Already set direct yet another installment of the legendary Star Wars franchise, this time with Episode IX, it's clear that J.J. Abrams is one of this generation's major sci-fi filmmakers. However, if you take a look at the films he's loved and been influenced by, you'll soon realize that even though the director tends to work within the genre of intergalactic conflicts and space exploration, his taste in movies is much more diverse. Fandor takes a look at five of the films that have made an impact on Abrams, some of which you might find pretty surprising.

Not only do Abrams favorite films span across several genres, but their plots, or rather the packaging, couldn't be more different than the brand of his own cinema. This is especially true for Sydney Pollack's 1982 comedy Tootsie, which follows Dustin Hoffman's character, Michael Dorsey, as he disguises himself as a woman to get a role on a daytime soap opera. The premise is absurd, but as Abrams points out, "you completely believe that it is real and happening." Not only was the film critically acclaimed, but it was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay.

Here is Abram's list of favorite films:

  • Star Wars (dir. George Lucas, 1977)
  • The Philadelphia Story (dir. George Cukor, 1940)
  • Tootsie (dir. Sydney Pollack, 1982)
  • Rear Window (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
  • Jaws (dir. Steven Spielberg, 1975)

Source: Fandor