JJ Abrams: Star Trek Sequel 6 Months Behind [UPDATED: Would Be Jealous Of Other Director]

It turns out there is a new interview with JJ Abrams on his Super 8 tour where he talks about the Star Trek sequel, planned for June 29, 2012. On the Howard Stern Show on Tuesday Abrams got grilled on being spread thin and Abrams admitted the sequel was behind schedule. Read the full exchange below. [UPDATE: More from Abrams on release date and directing from MTV]


UPDATE: Abrams on status, release and possibly directing

A new video from MTV with JJ Abrams talking about Star Trek has just been published. It is brief but he covers the big points.

Abrams on status:

I’m working with Bob Orci, and Damon Lindelof and Alex Kurtzman on the script. They’ve go some amazing stuff and hopefully we’ll have something to talk about soon.

On returning as director

Part of me feels, even without knowing what the story is, part of me feels jealous of anyone who gets to work with those actors. It is such an amazing group of actors. But also want to make sure I know what I am being asked to direct before I do it. We are just working on the story and we are getting there, but I am very excited about what they have come up with so far.

Abrams on June 29, 2012 release date

It is not an impossibility for us to do it. I think the studio agrees that the most important thing is that the movie be good. No one wants to make something that makes its date, but isn’t worth your time. I wan to make sure that whatever we do, whenever it comes out, it is something people will have a great time watching.

Here is the video:

original article

Abrams: Star Trek six months behind, admits "maybe" spread thin

Yesterday JJ Abrams was the guest on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Radio. After talking about his process, working with kids on Super8 and other stuff, Howard turned to the subject of the Star Trek sequel, where he and sidekick Robin Quivers grilled JJ. Here was the exchange:

Stern: Are you spreading yourself too thin? Because Super 8 took so long to make, you had to push off Star Trek 2, which you are the director of and everyone is waiting for. How far behind are you on Star Trek 2?

Abrams: We are probably six months behind.

Stern: What does that mean? Have you begun principle photography?

Quivers: Is the script done?

Abrams: No. I am not writing the script, but we are working on it.

Stern: Does the studio call you every day. Star Trek 2 is going to be a big money maker, big franchise, and say "listen, you are spread too thin." Listen to this. This guy has two new television series coming out this fall, CBS Person of Interest…Fox’s Alcatraz, you just finished Super 8.

Quivers: How much is he hands on with these TV shows?

Stern: Are you making a money grab or are you serious about your projects?

Abrams: Oh Howard! Those are not shows I created, those are shows Bad Robot, my company, is producing. We two people running the TV stuff and I have my producing partner [Bryan Burke]. So it is a bunch of us – these are two writers Liz Sarnoff worked on Lost and Jonah Nolan…

Stern: So you have nothing to do with those?

Abrams: Well, I helped give notes on the script, on the story. I helped giving notes on the pilots…

Abrams and Stern then went into talking about how he is keeping young by keeping his office full of toys, and Abrams said he does it because it is important for reminding him of the youthful optimism that "anything is possible." They then went off talking about Abrams learning the business with his producer father, working with Steven Spielberg and other stuff but eventually returned to the subject of Abrams workload and how it might have resulted in the cancellation of his recent NBC series Undercovers. Here is the exchange…

Abrams: The truth is when a TV show fails, and you do think "am I spreading myself way to thin?"

Stern: Undercovers failed.

Abrams: Big failure.

Stern: What happened

Abrams: I just f–ked up. I didn’t work on the script enough…

Stern: Were you spread too thin?

Abrams: I could say "maybe," because it didn’t work. If it had worked, I would have said "obviously not."

Stern: Are you a workaholic?

Abrams: I guess I am.

Stern: Do you spend any time with your children.

Abrams: I take them to school every day, make them lunches and put them to bed at night. And I don’t work on weekends, so I not absentee dad.

They went on to talk more about Spielberg, the hotness of Abrams wife, the ending of Lost (JJ said "ask Damon Lindelof") and more Stern type talk.

JJ Abrams visits Howard Stern, gets grilled on Star Trek and schedule (Photo: HowardStern.com)

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Can’t wait to see it in summer 2013!

could 6 months behind mean possibly Dec 2012???

