Exclusive: Lindelof Talks When Into Darkness Villain Was Chosen + Chance Of Abrams Directing Next Trek & More

At the Star Trek Into Darkness London premiere TrekMovie had an exclusive chance to speak to writer/producer Damon Lindelof who gave a frank appraisal of the chances of JJ Abrams returning to the director’s chair for the next movie along with talking about how long ago they decided on their approach for Into Darkness, and more. Watch the interview below.


Exclusive: Lindelof – Accept Abrams Won’t Direct Next Trek

TrekMovie.com spoke with writer/producer Damon Lindelof at the London premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness.

Here are some highlights:

More challenging – rebooting Star Trek in 2009 vs following up what was seen as big success…

I think they were equal challenges. I remember being terrified in both instances and then meditating on the same way of dealing with that terror, which was: my job is not to be intimidated by the success of everything that came before. My job is to job is to help JJ [Abrams] tell the best story that he can. And when I put my head down and focused on what was ahead of me instead of what was behind me I was able to do it. 

Lindelof on how early on they chose what direction to go in for ‘Into Darkness’…

We had conversations during the first movie and right after the first movie came out about ‘OK, we are going to do that thing we talked about, right?’ ‘Yes, we are going to do it.’

On possibility of JJ Abrams directing next Star Trek movie in time for 2016 anniversary…

I think we have to fundamentally accept that JJ is not going to direct this [next Star Trek] movie, although I wouldn’t rule anything out. And if Star Wars is indeed coming out in the summer of 2015, unless the cloning technology that I am not fully aware of exists it is going to be tough.

On the rest of the team [Orci, Kurtzman, Burk, Lindelof] returning for Into Darkness sequel…

I really hope that everybody that worked on these last two movies can continue to work on what comes next – perhaps in a different capacity? I just care too deeply for Trek to step away.

On finding a new director to continue on after two films with such a unique style..

JJ is such a unique talent that finding someone who does what he does is next to impossible. So I think what step one is: find someone who has a passion for Trek and a passion for these two movies and a vision for what comes next.

More Star Trek Into Darkness coming soon.

TrekMovie also spoke to Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman on the red carpet and they revealed how fans were influenced Into Darkness and more. Look for that later tonight.

TrekMovie will then move on to our exclusive interviews from the junket with JJ Abrams, Zoe Saldana, Alice Eve, Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto, and finally Karl Urban & Simon Pegg.  And in each interview we were able to ask one question submitted by readers of TrekMovie.com.

And we also have some ‘generic electronic press kit’ soundbite videos from the cast and crew we will be sharing. So keep coming back all week with new exclusives, videos and interviews every day until the release of Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Great interview Anthony.

You actually read all that already?

He is a true fan

JJ did a great job with 2009 Trek, and I’m confident I’m going to love what he did with Into Darkness. But I’m excited to see what a new person can do with what JJ and his writing team have established.

I really hope Benedict Cumberbatch’s character survives STID and is used in the next one. Based on what non-spoiler things I’ve read I’m concerned he was underused in STID. He is a once-in-a-lifetime talent and needs to be in the ST XIII!!!

Also.. I’m looking forward to Star Trek getting back on where it should be – TV. Whatever makes that happen, I’m behind. The big budge movies are awesome, but you will never get the kind of deep character interaction that ST is built around without a weekly show. I’m currently watching Enterprise Season 3 (for the first time), and it is so awesome. I WANT A TV SHOW BACK!

Bryan Singer?

Oh, okay then. I’ll direct the next movie.

If JJ where not to come back to direct, I would love to see Edgar Wright given a shot.

bryan singer is a good choice
never heard of edgar wright

Edgar Wright

Shaun of the Dead
Hot Fuzz
Scott Pilgrim
(the soon to be ) Ant Man

He can have that fast pace that I think would suit the JJ style of Trek.

Fast pace movie is fine. Just bring this alternate reality universe full circle, whomever takes the helm of ST3. Vulcan gone???? Romulus gone????

And CBS/Paramount we need a Television Series.

Movies are great, but as Rod Roddenberry stated Star Trek thrives on Television Series!!!!!


I’m good for a TV show. But it can just as well take place ub the JJ verse.

@10. Rommie

I don’t think I’m in favour of that. The two universes are separate now. I just don’t see the point in tying the package in a neat bow by ‘healing the timeline’. I like the concept of similar yet different.

I agree it would be good to see Star Trek back on TV. Either universe, and any timeframe, could be used for that, although the Alternate universe does provide more of a ‘clean slate’ to explore. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing how the remnant Romulans & Remans develop. But seriously, any TV show would have to be able to appeal to today’s audiences while hopefully staying true to the more thoughtful aspects of Trek past, if you expect it to inspire a new generation ‘to boldly go where no one has gone before’.

