EXCLUSIVE: Interview with JJ Abrams | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with JJ Abrams May 7, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,Interview,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

Back in 2006 JJ Abrams ignited a bidding war between Hollywood studios for his next contract. In the end he went with Paramount and when he had the pick of projects, he chose the task of reviving Star Trek. In our exclusive interview with the director we get JJ to talk about some of the big decisions he made along the way to make this film, including what he cut. We also talk about William Shatner, and may be breaking some news.
[interview contains MAJOR SPOILERS]

 

 

TrekMovie interview with JJ Abrams
 

Abrams: You know I check your site out all the time.

TrekMovie.com: Are you serious? I thought Bob [Orci] was the spy to keep an eye on all of us.

Abrams: Well I don’t get as much as he does… But I check it out. I learn stuff about Trek from your site all the time…Whenever I go one there is always something cool and interesting to see and it is a great read, I love it.

TrekMovie: Speaking of keeping up with what people are writing. How much to you pay attention to buzz and reviews? Like how you guys are on the cover of Newsweek now?

Abrams: In general I think it is a great sort of tool in the toolbox to get a sense of consensus or point of view to see what people are thinking. On a TV show there is a different value because it is an ongoing project and you can make adjustments as you go. On a movie, it comes out and that’s it!

TrekMovie: Unless you are George Lucas.

Abrams: That’s true, that’s true [laughs]

TrekMovie: Did you see the review in Nacelles Monthly…it was brutal.

Abrams: No [laughs]…that cover was so good, it was hysterical.


JJ Abrams – Nacelles Monthly fan

TrekMovie: I enjoyed your Mystery issue of Wired. As a big fan of puzzles, mysteries, the Twilight Zone, and that kind of thing, what do you see as the fundamental mystery of this Star Trek movie?

Abrams: Clearly something like Alias or Lost, which is insanely Byzantine by nature, and even Fringe has its own mythology. These are tricky things for audiences to follow sometimes. We wanted this Star Trek movie to be simultaneously fun and complex in its own way and rich in character and subtext, but we didn’t want it to be impenetrable. And so we don’t apply the same kind of mystery and misdirect plot in this movie like we would do in one of the shows we do, because we don’t want people to leave the theater feeling confounded by what they just saw. There is a complicated time-travel story if you want to analyze it, figure out what the chronology is, figure out why everyone is doing what they are doing. You can probably go a few levels deeper than the movie overtly gives you, but you don’t need to in order to understand and enjoy the movie.

What I thought the central mystery of the movie, as opposed to a plot device, had to do with the baggage we had inherited. People know when they go to see this movie, even if they have never seen Star Trek — the majority of the audience knows that Kirk is Captain Kirk and you are somehow born genetically understanding that Spock is a pointy-eared Vulcan that is logical. So what I loved was meeting this kid, not just as a newborn, but as a young man and seeing that here is a guy that could not be less of a captain. And he may have all the potential in the world, but he is not a captain. And here is Spock, who doesn’t know Kirk, and he is in conflict with his Vulcan nature. And how do you reconcile being half-human and half-vulcan when the choice to become logical requires you to forego your humanity. So there were these two characters that were messed up and a little bit broken and certainly not who we know them to be and not even knowing each other, and when they do know each other, they hate each other and are at odds. So the mystery for me is kind of using what people expect — to me that was the fun of the movie. The mystery is: how do these two characters become those characters that I believe is going to be inevitable..

CLIP: Answer Me

Clip from Star Trek showing that Kirk and Spock don’t start off as friends


TrekMovie:
You talk about how people do not need to know a lot to enjoy this film. One thing that I do think may be an issue and have some people at least asking the question: What was Nero doing for 25 years? We know, because you talked about removing the whole Rura Penthe prison sequence [see article]. Talk me through the decision to remove that. The one thing I would like to see in this film was more Nero.

Abrams: Well you are not wrong. Not only would it have been nice, but I thought it was nice to have that stuff in there. But I don’t think the majority of the audience has the patience and the willingness to do the kind of work that deep-routed fans of genre, and certainly of Trek,  are willing to do and in fact live to do. I have found on Lost and on Fringe that the casual viewer may be confounded by a plot turn that I love. What I love about this is not just mystery, but sometimes these diversions that take you into a really weird place, then kind of get back on track and continue. That sequence took the audience off track into a whole new place that I thought was really cool, really weird, beautifully designed and had great mood. I loved the visual effects and the whole thing. It broke my heart to cut it. But when we showed the movie to the audience with that sequence it really threw them. Because we had a bad guy who is suddenly imprisoned by other bad guys. You didn’t know who was who. There was exposition that I really enjoyed, that people felt was confusing and distracting. And it threw the audience off and took them on this diversion and the truth is, not unlike Richard Donner’s Superman, the movie really begins in earnest about half an hour into the movie, when in that film Christopher Reeve is flying away from the Fortress of Solitude as Superman. Everything that preceded it was critical to emotionally connect to the story, but now the story begins. In our movie it just felt like a five minute diversion that people were like ‘what?’

TrekMovie: Will we see it on the DVD and Blu-ray as a deleted scene or possibly an extended cut?

Abrams: I think it will only be deleted scene, which will be fine. People will see the scene and chose whether or not it is — there may be a version where we could put it in sequentially too.


Abrams heart ‘broke’ over cutting Nero’s time at Rura Penthe

TrekMovie: Most Trek fans got into Trek at a very early age, some very early. Your goal for this film was to bring in a new audience, but you decided to shoot for PG-13. Did you feel that maybe you paid a price for that as opposed to being PG?

