Ever since filmmaker J.J. Abrams really made a name for himself with the hit TV series Lost, there seems to be no shortage of major properties with which he’s been involved. From Mission Impossible and Star Trek to Star Wars, Abrams has steadily managed to build up a reputation as the go-to guy for sci-fi as well as the go-to guy for reboots. Whether he’s writing, directing, producing or a combination of all three, Abrams is one of the most bankable filmmakers working today.
Throughout this admirable career, Abrams has certainly shown a penchant for rebooting material rather than focusing on his own original ideas. This is particularly evident when his work as a director is examined. Of the five films he’s directed, only one of them, 2011’s Super 8, was an original production. This isn’t to say that Abrams is lacking in any way, shape or form as a filmmaker, only that seeing more of what he has to offer audiences in terms of his own stories and characters is something of a thrilling prospect.
As it turns out, Abrams seems to be feeling the same way. When interviewed by People at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, the Westworld producer revealed he feels it’s time to step away from reboots and instead invest his efforts in work that could maybe one day be rebooted by someone else. Said Abrams:
“I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten involved in things that I loved when I was a kid. In fact, even Westworld, which we’re here for tonight, is one of them. But I don’t feel any desire to do that again. I feel like I’ve done enough of that that I’m more excited about working on things that are original ideas that perhaps one day someone else will have to reboot.”
Of course, Abrams’ decision to no longer work on reboots shouldn’t be taken as a sign that he's against the process as a whole. When asked about Hollywood’s ongoing love of the reboot, he had this to say:
“I do think that if you’re telling a story that is not moving anything forward, not introducing anything that’s relevant, that’s not creating a new mythology or an extension of it, then a complete remake of something feels like a mistake. But film is a fairly young medium and there are stories that have lasted for centuries. And it’s not uncommon, I think, for stories to be retold — whether it’s at campfire or on film, but I think you always have to be additive. You can’t just be remaking something just for the sake of remaking it.”
At present there’s no information on any specific original project that Abrams intends on writing/directing, but he’s still involved (at least on the producing end) with the Cloverfield franchise and its upcoming installment The God Particle. In terms of adapted content, Abrams is part of the upcoming Portal and Half-Life movies. There’s also no guarantee that what Abrams’ chooses to direct next will be sci-fi, but it is a genre in which he seems to excel and one in which his fans would be delighted to see original content.
Whatever Abrams decides is next, it’s wonderful to see him moving on to the next stage of his career as a filmmaker. For some, he’s the Steven Spielberg of a new generation and while his original work doesn’t necessarily compare with Spielberg's, his ability to enchant and excite audiences on a grand scale does. Time will tell what Abrams has in store, but fans everywhere are surely looking forward to the output.
Westworld season 2 is currently expected to premiere in 2018 on HBO.