Keri Russell A Klingon?

Keri Russell got her big acting break in the 90s as the title character on JJ Abrams first show Felicity. Abrams also cast Russell in a supporting role for Mission Impossible III. This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly has an extensive feature on Russell as part of the promotion of her new film Waitress. The article includes some quotes from Abrams regarding working with Russell and concludes with speculation on their next collaboration…

Lost To End In 2010

ABC’s Lost (created by Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof) is currently wrapping up its third season. The producers of the highly serialized show have spoken in the past about how they wanted to set a specific end date, and now ABC have finally agreed. Variety is reporting that ABC have cut a ‘paradigm-shifting’ deal with show runners Damon Liindelof and Carlton Cuse to bring the show to an end in 2010. Originally Cuse and Lindelof wanted to do two more seasons, but the final deal (said to be ‘hefty’) will be to do three shortened 16 episode seasons instead. Although Abrams is no longer part of the day to day, he is still an executive producer and is quoted in the Variety article as supporting the decision.

Dinner With JJ

As part of our ‘get to know your Trek XI team’ series, here are some clips from IFC’s Dinner for 5 shot In the summer of 2005. There is nothing about Trek in this, but shows JJ Abrams in a more relaxed setting.

JJ Abrams Confirms Kirk In Star Trek XI

In the new issue of Star Trek Magazine, JJ Abrams finally breaks his silence….a tiny bit. Trek XI’s producer/director  tells the official Trek mag  "James T Kirk appears in the movie." Although this has been the rumor and essentially working assumption, it is actually the first time that anyone associated with the film has officially disclosed any plot detail about the film. Still no word on who will actually play Kirk in the film or any other official details from Paramount, but Abrams did offer this…

JJ Abrams Sends A Message To the Fans

It is still a bit early for Star Trek XI to have any official panels or presentations for the Creation Grand Slam being held this weekend in Burbank, but J.J. Abrams still had a presence. Trek XI’s writer/director sent a message to the fans, which was read to the crowd by Richard Arnold Saturday morning.   Dear Grandslammers, We are currently in pre-pre-pre-production, and are all beyond excited — and honored — to bring you the next chapter in the Star Trek saga. There will be much more to say at next year’s convention — but for now, know that we are working hard to do you proud. Thank you for your support, and for keeping Mr. Roddenberry’s vision alive. Best, J.J. Abrams

Joe Carnahan Calls Out JJ Abrams – Six Degrees Cancelled

Before JJ Abrams was selected to write and direct Mission: Impossible III, the job was in the hands of Joe Carnahan. The director of such films as Smokin’ Aces spent around 15 months working on the film until he had a falling out with Paramount and Tom Cruise. When Abrams came on board he threw out the Carnahan script and started from scratch. Now Carnahan claims his version would have "kicked the s**t out" of the Abrams version. Carnahan touts how his M:I:III would have had a gun toting Carrie-Anne Moss, a sexy Scarlett Johansson, and Kenneth Branagh playing the villain (none of whom were ever officially signed on to do the film). Although Abrams’ film did fall short of hopes, it still grossed $400 Million before DVD sales and was regarded by most critics to be the best of the franchise. 

ABC Gives Abrams & Shatner Renewals

Although it isn’t a surprise, ABC has announced early renewals for fourteen of its shows including Lost created by Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof. Although the show has slipped in the ratings, ABC still touts that it is the highest rated scripted show for the key 18-49 demographic. Although Abrams has not been involved in the day to day for the show since season 1, Damon Lindelof has been sharing show running duties with Carlton Cuse (including doing weekly podcasts). Now that JJ Abrams is committed to directing Trek XI it is expected that much of the producing duties will probably fall on Lindelof. What effect this has on season 4 of Lost is still unknown. The fate of Abrams other ABC shows, Six Degrees and What About Brian, remains less certain. Six Degrees returns this Friday after a long hiatus and retooling.

Abrams On Music And Trek XI Composer Giacchino

Among the many facets to JJ Abrams is his love of music. He plays a number of instruments and even composed the themes for both Alias and Felicity. In a new interview with Helio magazine, the Trek XI producer/director talks music and how he grew up listening to movie scores. He lists John Williams, Tom Twyker, John Barry and even Tangerine Dream among the composers he admires. Regarding his choice for composer for Star Trek XI, Abrams had this to say… Michael Giacchino, is a genius in terms of current working composers. I’m biased, but I think he’s as good as it gets, with contemporary composers.