Abrams: Honestly that was not a concern of mine making this movie. I was not approaching this thinking ‘how do I make it match to what has come before.’ What I needed to do was respect this story and this movie and try to make the best version of this movie and know that I had Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof who were to me the people I trusted the most to make sure of the concerns of Trek fans. If I had heard from them early on that doing a version that is PG-13 is going to be sacrilege, that might have been something I would have considered, but it never came up.

TrekMovie: Way before you decided to direct this movie you told me you wouldn’t make the decision to direct until you saw the script. I know it is presumptuous, but let’s assume a sequel happens. What will be your decision process will be to direct that one?

Abrams: I think that the dream version of any job is to chose the job because you love the job. And for me I have only directed two films and they are both films that are sequels to TV shows that Leonard Nimoy starred in. I would love to try and do something else. That is not to say that can’t do something else first and maybe come back and do the sequel to this. But I do honestly think that it is insane to think about a sequel when the first one hasn’t come out it. I pray people see the movie and I pray they like the film. And if there desire for another one, not only am I thrilled to produce that movie and help realize it, but I am wide open to the possibility of directing it. It is something I need to decide when we have discussions about the story, which we have not had yet. We have literally not had one discussion about what the sequel will be. Not one meeting, there is no outline, not one.


Abrams on set directing "Star Trek" – has yet to decide if he will direct potential sequel

TrekMovie: You and the rest of guys are often described as Trek’s new ‘Supreme Court’. What would you say was the hardest decision that the court had to make with regards to this movie?

Abrams: I think I would have a different answer than Bob or Damon would, because I didn’t come to this feeling like it was sacred text as much as they did. I was more excited by the opportunity and possibility of what we can do here. They were more the living and breathing Star Trek fans, so they had more at stake. For them things like the fate of Vulcan I am sure. I certainly wasn’t blind to that being a massive choice, but I also felt that as a filmmaker, if we don’t do something f–king mind-blowing, then the movie is just tepid. We had to go there to make the movie and push buttons and make it feel like a substantial story and that losses were felt and it was palpable.

I think the hardest decision that I felt was not having William Shatner in the movie. And that really was because, as a non-fan, you feel like ‘you got to have Shatner in the movie – come on!’ And then I realized he had died in [Star Trek: Generations], which I had not seen before I was working on the film, that getting him back in the movie would literally mean starting from scratch and coming up with a new story. And the decision to move forward, despite the necessity given our story, and to exclude the guy that everybody associates with the series – that bothered me. And yet I felt like we had to do this for this movie. Talk about the wrath. I thought we are going to eat it, fans are going to kill us. And yet the reason why I felt it might ultimately work for us is it felt like the righteous decision. It felt like we need to do it for the story, but the righteous decision is not always the easiest.

TrekMovie: So when you said at Comic Con 2007 that you were working hard to find a way, you really meant that.

Abrams: No question. Why in a million years would we not want him in the movie. It would only be better to have him in the film. But even before everyone was talking about ‘Trek canon’. Everyone was like ‘we want you to follow canon’. Now I know, in fact the first sequence of the movie, veers hard left from Trek canon, but that is the point. As much as we could we wanted to be consistent with the thread that had been established. A lot of the same people who were saying ‘you must follow canon!’ were saying ‘Shatner has got to be in the movie!’ Dude, how do you do both of these things!? We could have created some sort of time travel detour thing, but literally when you start going down that path, especially with Mr. Shatner saying he did not want to do a cameo, it became this whole thing that would literally be a reinvention of our reinvention. It is just too hard.

TrekMovie: I would have to agree after seeing the film that it wouldn’t work with this film, unless you wanted to bring up the word ‘Nexus’

Abrams: Exactly [laughs] which we were not going to do.

TrekMovie: But hey, you got the sequel…

Abrams: That’s actually a possibility.


William Shatner in 1994’s Generations – Abrams toughest call was not bringing him back

 

Up Next – Anton Yelchin
Our week long series of interviews is not over yet. On Friday TrekMovie talks to Anton Yelchin about that Russian accent, being a boy genius and more. And we will finish off the week-long series with a couple of Romulans, Eric Bana and Clifton Collins, Jr.

Other final pre-movie exclusive interviews at TrekMovie:

 

More JJ:
Here is some ‘b roll’ of JJ on the set of Star Trek (not some sections have no audio)

 

 

Comments

1. Andrew F - May 7, 2009

first!!!! Sitting in theater filled with Trekkies! T-35 minutes and counting!!!!!!

2. David (Flaming Wings Forever) - May 7, 2009

Great Interview Anthony

3. DJT - May 7, 2009

T-minus 2.5 hours and counting in Cali. En route to the promised land.

4. Benjamin Adams - May 7, 2009

Fantastic. The franchise in in the best hands possible.

5. Donn - May 7, 2009

Wow, spoilers, no kidding. Whoops.

Not that I didn’t sort of know, from reading comments, but I also sort of thought people were just nuts and reading in to things in the trailers that weren’t really there.

Oh well, that’s what warning are for, and I’m already in it so deep, one more plot point won’t make me not enjoy seeing it all put together on the wide screen tomorrow freaking night!

Enjoy, all you all who are seeing it tonight!

6. Donn - May 7, 2009

3. May the wind be at your backs!

7. Captain Dunsel - May 7, 2009

Enjoy it, #1.

I’m 2.5 hours away from the opening here on West Coast time. Can’t wait!

8. mikeypikey (Ireland) - May 7, 2009

Not long back after seeing the first screening here!! ahhh amazing!! :-)) Everything a star trek, or any blockbuster movie should have and more! Star Trek is real at least :-))

9. mikeypikey (Ireland) - May 7, 2009

lol- not a least–AT LAST!

10. lukas - May 7, 2009

Great!

