J.J. Abrams is one busy man.
The Lost creator directed the Tom Cruise summer movie Mission Impossible III and is ramping up production on a new Star Trek movie, which he also might direct. He has also committed to being more involved in Lost this season, along with overseeing his sophomore show What About Brian and the new series Six Degrees.
The harried TV mogul sat down for a teleconference with reporters yesterday.
Abrams said that after complaints last season that Lost's narrative suffered from too many reruns and episode breaks, he wanted to run it in one unbroken block, starting later in the season.
"We thought about running it in one chunk like 24, but the network was clear they wanted something for the fall, he said. "Lost is being run masterfully by Damon [Lindeloff] and Carlton [Cuse] ... But we can't promise we won't make you crazy this season."
He joked that working on so many shows is sometimes problematic.
"I went to the set of What About Brian and I tried to get him to express absolute terror of [Lost villains] The Others," he laughed. "God, that was a long way to go for a bad joke, huh?"
When asked if people read what they want to read into his shows, the prolific creator agreed.
"There's no question," he asserted. "I think that with anything that is analyzed, people will discover things that sometimes were intended and other times were an absolute accident."
Abrams said he was eager to get back to Lost after taking time off last season.
"I'm depressed because I was supposed to leave today to direct an episode with a mindblowing story, but because of these other shows I was unable to do that," Abrams said. "I'll be able to direct an episode later in the season. Damon has managed to maintain a level of gripping storytelling, so I don't want to sound like I am going to give back to the show something that it's missing. I simply miss playing an active part in it. It was just an absolute joy getting to write the first episode of the season."
He said that Lost has changed somewhat from the original pilot that he and Lindeloff wrote.
"Given the sheer quantity of episodes that need to be created, there is just no way you can foresee where the story will go," he said. "The rhythm of the piece kind of defines itself...and is also the result of actors, directors, and editors. The audience might see something important that we don't, as well."
Abrams is at a loss as to whether or not there is a general overall theme to all of his shows.
"Felicity, Alias, Lost--those are shows that for whatever reason I was inspired to write," he opined. "Certain thematic connections are private insane moments that luckily no on else has to see."
What About Brian wasn't a ratings champ, but the show got picked up because the network had faith that audiences would respond to it. Abrams says that after some tweaking, the show is more entertaining than ever.
"I didn't want to set What About Brian on a space station--although that's not a bad idea," he quipped. "But i just wanted to turn over the stories and create compelling situations so that it felt more like...a very sweet universe. This season, it's the same show but on all cylinders."
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