J.J. Abrams got his start in television with the hits Felicity and Alias, and he’s returning to TV as a creator for the first time with the upcoming HBO sci-fi series Demimonde. The project was first announced back in 2018, when Abrams had just signed on to return to the Star Wars franchise and direct The Rise of Skywalker. That concluding chapter took up quite a bit of his time, but over the past year, he and the team behind Demimonde have been able to get a lot of work done on the series as it hopefully gears up to progress forward this year.
Specific plot details for Demimonde are currently under wraps, but it’s officially described as “an epic and intimate sci-fi fantasy drama” that revolves around “a world’s battle against a monstrous, oppressive force.” It’s the first show Abrams has created since Fringe, and the trio of Kira Snyder, Rand Ravich, and Far Shariat are serving as executive producers and showrunners while Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television produce.
I recently had the chance to speak with Abrams for the 10th anniversary 4K UHD Blu-ray release of his film Super 8, and since it’s been awhile since we’ve heard much about Demimonde, I asked him if the project was still in the works. The filmmaker said not only is Demimonde very much happening, but the pandemic afforded him and his writers an opportunity that’s more the exception than the rule in Hollywood these days:
“We’ve had a terrific writer’s room for about a year, and… one of the remarkable and unexpected benefits of this otherwise trying and in many cases painful time has been that the projects that we’ve been working on have been allowed to gestate and simmer. The writing has been able to happen without that more typical urgency of pre-production and production, where suddenly you’re looking at locations, and auditions, and set design, and production design, and props, and things, when you’re just trying to figure out the bones and the framework.”
As a result, Abrams explained, they were able to write the entire first season of Demimonde and plot out the show’s full series arc:
“The beauty of this time on Demimonde, for example, is we’ve been able to not just outline the season, but write the season. Not just roughly understand where we want to go over the course of the series, but actually plot it out. So, I feel like we’re in a place that feels like it should be more the norm than it ever is to really kind of know where you’re going to go. But to your earlier question that was a really good one about planning things out, I just feel like that’s one of the things that this time has allowed us to do in a way that I don’t think we’ve ever had the luxury before.”
It’s unclear if Abrams will be directing any or much of Demimonde, and it’s also unclear when the project will move into the production stage, but it’s exciting to hear that when Demimonde does come our way, it’ll be with the confidence of knowing exactly where this whole series-long story is going.
Look for my full interview with Abrams on Collider tomorrow. Super 8 is now available on 4K UHD Blu-ray.