11. Andrew F - May 7, 2009

4 burger king glasses, 2 playmates toys, 3 BK kids meals toys, 2nd place in Esurance Biggest Trekkie contest, and T-20 minutes To ST09 in IMAX! “The Kobayashi Maru has set sail for the Promised Land!”

12. jamesmctrek - May 7, 2009

just back from the film and being from glasgow scottys accent was really good and the film surpassed my high expectations:)

13. Janeways Knickers - May 7, 2009

I’m glad Shatner isn’t in it. Pine is fine by himself. Raaaarrrrr!

14. Janeways Knickers - May 7, 2009

DJT enjoy!

15. Janeways Knickers - May 7, 2009

no promises…

16. Gregory Limardi - May 7, 2009

Correct me if I’m wrong…but this alternate time line in no way guarantees that Kirk ever died on Veridian III…or was there to confront V’ger…..or met Kahn…or saved Earth in STIV!!!

JJ…you changed history…just make Kirk alive…problem solved!

17. Donn - May 7, 2009

16. Ah, but then it wouldn’t be the Shat-Kirk that we know from the last 40 years, it would be some other Kirk whose career we haven’t seen yet, from this timeline. We see the same old Spock that we know, to start this timeline off, but I don’t think you get to double-dip in this sort of thing.

Who knows what they’ll come up with?

18. Anthony Pascale - May 7, 2009

I said ‘major’ spoilers and i held this one until thursday….dont know what else to do

19. Charlie - May 7, 2009

JJ please make an extended version of the film, with the klingon prison and those scenes with baby spock. :-)

20. Gwynney - May 7, 2009

Went and saw the movie last night here in Australia – unbelieveable movie. Soo good!! When Kirk, Spock and McCoy start getting down to business together on the bridge, I just sat there thinking, yep these are our guys, this is awesome!!!

And when Leonard’s Spock meets Kirk, that scene is just amazing and really funny! Loved it!

The last thing I would have wanted to hear about in this movie was The Nexus. And that’s probably the only way they could have brought Kirk back. So great move not going there JJ, it just wouldn’t have worked.

21. Ian B - May 7, 2009

As I said in another thread, I thoroughly loved the movie, but the exposition kinda roared by and I wish I could go back and watch parts again, though I got most of it.

SPOILER

Particularly, the mind meld exposition went by very fast. One thing- Nero dumped Spock on Delta Vega so he could watch Vulcan destroyed? And we saw him looking up at the sky watching the destruction of Vulcan… was this literal? Could he actually see it? Delta Vega would have to be so close to Vulcan as to be a moon to see what we saw him seeing. Or was it some kind of mental projection or something?

Also, not a spoiler, but one thing that niggled me with the dirtied down nature of the lower decks. The shuttle the Kelvin’s captain used had noticably peeling paintwork and corrosion. Wasn’t this going too far, or were we supposed to think he’s a lazy captain who doesn’t keep things “ship shape”?

22. spockatatic - May 7, 2009

holy you guys are lucky bastards! I still have to wait for tomorrow!! Arrggh! This waiting is going to be the death of me, I swear!

23. Trekmatt - May 7, 2009

#22 the waiting is annoying but it’s worth the wait in my opinion :)

24. Ryan Spooner - May 7, 2009

Just got back from seeing the movie in IMAX in Birmingham in the UK. Absolutely brilliant film and I plan to see it again in a regular cinema (that’s a movie theatre, for the Americans amongst us hehe).

SPOILER ALERT

I’ve only got a couple of gripes. Firstly as Ian B said above, being able to see Vulcan from Delta Vega seems a bit of a stretch. Also the whole cliche of the spinning blades in the water tank after Scotty and Kirk beam back to the Enterprise and Scotty gets sucked around the water pipes… that reminded me of Galaxy Quest with those chompers that served no purpose. Also the pipes were full and under fairly high pressure, yet very little water came out when Kirk opened the release valve. Lastly, where on earth (not literally) did that ‘red matter’ stuff come from? Is it like protomatter?

None of that spoiled the film though, and I’ve already got my Blu-Ray pre-order in, in addition to planning to watch it a second time on Sunday :-)

25. Brixton - May 7, 2009

JJ You’re killing me-

I love the Shat, I love Nimoy- would have been great to see the TWO old birds together, somehow…

But I love your vision, the actual inescapable logic of how you’ve gone about making this film…bravo! Taking my Dad to see it, we watched Star Trek together when I was a wee lad. He’s excited and so am I.

Oh, but saying Big Bill and an appearance in a sequel- “That’s actually a possibility.”

Too much for my poor heart to handle…make it so!

Best of luck.

This is too much for my poor

26. Kenneth Of Borg - May 7, 2009

Thanks for the interview Trekmovie.com
Thanks Mr. Abrams for the premiere tickets through the Liberty Hill Foundation.

My wife and I loved the film. We were criticized for donating so
much and told the Hollywood elite would shun us. Everyone was wonderful and I have the photos to prove it.

We had hoped to thank you in person at the premiere but missed you while meeting the writers and cast. The gift bag that we wanted to give you at the premiere was just shipped to the William Morris address.

I had thought it would be fun to work background on your film. I was working on Eagle Eye when the first call came. The second call was for that prison planet sequence. I do not look the part and did not make the cut. Being at the premiere made up for that disappointment. We hope you will do the sequel.

27. Ian B - May 7, 2009

#24 I’m a huge Shatner fan, but I don’t want a sequel weighed down by shoehorning him in. This new Trekverse now needs to get on with storytelling in its own way. I have all of TOS and 7 movies to watch Shatner’s Kirk in. That character died on Veridian III or wherever it was. Nimoy has handed the story over to a new cast with a great performance. I hope the new creative team let that be that. This is new Trek for a new generation of fans, not just indulgence of us oldies, just as TNG had many fans who neither watched nor liked TOS.

