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After months of not hearing anything now JJA is talking to everyone! This time it is TV Guide’s turn, but of course he is still being cagey about details on plot… refusing to confrim or deny ‘young Kirk and Spock’. He did reveal that he is a big fan of TOS and TNG, but no so much DS9, VOY and ENT. While die-hard Trekkies may balk at this, lets face it…that is pretty much standard based on the ratings. Here is the moneyshot:
“We’re in the middle of breaking the story, and it’s coming along great,” Abrams said. “We have an incredible beginning of a really dramatic story, and it very much honors the canon of Star Trek. On the other hand, it won’t be like anything you’ve seen before.” He adds, “I’d be happy to start sooner than Paramount thinks, but not a moment before it’s ready.”
So there you have it…soon, canon-friendly, but different…what more can you ask
continue reading for the full text of the TV Guide interview and a comment JJA gave to Cinefantastique …
TV Guide Interview:
How exciting is it to find yourself in charge of resuscitating the Trek franchise? It’s sort of surreal but wonderful. I’m producing and may direct.
Which of the Star Trek series were you a fan of? The original, and I thought Next Generation was terrific. I didn’t really get into Deep Space or Enterprise.
What about Voyager? Not so much.
Do you own Star Trek DVDs? Oh, yeah. [Laughs] I have every DVD of every Star Trek episode from every series. I haven’t seen every episode of every series, but I certainly know it well enough to be working on the movie.
When Paramount asked you to be involved in the film, did you immediately say yes? Not exactly. There have been 10 films and all these different series, so it was a question of finding out what they were anticipating. But it became clear pretty quickly that they were in a really open frame of mind. Then it became, “Hell, yeah!”
It’s been reported that the film will focus on Kirk and Spock’s early days and include their meeting at Starfleet Academy. You’ve said that was not entirely accurate. What parts are? I think we have an incredible story, but we’ve sort of promised each other we wouldn’t talk about the specifics yet. But I can say that we’re actively working on it, we’re in the middle of breaking the story, and it’s coming along great. I’d be happy to start sooner than Paramount thinks, but not a moment before it’s ready.
Why the shroud of secrecy? It’s way premature. Anything I say, people will read into it and make assumptions. But we have an incredible beginning of a really dramatic story, and it very much honors the canon of Star Trek. On the other hand, it won’t be like anything you’ve seen before.
Do you feel any pressure taking on such a beloved franchise? I feel respectful of it. Fans of Lost don’t compare to fans of Star Trek, but working on Lost gives us a view into how important it is to respect the fans.
Why do you think Star Trek continues to fascinate? It was incredibly smart television. The original series and Next Generation were about something — human nature and the idea of coming up against the unexpected and the often terrifying. It was a good story that happened to be science fiction. When I watch episodes with my 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter and see them so vitally respond to a show that was made the year I was born — it’s not because it takes place on a spaceship. What endures isn’t a genre, it’s character and emotional connection.
In a sidebar, Abrams’ cohorts from Lost — Damon Lindelof, who will co-produce “Trek XI,” and Carlton Cuse — discuss the Emmy-winning show’s sci-fi roots, including Star Trek.
“It wasn’t just people beaming down to other planets,” Cuse says. “Philosophical and moral issues were embedded in the stories.” But the article points out that the Lost-Trek connection only goes so far. “The secret to the characters on Lost is they’re not static,” Cuse continues. Lindelof adds, “Spock was always Spock, Kirk always Kirk. But Locke (O’Quinn) is not the same as when we started.”
Cinefantastique has an interview with Abrams mostly dealing with MI3 (the interview was probably done during the MI3 press tour) but JJA had something very interesting to say about Star Trek:
CFQ : Mission: Impossible is a Paramount franchise so I wanted to ask you about another franchise from the studio : Star Trek. How do you think you’ll fix that ?
Abrams : I would happily be involved in any project that Leonard Nimoy was at one point involved in, and both Star Trek and Mission: Impossible are those. I’m a real fan of Star Trek and I think there is without question life left in that series. I think that the fact that they ran so many series for so long, including an after-the-film series, is sort of remarkable, and I think that this downtime is only good for it. It needs a minute and it should exist because it’s the right story, not because it’s the right time to exploit an intellectual property. I think the good news is that it hasn’t seen the light of day again yet because it shouldn’t, but I am convinced it will soon and it’s something that without question has a very bright future and done right could be as compelling as anything. The key to doing any of these things correctly is that it has to treat the situation and the characters with the exact respect and integrity that you’d treat any drama, whether it happens to be a comedy or science-fiction. You can’t tell the story in a cheap or pandering way otherwise it just doesn’t hold water.