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J.J. Abrams Shares Details on How Unexpected Star Trek Will Be Next Summer!

by
May 1, 2008

J.J. Abrams and Star Trek

The trend in movie news this week seems to be discussion on next year's summer line-up. One of the many blockbusters in the works is J.J. Abrams' Star Trek - a modernized re-envisioning of the classic sci-fi series. Abrams is admittedly not the biggest fan of Star Trek, so why exactly did he take on this project? "It was an opportunity to take what I think has been a maligned world — to sound crass, a franchise — and treat it in a way that made it something that I wanted to see." The Associated Press recently talked with Abrams about the film and what we can expect next summer. If you're not convinced about Star Trek just yet, then how about this: "The whole point was to try to make this movie for fans of movies, not fans of Star Trek, necessarily."

Now before any Star Trek fans get too aggravated by that statement, Abrams has more to add. In fact, he makes a very convincing point regarding the franchise, which is why I think Paramount gave him the keys to this movie to begin with. Considering Star Trek: Nemesis flopped at the box office, despite it received rather positive feedback from fans, as Abrams says, continuing on down that path really wouldn't have led to anymore mainstream success.

"If you're a fan, we've got one of the writers who's a devout Trekker, so we were able to make sure we were serving the people who are completely enamored with 'Star Trek.' But we are not making the movie for that contingent alone."

"You can't really make a movie for them. As soon as you start to guess what you think they are going to want to see, you're in trouble. You have to make the movie in many ways for what you want to see yourself, make a movie you believe in. Then you're not second-guessing an audience you don't really have an understanding of."

While it may seem like Abrams is just digging himself an even bigger hole at every turn, let's get back to the very first quesiton - why would Abrams take this project on if it he isn't the biggest fan, or for that matter, doesn't fully understand the fanbase anyway?

"It was an opportunity to take what I think has been a maligned world — to sound crass, a franchise — and treat it in a way that made it something that I wanted to see. To take the characters, the thoughtfulness, the personalities, the sense of adventure, the idea of humanity working together, the sense of social commentary and innovation, all that stuff. To take it and apply it in a way that felt genuinely thrilling."

Now that is the quote we were looking for - this is why I'm so confident in Abrams when it comes to Star Trek. He may not be the biggest fan, but he knows how to make movies, damn good ones. He goes on to say that "the movie would remain faithful to the original while breaking new ground in action, drama and visual effects," but we already knew that was the case. I'm not sure everyone agrees, but I believe Abrams breathed new life into the Mission: Impossible franchise with the third film - and I might even be hard pressed to say that I enjoy it more as a cinematic experience than the first one.

Before we settle down into the summer movie season of 2008, we've got to give the buzz for Star Trek another boost - it's got to last an entire year! Currently scheduled for release on May 8th, 2009, Star Trek was moved from its release in December of this year to, as the studio execs say, give it a chance to perform as a summer blockbuster. As we all already know, this film will, as Abrams says, "[give us] a chance to see what Kirk and Spock would look like done now." And I'm not lying when I say I'm very excited to see what Abrams and his crew (pun intended) have come up with.

"I feel like this is so unlike what you expect, so unlike the 'Star Trek' you've seen. At the same time, it's being true to what's come before, honoring it," Abrams said. "I can say the effects for 'Star Trek' have never, ever been done like this. ... I can only tell you the idea of the universe of 'Star Trek' has never been given this kind of treatment."

How's that for a final bit of excitement to launch us into the summer of 2008?! Now Abrams has already made me excited for the summer of 2009! While I know that everyone's focus is on Iron Man and The Dark Knight right now, I can't help but be just a little bit excited for Star Trek, too. I guess it's good to know that after we finish this summer, we'll already have a just-as-incredible line-up ready for next summer. And as we wait another year for J.J. Abrams and the ILM visual effects crew to finish work on Star Trek, maybe he'll have enough extra time to spring another Cloverfield on us next January.

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  • http://www.thestopbutton.com/ Andrew Wickliffe
    Wait a second. So it's lame when comic book movies aren't "faithful" to the comic book, but it's cool when a Star Trek movie isn't "faithful" to Star Trek? It's the pedophile thing, isn't it?
  • DjoMiGod
    Wth- I don't have any idea what you're talking about, Wickliffe, but you're RIGHT. Whatever it is, you're SO right. So long as it's got the same sound efx- which truly were second to none for both series- old & new. They employed some creative dudes to come up with that shit, and to me it's the main hallmark of the "franchise", not the costumes, efx, etc. (I'm discounting anything after Next Generation. I plead the fifth.)
  • Scorpio
    The movie should begin with Spock reminiscing with Kirk about the old days,.. and then at the end Spock gets up and leaves to reveal that he was talking to Kirk in the holo-deck. This way the fans get to see Nimoy and Shatner one last time on the big screen. Hey Bob & Alex it's Eddie, from the old days and it was my idea. hahaha
  • ANTHONY
    i heard the monster from cloverfield is gonna be in this movie.
  • http://www.screengeeks.com SG Dave
    I'm still trying to find someone who didn't think ST: Nemesis wasn't a giant turd and was a farily direct cause of the Star Trek franchise going down in a blaze of garbage. Seriously, trying to find someone who says it didn't completely suck outside of the review on IMDB is quite the undertaking. As for Abrams, I think he's going to make a really good movie. They've already set up the story so the already screwed up continuity of Star Trek doesn't really get more complicated. This is really going to allow the Trekkies to sit back and enjoy a good, fun movie.
  • Richard
    I Loved Nemesis, its one of my favorites. There you go lol. Anyway I kinda think that this Star Trek movie is for the Next Generation crowd, people that actually still go to the movies, my dad watched Geezer Trek at home when he was a kid but he could care less about movies now. I think as long as it appeals to the Next Gen, Gen, then it should do well. I personally don't care much for the old stuff, yeah its classic but that doesn't mean I care to really watch it. I think this movie will give me a better link to the idea of the original star trek world, if that makes any sense at all.
  • http://www.screengeeks.com SG Dave
    So YOU'RE the one! I stand corrected sir :D I have to agree that fans of classic Trek have been left behind for the most part, but I really think that this could be the film that brings them back into the film. Abrams has a great grasp on not only good action and story, but he also brings a sense of humor. Classic Trek fans are looking for all of those things, and I have a feeling that Abrams is going to deliver.
  • Alfredo
    For some reason I'm really interested in this. Maybe cuz I used to like the 90s show when I was a kid. One more to add to the list of '09 movies.... Wolverine, Watchmen, Star Trek.
  • Trekkie
    Second person who enjoyed Nemesis.
  • Eric
    Personally I'm not totally convinced it's going to be a good movie, but like most people I'll go watch it anyways. Hopefully it will be a nice surprise and not a huge pile of crap. Personally I would like to see Spock at the beginning finally succeding at re-unification with the Romulans and a Romulan peace treaty finally being signed by the federation and them, with spock giving a speech and then bleeding into a flashback. Kinda continues with the romulan theme from Nemesis and ties up a loose end from Next gen. Oh and SG Dave Nemesis might not have been the best out of all the movies, but it sure as hell wasn't "a giant turd" it was a good movie to watch.
  • http://www.screengeeks.com SG Dave
    I absolutely stand corrected in terms of speaking for the Trek fandom. Until this thread, I had seriously never heard anybody say anything positive about Nemesis. I still stand by my comments, even if it ends up being in the minority. Eric, I respect your opinion. You're certainly entitled to it and I'm glad you liked the movie. I'm almost never out to see a movie fail, unless the director is Uwe Boll or Paul "What Script" Anderson. For me, Nemesis was barely above Star Trek V and below Insurrection, and both of those films are painful for me to watch. The entire clone storyline in Nemesis was laughable, it was shot horribly (I don't think I've ever seen Jonathon Frakes and Marina Sirtis look worse, and I think it was due to the lighting and cinematography) and it was very evident that the director didn't care about Star Trek at all. It was the movie that turned me off to Star Trek's future endeavors. With that said, Nemesis was nowhere near Uwe Boll bad or Epic/Date/crappy movie bad. A lot of it comes from wanting to see a good Star Trek movie and being severely disappointed.
  • Djo.
    I'm a classicist, meaning I like the old camp for it's old camp, and Next Generation for it's Shakespearean cast. If they really want to re-boot the franchise, I feel as developing the Spock & Kirk characters from the ground up is a good move. Spock was always so popular, and to this day still hasn't been given his moment in the light. A bridge between worlds, a maverick against his race, a pioneer in his own right. There's alot to explore there aside from pointy ears and funny eyebrows. William Shatner's Kirk was a necessary comic relief to a show that was very high concept, if a bit overly optimistic and budgetarily Lo-Fi. That delicate balance had its charm, though. I only hope these actors bring something to the table and aren't afraid to push their own boundaries, and strike some kind of interesting new balance. Otherwise, consider Star Trek dead on first contact.
  • http://trekkies.againsttorture.com Paul Paz y Mino
    I don't know if Abrams knows "how to make great movies" but I do know he knows how to glorify and apologize (even justify) the use of torture. Alias, LOST and MI:III all did it. Abrams needs to know enough about Star Trek to NOT try to use those same cheap tactics to "liven up" this new film. Hundreds of Trek fans as well as other concerned people have already signed an open letter asking Abrams to ensure us he understands Trek enough not justify of glorify torture by having any of the "heroes" of the movie use it (as he did in all is his other "adventure" projects. Star Trek is NOT Alias or Lost! In fact, Star Trek has, several times, told stories opposing the use of torture nd advocating for human rights. Please sign the open letter at http://trekkies.againsttorture.com
  • Lord Prydon
    While I am looking forward to this film with eager anticipation, I am a little concerned if it will work or not. I admire the attempt to draw in the general audience but a Trek film should fundamentally be a Star Trek experience with little effort to appeal to anyone outside the fanbase. This is why I never liked Star Trek IV very much. And I feel they missed a great oppurtunity to do one more TNG film to properly see that cast and crew off. Saying that, Nemesis was a good film. I hope for their sake this one does well at the box office. Otherwise Nimoy's credibility will be at stake.

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