Can’t wait to see it in summer 2018…

Can’t wait to see it in 1982!

In neither of the exchanges does he answer the leading line “spread too thin” affirmatively.

Yikes. 6 months behind, and that sounded like a minimum estimate. There goes the last chance of this movie coming out in 2012. I’m very disappointed to hear this. I can only hope that they’re just delaying it as long as it takes to make it awesome, but every delay puts more pressure on them to deliver an even more amazing movie to make up for the extended wait.

It happens, I agree with JJ, would rather have a solid movie rather than something that is rushed.

Its the new Duke Nukem Forever.

STAR TREK > Bad Robot, SUPER 8 and the entire television medium.

Well, despite his being spread too thin, it’s refreshing to see Abrams man-up and admit it was his fault Undercovers failed.

Far too often when a TV show or movies fails we see these Hollywood bigshot “creatives” blame the network, the studio, the time slot, the release date, the government, global warming, [a writers strike]—anyone and anything but themselves.

Keep on trekkin’, Abrams. Just keep your eye on the ball—I mean, the lens flare.

No pressure from coming this direction. Only curiosity.

I am glad he’s putting his family before his work when tempted to work weekends, all other available hours; I rather hear about a man who seeks balance with homelife and work, even if that means STAR TREK is delayed.

Work is essential to support the family; but without a stable home life, the work has no value and substance.

I’m pretty frustrated to hear that it’s 6 months behind because of Super 8. Especially after all the assurances they had given that everything was going fine. Even when questions were being raised about how long the script was taking.

Super 8 sounds like an ok movie, but certainly not something worthy of delaying Star Trek. I will be very disapointed if it is pushed to December 2012 or beyond. It’s too big a movie to be relegated to Christmas. Movies typically make less money during December than they do if they are released in the Summer when kids are flocking to movies every weekend. Less money could mean smaller budget, either for this one, or the next one. Same thing doomed Star Trek in the 90’s.

What resulted was glorified TV shows at the movie theater.

It costs me about $100 to go to the movies with my wife and kids (tickets and snacks), so I can’t take them to see everything. We go to about 4 movies in a summer when they are out of school. Sometimes only 3. The rest have to wait until we rent them.

Therefore I have to pick and choose what we go see. Super 8 won’t make the cut because there are already 2 others they want to see (Transformers and Captain America)… i also would like to see the Planet of the Apes.

Given all that, it irks me some that a movie I won’t even see this summer is delaying my beloved Star Trek 6 months already.

In a perfect world we would already have Star Trek 2 out plus a new Trek series that was decent. Now who knows how long it will be before the sequel, and probably no new t.v. series in sight. All this despite the first movie being a monster money maker.

Everyone here has pretty much said that Trek was behind. So no real surprise there. I think that it will be either Christmas of 12 of Summer of 13.

What really irritates me is that people have been asking questions since the script missed the December 2010 deadline. Then March comes and still no script… then April….May

And all we heard from the writers and JJ was that everything is fine. Still got plenty of time.

I can’t imagine that Paramount is all too thrilled abou this. Moving the movie to November/December 2012 means a certain amount of profit will be lost due to reduced attendance.

Well this is bad news about Star Trek but I guess we expected something like this. As for Super 8, it was released the week before Green Lantern and if I have to make a choice between the two I am choosing Green Lantern. Honestly there is nothing in the previews to Super 8 that makes me say, “I have to see that movie.”


It took the King of all media, Howard Stern in getting JJ to man-up in his mistakes.

Disappointed :(:(

I just hope this doesn’t mean a reduced budget for a holiday release.

The reason blockbuster movies in the summer make so much money is due to repeat viewers. Typically teenagers and young adults. Highschool and college kids out for the summer that go to movies every weekend to get a break from the heat and hang with their friends.

I know when I was in highschool and college (i live in Dallas) that was what me and my friends did. We saw every big movie that came out during the summer, and the good ones we saw 2 or 3 times.

In November and December you don’t have that effect. Kids are only out a week or two and don’t go see a movie 2 or 3 times in that short break. Attendance is down and so is the money.

