Abrams Next Directing Project A Collaboration With Steven Spielberg?

One of the big question’s in Hollywood these days is: What is JJ Abrams next project as a director? Now a new report from New York Magazine’s Vulture Blog says they have the answer, which is that JJ is planning on directing an homage to the Steven Spielberg movies of the 70’s and 80’s, in collaboration with Spielberg. 

JJ and Steven?

According to the report at the Vulture, Abrams is now finishing a script he plans to direct which is “a tip of the hat to [Spielberg’s] movies of the 70’s and early 80’s.” As for the plot the report states:

we’re told that like Spielberg’s Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T., the project will deal with everyday people whose personal relationships are tested when they are thrown up against extraordinarily fantastic – and possibly other-worldly – events.

The only other details is that it would be a Paramount Picture, in collaboration with Spielberg’s DreamWorks, to start production in the fall with a small budget (around $25 Million). According to the report, Abrams wants this film to be the "anti-Avatar" and not a big effects movie. 

New York Magazine could not get official confirmation of its story from Paramount or DreamWorks (and neither could TrekMovie.com).


However, even without confirmations, this story is very plausible. Abrams is a known admirer of Spielberg’s. In fact, Spielberg visited the set of Star Trek during production and even assisted Abrams with a scene. And it is no secret that Abrams has been working on a new project. Last May Abrams told TrekMovie that he would like to "do something else" before considering taking on another Star Trek movie. Last October, at the Star Trek DVD press conference JJ Abrams stated that he was writing a script that he wanted to direct in 2010. In November Abrams told TrekMovie this other project was one of the reasons he was going to co-produce but not direct Mission: Impossible: IV, which goes before cameras this Summer.

Still leaves time for Star Trek sequel

So assuming that Abrams sticks with his plans to direct a movie in 2010, the next question will be: what does that mean for the Star Trek sequel? To date Abrams has only confirmed he will produce the sequel, but he is open to directing it. For the Star Trek sequel to make its delivery date of June 29, 2012, production would have to start no later than the Summer of 2011. That still gives Abrams time to direct another film, especially if it is a lower budget film, and then return to directing Star Trek. However, if Abrams commits to another project that is going to bleed well into 2011, he will have no choice but to bring in a new director for the Star Trek sequel.

Of course, TrekMovie will keep a close eye on all things Abrams and bring you the latest.

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They look like they collaborated on a buy-one-get-one-free purchase at Lenscrafters.

I think it would be cool to see Steven take a shot at directing Star Trek someday.

I’d watch a Spielberg Trek, even if it did have this cast.

Could it be… the proposed remake to ‘When Worlds Collide?’ Finally?

No, I suppose not… but hope springs eternal.

@ #1 Magic_Al, that was funny. I’d love to see Mr. Spielberg do a Trek movie, maybe he can direct the next one?

Let me add since Mr. Abrams is thinking about only producing the next Trek movie they will need a director.

These two look related….

I hope this isn’t star trek. I really don’t want phasers being replaced by walkie talkies.

–“a tip of the hat to [Spielberg’s] movies of the 70’s and early 80’s.”

So, it’s going to be shot in a sem-documentary style, have a fun, intelligent script with adult characters speaking in English, Spanish and French (Close Encounters) and not in catchphrase-ese. Sounds good.

–“Abrams wants this film to be the “anti-Avatar…”

Ah, and it’s going to have an original story. Even better!

Sorry, that should be SEMI-documentary style.

I’m going to guess that the next movie Steven Spielberg directs will feature aliens.

Dear Mr. Spielberg, please Direct a Star Trek Movie. Mr. Lucas won’t let you do Star Wars so aint this the next best thing? Or even, the best thing.

“the anti-Avatar”…

I like the sound of that. (Oh, and I don’t hate Avatar, by any stretch of the imagination….)

Anti-Avatar — so it will feature actors made to look like cgi and shot in 1D hanna-barbera style

“Abrams wants this film to be the ‘anti-Avatar.'”

So it will be good?

I like the idea of an anti-Avatar, but exactly what JJ means by that Im not sure. Its implied that the FX will be somewhat -cough- “cheaper” with the 25 million $ price tag. So is he going old school by using models and miniatures ect instead of CGI? Could be cool.

Say what you want about “Avatar”, which I thoroughly enjoyed, it does look absolutely stunning on Blu Ray. Best looking film on Blu Ray so far.

