Abrams: Star Trek Is Worth The Wait

JJ Abrams and pals are gearing up for the September 9th premiere of their new TV show Fringe. In a new interview promoting the show at TV Guide, Abrams was also asked about his Star Trek movie where he described what what we have in store in May 2009 and what it was like working with Leonard Nimoy.


Excerpts from TV Guide


TV Guide: On "Trek," one of the people you worked with was Leonard freakin’ Nimoy!
JJ Abrams: I know! But it’s funny, because it wasn’t until very recently that it really hit me how cool that was. There was so much work to do during the shoot and there were so many fires that needed putting out that there wasn’t much time to sit and acknowledge the reality of working with him. Then the other day I was watching the movie, and there he was. There was Spock! And it hit me like, "Holy s—!" [laughs] It was kind of like a huge delay.

TV Guide: There are still nearly nine months until "Trek"’s release. What can you tell us?
JJ Abrams: All I can say is that I think this movie is going to be worth the wait. It’s blessed with a wonderful optimism and an incredibly alive and invested cast. While the visual effects are gonna be unbelievable, the movie is working right now with only 50 of our 1,000-plus visual effects finished. It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s dramatic, emotional and entertaining–all without having the stuff you’d think a movie called "Star Trek" would require. That to me is exciting.


TV Guide: The first episode opens with a troubled flight. Was it an intentional nod to Lost?
JJ Abrams: It’s almost embarrassing, but I wasn’t even thinking about that. The idea for that sequence came to me, and then I thought, "Oh , Lord." [Laughs] Then I was like, "Do we change it?" But the story could not be less like Lost. To me, there’s just something about airplanes. I was obsessed with the "Airport" movies when I was a kid. I saw all of them, including "The Concorde–Airport ’79." So it’s a place that’s kind of a go-to for me. But I’m guessing I can’t really do another airplane thing for a while.

Read the full interview in the current TV Guide. Scan available at SpoilerTV.


See Abrams at the New York Television Festival
On Saturday September 13th the cast and producers of Fringe will engage in a discussion at a screening for Fringe at the New York Television Festival’s ‘Premiere Week.’ More info at nytvf.com.

"Fringe" creators (and Star Trek ‘Supreme Court’ members) Roberto Orci, JJ Abrams and Alex Kurtzman at Fox Upfront announcements in May




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I think more and more, that Nimoy as spock will legitimize this and pass the torch properly. I love shatner to death, but he is pretty fat.

don’t you mean phat?


“..I love shatner to death, but he is pretty fat.”

And NImoy’s face could hold a three day rain…so what? He IS an older Spock. If an older Kirk somehow makes it into the movie, and he is ” fat” , so be it. News flash…when we die..we don’t look the same as we did when we were born.

And it’s great to hear the movie is carrying itself on the drama alone. TOS was never EVER about the special FX. If they’ve really managed to convey a great story that doesn’t rely on those “jaw dropping” FX, then they have won half the battle and are definitely barking up the right tree.

Does anyone know if Alex Kurtzman is related to the late comic art genius Harvey Kurtzman? Except for the hair, he looks an awful lot like him…

Orci, Abrams, and Kurtzman look like fraternal triplets separated at birth.

ROFL at JJ’s moment of realization about having Nimoy in his film. That’s how it so often happens when you pull off something you never realized you could!

No it’s not! RELEASE IT NOW!

**hiss of hypospray**

What the???
I was on the bridge?
Doc, can I go to the movie?

#3—You have to admit, he did avoid using that word. I guess he substituted “unbelievable” in its place.

“It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s dramatic, emotional and entertaining–all without having the stuff you’d think a movie called “Star Trek” would require. That to me is exciting.

Wait until the sharks get hold of that one. I can picture it already…”What does he mean—- “…all without having the stuff you’d think a movie called “Star Trek” would require”?

I predict about a dozen posts before it begins…

i’ld love to see mister shatner in the movie,even he looked like a macy’s thanksgiving day parade balloon.just won’t feel right with him not in the movie.

#10- I’m sure that the Statler and Waldorf crowd will take that quote and run for miles.

