J.J. Abrams is producing at least two movies for Warner Bros. based on characters from DC Comics, but don’t count on having him direct. In February, it was announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates would be writing a Superman reboot movie with J.J. Abrams producing under his Bad Robot label. A director hasn’t yet been attached, though the studio is reportedly seeking a Black director for the job.
It has since been revealed that Abrams and Bad Robot will also produce a Zatanna movie, based on the DC Comics character. Promising Young Woman filmmaker Emerald Fennell is on board to write the screenplay, but that project doesn’t yet have a director either. As is the case with Superman, we can count Abrams out when it comes to that role. In a new interview with Collider, here’s what Abrams had to say about what’s next for him when it comes to writing and directing.
“I know that Hollywood is a place where it used to be that people would be inspired by something that they would see or an old film or a show or something and think, ‘Oh, here’s my response to that. Here’s a version of that.’ It’s become a place where, more often than not, you see something and people get inspired by it and go, ‘Let’s redo that exact thing.’ I feel like, as someone who started writing in television and telling original stories on film and in TV, it is something that I really do miss. The few things that I’m working on now, as a writer, are original ideas. I just feel, as a director, I really would love to have my next projects be things that didn’t pre-exist me necessarily.”
Of course, Abrams has had plenty of experience with major franchises like Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, and Star Wars under his belt. Still, it’s easy to see why he’s looking forward to doing something new. The filmmaker also detailed his mixed feelings on working with established franchises in his Collider interview.
“Well, I’ll say that the opportunity to get to work on any pre-existing franchise is definitely a double-edged sword. And while I’m incredibly grateful and proud to have been involved in the projects, of course, all I see is what things could have been and what we might have done. The importance of it is not lost on me, as temporary custodians of any ideas, whether they pre-exist us or not, which is to say I think that even with an original idea, somehow I still don’t quite understand where that creative impulse comes from and how the experience of writing something really is yours. I feel like we’re all just channeling something that we’re trying to serve, as opposed to something that we are doing and that is our work.”
While the Superman Reboot will reboot the superhero’s story with a separate standalone universe, Zatanna will be a part of the DCEU. There’s speculation screenwriter Emerald Fennell could direct the movie as well. It’s unclear when either of these projects will be released, as both are still in the early stages of production. This news comes to us courtesy of Collider.