Before this JJ could write his ticket because of how great Star Trek was and how much money it made. But if the studio looks at him now and sees a guy that can’t recognize when he’s taking on too much, and that causes them to move Start Trek 2 to December and lose potential profits, they may decide to pull on the purse strings a little tighter.

Jeez, stop treating this movie like a kidney transplant.

Make a good movie. You’ll make money.

Then, and be more realistic with labor and time for ST:3. We’d like it to come about two years after this next one. That means, COMMIT to it now. Don’t add in 34525 TV shows, 4524 movies, an online game, and sock puppet theatre.

summer, winter… i don’t care. just as long as it comes out and it is good. but i do wish they could just throw us a bone here and tell us when the dang thing is coming REALLY or a little bit of info. who are the villians. what’s the title. i mean the upcoming third Batman did all that way before filming started. just a little bit of info, please.

I like JJ, but I’m glad Howard called him out. He seems to have way too much on his plate all the time. He starts projects and then abandons them quickly (i.e. Lost) for the next big thing.

That being said, I look forward to seeing Super 8 this weekend!

6 months behind = delay to winter 2012 (at least). I think jj just confirmed it.

#22 My worry is exactly that. The quality. There is a difference in terms of potential revenue a movie makes based on when it is released.

If they move it to winter, they will have a basic expectation it will make less than it would have in the summer. This may mean cuts to the budget to keep profits at a certain level.

If budget is cut, then there is an increased chance the movie won’t be as good. There is a reason so many of the previous Star Trek movies after Star Trek IV really started looking like the same thing rehashed. I mean they used some of the same stock footage in them to save money. Cheaper special effects. Fewer and fewer on location live shots.

The quality of those movies just got terrible. Star Trek 2009 was a huge improvement in that department and needs to stay at that level.

I’ve seen “Star Trek 2” already …… *SPOILER ALERT*

Spock dies saving the ship from Khan…

#12 Best post I have ever read on TrekMovie.com…

I agree with #12’s sentiment. But that has nothing to do with why Star Trek 2 (or 12) is 6 months behind.

I hope we’ll get more than one Star Trek movie every 3.5 to 4 years in the future. This new, young cast won’t be that way for many more, if that’s the case.

I’m as big a fan as anyone (of Trek in general, Abrams’ Trek, Abrams’ other works, and Orci/Kurtzman) and saw Trek XI 11 times on the theaters, but I’m honestly losing a lot of interest in Trek XII. It’ll come back eventually once, and whenever, the film gets underway, but I really think there should have been something to keep interest going in the interim. The endless quotes/interviews saying they’re working on it are all we’ve generally gotten in the last 18 months. I obviously don’t expect or want them to reveal story details, but i feel like something could have broken that endless cacophony.

#29 I agree completely. The whole point of a young new cast was so they could go on all these new adventures together and be more believeable than 60 to 70 year old guys playing those parts.

4 years in between films is going to catch up. At that pace I would be surprised if they do more than 3 movies with this cast.

“Stern: Do you spend any time with your children.
Abrams: I take them to school every day, make them lunches and put them to bed at night. And I don’t work on weekends, so I not absentee dad.”

You go, JJ Abrams. I am glad that you have your priorities right – wife and kids should come first, otherwise there is not a lot of point in the hard work. Don’t spread yourself so thin and please, focus on Star Trek and Star Trek only from now on. From now there should be only two focuses in your life – Family and Star Trek. Don’t mean to be bossy or anything – just want what could/should be good for everyone.

I’m not exactly surprised to hear the admission of a delay. Of course, I am disappointed. It has already been a long wait for the sequel. A kiwi summer (December – March) blockbuster movie, Star Trek 2012, should be just fine…Make it so!

It costs us as whole family about NZ$100 to go to the movies, if you include overpriced snack foods and drinks, so generally only one adult goes and takes the most enthusiastic of the three kids to see the movie at the cinema and the rest of us wait until it comes out on DVD, which we first rent and then purchase maybe, if we like it enough.

I like JJ Abrams and most of the shows he has made or been involved with. I just wish he would have given us a real engineering room instead of the brewery and I bet 80% of the complains against Trek 09 would be eliminated.

