JJ Abrams projects all have complicated family relationships, underlying mysteries or codes and the presence of Abrams’ longtime friend, actor Greg Grunberg. No surprise then, that he relies upon the same writers, producers and crew members on most of his projects, too.
Here’s his team for Star Trek–and they’re a lot of the same names behind Alias, Lost, and Mission: Impossible III.
Screenwriters and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci: Kurtzman and Orci first started working with Abrams as writers and producers on Alias. Since then, they’ve helped Abrams pen Mission Impossible: III and co-create Fringe (for which they still serve as writers and executive producers). Star Trek lovers themselves, Kurtzman and Orci used their script to convince Abrams to direct the film. “We tricked him into directing it,” Orci told Entertainment Weekly. “We only let JJ read 20 pages at a time…We just kept reeling him in with pages.” The pair recently signed a two-year, first-look deal with DreamWorks. But they’re still working with Abrams, who has a first-look deal with Paramount, on the Star Trek sequel.
Composer and music supervisor Michael Giacchino: Abrams recruited the former video game composer to create the score for Alias, and after Giacchino made the music for the pilot, Abrams made him promise to work on everything he did. Giacchino’s made good on that, composing music for Lost, Mission: Impossible III, Cloverfield, Fringe and Abrams’ short-lived series What About Brian and Six Degrees. He’s also crafted the scores for three Pixar films: The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Up as well as box-office busts The Family Stone and Speed Racer, with which Abrams wasn’t involved. (Check out some of his music for Star Trek below.)
Producer Damon Lindelof: The man behind Lost, Lindelof co-created the series with Abrams and serves as its showrunner with Carlton Cuse. While he only produced Star Trek, he’s helping to write the sequel and will likely co-write and produce an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower with Abrams once Lost is finished in 2010.
Executive producer Bryan Burk: Abrams’ partner in his Bad Robot production company, Burk started working on Alias as an associate producer in 2003. He went on to produce virtually all of JJ’s future projects except for M:I III. The pair, who recently re-upped their first-look deal with Paramount through 2013, are producing the upcoming TV show Anatomy of Hope and the movie Morning Glory, not to mention the Star Trek sequel.
Production Designer Scott Chambliss: Chambliss worked on two episodes of Felicity during its third season before helping create the look of Alias, MI: III and Star Trek. His work on both Alias and Star Trek no doubt explains why sets on both have been compared to the inside of Apple stores. He’s currently working on the Angelina Jolie movie Salt.
Casting Director April Webster: A Hollywood vet who helped cast the original Knight Rider, Night Court and The Nanny, Webster cast Alias, Lost, Mission: Impossible III, Fringe, and Six Degrees before turning to Star Trek and the upcoming Anatomy of Hope. She’s also cast non-Abrams TV shows CSI, Army Wives and Leverage.
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