Abrams: Choosing Trek XI Not About the Benjamins

At last week’s Cinequest Festival JJ Abrams did talk a bit about Star Trek XI, but didn’t reveal any details. However, he did discuss his passion for the script and the project: If I talk about this movie, everyone else who is involved with it knows where I live and will use that and, er, kill me. I can say that when the script came in it was so well written, it was so emotional, it was fun, and big and I found myself unable to not direct it! I couldn’t give it up. I think it’s going to be great. If in my gut I felt there was nothing else to offer, I wouldn’t do it. It’s not a business decision, I would rather take no money and do something inspiring. I hope it ends up being both a really cool, original, emotional ride and comes from something that we’re familiar with.

Abrams Taking Advice From Futurists – May Work On Trek Game

JJ Abrams is a bit of a nerd and has a thing for technology. In a new interview with Wired, JJ Abrams talks about his influences and his views on technology. Of course he also talks about Star Trek XI. On the subject of why he chose to direct : When I read the script I couldn’t imagine — I’d feel like an idiot if I let someone else (direct) it. It’s clearly a fun, emotional and wild adventure. And I thought, if I have a chance to do it, how could I not take it? That was why I signed up. This is going to be an incredibly fun movie. I can’t believe that they’re letting us do this.

Stephen King Trusts JJ Abrams To Make Dark Tower

The first news that JJ Abrams would be working with Stephen King on an adaptation of The Dark Tower series set off a series of ‘he wont direct Star Trek XI’ rumors. Now that all that unpleasantness is behind us there still is news related to Abrams and The Dark Tower. At a panel discussion last weekend Stephen King himself confirmed he had optioned the book to JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof for $19! Apparently King really likes Abrams and Lindelof’s work on Lost and according to a report at AICN,  King says that he ‘trusted’ the pair to make his film work on the big screen. Things are still very preliminary and it is clear that there isn’t even a script yet so this looks to be a project for the Trek XI producers to tackle after they bring Trek back to the big screen. AICN’s Quint also has a new interview with King where he talks about the project. 

Abrams Confirmed To Direct Star Trek XI – Expected To Be Out Christmas 2008

For weeks TrekMovie.com has been telling you not to believe everything you hear and to be patient…well now that patience has paid off. According to the Hollywood Reporter J.J. Abrams finalized his deal to direct Star Trek XI on Friday. TrekMovie.com also learned earlier this week that Paramount have slated Christmas 2008 for the release of Star Trek XI. It is also likely that Abrams and the studio have agreed on a script. When we last spoke to him, Abrams told TrekMovie.com that his decision to direct would not be made until the script was finalized and he felt he was the right man for the job. The director deal is one of the last steps before an official greenlight and it may be that this has happened as well.

Abrams’ Episode of The Office Airs Tonight

We still don’t know if JJ Abrams will direct Star Trek XI, but we do know that he directed an episode of The Office. When TrekMovie.com interviewed Abrams last year he mentioned how much he loved the hit NBC comedy, so much so that he squeezed in directing one in between the million other projects he has going. It will be interesting if we see Dwight make a reference to Lost again. The JJ Abrams created show has come up on The Office and Dwight even has a blog posting about what would happen if the Battlestar Galactica crash landed on the Lost island (best line ‘first of all, they would have lasers’). In other Lost news, after seeing a big dip in ratings Lost has started to climb back up but is still off from its highs of the past. Regarding Trek XI, still cannot confirm if Abrams has made any decision yet regarding directing. Abrams good taste and ability to direct comedy is perhaps a clue that we may see some of that TOS trademark humor in Star Trek XI. Abrams’ The Office episode "Cocktails" airs tonight on NBC at 8:30. More info and a preview at TV.com.

Abrams, Lost & MI:III Receive Saturn Nominations

Star Trek XI producer (and possible director) JJ Abrams has received a Saturn Award nomination as best director for Mission: Impossible III. In addition the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror have nominated M:I:III for best action/adventure thriller. In the directors category Abrams will be going head to head with fellow Trekkie Bryan Singer for Superman Returns. Singer’s Superman racked in a total of 10 nominations and M:I:III garnered a total of 5. Lost (produced by both Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof) led the TV nominations with a total of 6, including best series.