28. Commodore Redshirt - May 7, 2009

JJ…THANKS!
I’m glad you have used your energy to re-energize Trek!

29. KPC - May 7, 2009

Have my tickets for tommorrow, I am taking my Dad as well, we have been watching Star Trek for 25 years. As much as I would have liked to see Shatner in the movie, I am glad that JJ did, for the reasons he explained in his interview, not have Shatner in it. As long as the Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the team, and capture what was done before with their character, I will watch evey movie on Star Trek the JJ does.

Thanks, Anthony for your website, and interview, I have not posted much in 2 years, but have visted every day at least three times a day. I would say that your site and this movie, has gotten me excited again about Star Trek.

30. ster julie - May 7, 2009

!6. Absolutely! By not having Kirk Prime in THIS movie doesn’t mean that he can’t be in the sequel!

Bravo! Writing team, make it so!

31. Brixton - May 7, 2009

#26 Ian-

Forgive me- a little tongue in cheek , OK? I’ve no illusions that the Shat will be in a sequel, but JJ (you dog) tempting us with the “possibility” is brilliantly devious.

For the record, I’m looking forward to the film immensely.

PS. Mr. Pascale, this site has been and ever shall be a lot of fun. Thank you, much.

32. Syrneth - May 7, 2009

15 mine and counting

33. ALLAN ROSE - May 7, 2009

Heres a spoiler for you. Shatner will be in the next Trek movie. He is going to play a comedian. A bad one!

34. John - May 7, 2009

Anthony,

Christopher Reeve played Superman. I don’t know who Christopher Reed is. You should really fix that. It’s a glaring error in an otherwise enlightening interview.

35. Stewart - May 7, 2009

Saw the movie last night here in New Zealand. AWESOME its the best movie ever, I’m 43 so seen a few movies. Just go and see it

36. Maltz - May 7, 2009

My wife and I are going to see it in Dublin, CA on IMAX tomorrow at 7:00 PM PDT.

Thanks, Anthony! Thanks, James Cawley! Thanks, JJ Abrams! And thanks, Stanky McFibberich!

It has been a great 3 years waiting for this movie with you all.

37. RD - May 7, 2009

I hear he borrowed shamelessly from the Turkish Sci-Fi hit: Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda – Check it out yourselves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-Krq2AnROo

38. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#37—Turkish sci-fi hit? Are you serious?

LMAO!

You’re reaching tonight, RD…

39. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

Funny though.

40. Erik Parrent - May 7, 2009

Star Trek II cannot happen fast enough to suit me.

For “Lost” fans:

Bring Hurley over as Harry Mudd?

Richard Alpert or Sayid as Khan?

41. VOODOO - May 7, 2009

Just got back from the movie.

No major spoilers, but when the lines “I have been and always shall be your friend” were spoken from one character to another my audience started cheering and a lady next to me started balling her eyes.

J.J. please find a way to get Shatner in part II. Mr. Nimoy added so much to this film.

42. RD - May 7, 2009

#39 I wish I could take credit for it. It came from the brilliant Stephen Colbert’s interview with JJ Abrams a couple of days ago. Hard to believe even Turkish producers of the 70s could think they could get away with such blatant copyright infringement.

On a serious note, the worst thing they could do is try to work William Shatner into a second film. It would become a running joke with new audiences: “oh, which “Prime” old fart is going to time travel to the alternate universe in this film?” It is something only hard core fans can appreciate and one of those things people should really try to let go gracefully, like red nacelles.

43. Andy Patterson - May 7, 2009

Hey JJ,

Let me help you do an Assignment: Earth series. If you really are reading.

44. JD Moores - May 7, 2009

Just saw it – loved it for all the reasons it ISN’T like the old “Star Trek” so that I can appreciate both in their own rights. Thus, I really hope they don’t try to cram anything like Khan in there. He’s a great character, but not only has he been imitated on TV and film a million times, they’d be tracing the same steps as the original cast, which would run contrary to what I think this franchise’s core intentions are and should be. Unless I’m mistaken, there’s a fan series called “New Voyages” with these characters – I think it’s been rendered a moot point. THESE are the new voyages.

45. Andy Patterson - May 7, 2009

And again Anthony,…congratulations….this has been fun.

46. Konar - May 7, 2009

Just got back — so many great things that I will have to go see it again to get everything. So many nods to fans it was almost embarassing (in a good way). Chris Pine is really fantastic, and you will truly believe by the end of the film that he is the shat’s antecedent.

You will be surprised at how funny it is, but never fear — you are always laughing with it. You will also be surprised at how deep zachary quinto’s portrayal goes — and at how different his Spock is while being true to the character.

Couple of things I wish were better but that didn’t subtract from overall enjoyment: there was never a scene where the camera makes love to the enterprise. There could have been a line or two explaining the strange coincidences that led characters to just the right place at the right time.

Interestingly, the non- fans in my group loved the film as much or more than I did! Can’t wait to see it again.

47. Andrew F. - May 7, 2009

Just saw it! WOW!!!! Loved every moment! Everything that trek should be and more! Thank you J.J. and Crew for bring trek back! Can’t wait for the next one, two, three or more! Thank you Anthony for keeping us all updated and helping to build the excitement! J.J. needs to stick you on the bridge of the next one!

