J.J. Abrams Talks STAR WARS, STAR TREK, and CLOVERFIELD 2; Says He Could Possibly Direct TREK 3

     April 24, 2013


As the release of director J.J. Abrams’ sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, the filmmaker is understandably going to be inundated with questions about Star Wars: Episode VII.  While we will likely see all kinds of evasions and non-answers from Abrams while on the publicity circuit (and again, understandably so), the director recently sat down with the folks at Playboy for an extended interview, and it’s probably more revealing than anything you’re going to see in the coming months.  Abrams discusses his approach to Episode VII and how much input he has into the story, the possibility of him directing Star Trek 3, and even Cloverfield 2 and the prospect of an Alias movie.  Hit the jump to read on.

j-j-abrams-star-wars-episode-viiFirst and foremost, let’s get to the Star Wars bits.  Naturally Abrams couldn’t get into story details, but he did talk abstractly about his approach to the project as a filmmaker in the Playboy interview (via /Film):

“It’s so early it would be insane to discuss details or get into plot points about what this unfilmed movie will be. And I’m not going to give my opinion on the original movies or characters… I try to approach a project from what it’s asking. What does it need to be? What is it demanding? With Star Wars, one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn’t. There are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy—things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something. But even that feels like an outside-in approach, and it’s not how I work. For me, the key is when you have a script; it’s telling you what it wants to be.”

star-trek-3-jj-abramsIn other words, don’t look for Abrams to be trashing Jar Jar Binks publicly anytime soon.  The interviewer then suggested that Star Wars certainly needs to look different than Star Trek, to which Abrams responded:

“As with anything, because these are very different worlds, they shouldn’t feel the same aesthetically. They can’t. You’re right. But again, I don’t apply aesthetics first and fit a movie into that aesthetic. If I had come into Star Trek with those eyes, I would probably have been paralyzed. The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do. With Star Trek it was harder because I wasn’t a Star Trek fan; I didn’t have the same emotional feeling, and I didn’t have Gene Roddenberry to go to. But I came to understand the world of Star Trek, and I appreciated what fans felt and believed about this universe and this franchise.”

star-wars-mark-hamill-carrie-fisherThe director also touched on his initial comments to the press about his reluctance to tackle the franchise that is Star Wars by calling it “almost fatal sacrilege”:

“I meant if I viewed this from a fan’s point of view—and no one’s a bigger Star Wars fan than I am—or from a legacy standpoint, it would scare the hell out of me. But instead of trying to climb this mountain in one giant leap, I’m just enjoying the opportunity and looking to the people I’m working with. I’ve known Kathy for years. I’ve worked with the screenwriter, Michael Arndt, for a long time. I’ve known George for a number of years and he’s now a friend. Even if this wasn’t Star Wars, I’d be enormously fortunate to work with them.”

When asked how much of his personal vision he’s able to inject into the next installment of a billion dollar franchise, Abrams replied:

“For me to talk to you about what the big themes or ideas are before they exist is disingenuous, but naturally I have a big say in how this gets put together. When I get involved with something, I own it and carry the responsibility of the job.”

star-trek-3-sequelAs for Star Trek, with Abrams committing to the behemoth that is Star Wars: Episode VII, many have doubted that the filmmaker will be able to return to the director’s chair for another Trek sequel in a timely manner.  Given that Paramount will likely want to get moving sooner rather than later, it would appear that the schedules would conflict.  However, Abrams isn’t counting himself out just yet.  When asked if Star Wars puts him out of the running for Trek 3, he replied:

“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.”

The publication also asked about the long-in-development sequel to Cloverfield, but it doesn’t sound like it’s any closer to being a possibility:

“Part of me just wants to let [Cloverfield 2] go, though we’ve had a couple of discussions about cool ways to do it. I’m looking forward to seeing Pacific Rim this summer. It feels like there are some really big monsters coming down the pike that could inspire something we do.”

Something that is a possibility, though, is an Alias movie:

“We discuss it. In the right circumstance and situation I would definitely be open to it.”

It’s tough to image the director of Star Trek and Star Wars doing an Alias movie, but clearly the series is close to Abrams’ heart and the show does have quite a large fanbase.  Nevertheless, it seems like it’d be something much further down the road, as Abrams will clearly be quite busy for the next few years with Episode VII and one presumes he’ll be involved in some capacity with the subsequent Star Wars films.

Head on over to Playboy to read the full interview, which is a great read and includes much, much more from Abrams.


  • lavia

    too late………WAY TOOO LATE FOR AN ALIAS MOVIE! You promised that back in 2006.

    you are a hack and I hate you jj abrahms for what you did to star trek and I hate you jj abrahms for what you are about to do to star wars, trash it.


    • :o

      If you don’t like him there’s a simple solution, don’t see his films. But we both know you will.

