JJ Abrams: Making Headway On Star Trek Sequel – Resisted Studio Pressure To Rush Before Ready

Now that the Star Trek sequel has been officially delayed, producer (and likely director) JJ Abrams is talking a bit about how the team are finally "making headway" on the project and he also revealed how he resisted pressure from the studio to fast track the film before he felt it was ready.

 

Abrams: Star Trek finally making headway + resisted studio pressure to rush

In some brief comments to the LA Times, Star Trek sequel producer (and expected director) JJ Abrams backed up recent comments from his writers that now that he is free of Super 8, he is on the Star Trek case, saying:

What works, in the feature world and television, is something that has real staying power. We’re working hard on that, making the kind of headway that frankly I wish we were able to make months ago. But you can’t do everything.

Abrams also revealed that he had to resist pressure from the studio to push the Star Trek sequel forward when it wasn’t ready:

There was a lot of desire [on the studio side] to fast-track a new ‘Star Trek’ and have it be shooting already. And in theory we could have done that. But what all of us [the creative team] were concerned about is the release date be the master we were serving. Nothing is more disheartening than something going in front of the camera before it’s ready. The crew can feel it and the cast can feel it. It’s just a heart-attack machine.

It is disappointing that the Star Trek sequel is being delayed. It appears that Paramount and Bad Robot were overly ambitious with their planning, trying to get Super 8, MI4, and the Star Trek sequel all out by summer 2012 with overlapping schedules. However, I think all Trekkies would prefer a Star Trek film which had the team’s primary attention instead of one where they were rushing, especially if it would have had JJ Abrams phoning it in on Trek while he was more focused on other projects. Also, his ability to resist the pressure from the studio shows how Star Trek is now in a different world than the old days when Paramount set the rules and producers and directors working on Trek often didn’t have the pull to fight back. There is no doubt that some past Star Trek films could have benefited with more time and/or more resources.


JJ Abrams directing his first Star Trek film
– didn’t want to rush sequel before it was ready

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Aurore
July 28, 2011 2:25 pm

“Nothing is more disheartening than something going in front of the camera before it’s ready. The crew can feel it and the cast can feel it.”

People in the audience can feel it too.

jr
July 28, 2011 2:31 pm

I’m glad they want to do it right and not rush it. Perhaps JJ should consider someone else direct so he can launch/maintain other projects.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
July 28, 2011 2:32 pm

I think what they should have done is start writting Trek 2 just after Trek 09. I really believe they should start writting Trek 3 right after trek 12 is released and that way everyone can win. But. as it is. Might as well take there time in giving us one hell of a Trek Movie.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
July 28, 2011 2:33 pm

So. Bob and the court. Ger cracking after Trek 2 is released and promoted.

AL
July 28, 2011 2:33 pm

I respect this, but I do wonder if they also were stumped for a plot.

No One Khan Hear You
July 28, 2011 2:35 pm

I’m happy he pushed back.

Bill Peters
July 28, 2011 2:36 pm

:) I rather have a good Trek movie that takes a little longer then have a Trek Movie that sucks and is out faster, anyone Remember Nemisis?

July 28, 2011 2:36 pm

No comment

Brevard
July 28, 2011 2:37 pm

I absolutely agree that filming should not begin before the script is ready. But, really, whose fault is it that the script is not ready? I have to point my finger at JJ. He, nor the writers, were willing to put the time and effort into making it happen. They were all busy doing other things. JJ keeps using Super 8 as an excuse. Honestly, I can’t believe that Paramount wouldn’t want a big blockbuster opening soon, rather than a small “pet project” like Super 8. Super 8 will never make the kind of money that a “tent pole” film like Star Trek will. And Super 8 wasn’t that good. It was just a Spielberg ripoff. And, I’d like to think that Spielberg could have done it better.

I really liked JJ’s direction on ST 2009, but at this point, I say let someone else take control. While we are at it, why not get some new writers too? Maybe some folks who aren’t already doing a hundred other things.

MJ
July 28, 2011 2:39 pm

Wah Wah Wah Wha. Stop whining, commit to the movie, and get it out by Christmas of next year, which allows the extra time you say you need, plus still gives the fans the reward of not having to wait two more fracking years for this movie.

Sebastian S.
July 28, 2011 2:41 pm

It already feels like the whole thing’s on ice. I’m rapidly growing indifferent at this point, sadly. After this delay, there’ll probably be a cast member starring in another project that’ll cause another delay, and so on. Seems like Trek is becoming the B-project for all concerned.

When I see it? THEN I’ll be excited…. ;-)

MJ
July 28, 2011 2:43 pm

@11. Sebastian S, you and I in full agreement — who would have thought, dude? :-) Best to you!

