The J. J. Abrams Franchise Movie Algorithm


  1. Isolate from the previous installments the 50%-80% comprising the most quotable lines, visually iconic set pieces, and memorable plot beats. Use all of them.
  2. Put those parts through the Bad Robot Switcheroo Machine™, using as many of the presets as your budget allows:
    1. Flip the power structure! Make the boss into the subordinate!
    2. Flip the relationship! Make enemies into friends and parents into children!
    3. Flip the alignment! Make a good guy a bad guy!
    4. The exact same thing as before, but BIGGER!
    5. Feint in the direction of repeating a famous bit, but then pull back as if to say, “a ha ha, you thought I was going to do that bit again didn’t you?” but then whip around later and do that bit again anyway!
  3. Honor the past by hiring the original actors wherever possible.
  4. Honor the future by having otherwise diverse casting.
  5. Honor the fans by making sure that any newly introduced characters are just as completely obsessed with the old favorites as everyone else.
  6. Make sure that the visuals hold up to even the most unreasonably exacting demands of nostalgic scrutiny.
  7. Is there iconic music? Use all of it. Fill in any gaps in the score with beloved popular songs, esp. Beastie Boys.
    1. No one has ever gotten tired of that one song by the Beastie Boys.
      1. dada dum dum some-thing, SABOTAGE!
  8. See if the studio will maybe let you throw in a reference to Slusho?
  9. Release the movie. It will earn all the money in the whole world.
  10. Feed all the money in the world to the fearsome engine at the heart of the Bad Robot. The Robot’s heart is furnace. Your skin will bubble. The Robot is very bad.


Add yours →

  1. If you haven’t yet seen The Force Awakens … yes.

  2. Saw it last night. My brief thoughts are in the previous post.

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