Nicholas Meyer

I’m sure there are plenty of folks right here on this site who are more qualified to write and direct a better Star Trek movie than Abrams and company.

Here’s your chance, guys!

Matthew Vaughan. X-Men 1st class was outstanding and i think he would do well with Trek.

4 Julio Scissors,
“The big budge movies are awesome, but you will never get the kind of deep character interaction that ST is built around without a weekly show.”

You know, what happens after you take Trek Big Budget?

The previous movies were never so much more spectacular than the TV series to be indistinguishable. Now Trek has entered the same territory as Star Wars and the DC & Marvel franchises. Those franchises do have a TV presence, but it’s an animated one. Could that be because fans are more willing to accept an animated version of something rather than a cheap live action version? Would Trek fans, especially the new Abrams ones, watch a show that doesn’t look as good as what they last saw at the theater? Especially one that has substantially less action and much more dialogue in part due to TV budget limitations? In other words a completely different experience. Could that potentially hurt the films by giving Trek a bad reputation among the new audiences that drive those massive box offices and budgets?

Considering this, perhaps animation is the way to go, to keep Trek’s visuals and action on par with what the movies offer.

Why not go with 2 directors. Alex Kurtzman has the passion & could do all the drama scenes JJ could just about fit in the big action scenes Alex could do the smaller ones. For sure there is no-one else who can do the action like JJ so its not possible to get someone for that I would hate for them to hire an unknown or gamble on someone who is currently working right now there is no obvious choice. Would not be surprised if Star Wars cannot make 2015 it seems a big ask when no screenplay they need at least 3 years to make these movies & Disney are also talking a movie every year from 2015 I think the first movie will be the character driven one not the JJ Star Wars. If they develop the Star Trek story this year & early next they can film in mid 2014 which allows plenty of time to make the 2016 date.

Given that Star Trek is huge now the deciding factor should be which director the current guys would like to develop a working relationship with in the industry.

If you could work with anyone who would it be should be the decider.

I do think Tarantino would be a great choice.

To Anthony: no interview with Ben Cumberbatch?

This is kinda random & tongue-in-cheek ….Can Disney buy Paramount so that Abram/Orci/Kurtzman/Lindelof can have a Star Wars – Star Trek crossover movie? And while they’re at it, Disney can buy Universal so that BSG can join the fun. “Battle Star Trek Wars” ;)

You want a vision of what comes next what about a balance of terror episode in this new universe? find out what the romulans are up to, the real ones in this universe.

Not that idiot Nero I mean what idiot goes back in time after the loss of his people and DOESNT tell them what’s coming and instead goes straight for revenge

So I always thought you should have done something like a grandson of the guy from that episode who gets killed by kirk while Romulus is being evacuated as it gets destroyed finds out that if it wasnt for kirk the romulan empire would have attacked and destroyed earth or overthrown the the federation

and taken over back then, keeping the empires glory then sets a plan to go back into the past into action using the star trek 4 trick after raiding some starfleet archive of some secret files like that

thus changing the universe and starting this time line.

I mean it would use established continuity, explain why the go back to the past trick is not used that much in the shows (as its top secret) and also sort of split the universes.

although no old spock with that one, unless he’s the one who spills the beans or mentions it to him and thus gets brought with them

on the other hand that brings up why not just go back in time and warn them with absolute proof and thus avoid the whole thing, unless he wants to save his grandfather

Nicholas Meyer!!!

@16 Curious Cadet

Good point. But nowadays, there are TV series (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, etc.) that are nearly movie-quality themselves. There’s a far smaller jump in quality between the two mediums today, IMO.

I believe if Star Trek were done properly on TV, the difference between small screen and big screen versions wouldn’t be so large as to make the former look like the latter’s “little brother”.

If anyone in London want two premium seat tickets to the IMAX Star Trek screening at Waterloo next week check out

@13 @22

Meyer is my choice also!

somebody needs to invent cloning technology!!

@13 @22

not in a million years my friends.


One of these days, I should upload my Star Trek 2-Kill Bill mashup trailer.

Ooh I hope that J.J. remains on board with Trek- He has done such a great job here. I know Star Wars is uber big, and epic. It must be hard to sleep at night knowing what a dream it is to be getting to helm both Trek and Wars!!

But I do hope that he remains for the last movie, it would be a great loss to not have him complete the 3rd in the sense it is like artwork. This masterpiece of this trilogy needs to be finished. I think he would also have a better sense of closure to do the last one. (ok, that may sound silly, but wouldn’t any of you feel like the job isn’t complete?)

