Another piece in the puzzle that is the Star Trek sequel has fallen into place as JJ Abrams has now confirmed that, although he is co-producing, he will not return to the director’s chair for the fourth Mission: Impossible film. More details on that below, plus comments from Abrams on Superman
Abrams not directing MI4
JJ Abrams first feature film as a director was 2006’s Mission: Impossible: III. Earlier this year it was announced that JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise would be co-producing a fourth film, with Abrams developing a story with Alias vets Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec, who are now writing the screenplay. There had been some speculation that Abrams would also return to direct, however, in a new interview with MTV Abrams stated:
I’m producing with Tom. My guess is, given other things, that I will not be directing the movie.
Abrams also noted that he hopes to have the film go into production "soon" as well as giving some details on the plans for the film not being a reboot, more on that at MTV.
Co-producing a Mission: Impossible film going into production in 2010 for a likely 2011 release will still take up a good amount of time for Abrams, and he has also recently stated that he hopes to direct another unnamed film in 2010.
With regards to Star Trek, it seems clear that the M:I:4 project is now further along at Paramount, already in the scripting phase. So, if Abrams is going to return to direct the Star Trek sequel, the best bet still seems to be for that film to go into production in 2011 for a 2012 release, although 2011 is possible, but would likely require a different director.
In 2002 JJ Abrams was one of many who took a crack at a Superman Script before Warner Brothers finally settled on what became Superman Returns. In a separate article at MTV Abrams says that he hasn’t been contacted by Warner Brother’s about taking another crack, but discussed some of the controversey regarding his last script and still seemed open to taking it on some day:
That version of the movie—the one that was reviewed and vilified—was actually not the latest draft we had at the time and we worked on it well after that. I do think there’s a version of that movie that could be really fun to see," said Abrams. "You never really know. Everything happens for a reason
More from Abrams on Superman at MTV.