48. tom - May 7, 2009

Anthony saved the biggest spoiler for the last day. I jus t saw the movie and i just don”t agree with leaving the Shat out. Nimoy was aweaome. They need to be together. Sounds like jj will right the wrong in a sequel> but what about Nimoy> we want to see them together. Anyway i still think the character interactions are most appreciated by those familiar with the show. I don’t see this film as being more mainstream. Maybe faster paced bigger effects

49. yvaine - May 7, 2009

Anthony – That was an excellent interview. I like that you didn’t ask the generic questions. I’ve been following most of the other media stuff the cast and crew did and it was mostly the same questions in each of the sessions. But I learned something new in each of the interviews you did, so kudos for doing a great job. :) I was (and still am) waiting for your interview with Chris, were you able to sit down with him?

50. S. John Ross - May 7, 2009

“What was Nero doing for 25 years?”

Not telling his sidekicks the plan.

[- – – MILD Spoiler – – -]

One of the biggest “MST3K” moments in the film, IMO, is when Nero’s hanging out with his boy and they’re off to go do bad-guy stuff, and the sidekick is all like “Yeah, goin’ to get some killin’ in, dude” and then Nero’s “No, actually, like, uh, we’re not going to kill him …”

And at that point, in my head is the voice of sidekick guy going “We’ve been stuck in this dismal heap for TWENTY FIVE YEARS and JUST NOW you’re mentioning the plan??? You DELIBERATELY save your exposition for when there’s a frickin’ camera crew don’t you???”

And yeah, I know I know … cut backstory. But in the movie actually on the screen, that was just boggling.

51. John Sullivan - May 7, 2009

How about the Major Spoiler I’m interested in? Went to Barnes & Noble and Borders last night and both stores HAD NO CLUE when the novelization by Alan Dean Foster will be comming out. Said everyone’s asking about it, though. As I told both stores, why bother if it’s AFTER the film’s release? What’s the point? The earlier movie novelizations came out BEFORE the film – and they were all worth buying, even when the movies weren’t worth seeing.

52. Pragmaticus - May 7, 2009

OK, loved the movie, but one big gripe…

SPOILER ALERT

WTF, J.J.? How the hell could you destroy Vulcan AND kill Amanda?!?!?!? One or the other I can accept and understand, but BOTH?!?!?!? I’ve been shaking my head and muttering to myself ever since I left the theater.

53. Maguhn, R - May 7, 2009

JJ, thanks for the awesome movie….you’re the bomb….
Keep the riddles coming,
Wrapped in enigmas,
and hidden behind the fridge…

54. redshirt96 - May 7, 2009

Just got back from the movie in Alexandria, VA. I thought it was great! It was both dIfferent and the same – a terrific balance.

And for all the nits that had been picked…the lens flares were not a distraction…I liked the bridge and engineering…Uhura / Spock was a great idea…The Big “E” looked great on screen…no problem with how the crew got together (it’s a 2 hour movie, just get them together already)…Canon, Shmannon. They’re going to end up the same characters I’ve liked since the 60’s. Not a perfect movie, but I’d give it a 9 out of 10. It was a heck of a lot of fun! Thanks to the Supreme Court!

55. Bobatiel - May 7, 2009

Just saw the movie in Hamilton, Onatrio, and as redshirt96 says, it’s a great balance of different and same.

A very good movie, and great Star Trek.

Easily the best Star Trek movie ever made, and I’m a Trekkie form the late sixties.

No nits for me. Loved the cast and the writing. Thre music and the look were superb.

Can’t wait to see more this gang.

Good riddance to B&B!

56. Mark the Cards fan - May 7, 2009

Great interview with JJ. I saw the movie Thurs nite. I really enjoyed it. While no one can replace Shatner as Kirk in my mind, I really enjoyed Chris Pine as Kirk. Nimoy was great in his scenes! If Shatner would have done a cameo, they could have easily have done a post-credits scene with Shatner and Nimoy as future versions of Pine & Quinto.

57. Mark the Cards fan - May 7, 2009

I can’t forget Karl Urban was wonderful as McCoy.

58. Iowagirl - May 7, 2009

- But hey, you got the sequel… –
– That’s actually a possibility. –

Here’s to another 2 years of (in)famous Shatner threads! :D

59. Supervisor 194 - May 7, 2009

If there is a way to meaningfully work Shatner into the sequel, by all means bring him on!

60. MC1 Doug - May 7, 2009

#37″ RD, you cad! That is 4 minutes and 35 seconds of my life that I will never get back…

LOL

61. Kirk's Toupée - May 7, 2009

Saw it last night!

Audience loved it; they cheered when Urban deliverd his “I’m Doctor…” line, they cheered when Nimoy came on screen and they cheered and clapped at the end..

I sat with a smile on my face and many a tear in my eye tthrough the whole movie……

Surefire hit!!

62. Chris Fawkes - May 8, 2009

I saw the film twice yesterday in Melbourne. Great great film. It did seem weird that Nero was sitting around for 25 years but easily overlooked given how good the movie was overall.

The chemistry between the crew was perfect it was like seeing the originals all over again even though there was added dimension to their characters.

The balance of drama and humor was what really caught the spirit of the original show.

It feels weird after hanging for this movie for so long that I’ve now seen it. How long till the dvd?

63. Stewart - May 8, 2009

thanks to J.J and everyone involved in making the film, a Big THankyou from me, my wife and my mates. Also its so Great that the ENTERPRISE finally has a Window instead of a Viewscreen, thanks again, will see it again tomorrow

64. thorsten - May 8, 2009

Excellent interview Anthony and J.J.!

65. Kirk's Toupée - May 8, 2009

Also, my wife is no big Trek fan but thoroughly enjoyed the movie, she commented on how “fresh” and “invigorated” Star Trek now is…….

Surely, doesn’t everyone realise that Trek was totally suffocated under 40 years of canon and was totally stagnated? This shake-up is EXACTLY what was needed and has been brilliantly executed. As Anthony wrote a bit back, “They have threaded the proverbial camel through the eye of the needle”. They certainly have!!!!