More Rumors: Abrams To Direct Dark Tower Adaptation? [UPDATED: Rumor somewhat confirmed]

The ‘Abrams is going to direct another movie’ rumors keep flying. Now IGN is reporting that Abrams will direct an adaptation of the Stephen King series "The Dark Tower." IGN claim their sources indicate an announcement is forthcoming, but are not sure if the project is for TV or film. Dark Tower is a popular 7 book series that mixes elements of sci-fi, fantasy and westerns. IGN speculate that the Dark Tower project may related to the previously reported mysterious "Cloverfield" project. TrekMovie.com has recently confirmed that Abrams does have multiple projects in the works (including one called Cloverfield) and that he is still considering directing Trek XI. Sources close to the production indicate that Trek XI news should also be forthcoming. Hopefully soon all the various Abrams projects and his involvement will be clarified. Even if Abrams does not direct Trek XI, all indications are that he will still produce and that the project is still moving forward (but is yet to get the official ‘green light’). UPDATE: Hollywood Repoter confirms talks between King and Abrams

Abrams & Trek XI Update

This has been a busy week for JJ Abrams and Trek XI rumors, here is what we know. The decision on the green light for Trek XI is still pending, but things look good for it to start pre-production in the coming weeks. Multiple sources close to the production tell TrekMovie.com that Abrams is still involved in Trek XI as well as other projects at Paramount as part of his multi picture deal. We have learned that one of these other projects is a horror film called "Cloverfield", but (contrary to rumors) it should have not impact Star Trek XI. We can also confirm that it is not related to a ghost story script called "The Battle for Cloverfield" which was to be made by Columbia before going dormant in 2003. Many of the preparations for Star Trek XI are already underway with inquiries on availability going out to various crew people. The art department is slated to start going in March, with set construction probably starting in late Spring. We have also been told that as many as 5 stages have been set aside for Star Trek XI, all of which have been used for Trek TV and film projects in the past. There is no word yet on Abrams directing, but that decision should be made soon. Again this is Hollywood so things can change, but that is the status as of now.

Abrams Still On For Star Trek XI – May Still Direct

Again with the rumors. Latino Review (who pushed last week’s debunked rumor that Abrams has left the project) have now morphed their rumor into saying that Abrams will not direct Star Trek XI, but will direct a different film called "Cloverfield" for Paramount. TrekMovie.com have been told by a source close to the production that this rumor is "so totally wrong". Abrams is still attached to the project as producer, the film is still going forward, and preperation are being made (including a number of stages being set aside). No decision or deal (either way) has yet been made regarding if Abrams will be directing the film. In addition Abrams confirmed to AICN that he is ‘not off Trek’.Some of this confusion may be due to the fact that Abrams has a multi-picture deal with Paramount; in fact Greg Grunberg recently told IGN Abrams had 3 projects going at the studio right now. As we have been reporting, this month may be where many of the big decisions on Trek are made so expect more rumors and more fact checking here at TrekMovie.com. And of course, things change so take it all in with the usual grains of salt.

Grunberg: Trek XI Script Being Finished – Abrams ‘really, really happy with it’

J.J. Abrams best friend Greg Grunberg is giving William Shatner a run for his money on being the best blabber about Star Trek XI. IGN caught up with the Heroes star and he told them that he doesn’t have the script yet, but that Abrams "was finishing it last week". On the subject of the day regarding if Abrams will direct or not, Grunberg noted how the answer keeps changing: One week he tells me he’s not sure. One week, he told me, ‘No. I’m definitely just producing.’ And then just last week he was like, ‘Man, I’m really excited to do it.’ I said, ‘Are you doing it?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ I mean, honestly, it’s like he’s still really up in the air. But he’s really happy with the script. I know that. Really, really happy.   

Big Decision Week For Star Trek XI?

TrekMovie.com has already reported that February is the point where Trek XI could move from ‘development’ to getting a green light (or not) and going into pre-production. In the last few weeks we have been getting various reports from sources around the studio that things are progressing and preperations are already being made to start some preliminary work the coming weeks. Now comes this from today’s Hollywood Reporter: Over at Paramount Pictures, for example, there is now a question whether J.J. Abrams will direct "Star Trek XI." …Although Paramount is hopeful that Abrams will captain the Starship Enterprise, sources said the director likely will make his decision later this week.

Abrams Wants You To Have An Open Mind

EW.com got a moment to talk Star Trek with JJ Abrams after his panel at the New York Times’ 6th Annual Arts & Leisure Weekend. Abrams confirmed TrekMovie.com’s earlier report that there is a draft of the script complete and that it will be ‘trimmed soon’. As usual JJ would not reveal any plot details but did address the contentious issue of who Trek XI is directed at. Abrams made it clear that they have a wide aim: On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying…For people who’ve never seen it or know it vaguely, I think they will enjoy it equally, because the movie does not require you to know anything about Star Trek. I would actually prefer [that] people don’t know the series, because I feel like they will come to it with an open mind.’

Abrams To Produce Medical Show For HBO

As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, JJ Abrams will be the Executive Producer on a new medical drama just given the green light by HBO. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as is "a hospital drama that explores the battle against cancer from the patients’ point of view." It is based on a book "The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness". This is the first show that would be part of Abrams deal to develop new TV shows for Warner Brothers and would make it the 4th show he would be currently producing. It is also reported that Abrams may direct the pilot episode of the untitled medical show. The Trek XI writer/producer is already slated to direct episodes of The Office and Lost this year, but has still not committed to directing Star Trek XI. More info at The Hollywood Reporter.

