JJ Abrams: Star Trek Never Given This Kind Of Treatment

Last Saturday, JJ Abrams was a presenter at the Hollywood Life Magazine Young Hollywood Awards and AP caught up with him to talk a little Trek. As per usual, the Star Trek director wasn’t talking plot details beyond saying “It’s a chance to see what Kirk and Spock would look like done now,” but was keeping up the mainstream media message that the film is a new kind of Trek for both the fans and for non-fans.

JJ Abrams (a big Star Wars fan) on why he took on Star Trek:

It was an opportunity to take what I think has been a maligned world to sound crass, a franchise and treat it in a way that made it something that I wanted to see. To take the characters, the thoughtfulness, the personalities, the sense of adventure, the idea of humanity working together, the sense of social commentary and innovation, all that stuff. To take it and apply it in a way that felt genuinely thrilling.

On the audience for the film (and how Bob Orci is keeping it real for the fans):

The whole point was to try to make this movie for fans of movies, not fans of `Star Trek,’ necessarily. If you’re a fan, we’ve got one of the writers who’s a devout Trekker, so we were able to make sure we were serving the people who are completely enamored with `Star Trek.’ But we are not making the movie for that contingent alone. You can’t really make a movie for them. As soon as you start to guess what you think they are going to want to see, you’re in trouble. You have to make the movie in many ways for what you want to see yourself, make a movie you believe in. Then you’re not second-guessing an audience you don’t really have an understanding of.

On how this is a new kind of Star Trek:

I feel like this is so unlike what you expect, so unlike the `Star Trek’ you’ve seen. At the same time, it’s being true to what’s come before, honoring it, I can say the effects for `Star Trek’ have never, ever been done like this. … I can only tell you the idea of the universe of `Star Trek’ has never been given this kind of treatment.

Source: AP: `Star Wars’ kid Abrams aims to reinvent `Trek’ world

Abrams rewards Reeves
JJ Abrams was at the 10th Annual Hollywood Life Magazine Young Hollywood Awards to present the “Hottest New Filmmaker” award to director Matt Reeves who directed the Abrams produced monster movie Cloverfield. Here are pics from the event.


Abrams presenting Reeves’ Award (Wire Image)


Abrams with Reeves (Wire Image)

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Dr. Wh-at now?!
May 1, 2008 9:15 am

Great story!

Dr. Wh-at now?!
May 1, 2008 9:17 am

It sounds like they will take Trek into the mainstream, which is a good thing!

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:19 am

Cast those nets, JJ, and pull in the fish. And as much as we love you, darling, you must put some styling creame in your hair… titter… giggle..

Nelson
May 1, 2008 9:19 am

What’s with JJ’s hair? : )

It’s an interesting dance they have to do with the marketing. They have to be careful of how they speak to gain the mainstream audience, yet make us long time fans feel good too.

What goes through my mind when reading this artile is what it was like for Gene Roddenberry in 1964. He was also shooting for a mainstream audience. It just speaks to the massive world that grew out of all the films and series that created this entity with elements that people like to malign.

Stuart Baird is great ;)
May 1, 2008 9:20 am

That’s nice JJ, but isn’t it about time we got a little peek?

CmdrR
May 1, 2008 9:22 am

If you can’t see the wrinkles in the paper pictures in the viewscreens, then it’s not canon! There will be a revolt.

Go, JJ!

(Aren’t some Trekkies always revolting?)

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:24 am

#5- The Vegas con, the Big One (next to Comic Con), is only three months away. Methinks there will be some major news for the fans which will be unveiled there. It is hinted such will be the case on the Creation site.

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:26 am

#6- Let us revolt together, CmdrR. Can you think of something good to revolt against?

Brian
May 1, 2008 9:26 am

Looks like JJ has been taking hairstyle advice from David Lynch :-).

Looking forward to the film….just wish we didn’t have to wait another year. I hope they throw us a bone soon in the form of a proper trailer.

'Beach of Inthanity
May 1, 2008 9:29 am

Yeah! Revolt against the Man! Yeah!

Wait.

What were we talking about…?

CmdrR

My Queen…

ensign joe
May 1, 2008 9:30 am

#8- How about revolting against revolting?

Ahhhh!! Sterilize! S t e r i l i z e!

me
May 1, 2008 9:36 am

o-oh…. it seems like me that the fish is begining to stink… BADLY!

John from Cincinnati
May 1, 2008 9:36 am

Trekkers are just as mainstream as everyone else. I have been waiting for this treatment my entire life and always wondered why it hasn’t happened.

CmdrR
May 1, 2008 9:36 am

Beach and Denise — let’s get our backs against the wall and revolt.
(Or we could take turns, which would be more fun.)