Thanks also to Anthony for this brilliant site!!!

66. Craig - May 8, 2009

Bring it back to the Prime reality!

67. Geodesic - May 8, 2009

I just got home from seeing this at the IMAX in Seattle. My illogical mind is full of colorful metaphors to describe how happy I am with the movie.

I hope that the we get to see a sequel to explores some of the social and moral dilemmas facing the Vulcan people. How can we not? Spock has to deal with that stuff. =)

68. taemo - May 8, 2009

I would have put shatner in a mind meld with spock prime, to show young kirk how their friendship will enetually turn out.

69. Admiral_Bumblebee - May 8, 2009

Bring back Shatner-Kirk Star Trek 12!

Now they have all possibilites as I think there is no story written yet and they know that Kirk died in Generations.

So they could for example begin the movie with Shatner-Kirk awakening, without memory. Someone resurrected him in the prime timeline to use him as a weapon against his younger self in the alternate timeline. Later in the movie, old Spock mind melds with him, giving him back his memories and together they and their younger selves fight against the evil that used old Kirk. The main villain would need to be a surprise, someone we may know and never suspect to be the evil one…

This way we would have Shatner in the movie together with Nimoy, Prime-Kirk would be resurrected and we would know that the prime timeline is still ok.

70. strangelove - May 8, 2009

for J.J

superb movie, but nex time please less goofy humor?( chekov, scottys buddy, waterpipes?)
dont get me wrong i liked the humor (kirk-mc coy-spock, are spot on!!)

plz dont make scotty a comic relief, in the series i he was alwasy a smart and funny enginer but never goofy?

he should be taken serious to the point that he can take over command of the enterprise ( like in the serie?).

@trekmovie:
cant we make a wish list on trekmovie of things the we liked and ohter that we never want to see it again? maybee j.j. and the court may be intreseted?

sry 4 my english;-)

71. Mugz - May 8, 2009

Because this is a new time line, does that mean that the good crew have to go over many of the same stories again? i.e. saving Edith Keeler again, or risk having Hitler win World War 2 etc etc? Obviously not all the stories will now come to pass, but surely many of them cannot be ignored? The probe in Star Trek IV as another example? Just thinking aloud here ;)

Great interview – I think Star Trek is in VERY good hands here with J.J.

Can’t wait to see the film at long last!

Peace!

72. strangelove - May 8, 2009

ups sorry i ment: interesseted

;-)

p.s: i was never so proud to be a fan!!! + my little brother loved it, and he hates star trek :-D

73. Mugz - May 8, 2009

P.S. J.J. if you read these things, could the next film be about “exploring strange NEW worlds, and new possibilities. To BOLDLY GO where NO MAN has gone before”…

I don’t think this has actually been done in any of the films or many of the more recent TV episodes for that matter, and surely at it’s core this is what Star Trek SHOULD be about, or it’s merely a revenge story, or a politics heavy scenario or action-adventure set in the future?

Can they do some exoploring in the sequal? Lets show something NEW ;)

74. Colin - May 8, 2009

Still haven’t seen the movie yet. Loved the interview, Anthony!

I especially like the pic, ‘cos you can see Chris Pine’s underwear :)

75. Jorg Sacul - May 8, 2009

JJ… you’ve brought “my” Star Trek up to speed for a new generation. Thank you, and may you and your creative team Live Long and Prosper!

p.s. MAKE MORE, NOW!! :-)

76. TrekVRuined My Life - May 8, 2009

Shat has to go.

77. Holger - May 8, 2009

Thanks, JJ Abrams, for ruining commercially produced Star Trek for me.

78. mscottr - May 8, 2009

Thanks, JJ Abrams, for revitalizing commercially produced Star Trek for me.

79. Peter N - May 8, 2009

re: lens flares

Thanks to all the discussion in the comments it was something I did notice in the film… at first. But once the story really started cooking the visual style was absolutely not a distraction and helped underscore the dramatic tension, IMO. Having watched (and loved) RDM’s BSG I felt that similar techniques were being utilized for some of the space shots, so I felt right at home.

Great movie, I really enjoyed it (as did the company I took to the theatre). Maybe a little thin on the so-called moral/ethical “Heart of Star Trek,” but there was not much time for philosophizing in the midst of this crisis! Character development was great (if moved along a little quickly at the beginning), and the character’s interaction as the crew was formed was terrific. It’s all set up now for one killer sequel (or more – please!), and I am positive that this talented crew (the new Supreme Court) can put together another visually stunning and dramatic movie which will weave some of those ethical discussions that made the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic of the past such a pleasure to watch. And these actors will be able to pull it off!

80. Donn - May 8, 2009

18. That you did Anthony! I find no fault with you, only with my own weakness… I did it to myself again by reading the comments of those who have seen the film!

WHEN WILL I LEARN! :)

81. Jeffrey Miller - May 8, 2009

A movie that epic has not touched my heart for a long time. And I find in the moments following the movie, my heart is expanded, and my spirit is thirsty.

Good? It was powerful.
If Good means I liked it, then yes.
If Good means it wasn’t an immoral story, then yes.
If Good means my heart was “happy” after seeing it, well, I’ll just say that it was powerful.

82. Dom - May 8, 2009

Thank you Mr Abrams for a great cinematic experience.

I have to say, I’d like the major deleted sequences reintegrated into the movie for DVD and Blu-ray. A box set containing the theatrical and an extended cut would be a must-buy for me!

And we know how studios like us to double dip! ;)

83. dalek - May 8, 2009

TrekMovie: But hey, you got the sequel…

Abrams: That’s actually a possibility.

Will hold you to that possibility JJ ;)

I will be seeing the flick in a few days time and look forward to it prospering at the box office!

84. Patty Miller - May 8, 2009

I am looking forward to seeing this new Star Trek film, and I will see it with an open mind. From what I’ve read and seen, it looks to be very entertaining. Having been one of the many who wrote letters to NBC pleading to them to save Star Trek back in 1968, I am truly amazed that it continues after all these years.
My only sadness is that William Shatner will not be in this new movie.
I really loved him as Captain Kirk. Say what you want, but it was Shatner and Nimoy who made Star Trek work. Roddenberry had the vision, but they made it come to life. I hope they all Live Long and Prosper.

85. Bart - May 8, 2009

Please DON”T let it be a possibility that Shatner comes back in the next one.

The baton has been passed. I don’t want to see the original actors in any of these movies.

And anyway, I don’t believe W.S. could even play Kirk at this point. The persona of William Shatner has become so over-the-top that he couldn’t make the character believable anymore.

86. Bart - May 8, 2009

One other thing….it would be wonderful to have a way to put the deleted scenes back into the movie in sequence.

There were a few scenes that could have been a tad bit longer. Some of the quieter moments, I wish they’d dwelled on a bit more. I’m sure there are some wonderful moments that didn’t make it.

87. Marney - May 8, 2009

Loved the movie. Great special effects and action, the best I’ve ever seen in a trek film. The actors were great, especially Karl Urban as McCoy. Incredible.

But…come on. This movies essentially wipes out 40 years of Star Trek. Everything that happens after this movie is now unwritten. That means no TNG, no DS9, and no Voyager. I’m not okay with that. You can’t just cast aside everything that has made Star Trek what it is. Words can’t express my disappointment right now. Not taking anything away from the movie itself, but just the complete “do-over” that is now going to take place.

88. Geoffers - May 8, 2009

Fantastic film, can’t wait until Sunday to see it again… and JJ, Bob and Co.. please… go with the possibility… get the Shat in the next one… we Sooooo want it…

89. cagmar - May 8, 2009

JJ, please, don’t direct the next Trek unless you’re going to make a few adjustments to your hectic, frenzied, head-ache inducing style. Granted, you’ve never done anything so confounding before, but Once is more than enough! Nobody will ever complain that the camera ISN’T shaking and that the lights aren’t fudging their vision, so just leave it alone man. Stop.

I mean, it was a fantastic film but it had absolutely bewildering choices as far as direction and production design. JJ, you are great and you make wonderful stories and create fantastic work, but you dropped the ball here. Please adjust for next time and if you feel you cannot, maybe give Nimoy or Frakes a turn.

90. Plum - May 8, 2009

JJ is great. I’m so loving him. And hello if you are reading this Trek brother!

Please, you must do the second film. It’s your Dark Knight! ok, maybe not… but …

… As a Trekkie only a year older than you JJ we both share a love of Star Wars and The Twilight Zone. I wish to point out that the first season of Trek (the best one ever) was heavily influenced by the Twilight Zone. JJ if you should do a second Star Trek, look to the first season of TOS and find the Twilight Zone inspiration there. Many of the people working on TOS, from producers, directors, and writers were Twilight Zone vets.

I love LOST. It’s the Twilight Zone of the naughties (the 00s, whatever) just as The X-Files was for the 90s. The early Star Trek was full of mystery, the unknown. IT might blow up your ship, or it might be green girl love. Of course it could threaten to blow up your ship but then just offer you tranya. :D

Mysteries in boxes, or giant all powerful spacecraft, eh? You think your Narada is the only giant ship in Trek? Nope (‘The Corbormite Maneuver’)! ;p

It’s been a long time since someone got me out to a theatre to see Trek. Thanx for making your own film, I know it will be great (because I’m sooo spoilered!).

Cheers! :)

91. kc - May 8, 2009

If anyone has JJ’s address, please forward it to me. I need to send him some money for bringing star trek back.

Nice job!

92. Offical "Star Trek" thread - Netphoria Message Board - May 8, 2009

[…] Posted by TheMilstead link to info of said scene pls EXCLUSIVE: Interview with JJ Abrams | TrekMovie.com Jump down to the clip “Answer Me” and read the question and answer under […]

93. Ceti Alpha 5 - May 8, 2009

Awesome movie. Definitely a 8/10 for me.

However….

If Nero had more screen time (i.e. those deleted scenes ) it would been a full point higher.

Another +0.5 if the lens flares were removed.

And another +0.5 if the “shaky cam” wasn’t used during the fight scenes.
I don’t about know you, but I actually like knowing what’s going on during a fight.

Those 3 things stopped it from being perfect.

94. Holger - May 9, 2009

Let Rorschach express my attitude:

JJ Abrams to Rorschach who is watching TOS.

JJ: Uh, you want me to reinvigorate this for you?
R: No need. Fine like this.

95. urbandk - May 9, 2009

no Shatner please! love him, but just no.

96. Troubled Tribble - May 9, 2009

#71. Spot on. My dad and I went to see it last night and that is the first thing I said. It would be great to see them start going on the actual mission. No more “Save the Earth/Romulus/Vulcan/Kronos, etc. Let’s go meet somebody new. I wouldn’t even mind if they rehashed some of the TOS episodes. These could be fresh and unpredictable now with a new timeline. Tell me that the Doomsday Machine couldn’t be a kick ass movie! Or the Organian treaty, Khan’s still out there floating frozen in space you know. The list is endless… you could have some completely new stuff mixed with cool amounts of what we know should happen. Just please, at least for a while, let’s spare the only ship in the quadrant close enough to save Earth thing. If I remember correctly, the entire 3 year run of TOS they never once got called back to Earth. (Assignment Earth was a history mission, Tomorrow is Yesterday and City on the Edge of Forever were accidents.) Let’s see our guys out there on the fringe of known space. Seriously, how can they even still use the tag line “Where no man has gone before” when in 40 years they only place they usually go is back and forth between Vulcan and Earth, which is the space equivalent of driving to work and back. Not very ‘exploratory’. As much as The Final Frontier blew goats, at least they tried to go somewhere, albeit somewhere stupid. ;-)

That said, this movie set the stage and it rocked! Easily the best made, most fun Trek ever! Maybe one of the best Sci Fi epics ever. Will see it again and no doubt I will buy the DVD!

