JJ Abrams mystery box

Remember JJ Abrams‘ Mystery Box? I’m not talking about the metaphorical construct of the filmmaker’s movies and television shows, but the box that sits on a shelf in JJ’s office. Abrams famously told the story of the mystery box during his TED Talk (embedded after the jump if somehow you’ve never seen it). When Abrams was a kid, his grandfather would often bring him to a magic store in Manhattan and buy him tricks. One visit, Harry Kelvin bought little JJ a “mystery magic box” which was supposed to contain $50 of magic for only $15, a magical grab bag. JJ loved the idea of the mystery box and ended up never opening it. It has gone on to become a metaphor for what he loves about movies and the stories he tells.

Tannen’s Magic was the store to go to back in the day, but now Theory 11 is the new cool place to go to for magic and playing cards. So today Theory 11 and JJ Abrams have announced a collaboration on a mystery box of Bad Robot playing cards. Not only that, but a limited edition wooden mystery box with the same question mark logo that graces the box sitting on JJ’s office shelf. Find out more information on the cards and this incredible box, after the jump.
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We heard last month that Disney was expecting J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan to turn in a Star Wars Episode VII script in January, and it looks like they’ve met their deadline. Abrams confirmed at a recent event that the script was indeed complete, and that they were “deep” into pre-production.

Part of that process is finding some stars, of course. While Disney has yet to officially announce any new actors, Abrams verified a recent casting rumor that Jesse Plemons was up for a part — though he dismissed a lot of other casting reports as “a lot of noise.” Hit the jump for his comments on the script, Plemons, shooting in IMAX and on film, and more.

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

J.J. Abrams thinks casting Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Darth Vader’s annoying moms provides the ”pitch-perfect Star Wars energy fans are clamoring for.” Because what can’t these two make better? Also after the jump:

  • Nathan Fillion does his best Darth Vader impression
  • Remember when we thought Episode IX would be out by 1997? LOL!
  • Disney CEO says the Star Wars franchise will follow the Marvel model
  • Is a lower-budget Han Solo origin movie coming in 2016?
  • Seattle’s Ltd. Art Gallery opens its annual Star Wars exhibit

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Star Wars Episode II

Star Wars Episode VII may have a release date now, but it still needs some stars and maybe some additional shooting locations. After the jump:

  • Silicon Valley wants George Lucas to have his museum
  • Don’t look for the 20th Century Fox fanfare in Episode VII
  • California is annoyed that Episode VII is shooting in London
  • … while the New Mexico rumors spring up once again
  • Neil Gaiman asks J.J. Abrams about casting British actors
  • … as aspiring Jedi around the globe line up for auditions

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Chiwetel Ejiofor

Update: There’s now video of Ejiofor answering a question about Star Wars. See it below.

Imagine being a journalist, landing an interview with J.J. Abrams about his new book (which means you can’t really talk about Star Wars Episode VII too much), then haphazardly running into a potential Oscar winner in Abrams’ office. Exclusive scoop!

That’s what happened to UK newspaper reporter Rhys Blakely, who writes for The Times. He walked into the Bad Robot office to speak with Abrams about S and found Chiwetel Ejiofor waiting there. Does that mean Ejiofor, considered a potential Oscar-contender for 12 Years A Slave, is in Star Wars Episode VII? Not necessarily, but it’s certainly possible.  Read More »

The Making of Star Wars

As with anything Star Wars related, the rumors are flying fast and heavy about Star Wars: Rebels. This time, they’re about who might score the TV series, with names like Michael GiacchinoJ.J. Abrams, and John Williams being bandied about. Also after the jump:

  • Seth Green explains what’s happening with Star Wars: Detours
  • Peek at a viral recruitment site for Sienar Fleet Systems
  • Peruse some pages from The Making of Return of the Jedi
  • Scope out a new Star Wars exhibit at The Tech in San Jose

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Star Wars Abrams Logo

When Disney bought Lucasfilm last year there was some rejoicing, based in part on the idea that new Star Wars projects might take shape away from the influence of creator George Lucas. It’s rare that a core fanbase wants to see new episodes of a storyline created without the person who gave the series in question original life, but this is Star Wars, and after the prequel trilogy it was time for some new blood.

The new blood includes, of course, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt. They took up the task of making Star Wars Episode VII, working from where Lucas had left off. See, Lucas had started developing the new Star Wars film about a year before the sale of Lucasfilm. (Which was a canny strategy — it’s one thing to know that the sale included the right to make new Star Wars films, and quite another to go into it knowing a plan was already in place.)

Lucas stepped back to a consulting role after the sale, but if you thought Abrams was going to develop Episode VII without much consultation with Lucas, think again. George Lucas’ son says that the two have been “constantly talking” about Star Wars as the new film is developed. Read More »

Star Wars Art Concept - Ralph McQuarrie header

The rumor mill continues to churn, as one actor is reported to have read for a part, and another denies that she has. After the jump:

  • Ben Kingsley may also have read for Episode VII
  • … while Chloë Moretz insists she has not
  • Pinewood Shepperton wants to expand further
  • J.J. Abrams isn’t abandoning Trekkies
  • Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is coming soon
  • See gorgeous images from Star Wars Art: Concept

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