Hollywood was abuzz Tuesday with news that Hollywood’s hottest director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, upcoming Star Wars films) has been tabbed to take over the creative direction of the entire Lord of the Rings movie franchise, just as soon as current director Peter Jackson finishes up whatever movies he’s doing.
“This is a natural fit,” said Abrams’ senior publicity representative Daryl Condon to reporters Wednesday morning. “J.J. has repeatedly shown an ability to take any storied franchise and put his remarkable spin on it, updating classic tales with a spunky script, sassy pop-culture sensibility, and a liberal dash of the supernatural. Moreover, he has repeatedly shown his respect to a franchise’s history and will continue to do so, be that history decades past or just this past Thursday.”
Most industry analysts agreed with Condon’s assessment, with some insiders moving quickly to Abrams’ defense. “Look, the last thing J.J. wants to do is step on Jackson’s toes,” pointed out entertainment analyst Darlene Sylvester. “He understands that if it wasn’t for the work Jackson was doing now, J.J. wouldn’t have anything to reinvigorate with his trademark style and sophistication.”
In the wake of the formal announcement, delivered Tuesday via prepared statement from New Line Cinema, multiple credible theories have been advanced as to the actual content of the Abrams remakes. Most industry veterans agree that the retelling of the classic Tolkien epic will likely feature two or possibly three separate alternate realities, toying with the audience’s perception of time and existence before trailing off with a half-explained conclusion that leaves the door wide open for furious debate online.
Casting for the films remains a mystery, not least because of the need for the current actors to complete their roles for Jackson before reporting for duty the following Monday to reprise their roles in various cameos cunningly scripted to appeal to hardcore Tolkien fans. Multiple fan blogs are claiming to have received confirmation of central roles for Daniel Craig, who is already set to work with Abrams on successive James Bond films in 2016 and 2018, as well as for Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, upcoming Abrams Harry Potter project.)
David Tennant (Doctor Who, pending Abrams Doctor Who project) is reported to have the inside track on what will allegedly be dual Gandalf roles, one as the beloved grey-bearded wizard and another as Rudolf Lemkin, a bizarre clean-shaven alter-ego of Gandalf from a divergent time-stream, pursing and protecting the interests of a shadowy multinational agency conducting secretive experiments involving time travel.
Crossover films incorporating elements and characters from the Marvel Comics universe as well as the Lego toy catalog could not be confirmed, but were dubbed by at least one industry insider as “utterly inevitable.”
Command of the multi-billion-dollar LOTR franchise promises to make Abrams’ schedule hectic. The director is already gearing up pre-production efforts for his collaboration with fellow filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Joss Whedon, Ridley Scott, Danny Boyle, and Guillermo del Toro, in the long-awaited franchise crossover megaproject Everybody Ever In Anything Ever, now facing a 2020 release date and struggling to tweak a script that projects an estimated run time of just under fourteen hours.