J.J. Abrams is returning to TV. After a stint as Hollywood’s hottest director, the man behind both Star Wars and Star Trek franchise reboots is heading back to the medium that made him. As part of his previously announced $250 million deal with Warner Bros. HBO MAX today revealed that the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director would helm three massive new shows at their new streamer, including a take on Justice League Dark and Steven King’s beloved horror novel The Shining.
The biggest news here are those huge IP projects. “Overlook, is a horror-thriller series inspired by and featuring iconic characters from Stephen King’s masterpiece The Shining. Overlook explores the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction”. From the short description in the press release, it sounds like this might be an anthology series within the walls of the famously haunted hotel from the classic horror novel. It’s a particularly interesting choice after Mike Flanagan’s critically acclaimed but financially disappointing official book-and-movie sequel Doctor Sleep came out only last year. But an anthology format would make the new project stand out from the previous recent iteration of the story. Of course, Castle Rock is still a thing, right?
HBO MAX also announced a “a major series based on DC characters in the Justice League Dark Universe” which sounds very vague but is an intriguing prospect. Justice League Dark is one of Hollywood’s most perineal production hell projects. The radical DC Comics have inspired many a failed movie and TV adaptation, with only Legends of Tomorrow and the Justice League Dark animated movie actually managing to bring the characters to the screen.
Speaking of The CW’s smash show Legends, it will be very interesting to see what Abrams has planned as John Constantine–arguably the most famous and vital member–is a major part of that primetime comedy action show. Presumably Abrams and HBO have something more akin to Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen in mind here, so let’s see if this is the project that can finally break the Justice League Dark curse. This isn’t the first DC Comics property we know will head to HBO Max; last year, Marc Berlanti announced a Green Lantern Corps show on the horizon as well.
DC Comics, Art by Ryan Sook
The first show to go into production though not be either of those big IP projects. Instead, it will be a period crime series called Duster. Co-written by J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan the show will take place in the 1970’s Southwest and will follow “the life of a gutsy getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate goes from awful to wildly, stupidly, dangerously awful.”
J.J. Abrams returning to the world of TV will likely make fans incredibly excited, but how they’ll respond to his takes on Justice League Dark and The Shining are yet to be seen!
Header Image: DC Comics, Art by Ryan Sook