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:38 am

I revolt against there being no sexy ST outfits for the female fan contingent. Mirror universe women’s uniforms should be plentiful and readily available for all Trek ladies, thighhigh boots and daggers included. As a matter of fact, when the ST fan hoards descend on the Hilton in August, every woman should receive a complimentary sexy ST outfit of her choosing. Do I hear a second?

shat hands
May 1, 2008 9:39 am

I want to see the enterprise please

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:39 am

CmdrR- LOL!

Dr. Wh-at now?!
May 1, 2008 9:40 am
'Beach of Inthanity
May 1, 2008 9:41 am

15
Hear hear…Seconded.

Yer gonna kill a LOTTA fanboys….

Dr. Wh-at now?!
May 1, 2008 9:41 am

15 Second!

May 1, 2008 9:41 am

I’ve been optimistically skeptical of Abrams so far . . . but I’ve got to give him credit for making a good point here. You can’t make a movie just to please Trekkies. We all are passionate about our show, but we’re still all pretty divided about which parts of it we like and don’t like If you try to please Trekkies, there are too may ways to go wrong. What makes one Trekkie happy and excited makes another very angry. :P

We Trekkies are kinda like people that way. ;)

His approach to bring in a new audience might be a better idea than I previously gave him credit for. One way or another, I have a feeling that plenty of us are going to love this movie, and plenty are going to hate it. When everyone likes Trek for different reasons, it’s impossible to please us all with a single movie. So even if, in the end, I end up being one of the people who dislikes the movie . . . I do have to give the man credit for trying to do something great with it.

'Beach of Inthanity
May 1, 2008 9:42 am

14
Me first! But be gentle…

May 1, 2008 9:42 am

Sexy outfits . . . ok ok. Forget my last comment. There really IS something all Trekkies can agree to love. ;)

May 1, 2008 9:43 am

“””So even if, in the end, I end up being one of the people who dislikes the movie . . . I do have to give the man credit for trying to do something great with it.”””

My feelings exactly. JJ certainly will do something better with Trek compared with Baird.

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:44 am

#23- LOL!

'Beach of Inthanity
May 1, 2008 9:44 am

I’d like to see a modern-day designer take on the Mirror uniforms and this time do them right. No offense to the Theiss-man, of course…I mean, you know, go all Victoria’s Secret on them and sh_t…

Garovorkin
May 1, 2008 9:48 am

Hey Im looking forward to this film and Im not going to do the how many minutes in a year countdown any more, that joke is getting tedious even to me. Still it is year away, but hopefully the time will pass real quick. Then after the film we really have things to discuss, wont we?

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:49 am

#26- Interesting concept, Beach – hmm… perhaps I can find someting out of a VS catalog and refine it…

May 1, 2008 9:53 am

27
Like what, mate?

arrrrr… let’s put tha’ film off ta 2010 so I don’t havta brush up on me geo-political news and economic trends so soon….

John from Cincinnati
May 1, 2008 9:56 am

Hey- It’s not the fans faults there have been bad Trek movies made. Trekkers are just consumers, and aren’t involved in the creative process. J.J. is right when he says just make a good movie and don’t try to get into the minds of trekkers and what one thinks they want to see. I think that has been the problem for the last 25 years. Just make a good movie, and everything else will take care of itself. The notion of making a movie geared for Trekkers offends me.

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 9:56 am

Hi, BritDude! By-the-by, think you could go AWOL from Her Majesty’s ship and come to Vegas? Kira will be there, and I am sure she will make it worth your while (as long as Honey Bligh keeps Odo busy…).

May 1, 2008 10:00 am

I would pay big money to see JJ and Berman together talking Trek (after the movie comes out)

Jack
May 1, 2008 10:01 am

jj’s actually sporting the crew’s new hairdo.

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 10:04 am

#33- LOL!

T2
May 1, 2008 10:05 am

if it all works out and this movie sweeps in an entirely new, expanded audience…perhaps Trek XII can be for the fans? The fans of old and the new Trek XI fans…that would be cool…not sure how different it would be from what we’re going see…a film for the fans as opposed to a film for movie fans…either way it’s Star Trek and so many involved over its existence have given it a thumbs up and their support for it. All the original cast visits to the set, etc, have returned positively. Good luck, J.J.

Paul
May 1, 2008 10:09 am

#2 – a GOOD thing? Seen any mainstream lately? It is nigh unwatchable these days. Take LOST for an example: it’s a contrived, needlessly protracted farce. I’d love to see it made by Britons or Russians back in 60s-70s, they would make it a decent, tightly written 12-episode series, which would be well worth watching. With no shaky handheld camera at all! :D

May 1, 2008 10:17 am

31

arrrrr…. Denise
Me out in tha’ desert? Get sand in me underwear band.

