As his Star Trek movie is being talked up for the Awards Season, the Hollywood Reporter checked in with director/producer JJ Abrams to talk about the film, his process and more. JJ had some interesting things to say about how the film was personal, the fans and more. Plus Variety talks to the Star Trek editors. Excerpts of both below.
JJ Abrams on personal Trek, fans and more
excerpts from THR interview with JJ Abrams
The Hollywood Reporter: Was there any part of making "Star Trek" that felt personal?
J.J. Abrams: Quite a bit. It’s a story about family and friendship and loyalty and finding your place and your way and being insecure about any number of things. And that is a universal idea that doesn’t need to take place in space; it can take place anywhere — and that idea feels very personal. I found myself surprisingly connected to a character called James T. Kirk. I found myself loving a character whose name was Spock. And as someone who was never really a "Star Trek" fan and who never really connected with any of the characters, it was the last thing in the world I ever expected.
THR: The movie has been embraced by geek culture. How do you feel about the rise of that?
Abrams: If you look back, there’s always been a certain level of fantasy, science fiction, horror. The only litmus test that I ever have is: Is the thing that we’re working on the thing I want to go see? It’s always just about trying to work on the stuff that you feel like you yourself would go out and go see. If you start trying to anticipate what an audience is going to like and not like, you’re probably in trouble.
THR: How do you see your relationship with fans?
Abrams: I am obviously indebted to them. The great thing about getting a consensus because of the Internet is it allows you to really hear what the audience is feeling. It’s a wonderful tool to understand what’s working and what’s not working. Because I do try and work on the kinds of projects that I want to go see, I don’t feel like my audience is any different from my friends or myself — I feel like I am those
Read the full interview at hollywoodreporter.com.
Abrams project update
In the THR article Abrams said that he still "hoped to direct a movie next year." Abrams has peviously mentioned that he was writing a script for a film to direct next year and tells THR that he is still writing it and it is taking longer than expected. In a separate article, THR reports that Abrams Bad Robot has optioned Colum McCann’s National Book Award-winning novel "Let the Great World Spin". Abrams will produce with McCann adapting the screenplay. "Spin" joins the growing list of projects Abrams has in development at Bad Robot and Paramount. The next release will be the Harrison Ford comedy "Morning Glory" coming out next June. Also likely to go into production next year is Mission: Impossible: IV. No director has been picked for that, but Abrams has stated to that he will only be producing.
The next Star Trek movie is still slated for a Summer 2012 release, with Abrams as producer and possible director. The choice on directing the film will not come until 2010 when the script is completed and the film gets the final green light and budget from Paramount.
Markee talks editing Trek
Another couple of Star Trek movie alums being talked up for awards are the editors Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey. They have a brief profile/interview in today’s Variety.
In the interview, Markey talks about the arc of the film:
The arc is each of them working out their own issues individually and their conflict with one another. The true satisfaction of the movie is seeing them finally come together.
And Brandon talks about how they handled Kirk:
We needed to decide on a character with whom an audience would want to take the journey. Giving him a little charm was the way to go. [recalling shortening a scene where Kirk runs on the Starship Enterprise deck to warn of danger] I had to pare it down so he didn’t come off like a jerk. A little tough goes a longer way than a lot of tough.