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J.J. Abrams won't give Stephen Colbert's audience Star Wars spoilers, takes them to Broadway to apologize

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Screenshot: CBS)

Jokingly introduced by Stephen Colbert as the beloved screenwriter of the 1997 Joe Pesci-Danny Glover comedy Gone Fishin’ (4.7 user rating on IMDb), J.J. Abrams came out for his Wednesday Late Show appearance bearing, seemingly, nothing. Sure, the co-writer of the 1990 Jim Belushi vehicle Taking Care Of Business was carrying effusive praise for Colbert’s graceful change in both job and venue since they last spoke during the Colbert Report days. And, yes, Abrams did share an endearing anecdote about the time when, right before the release of his first outing at the helm of his second beloved sci-fi series sequel/reboot, he called Colbert out of the blue and nervously asked if he could come to Colbert’s Comedy Central office “to just drink.” And, okay, Abrams did reveal that his as-yet unnamed ninth Star Wars film does have a final script locked in—which is nice, since the thing starts shooting in July.

But when J.J. Abrams does a talk show, we all know no one’s going home happy without any juicy spoilers. Star Wars, Star Trek, even some insight into how the hell he thought he’d get away with whatever The Cloverfield Paradox was doing—just give us something man, we need it. Colbert, knowing the deal, however, sussed out that his Rebel’s hunger would run right up against Disney’s Death Star of corporate confidentiality, although he gave it a shot, demanding of his guest even the merest crumb of news on the conclusion of this newest trilogy. But—nothing. So Abrams, joking about how the Star Wars fan base is “so easy to please,” and perhaps sensing that Colbert’s audience was getting a little Sand People-antsy, offered a bit of compensation. After he and Colbert chatted about Abrams’ role in bringing the long-running stage comedy The Play That Goes Wrong to Broadway, Abrams asked if Colbert wanted to come along to that night’s show. Colbert, asking if he could bring someone, then invited the whole Ed Sullivan Theater audience (the place holds 400) along with them, an Andy Kaufman-meets-Oprah bit that no doubt took some of the sting out of the crowd’s disappointment. “Be careful,” Colbert admonished the crowd at the end of the show before leading them on the ten minute walk to the Lyceum Theater, “Because I am pretty sure that we are not insured for this shit.”


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.