Speaking exclusively with TrekMovie.com Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ Abrams talked about lessons he learned from Star Trek that he can apply to Star Wars, his hopes for a 2016 Star Trek movie, and how he thinks a new director could do it better, and more. Watch the interview and read full transcript below.
Saving the best of the junket videos for last, here is my exclusive interview with Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director JJ Abrams.
TrekMovie: Would you say it is a fair comment to say you brought a little bit of Star Wars to Star Trek?
JJ Abrams: Yeah. I think you can look at it that way and say the action, some of the more dynamic visceral stuff, was influenced by movies that I have loved including Star Wars. But I wouldn’t say it was literally a conscious decision, with the exception of maybe having some white walls and black shiny floors in some scenes. But for me the Star Wars and Star Trek universes are still pretty disparate.
TrekMovie: Can you see yourself brining something from Star Trek into Star Wars? What is something you learned from Star Trek that you think Star Wars can benefit from?
JJ Abrams: The experience of doing Star Trek was such an education. I am still realizing what I have learned from it and will continue to. I certainly feel like the scope and scale of something like Star Trek which is so epic, so huge, that you realize in terms of scale that establishing shots can’t be a building or a town or a continent, it has to be a planet. It’s almost like being in Las Vegas and you say "I’m just going to walk over to that hotel" and half an hour later you are still walking towards it "I’m not getting any closer, it is still far away!" There is a weird thing that happens with the scale of a movie like this. But I will tell you working with the actors, the crew, the visual effects people–I learned countless lessons and hope to take all of those into the next project.
TrekMovie: [fan submitted question from 14-year old Malle from France] Are you happy that young people like me have become Star Trek fans thanks to you and the actors?
JJ Abrams: I will fist say that is an incredibly sweet question. I am of course thrilled that because of what we have all done and it is certainly a testament to the actors who bring these characters to life yet again. The idea that there are people young or old who were never really Star Trek fans who checked this out and connect to it and feel its that thing you might have felt when you were a kid and you saw Star Trek and you were like "oh my god! That is cool. That inspires me." I always know there will always be those people who will be somehow offended by the fact that we started to work on something that they love so dearly and anything we do is somehow sacrilege. But I will say to people like [Malle], I am more grateful to them than I think they are to us.
TrekMovie: So it is confirmed that you are definitely producing [the next Star Trek movie]?
JJ Abrams: I would be producing it if one were to exist.
TrekMovie: Let’s assume it. [Paramount vice-chairman] Rob Moore said they definitely want to do another one. If that happens, do you feel that 2016 is the right time because of the 50th anniversary? Or does that conflict with a 2015 Star Wars movie? Are you that far into thinking about it?
JJ Abrams: Despite reports of what Rob Moore said, there have been no formal discussions about a third film. What I would say is that it feels like 2016 would be a great year given the celebration of the anniversary. But again I am open to whatever is the best possible version of the movie. Meaning if there is a great script and the story is there and it’s possible to release that movie in 2015, then great. If we don’t figure it out until a release for 2017–we don’t want a bad movie to come out just because there is a release date. That is true with everything. I would hope the right movie would come out in the right time.
TrekMovie: Well then with simple logistics, if you do a Star Wars movie in 2015 and they want 2016, is it logistically possible? You said to Playboy it is possible you might direct the next Star Trek? Doing the math, how can you possibly do that?
JJ Abrams: If they want in that period of time and if Star Wars goes forward as planned, it would obviously be a conflict. It depends when this movie would happen. And again as no formal discussions have started it is impossible to know. But in all likelihood if there is a movie sooner, there will be a different director on the film. It would be something we would all get together and agree on. We love this and care about it too much and want to make sure it is handled correctly. But I would say that having directed pilots and movies and then having seen subsequent directors work on those shows or do their own versions of those films – time and again I have seen it done better. And so I’m looking forward–if there is another director–it will be interesting to see. I am certain I will learn lessons watching their work.
More exclusive TrekMovie.com interviews
This is the final TrekMovie.com exclusive juket interview. Watch the others…
Stay tuned for more exclusive Star Trek Into Darkness interviews from the Hollywood premiere Karl Urban, Bob Orci/Alex Kurtzman, Neville Page, Roger Guyett, Michael Giacchino, and even JJ Abrams again (briefly). Plus we have text interviews talking spoilers with Damon Lindelof and Orci again (but those have spoilers so have to wait to week after release).