WINNER AND LOSER: J.J. Abrams
What Went Right and Wrong in 2013: When he got the job as director of "Star Wars Episode VII," it seemed like the right time to go ahead and crown Abrams the new franchise king of Nerdville, but that was before the release of "Star Trek Into Darkness." As much as he got right on the 2009 reboot, he seemed to get wrong this time out. There is an obvious need to keep secrets on big giant films like these, but so much time and energy was spent keeping the most obvious secret in recent history (of course Khan is the bad guy… what other "Star Trek" villain has that much name value?) that it hurt the actual film, and even Abrams seems to be aware of that now.
What's Ahead in 2014: It's going to be a long year of small announcements as filming gets underway for "Star Wars," and Abrams is going to spend the year focused on delivering what may well be the single most under-the-microscope event film ever made. It's not going to be an easy job, but his various TV projects and producing gigs on films like "Star Trek 3," "Mission: Impossible 5," and film versions of both "Portal" and "Half-Life," should keep this ridiculously busy guy even busier.
- Drew McWeeny