Brevard
July 28, 2011 2:47 pm

#5: I agree. I think this is all about being stumped for a plot. I just think the writers had no idea where to take the franchise.

God help us if we get Khan again. No, no, no…

Yob Mosher
July 28, 2011 2:57 pm

JJ should be fair. Implying that the studio is rushing you when you have had YEARS to work on this. He and the writing team should come out and accept part of the blame. After all they have been doing other projects which seems to be part of the reason we are going to have to wait.

trekprincess
July 28, 2011 2:58 pm

Why are they doing this, do they care about Star Trek or not

bradpitti
July 28, 2011 3:03 pm

I dont think rushing was ever a real option. wheter from the studio or the prod. team – paramount knows these boys well and they might not want to mess with their “golden creatives” – on the other hand – paramount invested in jjs super 8 – and it didnt quiet go supernova – now jj has the ball to decide – if he is only wants to do it – or has to do it for the studio remains seen but doesnt really matter. now the crew is trying to calm down the negativ buzz – that they are finally back on their common playground is nice to hear – i hope that will happen more often in the future – also because – they have all together good chemistry – in designing, ploting, and telling of the stories as you can see in many episodes of lost.
i know time has passed since the airing of the first few seasons, the movie world are waiting and so many different interesting projects yet has to be developed and created. hopefully the supreme court will be back doing tv.
however paramount has really lots to do for their major relases – gi joe, mi4 etc.
and yeah do the engine romm new please – as scotty would OWN it after the first few adventures! :-)

Mel
July 28, 2011 3:14 pm

“Abrams also revealed that he had to resist pressure from the studio to push the Star Trek sequel forward when it wasn’t ready:”

So it was definitely not Paramount, who delayed the movie. That the movie isn’t ready, is because the producers/writers are prefer doing all kinds of other things over the Star Trek sequel. Star Trek is obviously not their main priority.

If they need again 4 years between Star Trek 12 and 13, because they prefer again doing all kinds of other projects, I hope Paramount get other producers/writers for the last part of the trilogy.

El Chup
July 28, 2011 3:15 pm

It is absolutely not disappointing that the sequel has been delayed if it means that a picture worthy of the Star Trek brand is forthcoming….and a apicture, as suggested, that is better than the first one.

Shannon Nutt
July 28, 2011 3:17 pm

JJ has really painted himself into a corner, because if the movie is anything less than great, he’s going to get a lot of backlash. I used to think the hardest thing to get made in Hollywood was a Superman or Indiana Jones film…now I’m begining to think it’s Star Trek!

The whole rushing/polishing script thing doesn’t hold any weight either…there are examples of movies made on the fast/cheap (The Wrath of Khan is one of them) and movies made without complete scripts (Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive is a recent example) that turned out great. There are equal examples of movies that took years to get to screen that turned out to be awful.

MvRojo
July 28, 2011 3:28 pm

Glad they’re focusing on making a good product. I just hope the general audience doesn’t lose interest in the interim. Four years is a long time between sequels, and people tend to have short memories.

captain_neill
July 28, 2011 3:34 pm

When different drafts were done for what became The Wrath of Khan and Nick Meyer was able to take elements from those drafts and create an improved script which more or less became The Wrath of Khan in 5 days that was a great talent. Now the combined talents of Orci and Kurtzman and Lindloff have more or less taken 2 years just to write a 70 page treatment.

Nick Meyer had a great talent with this. Not saying the writers should write it fast, Russell T Davies is an example of how bad scripts can turn out if they are written within 2 days. But Nick Meyer had a talent that allowed a great film to come together in a short time.

But the delay and all that is giving me less faith in what you all call the Supreme Court on this site.

MJ
July 28, 2011 3:34 pm

““Abrams also revealed that he had to resist pressure from the studio to push the Star Trek sequel forward when it wasn’t ready:”

I never thought I’d say this, but it kind of makes me want to hug a Paramount Exec. :-)

It is good to know that at least somebody in a position of power regarding the sequel gave a flying frack about getting this movie out in a reasonable amount of time.

captain_neill
July 28, 2011 3:36 pm

20

Sometimes I think if films didn’t have explosions and shots longer than 2 seconds these days a film might not be a hit these days.

Sorry just a comment to short memories. Its sad but true.

I was told by a friend there was audience applause for Transformers 3 (I refused to see it due to the pain of the second one) and I was thinking how can these dumb movies get so much applause.

Jack
July 28, 2011 3:43 pm

22 reasonable to whom? Things get delayed (Man of Steel?). Personally, I’m thrilled that they’re taking their responsibility seriously. What’s six months in the bigger scheme of things?

