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Abrams admits Koncealing Khan was Mistake, hopes Joe Cornish is next director

In a recent interview with MTV, J.J. Abrams reflects on Into Darkness and now admits that it “probably would have been smarter just to say upfront” that Khan was in the movie.

 

On Khan:

“The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront ‘This is who it is.’ It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was,” he said.

The idea to keep Khan on the D.L. apparently came from the studio, which, according to Abrams, didn’t want to give the impression that a comprehensive knowledge of “Star Trek” cannon was required in order to enjoy the latest installment.

On Joe Cornish:

“I don’t know if Joe Cornish is the guy. My guess is that’s up in the air. I adore him and love him and can’t wait to see what he does next. Hopefully it will be ‘Star Trek.’ Whatever it is, he’s brilliant. ‘Attack the Block’ was one of my favorite movies of the year when it came out.”

Read the full article and see the video of the interview over at MTV.com

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Garth of Izar!
December 2, 2013 2:31 pm

“Smarter” would have been to removed all references to Space Seed and Wrath of Khan, trusted your own instincts and just write an original story.

TrekMadeMeWonder
December 2, 2013 2:31 pm

Pass.

Clinton
December 2, 2013 2:31 pm

Cornish or otherwise, I would just like to know that there is forward movement on a movie that will hit a 2016 release date. We need our 50th celebration.

TrekMadeMeWonder
December 2, 2013 2:32 pm

That was for you Red Dead Ryan

crazydaystrom
December 2, 2013 2:34 pm

Ok, JJ. Ok.

Ahmed
December 2, 2013 2:35 pm

Abrams: “I don’t know if Joe Cornish is the guy. My guess is that’s up in the air.”

If Abrams doesn’t know, then who does ?

Shaun
December 2, 2013 2:47 pm

Disney and J.J. realized that Lawrence Kasdan knows how to make Star Wars work on the big screen, so now Mr. Kasdan is co-writing the new flick. I cannot wait to see what they come up with. Turning to Star Trek: Nicholas Meyer knows how to make Star Trek work on the big screen. It would be nice if Paramount and the producers who truly love Star Trek would make the same realization Disney did with Star Wars and bring a true pro back to the family for the next big screen outing. Age should not be a factor!

cannulator
December 2, 2013 2:51 pm

Maybe someone from the Fringe Team.

They seem both visually and story focused with enough depth to create an original story.

Robert
December 2, 2013 2:53 pm

The difference is that millions saw Lawrence Kasdan’s work. Same is not true for Nicholas Meyer. Trek needs fresh blood, not the Same Old Guys.

Dee - lvs moon' surface
December 2, 2013 2:59 pm

“probably would have been smarter just to say upfront”…

yep, agree totally… but now it’s a little late to say that, right? so why talk about it now? :-)

Bill Peters
December 2, 2013 2:59 pm

at #7 Shaun, the Studio likes the fact the new blood has brought in new fans and brought Unprecedented levels of revenue for the Flims, they are not going to change in Mid-stream, they will keep Bob and Co as writers, Mike Myers hasn’t done Trek sence Star Trek VI and was the last Director before the Bermen Era Films, it will be hard to bring him back if you want a story that fits in the new timeline and with some of the new feel.

December 2, 2013 2:59 pm

Seems to me JJ also leaked a bit of news on new writers for ST3 at the end of the video clip. He mentions that Bob Orci is working with JD Payne and Patrick McKay on the script. There’s not a lot of info about their previous work other than that they were working on another script for Bad Robot, “Boilerplate” a couple of years ago.

Bill Peters
December 2, 2013 3:01 pm

*Nicholas Myers, my bad

Yanks
December 2, 2013 3:04 pm

Another apology? JJ and the boys must be feeling the heat. JJ gets the heat for using Khan, but it was Lindekof that talked the O.K. corral into using him. Harrison could have just as easily been an augment from Enterprise and solved a multitude of problems in the movie from the “big reveal” that meant absolutely nothing to those that didn’t know Khan and did nothing but piss off those that did to Khan’s super-blood to the stupid Wrath of Khan death rip-off reversal. All of that crap was gone if Khan didn’t have to be there. Then the story doesn’t need to be stupid, etc. They create a fantastic “new” Star Trek universe in ST09 and don’t have the creativity to use it and be original. This movie wasn’t bad, it was very frustrating. Now, this movie brought in tons of cash and for that I’m happy. Fingers crossed for the next one.

richpit
December 2, 2013 3:11 pm

#12, agree totally.

MJ -- THE GRAND RETURN !!!
December 2, 2013 3:12 pm

@7 ” It would be nice if Paramount and the producers who truly love Star Trek would make the same realization Disney did with Star Wars and bring a true pro back to the family for the next big screen outing. Age should not be a factor!”

They tried that by bringing in John Logan for Nemesis, which was an complete epic fail.

Nice idea, but we’ve tried this and the result sucked.

Phil
December 2, 2013 3:15 pm

Well, we won’t have to wait long to see what Joe Cornish does next, as he wrote the script for Ant-Man. Surprised JJ didn’t know this….

Well, as we saw in the run up to STID, when Orci is “working” on a script that could mean any number of things….

Shaun
December 2, 2013 3:16 pm

Bill, I understand your point…and it’s probably how TPTB at Paramount feel. I personally enjoyed both of J.J.’s Trek flicks. I honestly wish there was someone involved with the production of the next Trek film who would make the same type of creative decision that Disney made by bringing back Star Wars’s best writer. I think it’s safe to say that The Wrath of Khan is still considered to be the best Trek film. Look what Nicholas Meyer created with a limited budget. Now…imagine his creative voice added to the current writing team and their production crew – I think it could be successful.

MJ -- THE GRAND RETURN !!!
December 2, 2013 3:18 pm

@15

They are certainly procrastinators by nature — that is a proven fact now. JJ even whined to Disney to delay SW from summer 2015 to Christmas 2015.

Creative guys, but horrible time managers.

Shaun
December 2, 2013 3:21 pm

MJ, John Logan was not part of the family. He is Brent Spiner’s pal. Nemesis is what happens when actors think they can craft a story.

December 2, 2013 3:24 pm

“The idea to keep Khan on the D.L. apparently came from the studio, which, according to Abrams, didn’t want to give the impression that a comprehensive knowledge of “Star Trek” cannon was required in order to enjoy the latest installment.”

SIgh. For the last time, a “cannon” is that thing that fires a big round metal ball or circus clowns, while “canon” is what argumentative Trekkies fire at each other.

Ahmed
December 2, 2013 3:31 pm

@ 17. MJ — THE GRAND RETURN !!! – December 2, 2013

“They are certainly procrastinators by nature — that is a proven fact now. JJ even whined to Disney to delay SW from summer 2015 to Christmas 2015.

Creative guys, but horrible time managers.”

True, but what do we expect when they have like million projects all running in the same time. Almost every week, there is a new TV or movie project involving Abrams, Bob & Alex.

William Bradley
December 2, 2013 3:34 pm

He’s not directing Ant-Man for Marvel, Edgar Wright is.

I think JJ more than has his hands full with Star Wars, even with old pro Lawrence Kasdan brought in to write it with him.

>15. Phil – December 2, 2013
Well, we won’t have to wait long to see what Joe Cornish does next, as he wrote the script for Ant-Man. Surprised JJ didn’t know this….

Mad Mann
December 2, 2013 3:36 pm

So, JJ admits another mistake with STID. Lets see: he already admitted there was too much lens flares, the Carol/underwear scene was stupid, and the tie-in video game sucked. And now he states it was a mistake to keep Khan a mystery. Why not just say the whole premise of the movie was stupid?

Anyway, here’s hoping the next one is better. I think that dropping Lindelof from the creative mix is the best thing that could happen.

William Bradley
December 2, 2013 3:37 pm

They are not procrastinators. Quite the contrary.

They are guys always looking to make another deal.

>17. MJ — THE GRAND RETURN !!! – December 2, 2013
@15

They are certainly procrastinators by nature — that is a proven fact now. JJ even whined to Disney to delay SW from summer 2015 to Christmas 2015.

Creative guys, but horrible time managers.

Ahmed
December 2, 2013 3:46 pm

@William Bradley

Welcome back :)

Phil
December 2, 2013 3:46 pm

@21. I didn’t say he was directing it, I said he wrote the script.

marty
December 2, 2013 3:49 pm

the mistake wasn’t consealing khan, it was ripping off 4 other trek movies, including the wrath of khan.

Ahmed
December 2, 2013 3:55 pm

@ 22. Mad Mann – December 2, 2013

“So, JJ admits another mistake with STID. Lets see: he already admitted there was too much lens flares, the Carol/underwear scene was stupid, and the tie-in video game sucked. And now he states it was a mistake to keep Khan a mystery.”

Yeah, like he is on an apology tour or something !!

c
December 2, 2013 4:02 pm

I’ agree that it would have been better to just say it and I’ still have high hopes that for the next one paramount says everything before, during and after the film is done and ready, in other words a complete reverse on secrecy, it will keep me inpatient to see it and on the subject of Khan i for one I’m happy #2 was about him that way I’ don’t have to be asking myself when are they going to tackle that character, done that, been there…so now the best book brought to the screen should be the way forward and keep us up to date on all of it:
who, what, where, when and all of it, show us everything but no clips only live action filming including the green screens, just no done footage…never up and until a day before the opening on all of the states including Puerto Rico and the countries were into darkness did well.

Red Dead Ryan
December 2, 2013 4:08 pm

William Bradley,

I have to agree with MJ. Bob, Alex, and J.J.Abrams all set deadlines for STID a number of tmes which they then broke because they had multiple other projects going on at the same time. Abrams has now done the same for “StarWars Episode 7”.

Also, Phil pointed out that Joe Cornish wrote “Ant Man”, not directing it.

crazydaystrom
December 2, 2013 4:14 pm

18. Shaun
MJ, John Logan was not part of the family. He is Brent Spiner’s pal.

True. But he was a screenwriter much in demand at the time and still. He’d penned Gladiator for Ridley Scott and Any Given Sunday for Oliver Stone. And most promising for me and other Trek fans, an avowed lifelong Trek fan. So expectations were high for Nemisis.

Nemesis is what happens when actors think they can craft a story.

Yeah obviously it’s what can happen. Not so good.

The Keeper
December 2, 2013 4:16 pm

Mr. Abrams.
It wasn’t a matter of concealing or not concealing “‘who” the villain was.
It was a matter of coming up with a new original story, untold and unseen with thought provoking action.
Rehashing the most famous villain and raping the most iconic scenes was your and those bumbling idiot writers big mistake.
Christ Almighty you guys must think we’re a bunch of friggin fools.
You wanna add any more insult to injuries?
I’m sure some lame excuse will drop out of some ones orifice soon.

Crimson & Gray
December 2, 2013 4:21 pm

No sh*t, Sherlock! (Pun intended)

Phil
December 2, 2013 4:36 pm

@31. Just before the they started shooting, and it became obvious that had just been finished, I went back and assembled a timeline of delays reported on this very site, and for what ever reason AP himself come on here and gave me grief about it. Bottom line was that while BR was busy making public pronouncements about the script being done, all they had for a long time was a rough outline.

I’m not opposed to BR taking on as many projects as they can get, as long as they hire talented creative staff to bring them to fruition. However, their management style seems to consist of them insisting they can get ten pounds of s**t in a five pound bag. All that guarantees is that eventually the bag is going to break….

LizardGirl
December 2, 2013 4:56 pm

Well, at least JJ is humble enough to admit to mistakes made. I would’ve totally been done if he was all douchey about it. The secrecy stuff was getting old…and the flip-flopping to khan or not to khan stuff was exasperating. He owned the issues and didn’t blame anyone else for it, which is good.

I hope Mr. Cornish will be a good director for ST.

NuFan
December 2, 2013 5:12 pm

I am expecting just as much secrecy for Star Trek 3 as the first two.

JR
December 2, 2013 5:18 pm

Time to reboot trek again… how many times did they do that with Batman?

MJ -- THE GRAND RETURN !!!
December 2, 2013 5:21 pm

@20 @32

I completely disagree with the concept that John Logan simply signed onto a bad Brent Spinner story. At the time, I remember a big deal being made of them bringing in Gladiator screenplay writer John Logan to really take Star Trek to the next level.

@25 @31

No, these guys are proven procrastinators. I remember reading about Ocri, Kurtzman and Lindelof “sealed in and LA hotel room to finish the STID script” news story here on Trekmovie, and then it took another 1.5 years after that for the script to be finalized. Then I remember the news story here with the bullshit excuse of “we wanted to sit on the script for awhile, to let it percolate, and then come back to it later to see if it worked still.”

No, these guys are habitual procrastinators. Sure, having a lot of deals doesn’t help, and it certainly gives them built-in excuses, but guys think that they are above having deadlines on their movie projects.

Mike C.
December 2, 2013 5:23 pm

Secrecy is now a not-so-good thing. Ah, OK – so that’s why we have so much info on Episode 7.

Allen Williams
December 2, 2013 5:43 pm

The mistake was putting Khan in, in the first place. That movie was a complete waste of time. Why watch into darkness when I could just watch wrath of Khan which was WAY better? Its really disappointing though. 2009 was a pretty good movie.

December 2, 2013 5:51 pm

The inclusion of Khan period was the mistake, and Cumberbach’s portrayal was more akin to a Khan being a weirdo than a charismatic leader of men. Got it all wrong.

crazydaystrom
December 2, 2013 5:58 pm

39. MJ — THE GRAND RETURN !!!
@20 @32

I completely disagree with the concept that John Logan simply signed onto a bad Brent Spinner story. At the time, I remember a big deal being made of them bringing in Gladiator screenplay writer John Logan to really take Star Trek to the next level.

Well yeah that essentially what I said-
“But he was a screenwriter much in demand at the time and still. He’d penned Gladiator for Ridley Scott and Any Given Sunday for Oliver Stone. And most promising for me and other Trek fans, an avowed lifelong Trek fan. So expectations were high for Nemisis.”

But I do remember Spiner speaking about working closely with his friend and neighbor Logan on Data’s arc in the story. And Logan spoke of Spiner’s wishes and contributions.

SkiesSeven
December 2, 2013 5:59 pm

I hope the next villain (if there is to be one) isn’t some humanoid character bent on revenge like every other film. The best thing would be to pit the crew against the unknown. This could be anything from a space anomaly, to a space creature, to an omnipotent q-like entity, or some such idea.

Actually I’d just love to see the Enterprise find a Dyson-sphere or something. ILM do wonders with massive objects like that.

Star Trek has got to get back to exploration.

c
December 2, 2013 6:16 pm

The entropy effect is a good book to put star trek back into sci-fy/adventure,…Does anybody have other trek books good for the big screen or agree or disagree with EF?

Plum
December 2, 2013 6:34 pm

You know, STID is a mess. A glorious mess but a mess none the less. I’ve watched it twice. Haven’t touched it since. On the other hand, I watched Star Trek a dozen times and will pop it in once in a while. Win some loose some?

MJ -- THE GRAND RETURN !!!
December 2, 2013 6:36 pm

Good point, Yea, I like JJ’s post and it makes me feel more positive about his role in things; but I also see how Ahmed could draw different conclusions from it…truth is, we will probably never know the real story,. as they guys are all Prima donnas to some extent.

I don’t thing Game Hen (my nick-name for Cornish) is going to be the director. I think we would have heard news on that by now. Certainly if we don’t hear more concerning him by January, then they are probably going in a different direction.

I’d like to see Jonathan Nolan get a shot at directing this. And he has a business relationship already with Bad Robot on Person of Interest, so it might be easy to bring him in. Plus, he has written the screenplay for Interstellar, as well as Inception.

===================================

35. LizardGirl – December 2, 2013
Well, at least JJ is humble enough to admit to mistakes made. I would’ve totally been done if he was all douchey about it. The secrecy stuff was getting old…and the flip-flopping to khan or not to khan stuff was exasperating. He owned the issues and didn’t blame anyone else for it, which is good.

I hope Mr. Cornish will be a good director for ST.

dswynne
December 2, 2013 6:37 pm

@38 (JR): They only rebooted the Batman franchise three times.

Once, when they did so for Tim Burton (after the one Adam West film).
Another time, when they did so for Chris Nolan (after four films)
The most recent time was in order to make way for the up-coming “Superman v. Batman” film (after Nolan trilogy).

Sorry, but they’re not going to reboot the Abram’s films at this time. At least, not after Pine’s fourth outing as Kirk…

Nony
December 2, 2013 6:37 pm

I think it probably had more to do with the studio trying to avoid a backlash over the whitewashing before the movie opened, like what happened with The Last Airbender (also a Paramount flick).

ironhyde
December 2, 2013 7:36 pm

I like to hear this from Abrams. It show’s integrity. The movie would have been better without Khan. In fact, the only real problem with it was Khan. Otherwise it was a really decent ethical and action-packed adventure. JJKhan wasn’t the same character as the “iconic” one they were trying to imitate, in either looks or attitude. I guess nowadays, we define Superhuman as violent and physical, rather than intellectual…. But even so, I appreciate Abrams saying this and I’m glad to see them learning from mistakes rather than pretending they didn’t make any.

Cheers! Hope they lift the mystery box for the next film even just a little

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