For weeks TrekMovie.com has been telling you not to believe everything you hear and to be patient…well now that patience has paid off. According to the Hollywood Reporter J.J. Abrams finalized his deal to direct Star Trek XI on Friday. TrekMovie.com also learned earlier this week that Paramount have slated Christmas 2008 for the release of Star Trek XI. It is also likely that Abrams and the studio have agreed on a script. When we last spoke to him, Abrams told TrekMovie.com that his decision to direct would not be made until the script was finalized and he felt he was the right man for the job. The director deal is one of the last steps before an official greenlight and it may be that this has happened as well.
One Man’s Vision
Star Trek XI will be Abrams second time in the directors chair after Mission: Impossible III, which was the film that got Paramount’s attention focused on Abrams. When Paramount CEO Brad Grey signed Abrams to a multi-picture deal last summer he described JJ as ‘a triple threat’. Apparently for Trek XI he is going to make good on that, acting as (co-)Producer, (co-)Writer and Director. One of the reasons Abrams chose Paramount over other studios courting him was because Paramount had something no other studio had…Star Trek. It was Abrams clout with the studio that got them to bring the somewhat troubled franchise back to the front burner and this deal shows that he plans to see it through all the way. It is worth noting that Abrams’ deal with Paramount gives him final cut. Past Trek films have often suffered from too many cooks and corporate interference. It appears that for Star Trek XI we will see how the franchise can be handled by a new team (Lindelof, Burk, Orci, Kurtzman, Chambliss, etc) with a leader with a clear vision.
…oh and about the plot
The brief article in the trade paper also repeats the summary of the film first reported in Variety almost a year ago: "a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, chronicling their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first space mission." It is unclear if Hollywood Reporter is confirming this or just repeating Variety’s summary. TrekMovie.com have been told that the film will jump around time within Kirk’s life and may include scenes at the Academy (and earlier) but will also deal with events later in Kirk’s life like (such as his time on the USS Farragut and possibly his first mission in the USS Enterprise).
It is too late to get any more info out of Paramount, but next week TrekMovie.com should have more on the next steps for Star Trek’s return to the big screen