Personally, I took JJ to mean that this film won’t be full of techno-bable and Deus Ex Machina- solutions to every problem which presents itself.

If that is the case, then I will be a happy camper.

To my surprise, Cloverfield and Transformers were both setting there available at my local library the other day. I missed them in the theaters, and with the Star Trek connection to the producers of both movies, I had to check them out.

Cloverfield was cool to watch once, but I can’t say I care to see it again. The approach to the storytelling was novel, but when it ended I was left unsatisfied (without spoiling the movie). But that’s just me.

Transformers was of course comic-bookish, and I was graduating high school when the original Transformers was the rage. So I had no expections for this movie, and my knowledge of the Transformers was that they are robots that turn into cars. That’s it.

I thought the movie was good for its genre, but I had a hard time suspending my disbelief. I would call it a teen movie (if it weren’t for the older fans of the original cartoon and toys). But I guess you can’t blame the writers, it was the universe they were working within. But truth be told, I fell asleep with 30 minutes to go, and had to finish watching it the next night.

Now for the show Lost, I like it. And Mission Impossible 3 was pretty good, too.

So I can’t say really if this new Star Trek movie is going to be a slam dunk or not, based on JJ Abrams et al. I guess it’s got a better chance to be good as opposed to the previous administration, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

It still seems to me that the only guy who got Star Trek right in the movie franchise was Harve Bennett. Is JJ Abrams the next Harve Bennett? That remains to be seen. I hope so, I really do.

“It still seems to me that the only guy who got Star Trek right in the movie franchise was Harve Bennett.”

Yep. Hopefully that will change next year.

This movie has *got* to work out. Look at those three guys. Aren’t those three as nerdy as any three guys you’ve ever seen at a convention?

Lets not pick on people here, ok? picking on Shatner for his weight opens the door for all kinds of unflattering (or flattering depending on your perspective) comments. I could just as easily say that in the photo Orci looks like Mo from the 3 stooges…JJ looks like a jewish Clark Kent and Kurtzman looks like a gay Robert Downey Jr. But I wouldn’t do that because I like these guys. Lets be civil. (In the interest of full disclosure, I look like Jay Leno and Norm from Cheers had a baby together)

As a life long fan of Trek, I am looking forward to next year’s release. Unlike the hardcore fans, I’m open to the much needed new view of this classic franchise. I just hope these fans can live with a movie that is fresh and new and not insist on a tired old rehash of what’s been seen before (repeatedly). That’s what DVDs are for. Since Roddenberry’s death, the franchise had lost its sense of direction and retreated into the old and familiar. I’m ready to see if JJ can pull off a “course correction” and get us back on track to what might have been / should have been.

I really enjoyed Lost, and I think Cloverfield was enjoyable, as was M:I:III.

The one thing about M:I:III that I think is especially applicable to Star Trek is the fact that it adapts the basic formula of the original series to a more current sensibility.

18 posts without an attack on Abrams phrasing?

…I’m impressed, although I didn’t expect an assault on Shatner in this thread…maybe that was just enough of a distraction.


“(In the interest of full disclosure, I look like Jay Leno and Norm from Cheers had a baby together)”

Thanks for putting the lovely vision of that coupling in my head. On a related note, what’s up with JJ’s chin? Is that a clovis or folsom point?

“It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s dramatic, emotional and entertaining–all without having the stuff you’d think a movie called “Star Trek” would require. That to me is exciting. ”

– Without a cerebral, ideas-driven science fiction story… gotcha ;)

I thought Cloverfield was good. Nice visuals, and a really cool epic feel to the movie even though you only follow like four people in the movie

Transformers was not a teen movie. There’s 2 teen agers in it, and only one is really the focus. Great action and visuals. The Transformers were finally cool.

Closet#19- But…(stutters, hems and haws…)…well, what DOES JJ mean by that, Closet? As Spock would phrase it, SPECIFY.

To #16: I wasn’t picking on anyone. AAMOF, I was complimenting them.

