Few filmmakers seem to delight in keeping things as close to the chest as J.J. Abrams, whose projects are (almost without exception) largely shrouded in mystery until they actually hit theaters. That's not-so-shockingly the case with his next large cinematic undertaking, which has been picked up by Paramount.
Abrams will produce the mysterious project - which is being referred to as a "mysterious adventure" - under his Bad Robot banner. Screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Flightplan, State of Play) is scripting the project.
Deadline rightly points out that Ray is on his way to becoming even more of a high-profile screenwriter, seeing how he's currently working on the Peter Pan mythology re-fashioning, Pan, which has Channing Tatum attached to star, and is penning A Captain's Duty for director Paul Greengrass. It also ought to be mentioned that Ray worked on an early draft of the Hunger Games adaptation screenplay, prior to director Gary Ross' decision to move ahead with a script of his own creation.
It is unclear whether Abrams intends to direct and/or produce this joint venture with Ray. The former officially committed to helming Star Trek 2 a few weeks back - not to mention, Abrams also has another mystery project (tentatively titled Zanbato) on his to-do list - so it may be a while before we learn exactly what this flick is going to be about.
That should come as little surprise to Abrams' fans though, seeing how the man has become famous (or infamous) for developing multiple (secret) projects simultaneously. Case(s) in point: very little was revealed about the Abrams-produced Cloverfield, prior to its release; there were actually concerns that this past summer's Super 8 was going to suffer at the box office, because of its secretive marketing campaign; and even the details on upcoming Abrams-produced TV shows like Alcatraz are largely being kept under wraps.
Not to mention - virtually no concrete information has been released about Abrams' Star Trek sequel just yet.
Ray is a well-regarded screenwriter who seems to have a knack for crafting intelligent thrillers. Couple that with Abrams' tendency to primarily be involved with quality films, whether serving as helmer and/or producer, and there's good reason to think the new "mystery" project will turn out well... regardless of what it ultimately ends up being about.
We will keep you posted on the status of this Abrams/Ray joint effort as the story develops.