Come on, J.J. finish what you’ve started…. it’s ….your…..destiny….

Sam Mendes. Didn’t do a terrible job on Skyfall did he! Who knows if he’d do Trek though.

Duncan Jones
Neill Blomkamp
Joseph Kosinski
Danny Boyle
Christopher Nolan
Matthew Vaughan
Guillermo del Toro
I think either one could do a great job in this universe! Of course, I’d bring in new writers too, start fresh.

Whoever it is, they MUST be familiar with/have a passion for Trek.
When was the last time he even did a damn movie??

I hope JJ doesn’t direct the next one. He’s obviously going to turn his attention to what he actually loves, Star Wars. We need someone that appreciates what Star Trek is. Not to say that he did a bad job by any means, but I think a lot of the reason the first movie didn’t quite have the heart of the originals was because of directing. He still makes an awesome producer, though.

RE: “Healing the timeline”

There is absolutely no need to. What the writers say is cannon is cannon. They have said specifically that the prime timeline still exists and was not wiped out.

The only reason to heal something like that is to restore it. Well you can’t restore the prime universe if it hasn’t been wiped out.

yeah this is basically a split universe, thing is this is not the primary one trying to be fixed in the tv show, this is a 100% a different universe.

there is no A, B, C, D or E enteprise although sadly archer did exist in this one apparently lol

so the whole Archer wiping out people because of some BS thing with the prime directive even though he had the cure, it happened in this universe I guess.

the one thing they do reference and its a bad thing lol

Whatever you do Paramount! Do NOT Bring Back Rick Berman


Quite frankly, whether or not J.J. Abrams is directed by “Star Trek XIII,” I am cool with that. I hope Bryan Singer would direct “Star Trek XIII.” Also, I am cool with whether Michael Giacchino or John Ottman would score “Star Trek XIII.” If Ottman does, he may incorporate Alexander Courage’s original series theme and the option of incorporating original music themes from the 2009 movie–mostly the 2009 movie theme tune–by Michael Giacchino.

Jonathan Frakes would do a good director for Star Trek 3.


Just kidding XD

damn, I love it! Thanks Anthony for asking some thought invoking questions

Directing was a completely different thing in 1982 and 1991; I don’t think Nicholas Meyer could even handle this kind of Star Trek. Nimoy admitted he couldn’t; I don’t know about Frakes.

I would be glad if Abrams had less to do with it. I think Orci and Kurtzman write really well, but Abrams is obsessed with the “cool factor” and makes changes just for that.

Like almost everyone else, I want Star Trek back on TV. An Enterprise season 5 on Netflix would be great if Manny Coto and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens were back to run it.

” Balance Of Terror” should be called “Balance Of Power” in the Abramsverse.

I’m enjoying this comment thread; some very thoughtful ideas are coming-up, here! I haven’t been following directors, particularly, in this genre, too much of late. Have been following actors more.

But if I had a dream choice, I think I’d pick Jonathan Demme. He doesn’t direct much fiction now, but he’s a master at balancing character development and action, and has a longtime reputation for getting amazing performances out of actors. Unfortunately, I doubt he’d be interested.

I know. I’m quirky. That’s life.


Do it!Do it!Do it!

“JJ is such a unique talent that finding someone who does what he does is next to impossible.”

I don’t mean to be overly critical (and skeptical), but really???

There are many talented actors, many of whom would jump at the chance to direct a “Star Trek” film. Bryan Singer, Jonathan Frakes,

Like many others who have voiced this, I would like (and prefer) to see TREK back on television. I think Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future can be better visualized on TV.

Frankly, I tire of BIG spectacle TREKs. Run, shoot, run some more, explosions, dire threats against the Earth and Federation do not make a good TREK (at least one that embodies the philosophy and ideals of exploration).

“There are many talented actors, many of whom would jump at the chance to direct a “Star Trek” film. Bryan Singer, Jonathan Frakes,”

Sorry to laugh out loud but that’s way off the charts. Neither of those guys are in the right league.

I would agree that there are others who could do it though.

Oops… thanks Chris. I obviously meant DIRECTORS.

Major spoiler in the Lindeloff comments.

“We had conversations during the first movie and right after the first movie came out about ‘OK, we are going to do that thing we talked about, right?’ ‘Yes, we are going to do it.’ “

It seems to be confirmed:

John Harrison is Khan!!!

The german magazine “Spiegel Online” at Spiegel.de confirmed in a review that John Harrison IS an old and well known villain: KHAN!

Here is the link (in german):


I will see the film on Thursday, 09. May 2013 – can’t wait to see it!!!