I’d love to see Spielberg direct a Trek movie. He has the eye, imagination, craft, and style for such a film. Plus he can make such big movies like this.

And Im not knocking Avatar, visually its quite unique and beautiful. But I was talking to a lady today who is writting a screen play and wants to make a movie, she told me there is an old saying/joke that there are actually only about 11 or 12 stories (or various mixtures of them) in the world, and that Avatar used them all lol. Now I dont really have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with a story that has a curve on it. I like mine shot straight and to the point, without some underlining political message. Maybe thats what JJ means when he says anti-Avatar


I think Bob has said that the sequel to “Star Trek” will have some sort of underlining message which is fine by me as long as it isn’t as obvious and heavy-handed as “Avatar”s was. Something that makes people think and come to their own conclusions without preaching or politicizing.

I can’t wait to see what Abrams and Spielberg come up with. A possible classic with these guys at the helm.

Yup i agree-a possible classic movie indeed-ive always loved spielbergs movies from duel to jaws,especially close encounters n et two very original cosmic movies-schindlers list n saving private ryan–stunningly great–go jj n steven! I also have to agree the avatar blu ray is stunning–absolutely the best looking dvd out–i hate it has no extras but it still holds up–even without the 3d–and the story still thrilling-zoe saldanas incredible motion capture acting is wow–

This is not inherently meant as a criticism, but I wonder if JJ Abrams can make a movie that isn’t moving at 90 miles an hour?

#20 I have no problem with a message, many, many stories have them including Star Trek. And I agree with the no preaching or politicizing aspect of it, dont attempt to dazzle me with stunning visuals while at the same time PRing me about some political ideology you as the creator of the work wish to propogandize. I like the type of message that “makes you think outside the box” so to speak, or just think period, and of course come to your own conclusion about it (the message) either way. Not ones that attempt to almost sway me its way just because it looks beautiful and many standard storyline emotional buttons have been pushed.

Prediction: JJ is out as ST2 director. Can he pre-produce, shoot and post-produce this project in less than a year assuming he started today (which is a huge assumption)? Has it even been written? Has it been greenlit by Paramount? If those questions can all be answered with a yes, can he also produce MI4 and oversee Bob’s development of the ST sequel script AND begin assembling the production staff, etc., while in the midst of directing this project? No.

To the people who want a Spielberg Star Trek movie I say: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/ . The sub-plot of this South Park episode also makes a good point: http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/187260

id like to see something Spielbergy and Twilight Zoney from JJ inbetween Star Treks – like what Nolan did with the Magicians film inbetween Batmans. Hes said hes a big fan of TZ so id be most interested in what this is…

regarding Spielberg – hes never directed a SF film actually set in space. maybe a Star Trek film at some point would be just the ticket…

Maybe Ron Moore could direct it if JJ can’t. That would put a cool spin!

I miss the Spielberg of old – when his movies were full of awe and wonderment. I realize he has grown and matured as a filmaker and it shows with films like Saving Private Ryan and Schindlers List. I just wish he’d try to reconnect again with his younger self. Maybe thats what Abrams is trying to do here.

Holy crap they look similar

wow I forgot Spielberg directed part of Twilight Zone The Movie…

ive a feeling JJ will be doing something both Spielbergy and Zoney!

#28 “I miss the Spielberg of old – when his movies were full of awe and wonderment”

Indy 4? i know it got mixed reviews but i thought it was great and really tapped into that feeling of awe and wonderment…

The only underlying message I want from the next Trek film is, “boy, that was great! I want to see it again!”


They look like Father and Son.

Star Trek was a political commentary. Trek was Gene Roddenberry’s humanistic vision, and it was expressed through TOS and TNG. Those people who don’t want Star Trek to have any kind of message don’t really get Star Trek. However, don’t fret. There are many other options…you still have the vast majority of most movies and television shows to choose from.

#34 not as much as some would have us believe. Yes Gene Roddenberry may have been a humanist and that did show through in the writting at times in TOS and much more in TNG (as far as the theoretical futuristic human condition would be ( united Earth, everyone equal, no more money so forth), but to say that Star Trek had a “political” message I think is mistaken. What the stories appeared to be more than anything were morality plays, and not preachy or dogmatic but rather intended to make the viewer think. I suppose the show did come close to being “political” in a few episodes though, like the US Constitution & freedom speach Kirk gave to the Yangs and Coms.