“Stern: Are you spreading yourself too thin? Because Super 8 took so long to make, you had to push off Star Trek 2, which you are the director of and everyone is waiting for. How far behind are you on Star Trek 2?”

Assuming the transcript left nothing out, JJ didn’t deny Stern’s statement that he was the director of the sequel.

If he turns out NOT to want to do it after expectations were raised, which he didn’t deny, that would be a huge vote of no confidence in the script.

Good for JJ putting family first but it is bad for Trek considering he did multiple movies Star Trek is obviously not priority I hate to say

I still think Star Trek will make it out in 2012, probably at the tail end of summer now, August 10th perhaps… But now that Super 8 is over with, It’s Star Trek all the way. Lets just hope it’s not rushed and they do the first movie proud by topping it.

Ok,frist off,oh my God,I am ticked!! (thinks of happy things to try to make ticked off feeling go away). Alright,now,I knew it was behind,but this much?! *sigh* My night has just gone bad.

I’m thrilled. Summer 2012 is way too crowded: TDKRises, Avengers, SpiderMan 4…
I’d rather see Trek 2 in holiday 2012, or spring 2013.

I have full confidence in JJ and his crew. They want to do right for the fans, and they themselves are fans, so Trek 2 will be great, no worries.

As far as JJ “spreading himself too thin”, the guy’s in demand…and he should take every opportunity that comes his way! Congrats JJ! Its the American dream, and you’re living it!

#35 Putting his family first is not bad for Star Trek. It is the fact that he has put so many other projects first that is bad for Star Trek.

As for the next Trek film receiving a smaller budget, well, JJ has proved that you can do a very good film with a lot less money than usual if you have to. Anyway, there is no reason to believe that the sequel won’t have a similar budget to the first Trek movie. I think, as I have said several times before, the real sticking point is the apparent push by Paramount to have the next Star Trek made in 3D, or worse still, have it converted to 3D. That issue has not come up but it is an important one for the studio and JJ Abrams, if he is to be the director.

Damn 3D! – I think we would know where we stood if it weren’t that irritating and complicating factor.

Let’s not forget that Super 8 is also a Paramount film. So it’s not like another studio is keeping JJ Abrams from doing Star Trek.
If anything Paramount has itself to blame. They wanted another movie from him. They got it, but may have to shift Star Trek because of that.

As someone else already said-leave it to stern to git jj to admit hes behind on trek–but admit it–trek is NOT JJS main or even only franchise project-if it was hed get bored n lise interest–hope its not released later than early dec 2012 cuz after dec21 all of us on west coast will sink into ocean n miss seeing it! i will be sooo poed as the waves surround me–sigh

It should be borne in mind that Welcome to People is also a Paramount production, which is why Alex Kurtzman has not been around much lately to work on Star Trek. I realise that WTP is a personal project of Alex Kurtzman’s but it was the studio who could have said to Kurtzman – “We will do your movie but only after…”

Could this be another example of Paramount yet again stomping on its beautiful golden goose, ie Star Trek franchise?

Now I can’t get any information about WTP’s status and release date and my posting asking about this gets deleted…Where else can I find out anything, honestly, guys? Be fair.

Lets hope Paramount still wants a movie…. If it gets put off enough, tehy may say to forget it. I would hate to see that happen, but putting it off for so long can hurt it.

“I wan to make sure that whatever we do, whenever it comes out, it is something people will have a great time watching.”



wait for it…..

…..sometime in the 23rd century

all my best

Its a shame that the mainstream doesn’t seem to realise there already is a Star Trek 2, its The Wrath of Khan.

God I am wondering if the new generation will get to see all the classic movies we grew up with

I think it’s mostly the script. They can’t move forward without it and it has to be better than the first. Getting it just right can’t be rushed, but they’ll need it done by end of summer to meet shooting timeframe in Sept. Still plenty of time for next summer.

Welcome To People is a Dreamworks production.


It’s no different than when they called The Dark Knight ‘Batman 2’. It’s just an easy shorthand that people who aren’t major Trek fans can understand.

NO I figure it will be out on time, even if they are six months behind, I think they can catch up :) I think they are tamping our hopes down.