I’m a nerd, and proud of it. “Cool” is *way* over-rated. Cool means “lacking warmth”, or “dispassionate”, or “unaffected”; who wants that?

Nerds have fun, and aren’t (or shouldn’t be) embarrassed about it.

#21 “Without a cerebral, ideas-driven science fiction story… gotcha ;)”

We are talking about a very delicate balancing matter. I am all about cerebral stories (TMP is my favourite movie) but if you want to go mainstream, as Abrams is trying to do, you have to accept compromises between “heavy cerebral” and “light entertaining”. Something in the middle is desirable, because I, as a hard-core fan, really want Star Trek going mainstream.

If JJ wanted to help the time pass more quickly, he’d release some photos from the new movie.

1. Pics of the bridge.
2. Pics of the cast in costume.
3. Pics of the Enterprise.
4. Pics of Transporter Room and Engine Room.
5. Pics of the Phasers, Communicators and Tricorders.

Something for fans to ENJOY while we wait…

You don’t have to release plot details….

Just some stuff, so we can build up excitement.

Being stingy and witholding the pictures and information is NOT building interest and excitement. It’s just pissing fans off.

Feeding the fans who will tell friends and non-fans about the movie is the best viral marketing campaign Paramount can have.

Playing “Keep Away” with the fans is the surest way to piss us off and have us not promote the film.

I hope we get some decent stills in the next few months. Maybe a trailer in front of Eagle Eye?

I must admit im dismayed to read comments like post number #1.

To dismiss shatner because he is ‘fat’ is pretty lame. i hope i look as good as Mr Shatner does when im in my 70’s. I just dont expect this from Star trek fans who i think by and large are open minded and not prone to cheap remarks.

Greg UK

>>Wait until the sharks get hold of that one. I can picture it already…”What does he mean—- “…all without having the stuff you’d think a movie called “Star Trek” would require”? I predict about a dozen posts before it begins…

We already mocked it in Chat days ago –secret decoder rings and all — and moved on. :)

>>Nerds have fun, and aren’t (or shouldn’t be) embarrassed about it.

Nerds Rule!

As for Transformers and Cloverfield. I thought C was a good idea but I can’t say I really liked the movie. Weak actors spoiled it for me. However, I really did like Transformers which surprised me. I am very curious about Fringe and hope it’s something I enjoy.

You know……all there is talk, talk, talk, talk, about the new movie. We got a really uninteresting teaser trailer that after one view – you forget about it.
We have seen a couple teaser posters of characters, which again after one or two looks…….you are done.

I can appreciate JJ keeping a lid on things, but they are not giving us much to get excited about. To me reading all these F’n articles about the same things being said over, and over and over again – is about as interesting as watching flies f**k.
With 9 months to go…..the hype is losing its momentum IMO. Start leaking this thing, pics and/or a new trailer soon – because at this point I could care less……

#26 I have been saying that from the beginning. I couldn’t believe how long it took them to get those posters out!! It’s imperative that they get people talking about this thing….pics will help

I took “It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s dramatic, emotional and entertaining–all without having the stuff you’d think a movie called ‘Star Trek’ would require. That to me is exciting. ” to mean that he’s watching a rough cut without the special effects and sound effects in. The things “you’d think a movie called ‘Star Trek’ would require” are coming.

28 – Well said, and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Maybe i should be a little more specific when im being sarcastic about the Fat part. Hell Doohan was hella fat.

Seriously folks, i said it so flippantly i didnt think so many people would take me serious. It was IN JEST IE a “STUPID REASON NOT TO PUT HIM IN THE MOVIE”

Some times i think we star trek fans (YES I SAID WE) take things WAAAAAAY too seriously

So, William Phatner?

One picture I don’t think they will release is of the crew put together to begin the five-year mission. For some reason, I feel like that is going to be the payoff to the whole movie.


MovieTVSci-FiGuide: “So, tell us about the new STAR TREK film you’re working on, J.J.!”

J.J.: “Um, yeah… I think we’re in trouble. We’re way behind on the special effects and what’s done looks pretty crappy–way too much CGI. The script needs a complete overall–I think we wrote ourselves into a corner, but it’s too late now. We can fudge some reshoots, but I’m not sure the film is going to make much sense, storywise. And quite frankly, the actors… oh, Jesus, they’re terrible. I don’t know what I was thinking. They look fine, but they never clicked. I’m sure I’ll churn out another TV show, but I’m afraid Trekkies are gonna have my head after this. I think I screwed the pooch. It’s a DISASTER!!!”

(What else is he gonna say???) :)

snooze… .. J.J… I am losing interest.. and frankly, I am sick of everyone telling me how wonderful this is going to be.. .. until we see some visuals, count me out of the hype machine.. I am so bored with everything.. it’s the same old, same old.. time and time again….

There is something you’re going to want to hear. This morning, Kevin Smith did a radio interview with KROQ-Fm in Los Angeles, where sort oftiptoeing around it, he mentions getting to see Star Trek just last night.
You can hear it at: http://www.kevinandbeanarchive.com.
Click on the “Check out all the audio here” link, then click on the link for “August 22 Friday”. After you click the link, scroll down to
“12 Kevin Smith-2008-08-22-More.mp3”. Click for the interview, but you have to download. He mentions it right after his mention of Watchmen.

26. Al Hartman – August 22, 2008
“If JJ wanted to help the time pass more quickly, he’d release some photos from the new movie.”
“Playing “Keep Away” with the fans is the surest way to piss us off and have us not promote the film.”

And so, in other words…
Christmas is only a little more than 4 months away… so we want presents NOW to hold us over and keep us from being mad at you and lose all interest in Christmas.
And then…. the real Christmas presents better be DAM good. And they better be what we asked for, or we will moan and tell the whole world how bad and mean you are.

What happened to patience?

Duncan MacLeod needs to visit:
You two, cloudsfather, before you spoil everyone’s chance to have any fun.

39. Bored Trek Fan – August 22, 2008

They aren’t here to entertain you until the premiere and they didn’t invite anyone to take part in the “hype machine” .

Give it time.

#42 One Of The Origional Treckkers – August 22, 2008

(ummmm… you need to visit spellcheck.com, too many dyslexic letters in your handle there, bud)

If no one followed the link in my previous post (post #40) the gist of Kevin Smith’s statements are that the movie is awesome, was made by talented, capable people and performers, and that the lead actor (he doesn’t mention who, but I think he means Chris Pine) stepped into a difficult role and did it extremely well, and that this movie will make him, in Kevin Smith’s words, ” an instant star”. Still, I would go back to post #40 and listen to the interview. He also gives a lot of praise to Watchmen.

#40, thanks for the link. I just listened to it and Smith definitely sounded impressed (even if they were being all coy about it since he wasn’t allowed to talk about it).

You know It’s not so much that William Shatner is fat that is a problem, I mean Shatner looks great for his age, but he is overweight, and while that doesnt really matter for Denny Crane or that buffoon he plays in the Miss Congeniality movies “Captain Kirk” shouldnt look that way, Rewatching Generations shows Shatner in a decent physical condition to say good bye to the character, now in his present condition it takes away from the heroic persona of Captain Kirk.

What about Nimoy you say? Well aside from him being in great physical shape, the older and wrinklier he gets the better he looks because Vulcans live to be 250 years old right? So the Character acomodates the aging of the actor.

Why is Kevin Smith always the go to reviewer person? His movies are terrible. I don’t care if Kevin Smith liked the movie. He’s never made anything I’VE liked.

Sorry, not good enough, Duncan MacLeod in #34.

NAAFA sounds like a good idea. Start with their page on “MYTHS that ignorant people like to perpetuate about heavy people”. You may not fully realize it yet, but YOU are one of those unfortunate people.

I love William Shatner, EXACTLY for who he is. Not for the artificial, knee-jerk way “you”seem to think he should be!

48. I gave his word creedence because he has no major incentive to give this movie a glowing review. I admit that I’m not much of a fan of his movies either, but I’ve heard him do radio interviews on KROQ tons of times and he always comes across as a funny, intelligent, generally likeable guy.