Hollywood, whether he makes an originally authored movie or not. 

 

Abrams wisely chose to use the original characters in ST09.  He had enough hype, the presence of Nimoy, and a real hunger to return to Kirk and crew on his side.  That movie would have made money no matter what.  Same with TFA.  If the prequels did well, anything with Star Wars would do well, especially after a break.

Abrams' truest accomplishments were Lost and Alias, because those are not universes created by someone else a long time ago.

By this logic Moffat's "truest" accomplishments is actually Coupling.  It is a fine sitcom, I like it and think it was sharp commentary on relationships...but I think he has had more creative inventive work on Doctor Who...a show he inherited.  Sherlock, as much as it is an adaptation of classic literature, is far more fresh and original than you may give it credit for, and despite starring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the stories feature far more deviations and NEW ideas than just rehashing the original stories in a modern setting. 

I think one can come into a franchise and make it their own. I do think creating something original is important to...on TV, Abrams has done that.  To a msaller extent he did it once on film.  I'd like to see him bring new fresh stories...because personally I just get bored of the same things being rehashed over and over and over and over again (oh, hi Spider-man!).  But I don't think the ONLY thing that can make a great artist is if they create an entire universe themselves. I mean I think Ronald D. Moore was one of the best Trek writers we ever had, and I think his remake of BSG was phenomenal.  Does it make him less of an artist because his two biggest claims to fame have been "someone else's sandbox?"

Absolutely not.  And I agree with Kenman on this one 100%.   Glen Larson's BSG was little more than a campy Star Wars knockoff;  Ron Moore's BSG was one of the best shows of this new millennium thus far.   Is Moore's version somehow 'lesser' because it used Larson's franchise as a stepping off point?   Not at all.

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Lloyd Braun's Lost (JJ Abrams also produced) was pitched as a combination of Cast Away and Survivor to ABC, so Vie's idea of a combination of ideas makes it 'original' stands. It is a hybrid.

JJ Abrams' Alias owes much of the spy genre ideas to Ian Flemming and James Bond, some of the films of the time the series started, prior to 2001, and the idea of a female super agent was even part of an ongoing series franchise called La Femme Nikita before that. Even the template of first act credits rolling after the act are common in James Bond films. A female version of 24, but with a little of the Jason Bourne novels and films tossed in too. Jason Bourne was a series of spy novels long before the movies (and some might directly argue it's the US James Bond basically). So although making the super spy a female is different, it is no more original to spin it than a few other films and stories of the time. Abrams though made it it his own, effectively 'playing in someone's sandbox' to make it a hit unto itself.

Joss Whedon's Buffy borrowed from the movie and from 1980s horror comedies, and made the vampire slayer a girl, spoofing the genre affectionately. The show that it spun off from went on to become a cult hit. It is too part of a very old mythos, vampire stories and romance stories, going back to Dracula and to Harlaquen, and even before that. It has an original spin that made it different from others like it, such that it was not like say its cousins, the works of Ann Rice and the spoofy vamp films of the 1980s like The Lost Boys.

You can do both. Nobody has the magic formula for successful movies and series. Sometimes great shows like Firefly die off and get briefly reborn as a movie. Sometimes a cancelled 1960s space cowboy show with a green tinged guy with funny ears gets remade as a hit movie franchise. (Star Trek).

American Graffiti (Lucas) later became the template for Happy Days, proving the law of more stories, more returns.

A 1980s children's cartoon about cars and planes that turn into robots was later rebooted, and fans would say poorly, but they went to see it, as a decade long movie franchise, (Transformers), with spin off and reboot series spanning the planet, (well mainly US and Japan). Even if hardcore fans dislike Michael Bay's approach, he is making bank with billions on those movies.

It is entirely possible to do both, write or create elements for someone else's production and then write your own.

 

 

Edited by Chimera82405

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Joss Whedon's Buffy borrowed from the movie

Well...Whedon WROTE the original movie, so it wasn't so much borrowing from the movie, as much as he was trying to produce the story the way he felt that the people who took his script and made the film failed to do so. But since he wrote the script to the movie, it seems that the show wasn't really "borrowing" from the movie...they were his ideas to begin with.

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Joss Whedon's Buffy borrowed from the movie

Well...Whedon WROTE the original movie, so it wasn't so much borrowing from the movie, as much as he was trying to produce the story the way he felt that the people who took his script and made the film failed to do so. But since he wrote the script to the movie, it seems that the show wasn't really "borrowing" from the movie...they were his ideas to begin with.

"Joss Whedon's Buffy (film) borrowed from the movie (genre, not from the Buffy movie) and from 1980s horror comedies, and made the vampire slayer a girl, (in both) spoofing the genre affectionately. The show that it spun off from went on to become a cult hit."

I thought for sure the use of movie genre was implied. Missed an adjective.

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Joss Whedon's Buffy borrowed from the movie

Well...Whedon WROTE the original movie, so it wasn't so much borrowing from the movie, as much as he was trying to produce the story the way he felt that the people who took his script and made the film failed to do so. But since he wrote the script to the movie, it seems that the show wasn't really "borrowing" from the movie...they were his ideas to begin with.

"Joss Whedon's Buffy (film) borrowed from the movie (genre, not from the Buffy movie) and from 1980s horror comedies, and made the vampire slayer a girl, (in both) spoofing the genre affectionately. The show that it spun off from went on to become a cult hit."

I thought for sure the use of movie genre was implied. Missed an adjective.

Got ya...I thought you meant the show borrowed from his own film, which seemed puzzling to me.

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get rid off his lens flare(hate them with a passion)

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