I would love Spielberg to direct a Star Trek I think he would be great at doing it

#30. Yeah, before I posted I considered Indy 4, but to me that film was more of a near miss. I could see he was trying to go back to that era but it (to me) lacked something. Maybe i’m just old and jaded now..

38 – not for me..im a real 50s nut and a 50s Sci Fi nut and loved every minute (yes even the fridge and the jungle) – esp the last half hour or so..

2nd best Indy film for me (nothing can best ROTLA)..

I would now say odds are that he isnt going to direct it, which would stink. I still hope he does though but there seems to be many other projects he’s interested in now and into the near future to totally focus on Star Trek (which could be why its taking so long to make the sequel, everyones busy with other stuff IMO). And if thats the case I would be more than happy if Steven Spielberg directed it, I mean the wizard himself! I would even be thrilled to have Geaorge Lucas have a crack at it. Ridley Scott would be awsome. Im interested with what Nicholas Meyer would do with it too, not having to make a Star Trek movie “on the cheap” but with an actual big budget. Just fanboy wonderings here, but I still hope JJ goes at it again, he did such a great job on the first one!

#40 – Really? You would be thrilled if George Lucas took a crack at it? After killing two of our favorite franchises? Again, I reiterate – To the people who want a Spielberg, or Lucas, Star Trek movie I say: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/ . The sub-plot of this South Park episode also makes a good point: http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/187260

Lucas wouldn’t do Star Trek.

Spielberg would be great provided he is given a great script. That’s probably the biggest single factor deciding whether a Spielberg Star Trek makes it to orbit or blows up on the pad. Somehow he still manages to make decent movies out of ho hum scripts because his style of movie-making is still full of youthful energy and vigor.

38: “I could see he was trying to go back to that era but it (to me) lacked something. Maybe i’m just old and jaded now..”

Raiders is one of the best of it’s genre. ALL of the Indys lacked something compared to Raiders:

An uncertainty about whether the supernatural exists.

In Raiders you are not quite sure until the end if the Ark is a supernatural object, so there is a real mystery, a tension between skepticism and credulity that is totally absent for the rest of the movies in the series. Indy himself is a skeptic until the end.

All the other movies lack the fun and the excitement of that surprising discovery that Indy had in Raiders. Indy is not a skeptic in the following films, and they just don’t have the same pay off.

Star Trek and Star Wars are two totally different things.

Abrams might have turned Star Trek more into Star Wars but they are two totally different things.

#44 Well TOS and Star Wars maybe two totally different things so to speak. But I beleve even Lucas admited that Star Wars would probably never had happened if not for TOS. And correct me if Im wrong but didnt Lucas inquire about the Star Trek franchise rights and if they were up for sale in the early 70’s? I do think your right though, his primary focus seems to be Star Wars. But lets be honest here, the Star Trek movies borrowed quite a lot from Star Wars, expecially the first 4 and even elements of 5, as did most other Sci-Fi/action movies did and still do. It became the template for those types of movies. So JJ didnt do anything that was very “unTrek” in Star Trek 09.

43 – well it wasnt entirely clear that it was aliens until at the end of Crystal Skull and Indy certainly didnt believe that it was until the end… although it could have been a little more vague (not showing the alien body in the tent for example)

I think we could may well be seeing Spielberg being involved in the next Star Trek.
Spielberg expressed an interest in Star Trek a couple of years after Nemesis when the franchise was considered dead, Spielberg encourages JJ into directing Star Trek, JJ takes advice from Spielberg in directing Star Trek – Spielberg even directed a scene.
Now we see these two teaming up to make a movie together.
I could be coming to a wild conclusion here, but for Spielberg to do ST12 just seems right to me.

I really don’t see Spielberg directing a sequel to anything he didn’t direct the original of.

That said, it’s a pity, because the man is an incredible director. The major difference between him and Lucas is Lucas can’t direct actual humans. Spielberg even manages to get performances that are not completely annoying from kids. I mean, during Jurassic Park, I only wished the kids would get eaten about three times, and they were on screen a lot longer than that.

But he DOES need a good script : Just watched War Of The Worlds again – the first half is awesomely good, the second half is terrible. But that’s all down to story. It remains visually exciting.

For my money, JJ Abrams is (so far) the Spielberg of this century. He might want to do a few more serious films, like Spielberg did with Munich and Schindler.