Archive for J.J. Abrams

“Fringe” : J.J. Abrams talks recasts, imagery

OK. The only recast on J.J. Abrams fall Fox show “Fringe” was the cow. Which makes no sense unless you’ve seen the pilot.

Generally, the only outsiders watching that pilot would have been TV critics, but the pilot was leaked online and who knows how many people picked it up before Fox started the killing trail to get it off the Internet.

Good luck with that. (By the way, if you’re in San Diego next week, check out “Fringe” at Comic Con)

In any case, the We-Are-Not-The-X-Files series about conspiracies, FBI agents and crazy scientific series. The pilot proved entertaining, especially the scenes with “Dawson Creek” alum Joshua Jackson, who’s back in fine form, as the brilliant rebellious son of a fringe scientist; Aussie actress Anna Tory as the spunky FBI agent Olivia and John Noble as the fringy scientist. Think scary flick with a sense of humor.

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2008 FOX SUMMER TCA: Executive producer and co-creator J.J. Abrams during the FRINGE session of FOX’s 2008 summer press tour Monday, July 14 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.

But “Lost” producer J.J. promises it won’t get too complicated. He says he learned his lesson from his previous series “Alias.”

“I was at my friend Greg Grunberg’s house. and alias was on, watched a few minutes and I was so confused, it was impenetrable,” J.J. says as he watched a scene play out. “I should know this, but who the fuck is that guy?”

Like “Lost,” J.J. says “Fringe” has an overall story and an end game. Good to know. Better still, he promises each episode will be self-contained for people who don’t want to get into the mythology.

“My point is that you can do a show that has week-to-week stories, but over the course of seasons, there are bigger arcs,” J.J. says. “I’m diligently trying to do a show that doesn’t require insane dedication.”

Yet, for many people that’s exactly the point of watching a series like this. So there are plenty of Easter eggs for the fanatics. Pay attention to the details, like the frogs and leaves shown at the breaks, they will become important down the line says J.J.

“The frogs and leaves work simply as weird imagery, but it is not disconnected to the series,” J.J. says. “It is part of the code of the series.”

As for the cow, when production moved from Toronto to New York City, they couldn’t take the Jersey cow used in the lab scenes with them. So they had to recast.

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2008 FOX SUMMER TCA: (L-R) Executive producer Brian Burk, Jeff Pinkner, co-creators and executive producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and J.J. Abrams during the FRINGE session of FOX’s 2008 summer press tour Monday, July 14 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA.

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