97. PMDC - May 9, 2009

I love the new movie, although I agree that it’s not perfect. I’m also very grateful to the entire team of people who made possible showing again to the general public how Star Trek is great.
Having said that, I must also say that I am bothered at how some people are treating everything that came after TOS.
The other day I watched an Abrams’s interview where he said that he had gotten lost at everything that came after TOS and that with this movie he wanted to go back to the ‘essence’ of Star Trek. Now, the ‘essence’ of ST is something very subjective. I’m 27 and I grew up watching TNG, that great show that had such a huge positive impact on who I am today. Hell, I even learned English watching TNG tapes when my local channel run out of episodes in Spanish (I’m from South America living in South America). For me, and I guess for many people, the ‘essence’ of ST is TNG –the same is true to fans of the later shows- and for us what came before is what made possible what we love the most.
Please let’s not forget how TNG had such a great success, how it took Trek to a peak at the end of its run, how it made possible the later shows and had also a great movie with great reviews (First Contact).
Now, I love how the classic characters are back all reloaded and possibly with greater adventures still to come but there is a lot more to ST than the original show! I realize how the franchise reached a low point in recent years and it’s wonderful A PART OF IT is back but please don’t forget that there is a lot more great ST. If Mr. Abrams, as much as I admire him for all his work, and many others never watched the rest of ST, I feel sorry that they are missing a great part of the ST universe that IS ALSO GREAT but I believe that it is wrong to portray Star Trek as just something that was once great and then became ‘too confused and lost’ them on later years. Star Trek has always been great in all its incarnations but with different degrees of success!
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I love what they have made with this movie. Actually I never thought I would see the classical characters back, specially like this, and it’s great they are back in this new parallel reality but even this movie would not have been possible if the rest of the incarnations -for me especially TNG- had kept the ST universe alive for so long.

98. Maverick - May 10, 2009

Being a huge Trekie lover from 1965 TOS through to the last Enterprise series I had to see the new movie last night , loved it 10 stars out of 10 ..I just couldn’t wait to see it on Blu-ray in my own Home Cinema this time.Can’t wait for the sequel to the prequel…
After watching William Shatner on his own show “raw nerve” on youtube and having this same statement from JJ Quote:- ” especially with Mr. Shatner saying he did not want to do a cameo, it became this whole thing that would literally be a reinvention of our reinvention. It is just too hard “. Read to him ..He stated he never was asked by JJ or anyone to do a cameo for the new movie ,mmmm puzzling why JJ never got back to us and explained ..But i agree with JJ in this new Brilliant 2009 movie William as the older original Kirk just wouldn’t have worked .
Personally I hope Bill (William ) gets back into shape,losses a little weight ,which means will have him around a little longer(good for his health),after all we’ve already lost 3 of the TOS crew and he makes a huge appearance in JJ’s sequel 2011.

99. greeneyedlady - May 10, 2009

Went to see this with my 15 yr old son. Being Star Trek addicts we felt it was our duty and expected to be ok with it at best. I have never clapped and cheered at the end of a movie in a theatre before!!! You did it. You came up with a storyline so creative and brilliant that you gave yourself years of material to work with, and a young, engaging and talented crew. We just finished watching all of the seasons of Voyager together (the sixth time) and will be starting TNG next week ( fifth time). Do us all a favor and give us a brilliant series with this crew and keep us all going – our sincerest thanks and appreciation!!!
~ oh and how we loved Bones and Scottie and Chekoff too!!! brilliant

100. JC - May 10, 2009

Does this mean everyone will forget about the events in TNG and NCC-1701 D and E? Please don’t lose the primary timeline!

101. Holger - May 10, 2009

100 JC: I’m not so worried about everyone forgetting the prime timeline. I’m more worried about an increasing number of fans emulating JJ’s utterly annoying and arrogant deprecation of the Trek legacy, the previous TV shows and movies, and the diehard geek-Trekkers. This is already showing in this forum.

102. J Greene - September 1, 2009

The new story is great! waiting until 2011 for a half done sequel will kill it. No Matter how long it takes create a Great sequel!!! Im a huge fan of Will Shatner, if his presence in the sequel kills the story then he shouldnt be present. If it is possible by way of tempral lineage crossing into this new time line or something exceptional like that, he would be a welcomed addition to the time line even if temporary. Possibly changing his role would enable his presence “long lost grand pa to James Kirk” etc. (since dad is gone) Please no matter what, as to the story line, KEEP IT POSSIBLE!!! dont take away the chance that it might come true. Thats what I love the most about the whole story. When an episode tread on thin ice making us ignore the extreme impossibility of the story, that hurt the story line. DO NOT MAKE A NEW SCIENCE! real scientist have been motivated by this story for years because it was not to far out to be achievable. Thanks for a great new track for Star Trek! I only hope my kids get as much from this as I did growing up.

103. Ashlyn Bok - April 6, 2011

I’m aware of this already, but nevertheless there was clearly several useful pieces that finished the image to me, many thanks!

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.