In J.J. Abrams We Trust: A retrospective on the lord of the movie geeks

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the sci-fi movie world, there are two types of geeks: “Star Wars” geeks and “Star Trek” geeks. It’s a passionate rivalry, but one day soon both sides will have something new in common. J.J. Abrams will be at the helm of both franchises.

So on the eve of the release of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” let’s look back his resume.

Co-writer, “Armageddon”(1998)

That’s right, fanboys. The man in charge of the two most beloved sci-fi empires also co-wrote the worst Michael Bay movie ever (and that’s saying something). Of course, it was also the highest grossing film of the year. It’s a paycheck.

Co-creator, “Felicity” (1998)

Abrams’ first foray into TV was this coming-of-age college drama starring Keri Russell and her haircut. Abrams also wrote the show’s opening theme music.

Creator and executive producer, “Alias” (2001)

The ABC spy thriller starring Jennifer Garner was also a training ground for the sort of amazing plot twists and emotional storylines audiences came to expect from Abrams.

Co-creator and executive producer, “Lost” (2004)

It may have stumbled in the middle, but Abrams’ breakout series remains one of the boldest, smartest shows ever on network television.

Director, “Mission: Impossible III” (2006)

Not everyone gets to make their directorial debut with a sequel in a big action franchise, but Abrams proved up for the task, injecting some needed grit.

Producer, “Cloverfield” (2008)

Abrams’ Bad Robot production company was behind this imaginative monster movie, memorable for the secretive marketing campaign that stoked the mystery. It’s nice to know somebody hates spoilers in Hollywood.

Co-creator and executive producer, “Fringe” (2008)

Even bolder than “Lost” in many ways, “Fringe” was the next coming of “The Twilight Zone” and “The X-Files.” It never rose above cult status, although you can catch the whole series on Netflix. And you should.

Director, “Star Trek” (2009)

It’s hard to overstate how masterfully Abrams revived the “Star Trek” movie franchise — he ended up making a film that both Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike could agree upon.

Director, “Super 8” (2011)

A wide-eyed supernatural tale told through the eyes of kids, this was Abrams showing his debt to the films of Steven Spielberg (who also co-produced).

Director, “Star Wars: Episode VII” (2015)

When it was announced that Disney was buying Lucasfilm and planned additional “Star Wars” sequels, J.J. Abrams was the first name that came to mind. If you worry that the series isn’t in good hands, please see above (except for “Armageddon”).

Caption: Director J.J. Abrams on the set of his first “Star Trek” film in 2009.