According to JJ Abrams, there is still a chance he could return to the director’s chair for a third Star Trek movie (even though he is set to direct the next Star Wars movie). This revelation and more comes from a new lengthy Playboy interview with Abrams. JJ also points to a young director he has his eye on and talks a bit about William Shatner too. Excerpts below.
Abrams: Directing Next Star Trek Still A Possibility
Playboy magazine has a very lengthy interview with Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director JJ Abrams. Maybe the most newsworthy bit is that JJ has not taken himself out of the running to direct (in addition to producing) the next Star Trek, saying…
PLAYBOY: Let’s talk sequels for a minute. Since you’re doing Star Wars, does that put you out of the running to direct the third Star Trek movie?
ABRAMS: No. I would say it’s a possibility. We’re trying to figure out the next step. But it’s like anything: It all begins with the story.
As discussed here at TrekMovie before, with the next Star Wars movie due in theaters in the summer of 2015 the logistics would prevent Abrams to direct a Star Trek movie in time for Summer of 2016. Since it is expected that Paramount would target the 50th anniversary of the franchise, 2016 is a very likely target for the movie (and Abrams Bad Robot producing partner Bryan Burk has also hinted that 2016 is a target date).
The only realistic way to get both Abrams in the directors chair and to hit 2016 would be to target a holiday release. That would require Abrams to start shooting the third Star Trek almost immediately after he delivers Star Wars Episode VII. That would mean that post-production on Star Wars would overlap with pre-production on Star Trek. Of course if Paramount chose to have another four year gap, then it shouldn’t be too for Abrams to direct the next Trek and deliver it in the summer of 2017.
The logistics of the next movie butting against the 50th anniversary have lead many to assume Abrams would chose another director, like he did when he tapped Brad Bird for Mission: Impossible: IV (Abrams directed M:I:III). If you want to look for another data point on the hint list, in an unrelated part of the interview Playboy asked Abrams about other directors he likes and he pointed to Looper’s Rian Johnson.
PLAYBOY: Who’s an up-and-coming director to keep an eye on?
ABRAMS: Rian Johnson. I love what he did with Looper, the scope of the movie and the emotion—and that moment when we discover who the Rainmaker is is one of the most chilling, awesome moments I’ve seen in movies in a long time. He has a big career ahead of him.
If you aren’t familiar with Johnson, here is a Looper junket interview with him.
Abrams Talks Shatner ‘Compliment’
There is much much more from Abrams in the Playboy interview on Into Darkness, Star Wars, his TV shows, etc. So it is worth reading but here is another fun gem, with JJ talking about Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner…
PLAYBOY: Did Leonard Nimoy or William Shatner drop by the [Into Darkness] set?
ABRAMS: Leonard did. I love him; he’s always a joy. The cast and crew got to applaud him and give a fraction of the thanks he deserves. He’s just an absolute gentleman. Shatner? [sighs] I haven’t spoken with him in a long time, but I did read something where he gave me a fantastic underhanded compliment. Something like our movie was a fun action ride and maybe one day it’ll have heart. A great compliment only to pull the rug out in a way that only Shatner can do. I adore him.
Abrams is probably referring to Shatner’s January 2013 interview with CNN when he said Abrams was a "great filmmaker" but that the original Star Trek films had "more soul."
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