Andrews
July 28, 2011 3:52 pm

So, couldn’t we have heard about this six months ago, instead of them continually claiming it was “in progress” and “being written” and whatnot? A little respect for the fans waiting patiently for this would really be appreciated. I understand Hollywood has its politics, but the fact remains that it still looks and feels like we all got jerked around for a year (two years?).

Surely there could have been a way to avoid appearing like they didn’t give a crap about the movie or the audience excited for it.

MJ
July 28, 2011 3:52 pm

@24. We are possible talking an entire year delay. If it is six months, I can live with that. If the sequel is delay an entire year, well frankly, that really irritates me.

MJ
July 28, 2011 3:54 pm

@25 “So, couldn’t we have heard about this six months ago, instead of them continually claiming it was “in progress” and “being written” and whatnot? A little respect for the fans waiting patiently for this would really be appreciated. I understand Hollywood has its politics, but the fact remains that it still looks and feels like we all got jerked around for a year (two years?).”

Exactly. I could have done without the secrecy, the inconsistent information, and the not being straight with the fans thing for the entire first half of this year.

MarkP
July 28, 2011 3:57 pm

Hi, we the assembled fans of Trekdom want you, the creatives responsible for the series, as it stands now, to know that we see no reason why in the name of God (or whatever divine figure you choose) you can’t drop everything to appease our selfish need for a new Trek film…RIGHT. NOW!

Don’t you know that, despite the successful work you’ve done on other projects, that your careers LIVE AND DIE based on our fannish impulses? How DARE you work on ANYTHING other than our precious Star Trek.

How DARE you talk and brainstorm about storylines and concepts when we can bash out a fanfic K/S slash story in 4 hours, which no one in their right mind would ever pay to read…BUT I DIGRESS! What do you mean you want to have time to craft something that may actually be good, when I’m standing here with my hard-earned cash that I’ll shell out for anything with “Star Trek “on it, no matter what the quality! Don’t you care about the franchise, or the fans!?!?!

The point is…You people have no idea what’s being done, or what JJ and team are thinking. Maybe they have multiple story ideas, and need to work them all a bit, to see which is strongest. And, frankly…We’ve seen what happens if creatives work on Star Trek, and only Star Trek. *cough*Berman*cough* So, let these folks work on multiple projects, and gather ideas and put together the best package they can. THEN judge it.

Jack
July 28, 2011 3:57 pm

9 why do fault and blame always have to come into this, seriously? Yeah, he was working on another project — big deal. Fans here are making all these assumptions, based on what? We’re demanding the best Trek movie ever, heck, the best movie ever, in one breath and in the next we’re tearing apart the people charged with making that happen, based on no actual information (and telling them it shouldn’t be this hard to come out with a decent story, as if we knew).

MJ. You’re annoyed that the script wasn’t done months ago and that filming isn’t over by now. Fair enough. Sounds like a lot of people are.But is this going to turn into an angry Shatner- is- fat-ish rant on every post for the next 18 months?

There have been hundreds of hours of Trek produced, not all of it good, and only a handful of all of those have truly been great. There’s no easy, magic formula to telling a good story.

webitube
July 28, 2011 4:01 pm

Thank you, JJ!

Take as much time as you need.

Andrews
July 28, 2011 4:03 pm

@22

“It is good to know that at least somebody in a position of power regarding the sequel gave a flying frack about getting this movie out in a reasonable amount of time.”

You can bet Paramount isn’t happy about the delay, for the usual reason, that being $$$. Star Trek XI was a smash hit and has the potential to topple The Dark Knight in terms of sequel cash, and everyone who came out of the theater was desperate for a sequel ASAP. That interest and enthusiasm doesn’t last forever.

The execs can hear money dropping out of the piggy bank coin by coin with each passing month and they’re not pleased.

July 28, 2011 4:05 pm

Film two sequels back-to-back!

Andrews
July 28, 2011 4:08 pm

@everyone’s sarcastic “fannish entitlement” posts

I’m not demanding the sequel RIGHT THIS MINUTE, DROP EVERYTHING, I DON’T CARE IF IT’S A SUPBAR PRODUCT. Not in the least. I’m happy to wait for a good movie.

I AM irked that all parties concerned waffled and lied and were evasive and kept silent and basically did everything they could to seem unapproachable and apathetic about this for two years. (Does this mean they WERE apathetic? Not necessarily, but it’s how they CAME OFF.)

A few press releases here and there are not hard to issue. A little respect goes a long way.

NuFan
July 28, 2011 4:19 pm

I love how the people who say they’re losing interest post hundreds of times per day. Empty threats are embarrasing and make Star Trek fans look bad. Paramount knows full well you will be first in line on opening day. Who are you kidding? When it’s adults doing it, it’s even more retarded.

Jack
July 28, 2011 4:25 pm

34. Who lied?

Tempest
July 28, 2011 4:32 pm

Good for JJ. I’d absolutely, positively, definitely rather wait for a GOOD movie than have the next Trek come out too soon and have it wind up like The Undiscovered Country. *shudder* There are more than enough bad Trek movies already. I’ll wait as long as I have to for another good one.

Andrews
July 28, 2011 4:33 pm

@36

I guess they weren’t lies so much as “misleading half-truths”? The release date, the insistence everyone was working on it, the claim that the script was “being written” for a year and then oop, sorry, that was the OUTLINE, the script has actually just been started; the assurance that it was all still on schedule LONG after it was obviously clear to them that it wasn’t.

PR fail.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
July 28, 2011 4:34 pm

#33. Well Said. make Treks 2 and 3 Back to back and make it an Epic Star Trek Adventure. It can be done.
OR. Have Harry Ballz write the Script for Trek 3. Come on Harry. We know you can do it.

Adolescent Nightmare
July 28, 2011 4:40 pm

35.

Well, clearly some of these adults actually are retarded. Imagine having one of these whiny she-males as your dad.

Jack
July 28, 2011 4:45 pm

And if ends up being released 2-ish years from now… Yep, I’ll be disappointed. But, what’s the alternative? Heck, at least it’s not set for 2014. Yet.

I’d meant a six month delay from when they thought, or we thought, they’d be filming – back when that was this summer.

But again, this whole, ‘they’ve kept secrets from us, they’ve misled us, they’ve disrespected us…’ Well, the moving target (and the assumption/false hope it will come together sooner rather than later) is part of writing (as is the ‘we need it now!’ from the boss). All we’ve had is crumbs from other interviews on other projects — they’ve been no official announcements…

and, I’m guessing, making an official announcement/ putting out a press release is a commitment and a hell of a big deal (and produced by, and affecting, the entire Paramount machine, not just Orci going,’heck, we didn’t get that scene worked out this week like we’d hoped, I’d better fire off a press release today’)

I’m guessing they’re not doing that until they’re sure when this thing’s coming
out, and Paramount has something to replace it next summer.

Matt K
July 28, 2011 4:50 pm

@30 – Very well said Anthony, I agree with everything you wrote.

Bob Tompkins
July 28, 2011 4:53 pm

Has to be a misquote. He wasn’t resisting Paramounts efforts to rush it before it was ready; he resisted Paramount’s efforts to rush it before HE was ready.
What chutzpah!

Bob Tompkins
July 28, 2011 4:57 pm

The whole article is misleading. ‘Back in the day’ Paramount had a team that was Star Trek centric and was very successful until the misfire of Nemesis. There was no reason anyone had to resist Paramount’s needs for new Trek. The people were already on the job and ready to go.

lawmanjcl
July 28, 2011 4:58 pm

I can recall the wonder of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” on the big screen after years of watching syndicated repeats; but learning after-the-fact of the rushed production and the compromises made to meet the Dec. 1979 release date (Mr. Trumbull’s “crop it, flop it, or drop it” comes to mind), I could have easily waited another year, even more, if the time would have produced a better movie. To the current production team, permit me to thank you for putting the focus and emphasis on producing a “quality” movie, rather than “a” movie for a locked-in release date.

NuFan
July 28, 2011 4:58 pm

40

No Thank You, Sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob Tompkins
July 28, 2011 5:02 pm

But, hey, I am not involved with this website other than as a reader, so I can think whatever I want to think. Mr. Pascale sort of has to go with the flow, like all the other Media do these days.
Trade truth for access. It’s the ‘New Politics of Being a Journalist’.

Bob Tompkins
July 28, 2011 5:04 pm

45.
There was no team in place for the first feature and yes, it was rushed and shows in the quality. I am not saying rush the next one. I am saying it could and should have been out by now if Paramount still had a dedicated team.

Jack
July 28, 2011 5:12 pm

21. Yep, Meyer did it (reportedly combined various completed drafts in days) 30 years ago for an 11 million dollar movie starring TV actors all pushing or over 50.

45. Fantastic point. They were writing the script while the thing was shooting, weren’t they? And it showed.

Heck, even Trek 09 showed signs of the writer’s strike, in my uninformed opinion.

40. Being a she-male doesn’t automatically make you whiny.

Oh, and, yeah, I’d missed the post about putting GI Joe in Trek’s slot.

Jack
July 28, 2011 5:17 pm

47. What access?

This is a fan blog. This ain’t journalism. Nor does it need to be.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
July 28, 2011 5:23 pm

Ok. From this point on we should have our own Anthony Pascale be the main man on Star Trek Movies. I’m sure he can get them written and made every 2 years and make then GREAT!!!!!!!.

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