Bonny invite, however. Thanke fur that.

Hmmmm…. or mayhaps I could dress as me favourite nude Starfleet officer…

arrrrrr…

Mike P
May 1, 2008 10:24 am

Great story. This makes me more hopeful that, for all the talk of the film being within Trek continuity, it will actually be more of a reboot, which is what the franchise desperately needs.

Dr. Wh-at now?!
May 1, 2008 10:25 am

36 James T. Kirk…Intergalactic Man of Mystery!

Dr. Wh-at now?!
May 1, 2008 10:26 am

37 Tuvok or Troi?

cd
May 1, 2008 10:26 am

Sounds like JJ has the right idea. One of the original guiding principles of making Star Trek was that science fiction follows the same rules of storytelling that any other genre does. If you aim to make it different because it is science fiction: you get garbage like Voyager and temporal cold wars and aliens in World War II and iguana pituitary glands put in dogs. If you treat science fiction like any other genre, you can get things like Battlestar Galactica or Firefly. If this is how JJ is going to treat Star Trek, it will be true to Star Trek, and if executed properly, it will be very very good.
.
.
.
I hope.

Denise de Arman
May 1, 2008 10:30 am

BritDude- I am sure, since it IS Vegas, that you would not even get an eyebrow lift as you stand in the Hilton lobby, dressed as a nude Starfleet officer, depositing your quarters into the new Star Trek slot machines…

Garovorkin
May 1, 2008 10:45 am

#29 British Navel Dude I have no specifics on that one I do but know us, we’ll find something. In Trek there does not seem to be such a concept as absolute consensus on anything. Thats half the fun right there arguing the finer points of all things Trek and i would not have it any other way.

May 1, 2008 10:46 am

37
If I did both, it’d be a site ta’ see… and not no dream sequence nor lobey lad’s transporter…. more like I wuz from Cheron then but without all the hatey-hate… only love, mate…. arrrrr…

42
Wit’ no pockets, you’d havta hold onto me quarters fur me then…

Jackson Roykirk
May 1, 2008 10:47 am

#36 —

Star Trek fans need to get off their high-horse when it comes to regarding “mainstream” as a dirty word. “Mainstream” does NOT mean that it only appeals to the lowest common denomenator, it simply means that it will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

Take a look at the last five “Best Picture Oscar” winners: No Country for Old Men, The Departed, Crash, Million Dollar Baby, and LOTR: Return of the King…These were all quality films that were aimed at — and appealed to — mainstream movie audiences (granted, there are many poor quality mainstream films, too).

I’m not saying Abrams’ Star Trek will win an Oscar, but what I AM saying is that calling a film “mainstream” is not necessarily a description of its quality. In Star Trek’s case, appealing to a range of audiences IS a good thing.

May 1, 2008 10:48 am

wait… thar arrrr no pockets in Trek… just velcro…

29 sure enough, mate

demon barber of starfleet
May 1, 2008 10:48 am

….To take it and apply it in a way that felt genuinely thrilling.

Doesn’t Trek already feel genuinely thrilling? Or does it really have to be Star Wars-ified to fit the bill?

Green-Blooded-Bastard
May 1, 2008 10:54 am

Pictures! P I C T U R E S!!!! NOW!!!!

Garovorkin
May 1, 2008 11:06 am

#45 Thats the impression that I get Abrams that he wants to mainstream Trek and in all honesty, that what he should be trying to do this film. I agree the bigger the audience the better for both the film and the franchise. The more more money the film generates, the better.

#47 yes i think it is thrilling so thilling in fact ,I want to See now!!. May 9th of 2009 God it seems so far away. How many many other people share this sentiment of desperation, please raise you hands! LOL

The Quickening
May 1, 2008 11:09 am

As a person, I never got STAR WARS, nor am I into the over-the-top, dumbed down to appeal to a wider audience type comic book movies, made today. I’m just not that excited or sure it’s a good idea to try and turn TREK mainstream. STAR TREK has always been cerebral and about ideas–great science fiction usually is, and don’t know if these kinds of movies can, or will ever be mainstream.

I’ll take the last few “bad” TREK movies any day or the last 4 STAR WARS movies, THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, etc. All I require of a movie is to develop theme, character and at least have a serviceable plot, none of which STAR WARS or a host of these silly production design oriented, cartoon based, juvenile escapist movies today have. It frightens me that Abrams and company as so enamored with STAR WARS and not, say, BATMAN BEGINS or LORD OF THE RINGS, which are way better films than STAR WARS.

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