Trek And Abrams Making The Lists

IGN Filmforce have been counting down the top 25 film franchises and Star Trek ended up as #5.  Eric Moro, IGN Editor in Chief sums Trek up thusly: Ever since The Original Series debuted on NBC back in 1966, there’s been a steady stream of Trek within the pop culture zeitgeist. Sure, I can spew off franchise facts like six TV series, 10 feature films (with an 11th currently in development from J.J. Abrams), tons of videogames, action figures, novels, comic books and two Las Vegas themed attractions. But perhaps more impressive is the impact the property has made on fandom itself—I’m talking the fan fiction, the fan films (most found on the Internet) and the yearly conventions. Even more impressive still is the impact these fans have made on the mainstream. One of many examples: After a massive letter writing campaign, NASA names the first space shuttle the Enterprise. Now that’s a powerhouse franchise!

Abrams Still Not Confirmed To Direct

In the recent story about comments from Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman we noted that Variety had stated that JJ Abrams was ‘slated to direct’ Star Trek XI. This of course would be newsworthy if it were true because just recently Abrams told TrekMovie he had not yet decided and would not decide until the script was complete. Some other sites have taken the Variety article as confirmation from Dauman that Abrams has made that decision, but it appears that this is a bit premature. TrekMovie has a transcript of Dauman’s comments to the CSFB conference and he made no mention of Abrams at all. The ‘Abrams directing’ line was added by Variety, something which they have done before and to which Abrams has noted they were wrong on. TrekMovie has also checked with a source inside Paramount who attributes it to ‘lazy journalism’. Although everyone assumes Abrams will be the director, it is still officially undecided.

Abrams To Direct Episode Of ‘The Office’

Star Trek XI  producer JJ Abrams remains coy about whether or not he will direct the next Trek feature, but he has committed to do some directing in 2007. Abrams is already slated to direct an episode of his hit series Lost this season and according to TV Guide will also direct an episode of the NBC comedy ‘The Office’ in January. TV Guide reports that Abrams is a big fan of the show. TrekMovie.com can confirm this, in fact we got him on tape saying so during our recent interview with him.

Abrams Gushes Over Nimoy and Shatner

3 months ago TrekMovie confirmed that both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have some sort of contractual involvement in Star Trek XI. In the latest issue of Dreamwatch Magazine, producer J.J. Abrams talks up how happy he is to have them around… the involvement of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy means a great deal to us on many levels, not the least of which is just the respect of who they are and what they do. They are the carriers of this torch and, without being too reverential; we want to show them the kind of appreciation and admiration they deserve.

More From Shat On Coming Back From The Dead

Things were a bit quiet from the Shatner camp since his odd ‘gas’ statement a few weeks back, but now he is again talking up JJ Abrams and Star Trek XI. Shat is promoting his new gameshow ‘Show Me The Money’ but interviewers always get around to asking about Trek. The Shat tells UGO I met with Mr. Abrams, and they’ve got a really good plot going, and they’re trying to find Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk, the elderly ones. How you get a dead Captain to communicate with himself, younger, is going to be a very arduous plotting, and I’m going to be interested to see how they solve it.  

Shatner Says Abrams Wants Him and Nimoy in Trek XI

William Shatner appeared at a couple of Trek conventions over the weekend and gave some more details from his conversations with Star Trek XI Producer J.J. Abrams. According to TrekWeb, Shatner again confirmed that the characters of Kirk and Spock would be in the film, telling the crowd in Springfield, MA that "I had a talk with J.J. Abrams a while ago and they were writing a new script – and we are all hoping it will be wonderful…and he said, they were going to get the Kirk and Spock characters in there." The next day Shatner was in New York where Doug Wilson of TrekCore.com reports Shatner as saying "J.J. [Abrams] is committed to having Leonard and I, Leonard and me, in the film." Shatner also suggested that Abrams would be looking at unkowns for the roles of the younger Kirk and Spock.

Viacom Chief Hearts JJ

A couple of months ago TrekMovie speculated that changes in the leadership at Paramount’s parent company Viacom may ripple down to the recently signed JJ Abrams. However it appears that the new CEO of Viacom is a fan; Philippe Dauman had the following to say in a conference call with investors: We are doing all this while ramping up to produce a strong line-up of films including Tent Pole under the Paramount marquee. A key component to this revitalization is making sure we attract the best talent and we’ve already been successful in making deals with some of the biggest names in the business including Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, whom I had the pleasure to spend some time with last night, Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell.