Exclusive: JJ Abrams On Trek Lessons For Star Wars + How New Director Could Make Next Star Trek Better | TrekMovie.com
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Exclusive: JJ Abrams On Trek Lessons For Star Wars + How New Director Could Make Next Star Trek Better May 17, 2013

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Interview,Star Trek Beyond,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Speaking exclusively with TrekMovie.com Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ Abrams talked about lessons he learned from Star Trek that he can apply to Star Wars, his hopes for a 2016 Star Trek movie, and how he thinks a new director could do it better, and more. Watch the interview and read full transcript below.


JJ Abrams

Saving the best of the junket videos for last, here is my exclusive interview with Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director JJ Abrams.


TrekMovie: Would you say it is a fair comment to say you brought a little bit of Star Wars to Star Trek?

JJ Abrams: Yeah. I think you can look at it that way and say the action, some of the more dynamic visceral stuff, was influenced by movies that I have loved including Star Wars. But I wouldn’t say it was literally a conscious decision, with the exception of maybe having some white walls and black shiny floors in some scenes. But for me the Star Wars and Star Trek universes are still pretty disparate.

TrekMovie: Can you see yourself brining something from Star Trek into Star Wars? What is something you learned from Star Trek that you think Star Wars can benefit from?

JJ Abrams: The experience of doing Star Trek was such an education. I am still realizing what I have learned from it and will continue to. I certainly feel like the scope and scale of something like Star Trek which is so epic, so huge, that you realize in terms of scale that establishing shots can’t be a building or a town or a continent, it has to be a planet. It’s almost like being in Las Vegas and you say "I’m just going to walk over to that hotel" and half an hour later you are still walking towards it "I’m not getting any closer, it is still far away!" There is a weird thing that happens with the scale of a movie like this. But I will tell you working with the actors, the crew, the visual effects people–I learned countless lessons and hope to take all of those into the next project.  

TrekMovie: [fan submitted question from 14-year old Malle from France] Are you happy that young people like me have become Star Trek fans thanks to you and the actors?

JJ Abrams: I will fist say that is an incredibly sweet question. I am of course thrilled that because of what we have all done and it is certainly a testament to the actors who bring these characters to life yet again. The idea that there are people young or old who were never really Star Trek fans who checked this out and connect to it and feel its that thing you might have felt when you were a kid and you saw Star Trek and you were like "oh my god! That is cool. That inspires me." I always know there will always be those people who will be somehow offended by the fact that we started to work on something that they love so dearly and anything we do is somehow sacrilege. But I will say to people like [Malle], I am more grateful to them than I think they are to us.

TrekMovie: So it is confirmed that you are definitely producing [the next Star Trek movie]?

JJ Abrams: I would be producing it if one were to exist.

TrekMovie: Let’s assume it. [Paramount vice-chairman] Rob Moore said they definitely want to do another one. If that happens, do you feel that 2016 is the right time because of the 50th anniversary? Or does that conflict with a 2015 Star Wars movie? Are you that far into thinking about it?

JJ Abrams: Despite reports of what Rob Moore said, there have been no formal discussions about a third film. What I would say is that it feels like 2016 would be a great year given the celebration of the anniversary. But again I am open to whatever is the best possible version of the movie. Meaning if there is a great script and the story is there and it’s possible to release that movie in 2015, then great. If we don’t figure it out until a release for 2017–we don’t want a bad movie to come out just because there is a release date. That is true with everything. I would hope the right movie would come out in the right time.

TrekMovie: Well then with simple logistics, if you do a Star Wars movie in 2015 and they want 2016, is it logistically possible? You said to Playboy it is possible you might direct the next Star Trek?  Doing the math, how can you possibly do that?

JJ Abrams: If they want in that period of time and if Star Wars goes forward as planned, it would obviously be a conflict. It depends when this movie would happen. And again as no formal discussions have started it is impossible to know.  But in all likelihood if there is a movie sooner, there will be a different director on the film. It would be something we would all get together and agree on. We love this and care about it too much and want to make sure it is handled correctly. But I would say that having directed pilots and movies and then having seen subsequent directors work on those shows or do their own versions of those films – time and again I have seen it done better. And so I’m looking forward–if there is another director–it will be interesting to see. I am certain I will learn lessons watching their work.

More exclusive TrekMovie.com interviews

This is the final TrekMovie.com exclusive juket interview. Watch the others…

Stay tuned for more exclusive Star Trek Into Darkness interviews from the Hollywood premiere Karl Urban, Bob Orci/Alex Kurtzman, Neville Page, Roger Guyett, Michael Giacchino, and even JJ Abrams again (briefly). Plus we have text interviews talking spoilers with Damon Lindelof and Orci again (but those have spoilers so have to wait to week after release). 



1. Pete Christian - May 17, 2013


2. David Oakes - May 17, 2013

My ideas for Trek 3 directors :

1.Brad Bird – M:I 4 was pretty good – but less punch ups please. MI4 had way too many.

2.Duncan Jones – Source Code & Moon were both great.

3.Joss Whedon. Firefly was a western in space -much like TOS.

4.Edgar Wright. He can do kitsch and cool like there’s no tomorrow and hasn’t done a bad project yet.

5.James Cameron – the master of entertaining scifi.

3. spock69 - May 17, 2013

First at last.
Anthony, you have been and always shall be our friend!
You have surpassed everything you did for Trek 2009
Live long and prosper!

4. spock69 - May 17, 2013

Ok 3rd!

5. Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire - May 17, 2013

WTG Anthony. A great Interview.

6. Steve Johnson - May 17, 2013

@3 spock69

Really. Truly. Nobody cares if someone posts first on the internet. It just makes people think the person shouting in their post is missing a few brain cells too many.

Rumor has it JJ has parted ways with Paramount under less than stellar circumstances. It’ll be interesting to see if anything bares out from those rumors and true or not.

7. pock speared - May 17, 2013


(I need a drink)

8. Flux Conundrum - May 17, 2013

Abrams go do Star Wars. Please, leave Star Trek alone and go concentrate on Star Wars. Don’t let him, Bob or anyone else touch Star Trek again after STID. I was hoping to see something new but it was just a rehash. Star Trek deserves better!

9. Spock/Uhura Admirer - May 17, 2013

I was going to leave, but I saw this and had to look at it. JJ always does great interviews. I liked him on Jon Stewart. Here’s to wishing him the best.

10. raddestnerd - May 17, 2013

Jonathan Frakes! First Contact is my fave ST film.

11. Clinton - May 17, 2013

Yay, Anthony! Of all the folks I’d love to sit and chat with, J.J. would be my choice (not slight to Bob Orci and the rest of the gang implied. love you all, too).

By the way, I thought the “rear view mirror” picture-in-picture on these was cool. Great to see you in there.

12. NCC-73515 - May 17, 2013

No matter what you like or dislike about the movie, he really is a nice guy!

13. Anthony Pascale - May 17, 2013

rear view mirror was just easiest way to edit these then doing cuts back and forth. TrekMovie.com does not have a team of crack video editors like Entertainment Tonight and who wants to see me anyway?

14. Snugglepuff - May 17, 2013

Into Darkness was great! Keep up the great work J.J.!

15. Commodore Redshirt - May 17, 2013

The best way to make the next Trek better is to have our crew and ship face an unknown danger in the Galaxy that is NOT a “Bad Guy”… the idea that drama has to be “Good Vs. Evil” is false.

Man Vs. Nature stories… overcoming the elements and dangers inherent in deep space travel was a core story line in TOS… The true conflict and drama was the vast unknown!
In The Naked Time/Deadly Years/Blink of an Eye/Alternative Factor/City on the Edge of Forever/Mirror Mirror/This Side of Paradise/Day of the Dove… and in many more, the story had to do with overcoming an obstacle that was unimaginable and often out of the context of our understanding.
Perhaps a misunderstanding led one to think there was an antagonist causing the conflict, but by the end, through force of will, peace was achieved, a colony was saved, and/or our crew survived and maybe gained a new friend or at least a new understanding.
“Man Vs. Nature” stories are always potentially exciting and filled with life-or-death struggles that test the nature of our heros skill and resolve.

So next time, forget a “villain” and show us what you can do with a unique set of problems that threaten our crew and maybe even life in our whole galaxy!

16. TerranGuy93 - May 17, 2013

I am happy he revitalized the franchise with Trek 09, wish he had left for someone else to do Into Darkness.

Happy to see him go to a project he actually really wanted to do, instead of his side project.

17. Kenji - May 17, 2013

While movies are thought of as director projects per Sarris, I feel that tent pole action franchises are a producer’s medium; the Supreme Court will pick a director based on their skill, hunger, aptitudes and compatibility with the established vision. You’re not likely to see an A list director working under those strictures, but more of a guy in a position of a Shane Black — immensely gifted but very appreciative of being brought to a greenlit project.

It may well be Kurtzman you know.

18. Commodore Redshirt - May 17, 2013

BTW nice work Anthony!

19. chrisfawkes.com - May 17, 2013


Good list.

Not so sure about Cameron though. I thought Avatar was not as good as Dancing with Wolves.

But I only saw firefly at the movies so had no history with it and remember thinking that this is the movie that Star Wars could have been.

I would add Nolan and Tarantino to the list as well.

@6. Right on!

@8 You are in the minority there. Into Darkness will make a ton of money and a ton of new fans. I know the minority don’t feel that way but remember that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

20. Torlek Chang - May 17, 2013

Walt Disney will change his mind and stop JJ from doing StarWars. It won’t happen. With an objective look at each of his movies one may come to realize that they are just not that great. Just not that at all. I’m not giving you the money to do it. Leave R2D2 alone.

21. Bhill170167 - May 17, 2013

two words JOHNATHAN FRAKES,… And STAR WARS is dead.

22. bringbacktrekagain - May 17, 2013

I saw the movie earlier today, the re-hashing that I came to expect via spoiler’s was actually well done. My ‘9 years younger’ fiancée and her twin sister went with me, they hadn’t seen the earlier star trek’s. And they loved it.
I have no doubt in mind there’s a third one coming.

23. Pizza - May 17, 2013

2009 and 2013, two popcorn movies that I found entertaining.


1. JJ and his lens flares

2. 2x “This is not your daddy’s Star Trek”

i have this feeling in my gut that keeps yearning for my daddy’s Star Trek.

How about any of the following directors”

Steven Speilberg
Clint Eastwood
Ridley Scott
Peter Jackson
James Cameron

Hey Anthony, what about taking a poll with the above names?

24. Mitchell - May 17, 2013

Guillermo Del Toro

25. chrisfawkes.com - May 17, 2013


Clint Eastwood. now there is a good call.

If he were into it Eastwood would bring his style of a substance story that was in no hurry to be told.

That would be expected by new movie goers if his name were attached and very much appeal to many of the older fans as well.

Could be a great choice

26. chrisfawkes.com - May 17, 2013

He could even make a cameo playing Admiral Archer.

27. Mitchell - May 17, 2013

@26. chrisfawkes.com:

lol at Eastwood Archer… Gran Torino Star Trek?
“a klingon, a romulan and a vulcan all walk into a bar…”
“go ahead ridge head, pull that Bat’leth, make my day”

28. Moputo Jones - May 17, 2013

I have not been impressed with any of JJ’s movies, except for Super 8, until now. STID has really changed my opinion of JJ – for the better. It has character development, action, and the morality play/think episode aspects. Good job!

29. planetaryexile - May 17, 2013

A name I have yet to hear anyone mention yet…how about Kenneth Branagh?

30. Captain, USS Northstar - May 17, 2013

Clint Eastwood in Star Trek:

“In the all the excitement, I can’t remember if I fired five photon torpedoes or six. Well, do you feel lucky?”

“There’s nothing like a good piece of hickory…unless you have a fully-charged phaser instead.”

“This used to be a great neighborhood until they let all the ridge-heads and pointy-ears move in.”

Oh yes: that would be classic.

As far as a third movie — you have to be kidding me? There’s a question about that? This movie (STID) is about to make money hand-over-fist. I saw it last night and plan on seeing it again before the weekend is through (first in 2D, next in 3D). And after they bring in the money by the shuttle bay full, Paramount is going to say: “Eh…a third movie? Not this time.”

That’ll be the day.

What really needs to happen is these folks have to get jumping on that 3rd movie right now — I was hoping for a surprise “It’s already in the can” announcement, but I guess that won’t happen. At the same time, the Paramount lawyers need to get up to their brass in galactic conference with the CBS lawyers and figure out how to bring this back to television (an HBO or Showtime original series would be great!) also in time for the 50th Anniversary.

LOL — not asking for much am I?

31. mateo - May 17, 2013

“establishing shots can’t be a building or a town or a continent, it has to be a planet. It’s almost like being in Las Vegas and you say “I’m just going to walk over to that hotel” and half an hour later you are still walking towards it “I’m not getting any closer, it is still far away!””

Um…I’m sorry, he is so full of crap. He just SAYS things instead of DOING things. Kronos was about 8 minutes from Earth! Vulcan was 5 minutes away! Into Darkness was LAUGHABLE in terms of its “realness”. I can’t stand all the butt kissing that is going on with JJ Abrams…he is by far the most overrated person in the entertainment industry. He just does the same thing over & over & over & over & over, and BS’s you and tells you what you want to hear. It’s insulting. He is taking ALL OF YOU FOR SUCKERS. I, for one, am done with him and Star Trek while he is creating it.

32. Mitchell - May 17, 2013

@29. planetaryexile:
a very interesting choice. If Branagh is enough of a fan and had a good supporting cast helping him write and produce the film i’d be fascinated to see his effort.

Thor is my favorite marvel movie.

33. Kirk Nelson - May 17, 2013

Werner Herzog for new Star Trek! Lol!!!

34. Sci-Fiddy - May 17, 2013


Naa, Kenneth Branagh would want to star in the movie and I don’t think he has the CHOPS to play Ron Tracy

35. Mitchell - May 17, 2013

@30. Captain, USS Northstar:
Biggest missed opportunity ever in Trek history was not making Countdown into an HBO Mini Series. To set up the ’09 film, flesh out Nero and send off TNG on a much better farewell? TOO EPIC to not see the potential there, shame on Paramount/CBS.
but they can make up for it now on the back end and expand the Trek brand, so you really are not asking for much.

@31. mateo:
I Agree. Agree with the sentiment totally. It’s going to take a lot get me in the theater if they’re all together making it. but they can win me over again if they stop trolling, an trolling where they don’t belong.

36. HubcapDave - May 17, 2013


You forgot:

“Go ahead, make my stardate!”

“Get off my planet!”

I highly doubt many of the names bandied about would actually be considered, save for Duncan Jones.

Jones is kinda at the same point in his directing career that Christopher Nolan was before he took on Batman: An up-and-comer, with a well-received indie and mid-level Hollywood movie under his belt.

37. Dr. Fridgehead - May 18, 2013

Is JJ replacing Mel Brooks?

I think Peteh Jecksin (Peter Jackson) could probably take JJ’s place…probably. If he could put out a trilogy in two and a half years (I think it was), he could probably put out a Star Trek movie within the three year deadline. Y’know, in theory.

38. CmdrR - May 18, 2013

Help me out someone…
Where in the movie was Del Trame? (possibly BND)?

39. Buzz Cagney - May 18, 2013

JJ says much but ultimately very little of any worth.

40. fubamushu - May 18, 2013

A new director couldn’t do any worse. Maybe they could find one that actually gets what Star Trek is and is confused or overwhelmed by its philosophical nature.

41. Kirk Actual - May 18, 2013

C’mon guys, where are the legitimate Director suggestions? I’m looking at you #2.

Joss is tied up with Avengers & SHIELD for, well, ever. If JJ can’t be back, Joss sure couldn’t.

Eastwood wouldn’t do it; wouldn’t get it.

I wouldn’t want Cameron within 2 Parsecs of Trek – didn’t you see Avatar? People have been complaining (wrongly) that STID’s story was weak – can you even imagine what Cameron would do? Might as well tap Baz Luhrman.

Nolan, Bird, Wright, all wrong.

Can we all agree that we want a Trekkie at the helm? Orci is as big a Trekkie as any of us, & I thank the Great Bird of the Galaxy that he’s been on this. We need another Trekkie – at the helm.

There are only 2 names that are Trekkies, good & competent directors, and most importantly AVAILABLE to have a new Trek movie out in 2016 if JJ can’t be back (spoiler alert: he won’t be). Whoever it is can & must work well with Orci.


First Contact (Frakes) was one of the very best Trek movies, and let’s don’t forget, he was hired by Roddenberry himself (As an actor, I know). But he knew him. His only knock is that he hasn’t directed a summer tent-pole yet, but TV ain’t easy either.

Singer has done his share of clunkers, but is back to X-men after it was injected with new blood. He’s been working on getting a Trek series back, & was even a bridge officer in Nemesis (not his fault that movie was awful). If I’m not mistaken, he & Orci at least know each other, and whether you like them or not, he’s made some huge summer action movies (read: experienced)

They need to get one of those two, and the sooner they do, the more time they can spend making it perfect.

42. chrisfawkes.com - May 18, 2013

Singer is not very good and Frakes is even less so.

First Contact was still very b grade. Great if you were into Trek but the Borg were not really threatening unless you loved the franchise enough to pretend that they were.

I don’t think they will give Trek over to an up and comer now as they did with Abrams a few years back. Not now it is hot property.

Singer could get a look in by the powers that be, though I hope not. Frakes will never be considered.

I wonder if Spielberg and Lucas would team up for the anniversary.

43. Red Dead Ryan - May 18, 2013


“I, for one, am done with him and Star Trek while he is creating it.”

Hopefully you’re done with posting on this site.

44. Red Dead Ryan - May 18, 2013


“A new director couldn’t do any worse. Maybe they could find one that actually gets what Star Trek is and is confused and or overwhelmed by its philosophical nature.”

Well, if a new director is confused and/or overwhelmed by the philosophical nature of Trek, then actually he’d be worse, not better than J.J Abrams. Whoops!


45. Marja - May 18, 2013

haha Chris Fawkes, good catch, since Avatar was a rehash of Dances with Wolves. Avatar was pretty and I loved Zoe Saldana in it, and I loved the Na’avi, but Zoe’s co-star was pretty much a bust, and the plot whew! We think STID had problems!

My wish is Whedon, because he puts a lot of emphasis on *characters*. And characters are the strong core of Star Trek.

Except for “KHAAANN!”, the casting of Khan, or the misnomer for Cumby [I could have accepted him quite well as plain ol’ Harrison, and he was terrific], the short distances traveled [maybe it’s that warp speed, who knows], and the time-saving device of having Spock and Uhura discuss their relationship in front of Kirk, I had very few quibbles with the movie. Oh yeah, and a few of the shots of Enterprise just showing giant bits without the picture, and I would have loved a little more of her rising from the waves, getting into position and shooting skyward. As others have said, the ship battles went by incredibly fast [but they would, wouldn’t they?] and didn’t make sense in the event until one had time to think about it.

Curse Paramount for not letting Abrams do 2D IMAX. But they’ll make a bundle on this.

So I’d keep Orci and Kurtzman (and Lindelof) and get a director familiar or wise with summer movie budgets. Who’s very talented.

46. HubcapDave - May 18, 2013

I say we give Seth McFarlane a try…..

47. spock69 - May 18, 2013

#6.  Steve Johnson – May 17, 2013 @3 spock69 Really. Truly. Nobody cares if someone posts first on the internet. It just makes people think the person shouting in their post is missing a few brain cells too many.

You cared enough to write the post!

48. Star Trek: Nemesis blows, is the point - May 18, 2013


“TrekMovie: Well then with simple logistics, if you do a Star Wars movie in 2015 and they want 2106, is it logistically possible?”

2106 is a typo? I don’t think 2106 would be logistically possible for JJ. :-)

49. Star Trek: Nemesis blows, is the point - May 18, 2013

@40. “A new director couldn’t do any worse. Maybe they could find one that actually gets what Star Trek is and is confused or overwhelmed by its philosophical nature.”

Yeah, a new director could do quite a bit worse. See Star Trek: Nemesis, for example.

50. David b - May 18, 2013

Please not Bryan Singer he almost ended one Superhero with Superman Returns. Look how long it has taken to get Man of Steel. Star Trek doesn’t need another 7 year hiattus if he screws up Star Trek as well.

I’d consider someone like Joe Johnston who did Captain America, I can easily see some similarities with CA and Kirk.

51. stunkill - May 18, 2013

@31 Do you honestly think anyone here gives a rats turd whether your done with star trek or not? I certainly dont, allthough I think you should go all the way and be done with this website to and leave your buzzkill comments off. But you probably wont be able to resist revisiting bad robot trek just to cry like a little nance about it.

52. Mitchell - May 18, 2013

Like i posted before, this was just going to happen regardless.


so count abrams, whedon and Nolan out. based on schedule alone.

53. Mitchell - May 18, 2013

@42. chrisfawkes.com:

Frakes is taking way too much disrespect from “star trek fans”. He saved the franchise long before abrams did. They Needed a hit after Generations and First Contact was that. Called one of the 10 best films of the year and gave Star Trek a track to run on away from Kirk, Spock and TOS.
Given that he was only given 9 or 10 borg to film with he proved to be a master of film skills. It is much harder than you think to redress the same handful of actors and convince an audience.
So i’m sorry sir, your analysis is invalid. and so is anyone’s who rails on Frakes or thinks he couldn’t cut it with what he would have to work with now.

Give Frakes or Tim Russ all the budget and resources abrams has had the luxury of and they would deliver great Star Trek entertainment. As they have before with much less.

54. Kapten Kerk - May 18, 2013

Brad Bird or Bryan Singer for Trek XIII.
Their style matches with JJ.

Eastwood? Tarantino? Spielberg? Cameron? Great directors all of them. Why not Stanley Kubrick or Alfred Hitchcock as well?

55. Jim Nightshade - May 18, 2013

#20 Torlek…..ummmm Walt Disney wont be firing jj from star wars cuz hes dead jim…just sayin..

56. C J Carter - May 18, 2013

Any director could make star trek better

57. Mitchell - May 18, 2013

Singer is the obvious front runner. History of films like this, relationship with bad robot, has made clear his passion for Star Trek to Paramount in the past. And with a schedule open (for now) he has to be as the top of the short list’s.

Once X-Men days of future’s past does well (and it’s a near lock to do so) Singer i imagine will be the hot commodity again.

58. Martin D. - May 18, 2013

I have a bad feeling about this new SW project. J.J. probably made a mistake accepting the SW gig. “Super 8″ was a half-baked pastiche of 1970s Spielberg, so I’m not optimistic about picking a half-baked pastiche of 1970s George Lucas as his next project. J.J.’s ST films are actually quite original and creative in many ways, despite lifting liberally from five decades of Trek. But he’s probably too much in awe of Spielberg and Lucas to create anything but weak imitations of their works.

Besides, who wants to see Ford, Hamill, and Fisher as they look now in a new SW film, except absolute hardcore SW fans? Also, J.J. doesn’t even have a script at the moment and yet he is trying to make a 2015 release date? This thing has disaster written all over it. J.J.’s gut reaction (rejecting the SW offer) was probably correct.

ST has worked out so well for J.J. because he could bring things to the table such as great visual effects and excitement that ST movies often lacked in the past. But the problem with the SW prequels were not the VFX, so I’m not sure how J.J. would go about fixing SW. For adult viewers, SW is more broken now than ST has ever been in the past. At its lowest tide a decade ago (“Enterprise”; “Nemesis”), ST was simply incredibly predictable and boring, but even then it was never near the creative train wreck of the SW prequels.

I’m actually fine with J.J. doing “NuTrek III – The Search For More Money”, as long the Enterprise does not heroically rise out of any clouds in it. And no more Nimoy please. But he should ditch that Disney SW turd while there’s still time. Use the Force, J.J.! :-)

59. Stewie G - May 18, 2013

Just saw STID earlier today. I enjoyed it more than I was expecting, and felt it flowed better than the first movie. The reuse of previous plot point(s) wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, but felt with more imaginative writing that it wouldn’t have been necessary. Overall I felt it was a good film.

How about Joseph Kosinski (Tron:Legacy, Oblivion) for the next film? He has a wonderful eye for detail and is obviously into sci-fi. I loved Oblivion (yes it used a lot of well known sci fi plot devices).

My feelings towards nu-Trek is similar to my feelings about the Nolan Batman films. I am a lifetime fan of both. Abrams did a nice job of reinventing Trek for a new generation. Nolan did a great job with his Batman trilogy. But I think neither of them has completely nailed it. Both are very good, but the “definitive” version of Star Trek or Batman has yet to be made.

60. Coastie - May 18, 2013

To all the Jonathan Frakes for next director lobbyists … no, no, and no. As others here have stated before me, even First Contact was a B movie compared to real summer blockbuster movies which is what they are going for now.

Ok, let me let you all in on a secret that I myself took a while to get. Star Trek today is not for us… references to the old series aside, Star Trek is now mainstream.

Put it this way … Star Trek is that bar you used to go to that was laid back, played your style of music, was never overly crowded, and was an all around good crowd … until the college kids discovered it and started taking it over. Now that bar is full of loud top 40 music, has a cover charge, gets so crowded you can’t move, charges $12.00 for a beer, etc, etc, get it? It has become mainstream pop culture and lost a lot of the original character that was what appealed to us 20 years ago.

Or Star Trek is that girl we dated in high school who was super cute, but a little chubby … more so our taste because we preferred slightly chubby cute girls. Then that girl goes away to college, bleaches her hair, loses 20 lbs, starts to fake tan, and starts hanging out with all the D-bags. We see her again years later and she’s just like every other fake tanned, bleached out, college girl who hangs out with D-bags. I mean don’t get me wrong, you’d still spend a night with her, but you’ll feel empty inside afterwards.

In short, Trek isn’t for us anymore … and they will never hire Frakes. Sorry.

61. flake - May 18, 2013

Just pick a Director who likes Star Trek! Abrams didn’t! Instant win with the trekkies.

Also the North American box office sucks at the moment so maybe there would not be a 3rd movie, unless it is moved to a quieter time and reduced budget.

62. chrisfawkes.com - May 18, 2013

You know that scene where Kirk is in a tense discussion with Admiral Marcus? Very very Kirk, the way he reasons, the way his logic is just a bit sharper than the person he is talking to.

There were just so many great character moments in this movie that paid homage to the originals.

63. Robogeek - May 18, 2013

2. A little reality check…

Whedon is contractually exclusive to Marvel for film & TV through June, 2015, and Cameron is tied up with Avatar 2 & 3 for the next few years – plus, neither if them would do this anyway.

Brad Bird is a more realistic suggestion, given he’s worked with Abrams and Paramount before, but then again I’d be surprised to see him take on another franchise sequel after doing MI: Ghost Protocol, and he’s currently tied up with TOMORROWLAND for Disney (working with Lindelof btw, so who knows?).

Duncan Jones is a really cool idea, but he is such an auteur he may not be interested in a franchise sequel.

Edgar Wright is intriguing, but he’s committed to Marvel for Antman for 2015.

10. & 21. Frakes is now regarded as a TV director, not to mention yesterday’s news as far as the Supreme Court and current Paramount regime is concerned. Hate to break it to you, but that’s the cold, hard truth. Not going to happen.

19. Nolan is already prepping his own sci-fi epic, Interstellar, and Tarantino is a completely preposterous suggestion (he will never make a non-R-rated film, nor a film he doesn’t have full creative control over, which rules him out).

23. You might as well suggest John Ford or Stanley Kubrick, because to suggest filmmakers of the stature of Spielberg, Eastwood, Scott, Jackson or Cameron would helm a sequel of a franchise reboot is completely out of touch with reality. (Jackson has two more Hobbit films and the Tintin sequel, for one thing, and none of them would lower themselves to do a sequel of someone else’s franchise).

24. I can assure you that Del Toro has absolutely no interest in Star Trek, and is already committed to other projects through 2016.

29. Branagh is not a completely insane choice, but he’s already played in a franchise sandbox (Thor), and probably doesn’t want (and certainly doesn’t need) to again.

37. Herzog. Genius. LOL.

41. Singer is conceivable. He could do this after X-Men: Days of Future Past, and is passionate about Star Trek (though he’s developing a big screen reboot of Galactica for Universal). See above re: Frakes.

46. MacFarlane is not inconceivable.

50. Johnston is a cool idea.

53. LOL. You are wise.

58. Kosinski could be cool, but he’s already committed to a Tron sequel and Black Hole remake at Disney.

Look, let’s be real here, people – it’s likely going to be someone in the Supeme Court’s circle of trust who’s an up-and-comer with some (but not a lot of) solid directing experience, like Kurtzman or Drew Goddard, or maybe someone more seasoned like Matt Reeves, unless they can snag a bigger name like Bird or Singer who has a compatible vision for the film/franchise.

64. Tombot3000 - May 18, 2013

LOL! @ 59!!! Somewhat silly but apt analogy… Yes, Star Trek is cool now! So, insanely now, Star Trek nerdism, old guard is NOT cool! Mass appeal is fine, but when the jerks that used to malign you for being too brainy start liking it and find new ways to marginalize you- telling you that Star Trek doesn’t have to be smart, just popular, it’s disconcerting, troubling. The genie is out of the bottle now; Paramount has it’s massive moneymaker, but only time will tell if it’s a fraction of inspirational as the cardboard original.

A new director won’t change much if it’s still the same writing team. That’s my only hope for Star Wars, is that JJ will hopefully stretch beyond his pals influence.

65. ajdczar - May 18, 2013

Bring Trek back to TV. It is a far better medium for that type of story telling.

66. Kapten Kerk - May 18, 2013


Exactly. You nailed it.

You don’t give a 200 million movie to a TV director like Frakes and you can’t seriously think that a director like Eastwood, Tarantino, Spielberg and Cameron will direct a threequel of someone else’s franchise. The same goes for Nolan, Whedon, Jackson and del Toro who are also too busy.

Brad Bird, Bryan Singer, Joseph Kosinski, Neill Blomkamp and Duncan Jones are logical choices.

67. HubcapDave - May 18, 2013


So, you think Uwe Boll would do a better job?

68. Corinthian7 - May 18, 2013

I’d like to see what Joseph Kosinski could do with it.

69. Phil - May 18, 2013

There is a potential hitch in the get-a-long with Paramount – if foreign box office does not exceed domestic this time around that could be an issue for the suits. Not wanting to rain on the parade, but they soft started STID before ST09 opened, and the project immediately got bogged down in waiting for Bad Robot to work the sequel into their schedule, which is much busier now then it was four years ago. If STID ends up in the 400MM range for total box office, Paramount may not be in any hurry to greenlight another project.

Eastwood would be an interesting directors choice. I suspect we know who has the inside track with JJ, though.

70. LJ - May 18, 2013

Anyone but Birdy Birdy [misspelling intentional] – generally speaking, if the majority of fandom wants it, then it’s wrong.

71. USSEXETER - May 18, 2013

Not really sad to see JJ go. It’s like he had to mention in every interview how he wasn’t a fan of Star Trek. We got it after the first dozen times JJ, you don’t like Star Trek. No more twisting of the knife deeper every time he mentions it.

72. Robogeek - May 18, 2013

67. Overseas numbers for STID are outpacing ST’09’s by 70% so far. And sorry, but Eastwood is a delusional fantasy (and his deal is with Warners).

73. JohnRambo - May 18, 2013

Next Star Trek in 2017 with JJ at helm!

i’m pretty sure without JJ it will suck.

74. Jon Spencer - May 18, 2013

How cool would it be to have JJ working with Frakes? A mesh would be heaven imho.

75. Kenji - May 18, 2013

Seth MacFarlane…interesting thought. Although he can greenlight his own projects, would he give up full control in order to go into the Trekverse? He might. And also to show what he can do in action adventure instead of gross comedy.

He’s very very gifted. And a Trek nerd.

True auteurs, no, never.

And the JJ hate from the Trekaliban is preposterously ill conceived, ungrateful, and moronic. JJ drove Trek into the mainstream, back into relevance, made tons of money for Paramount, who are going to start funding Trek again. He was the right choice by Paramount and while his work is far, far from perfect, the delusion and naivety of his loudest detractors here is stunning.

76. Spuhra Addict - May 18, 2013

Thanks Anthony
Great interview. Saw the movie yesterday and had the same reaction as many of the “old guard” over 35 years of age. Had to sleep on it. Then realized it wasn’t my Trek anymore. Once again, it has to transcend in order to stay alive. I am grateful more now than ever for the work JJ and his team have done to keep the stories and characters alive. It may no longer be MY Trek but it is still Trek. So boldly go…..

77. Boldly Done - May 18, 2013

Glad Abrahms used Star Trek as training for his dream of directing Star Wars.

No, folks, this isn’t Trek. It’s like saying I saved the unicorns by gluing horns on dogs and then patting myself on the back for my smarts. A dog with a horn, all though interesting, is still a dog.

78. Richard Daystrom - May 18, 2013

Thanks JJ ! While they are entertaining and wonderful to look at, they are not my Trek. I’ll sit here in the Nursing Home drooling on myself and watch the original series till the lights go out.

79. Richard Daystrom - May 18, 2013

Oh forgot one thing, May the force be with you !

80. Kapten Kerk - May 18, 2013

@63 @72 Robogeek
Exactly. You nailed it.

@77 Boldly Done
Adam West’s Batman is a million light years away from Christian Bale’s Batman but they are both Batman.

81. planetaryexile - May 18, 2013


Branagh has already placed himself in another sandbox. He directed Chris Pine in Jack Ryan.

82. Antimatter - May 19, 2013

Poor Star Wars fans. They are about to feel what us Trek fans have gone through with JJ.

83. Kenji - May 19, 2013


I know. Fresh new content to watch, with cutting edge production values, painstaking transitions, witty dialogue, and a propulsive pace.

All real Trek fans hate those things. They prefer the lofty tone of Spock’s brain, the highly convincing special effects of Final Frontier, the sensitive values of Turnabout Intruder.

JJ Trek won’t at all reach the heights of Episode I’s discussion of midicholorian counts – you hate Star Wars unless you are really into midichlorians, not to mention discussions of taxation of interstellar trade routes.

It’s so depressing thinking of how JJ deliberately goes around ruining these perfect, peerless, unimprovable stories.

84. mateo - May 19, 2013

haha, so many sycophantic crybabies on here! (Red Dead Ryan and stunkill)

51 – stunkill – do YOU think anybody cares what YOU think?? you do realize what the point of a web site and a community forum is, right?

just go clean your blankey, turn on Transformers or Cowboys and Aliens and eat another tub of fried chicken alone in the dark.

85. Randall Williams - May 20, 2013

FLASH! Another website (with credentials) gave the reason why Abrams
has moved away from Trek to SW. Abrams wanted CBS to stop granting
licenses to merchandisers to release or re-release old Trek merchandise.
He was even going to make a Television series and spin-off movies, but
it all came down to money plus a few other disagreements with
Paramount and CBS. That is why Abrams is moving to SW and is hoping
to pull off with SW and Disney what he failed to do with Trek: to make it
a Multi-platform giant brand.

So, there was going to be a television series proposal put forth by
Abrams and spin-off films and jj-trek merchandise at one time.
Now that has been nixed in favor of his move to SW where he may get
from SW-Disney what he could not get from Trek CBS/Paramount.

That is why his departure from Paramount is less than stellar as was
mentioned earlier in these posts. J.J. has already moved on, folks.

86. Kapten Kerk - May 20, 2013

Star Trek already is a multi-platform giant brand. It was created by Gene Roddenberry and it belongs to CBS/Paramount.
Star Wars already is a multi-platform giant brand. It was created by George Lucas and it belongs to Disney.
Mission Impossible already is a multi-platform giant brand. It was created by Bruce Geller and it belongs to CBS/Paramount.

If JJ Abrams wants 100% creative and business control of a “multi-platform giant brand” he must develop one of his own creations like Lost, Fringe and Super 8. Otherwise he will be disappointed again with Disney’s strict reins over (the newly acquired) Star Wars.

87. singularity87 - May 20, 2013

It sounds like it’s far from a certainty at this point that there’s even going to be a next film – at least of this incarnation.

Abrams, by sounding non-commital, is probably just trying to wring as much out of Paramount for his company as possible though. Much as he was probably trying to get the best Star Wars deal possible when he didn’t initially accept that.

88. smike - May 20, 2013

@15: I totally agree. Star Trek doesn’t need yet another villain, even if that bad guy may have his worthwhile agenda…Neither V’Ger nor the Whale Probe had been villains and there are countless if episodes in all five series that did well without any antagonist.

If there is one good thing about Harrison being Khan is that this could put an end to all those Khan-clones having popped up in almost every Star Trek film for more than two decades now. Now we had Khan himself and there is no need for yet another bad guy quoting literature or whatever… Kruge, Chang, Soran, Rua’fo, Shinzon, Nero… this HAS TO STOP!

89. Much To Do About Nothing - May 21, 2013

JJ had is chance and now it’s time to get back to prime universe star trek. The last two movies were just distractions, with no impact on anything. Sort of like that random James Bond movie that was made seperate from the main series decades ago.

Lots can be improved and built upon in the prime universe. Let’s get the science back in science fiction and put these lollipops behind us. Maybe a movie about resetting the Abrams timeline?

90. Captian Ransom - May 21, 2013

@89: there is only one star trek universe (two if you count the mirror universe) and jj’s movies are not part of it.

STID was so god awful i couldn’t believe what i was watching. from mccoy trying to bring a tribble back to life while the enterprise was in ruins to spock’s pathetically out of character KHAAAAAAN at the end, this movie blatantly pissed on all that is trek. scotty conveniently quits so he can be on the vengeance later, cumby’s boring and one-dimensional khan was ininspiring. the only scene worth a damn was pike’s lecture to kirk at the beginning about consequences, but just when you think there’s gonna be some real character development kirk has the enterprise back 5 minutes later. so much for consequences. then at the end kirk is back 5 minutes later again.

By far the worst star trek movie ever.

91. Jack - May 21, 2013

The trouble isn’t the director — he (and the actors) actually made a really weak screenplay work fairly well.

The first 45 minutes or so were sublime — and then it somehow turned into Nemesis. it lost me when Khan put his people inside the torpedos Weller turned into a one-dimensional, moustache-twirling Bond villain. You could see what the story was trying to do — but it didn’t work.

92. Jack - May 21, 2013

Whoever does do it next, needs to stay away from places like this. Writing for the fans = disaster.

93. Jack - May 21, 2013

Brad Bird, yes.

Singer or Frakes, never. And, come on, Oblivion was terrible.

Bring back JJ — with a better script. Time to ditch Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci.

94. Captain Ransom - May 21, 2013


Oblivion was better than STID on every level. How was it not??

95. PEB - May 21, 2013

@82, read comment #85

Star Wars fans are about to get what they’ve been wishing for since the original trilogy. We should all prepare for Trek to take a massive backseat for the world-wide Star Wars frenzy that was inevitable. The anniversary is going to be coming the year after Episode VII and all anybody will be able to talk about is “will Trek still have a chance without JJ?” “How does Trek compete with Star Wars” “Is Trek still relevant now that Star Wars is back?” I’m not saying that there will be truth to any of it, but we all know how the entertainment industry works. Give Star Wars a breath of fresh air and all of a sudden, nothing else matters in the eyes of the general public. CBS has been silent about a new tv series and that would do nothing but hurt our chances. I just dont know where the future of the franchise is headed.

96. Kenji - May 21, 2013


Deal with it. STID is canon.

Look, if you’re a fan, you also have to deal with “Spock’s Brain” or “Spectre of the Gun” not to mention all of Voyager.

Accept. IDIC.

97. Keachick - rose pinenut - May 21, 2013

Nothing needs resetting. Why can’t people understand this simple fact of fiction?

After four years, it is so lame to read how people still do not understand the basic current scientific theory of MW.

The other issue that I notice on these sites is that so many say they dislike, even hate, movies like Nemesis and yet will quickly compare this movie with these other “despicable” Star Trek and/or Star Wars movies. Basically, I can’t remember much about them, well, because I don’t watch them often enough because they are only just OK in the first place.

Bottom line – I can’t compare this Star Trek Into Darkness to these OK films, because I can’t remember them that well and why would I?

Do you guys keep watching stuff you don’t like or can’t stand to the extent that you are so easily able to compare them with this new movie?

So tired of TWOK/Khan and Star Wars…once Star Wars gets going properly, I might have to go bush.

98. C J Carter - May 22, 2013

This movie is such a dud. There is a difference between reboot and rehash. A reboot is a success. A rehash is a failure. STID is a rehash.

I love the love the new cast. They are probably the only reason ST has any chance for another shot at a reboot continuation.

If the writers (whatever, whoever and some other guy) actually were good story tellers, and want to use original material, they did not have any further to look than the very first episode.

The Menagarie was about the human imagination, how intoxicating it can be. Its only limits are what humans place on it.

It is a writers PARADISE.

But they rehashed TWOK. Which rehashed Space Seed.

In 1980, Jimmy Doohan visited my college campus for his presentation Trekking with Scotty. He talked about filming STMP. He also talked about how Paramount was planning a TV movie but thought it might actually be good enough for a theatrical release. That movie turned out to be TWOK.

I remember seeing TWOK at the theater. I was letdown. I was not perceived at the time it was released the way it is now. It was not recognized as the movie to measure up to. It shouldn’t have been. It wasn’t great. The movies that came later were mostly better ( I won’t name names).

If the writers referred to previously had that experience, they would not have rehashed TWOK. A TV movie that wound up in Cinemas instead.

The writers of STID, if there were in fact any, need to learn good story telling, or go back to Yale to learn how.

99. Keachick - rose pinenut - May 22, 2013

It was revisiting the main adversary in Space Seed and TWOK and reimagined this character and used the TWOK story to give it an interesting tie up and twist.

I actually think that it was quite a creative take on the episode which introduced Khan and the TWOK movie which brought resolution.

Some of these academics and those who appear to have a good deal of intellectual standing can make comments that seem so lacking in imagination and insight.

It seems that so many Star Trek fans have been so enamoured, even obsessed, with TWOK and Khan that it was pretty much inevitable that there would be an updated iteration of the movie, albeit now in a alternate universe, which could account and allow for some interesting creative differences in how the story is told.

100. Allie - June 9, 2013

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