Born on Long Island as Jeffrey Jacob “JJ” Abrams on June 27, 1966, the young Abrams will go on to become one of the most talented filmmakers of his generation. The brain behind some of the most celebrated blockbuster sci-fi and mystery films of the last decade, Abrams’ career has been one of astounding success. While it’s easy to pigeonhole him as a sci-fi nerd, there’s hardly any genre he hasn’t excelled at.
Abrams is a fun and down-to-earth personality, who is in touch with his childhood. Other areas of his life make for equally interesting reading. Here will explore some fascinating facts about JJ Abrams you might not have known.
1. One Of His First Gigs In Hollywood Was As A Music Composer
When exploring JJ Abrams’ career trajectory, it becomes evident that his creative talents extend beyond directing and writing. Before establishing himself as a prominent filmmaker, Abrams began his journey in the entertainment industry as a music composer. His first industry gig was at the age of 15, to compose music for Don Dohler‘s 1982 science fiction horror, Nightbeast.
2. His Dad And Mum Were Television Producers And Executive Producers Respectively
Abrams’ familial background played a significant role in shaping his career. His father, Gerald W. Abrams, was a television producer, while his mother, Carol Ann Abrams, was an executive producer. Being surrounded by television production and executive discussions provided Abrams with a unique insight into the industry. As a child, he would hang out with his dad on TV sets of popular shows such as Happy Days and Mork and Mindy. His mom developed and executive produced The Ernest Green Story, a 1993 television film that won a Peabody Award in 1993.
3. He Never Attended Film School
Another outstanding fact about JJ Abrams is that, unlike most filmmakers who pursue formal education in the field, he carved his own unique path into the world of cinema. Instead of enrolling in a film program, he focused on honing his craft through hands-on experience, personal projects, and a voracious appetite for learning. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1988 he took his father’s advice and focused on “what to make movies about, rather than how to make movies.”
4. JJ Abrams Worked Alongside His Son Henry Abrams to Co-Author Spider-Man for Marvel Comics
In keeping with family tradition, Abram’s son Henry is honing his skills in filmmaking. The father-son duo joined forces to co-author a limited comic book series for Marvel Comics. The series, titled Spider-Man #1 introduces readers to the trials and tribulations of a new and mysterious villain threatening the city. This collaboration marked JJ Abrams’ debut as a comic book writer, and the partnership with his son added a personal touch to the project.
5. He Serves on The Creative Council of a Nonpartisan Anti-Corruption Organization
In addition to his contributions to the entertainment industry, JJ Abrams is also involved in philanthropic and advocacy endeavors. He serves on the Creative Council of a nonpartisan anti-corruption organization – Represent.Us. The group focuses on ending political corruption in the United States and does not accept donations from political parties. The organization was co-founded by Josh Silver and Joshua Graham Lynn in 2012.
6. JJ Abrams was Handpicked by Tom Cruise To Direct Mission Impossible III
Tom Cruise‘s decision to entrust Abrams with the directorial reins of Mission: Impossible III speaks volumes about the faith he had in Abrams’ abilities as a storyteller and filmmaker. Under Abrams’ direction, Mission: Impossible III not only retained the franchise’s signature action-packed sequences but also injected a fresh perspective that would eventually serve as the template and bedrock for the subsequent installments such as Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation, or Fallout.
7. He Was Not A Big Fan of Star Trek Until He Was Recruited to Direct The Reboot Of The Movie Franchise
A little known fact about JJ Abrams is that he had limited exposure to the Star Trek franchise and its rich mythology before his involvement with . Despite not being a big fan of the franchise initially, Abrams found himself recruited to direct the reboot of the movie series. This unexpected opportunity presented Abrams with a unique challenge and an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the iconic sci-fi universe. Embracing the project with an open mind and a desire to honor the essence of Star Trek, Abrams delved into the lore and intricacies of the universe. His approach blended reverence for the original material with a modern sensibility, resulting in a well-received reboot that resonated with both die-hard Trekkies and newcomers alike.