J.J. Abrams is one busy man.
With his latest hit series, Fringe, gaining new fans, several new TV and film projects in the works and the teaser trailer for his next film, Super 8, burning up the Internet, the writer, director and producer has one of the most crowded plates in the entertainment industry.
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At least one of his projects, the groundbreaking TV series Lost, is wrapping up. Abrams found the time to sit down with Metro — on a Sunday, no less — to talk shop.
What can you say about Lost coming to an end?
I feel like Lost did a wonderful thing in ABC, and Damon [Lindelof] and Carlton [Cuse] came to this agreement to allow the show to end after the sixth season, which three years ago, I think was a shockingly bold thing for the network to agree to. But I think it was really smart because I think that the show will end on its own terms. It will end in a way that, I think, will allow the show to not have gone on two years after it should have.
How many projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m getting some more fingers sewed onto my hand. There are a number of projects, but I’m one of a number of people working on those things. It’s not like it’s me alone in this room. We’re editing a new show [Undercovers, for NBC]. I wrote that with Josh Reims, who I used to work with on Felicity. We’re also prepping this Mission:Impossible movie and working on the Star Trek sequel. Damon is writing Star Trek with Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci]. Bryan Burk is my producing partner on everything.
How involved are you with Fringe?
Well, my role in Fringe now is to be there when they need me to be there, and it actually would be more damaging to come in, you know, kind of periodically and just kick things around. Because if you’re not in there and present for all the discussions, you’re reacting to certain things that are in process, and you’re not as informed. They’re running the show. So it’s hard for me to say, “OK, you run the show unless I come in and screw you up.” This is a big question for me: How much do I get involved?
Is it tough juggling so many projects?
There are moments it’s just, you know, it’s nightmarish because you realize each one of these you want to work on full-time. On the other hand it seems, though I have very big eyes. I get very optimistic about how much I can do. The truth is I still take my kid to school every day and put him to bed every night. I don’t work on weekends.
Except for today.
Right. My kids went, “What?” “I’m really sorry. This is an exception.” There are days when I do work on six or eight things in one day, and I’ll come home, and [my wife] Katie will be like, “So how was your day?” And I don’t even know. There are days where it’s crazy, but a lot of days, it feels oddly focused and working. It’s when things are going wrong and there are fires to put out that you want to just quit.