Like most movie mad folks of his generation, J.J. Abrams has a strong emotional connection to the early work of Steven Spielberg. This has been apparent since Abrams's second-produced screenplay, REGARDING HENRY, in which a heartless big-city lawyer learns to be a better man by being reduced to a childlike state (via a bullet to the brain). Like Spielberg, Abrams is nostalgic for the wonder of childhood - and, judging from his STAR TREK remake, Abrams has managed to keep that wonder alive.
So it is intriguing that, according to the Vulture kids, Abrams's next project as a writer-director will be "both a tribute to and a collaboration with Steven Spielberg". The film, about which nothing specific is known, is intended as an homage to Spielberg's '70s and early '80s output; "...an interpretation of some of Spielberg’s earlier films, but done in a personal way." And it is evidently Abrams's hope that Spielberg will at least serve as an executive producer on the film, if not participate as some kind of behind-the-scenes advisor.
This is either kinda cool, or a little creepy. I can't decide.
I do know that Spielberg has been a fan of Abrams's for a while now (he apparently called him "the next James Cameron" after viewing MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III), so I'm quite certain he'll be flattered by this tribute - and, with very little prodding, will probably agree to godfather the project in some capacity. As an unabashed fan of everything Spielberg made from DUEL and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (including 1941, damn it!), I can't help but look forward to whatever it is Abrams is cooking up. We could use a little more Amblin-esque wonder at the movies.
We could also use another Steven Spielberg film from Steven Spielberg. How's INTERSTELLAR coming along, sir?