      • Steve

        If you can’t be bothered to spell his name correctly, your opinion about his directing skills probably don’t count much.

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me or does Abrams slightly resemble Rick Moranis in the last picture?

    • Key Master

      Ok, who brought the dog?

    • Wesley

      I was thinking more of a nerdy “Fantasy Island”.

    • Bernard

      I’m going with George Castanza (w/a bit more hair)

  • Jeff

    That’s the first I’ve heard of an “Alias” movie but I’d love it. I’ve always taken to calling M:I 3 his “Alias movie”. People can complain about his “Star Trek” movies all they want but I think “Star Wars” is right up his alley. And it’s kind of cool that his friend since they were teenagers, Matt Reeves, is doing the next “Planet of the Apes” movie. They repaired Spielberg’s home movies together when they were teenagers and now they run the top sci-fi franchises of the ’70′s.

  • seriously

    seriously if i pick up a playboy its not for an abrams interview

    • boseriosly

      I know…. I read Playboy for its airbrush and Photoshop tutorials.

  • shelia

    I hate abrams, i hate all the movies he has done, oh and the stupid shows he has done as well. Man abrahms is ugly as shit!

    • Guy Smiley

      J.J., you got your precious Star Wars and good for you. I honestly think you’ll do a good job with it.

      But please, walk away from Star Trek now. The first one managed to fool most people, who failed to see what a lousy story it had and that it was more Star Wars than Star Trek. Now you’re apparently going to rip-off an older, beloved Trek movie with the second one. Just stop. Go play with your new toys in your new sandbox and let someone else clean up the mess you’ve made out of Trek.

      • leesse

        I hate abrams too!

  • darwing duck

    Why did lucasfilm/disney or whatever not ask joe johnston? He has worked on Star Wars before, and I do not care what anyone says, he is a good director, ‘The Rocketeer’, ‘Captain America – The First Avenger’, ‘The Wolfman’, ‘Jurassic Park 3′ (not the best of the trilogy, but still directed well), ‘Jumanji’.

    Jonathan Frakes has proven to be an excellent director with sci-fi, ‘Star Trek – First Contact’, ‘Star Trek – Insurrection’, countless episodes of ‘Star Trek – The Next Generation’, ‘Star Trek – Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Star Trek – Voyager’

    Steven Speilberg would have been a good choice as well, he directed a small part of the lightsaber battle between Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wab Kenobi at the end of ‘Star Wars : Epiosde III – Revenge Of The Sith’ on the volcanic planet of Mustafar.

    • Northern Star

      Joe Johnston should have directed the entire prequel trilogy, he would knocked it out of the park methinks, he has a good feel for escapist adventures – light or dark – and has a brilliant eye for incredible designs… and I wouldn’t let Frakes within seeing distance of a ‘Star Wars’ movie, he’s a good television director but a highly mediocre film director at best!

      J.J. Abrams is just being honest yet discreet with his above comments, clearly a lot did not work on the prequels (and not because of the story either), and Abrams is simply recognizing that fact and acknowledging it in an off-hand way. What ‘Star Wars’ needs is fresh talent with a fresh perspective, and Abrams is just the dude to give it back it’s respectability and credibility like he did with ‘Trek.

      • Nosa

        eduardo – you are pathetic as well.

        Star Trek – Insurrection and Star Trek – First Contact and Star Trek – Generations, Star Trek – Nemesis, Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country are far, far, way better than anything JJ pathetic abrams has crapped out and called films/shows

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  • Mark

    Jonathan Frakes is a great guy, but no one who directed Star Trek Insurrection is in any way, shape, or form a viable choice to direct Star Wars.

    • ryan g

      damn straight

      • Eduardo Victoria

        Bump. Amen to that.

      • Nosa

        ryan you are pathetic too

    • Nosa

      You are pathetic if you do not see how Star Trek – Insurrection is STAR TREK and good! And jj’s shit is not!

      • ryan g

        Um wow Darwing Duck. I think its more pathetic that you have to create multiple accounts to back up your terrible opinions and attack people, oh sorry should I say “Nosa”

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  • PhillB

    Why do people love this J.J. so much? He’s already idea-exhausted. And he wasn’t that great anyway.

    • Nosa

      He never had a creative original idea to begin with, jj has always been a talentless ugly hack and always will be a talentless ugly hack.

  • Hugo Boliche

    Did nobody here see Super 8? That is a fucking hell of a movie and clearly made by a Director who brought his fucking A game. Anybody who thinks he can’t direct the shit out of a movie when he puts his mind to it is sorely mistaken.

    • stiller

      super 8 was cringe worthy awful, and very preachy.

    • melissa M

      Hugo, someone has directed a very good sci fi movie, Jonathan frakes, Star Trek – First Contact and Star Trek Insurrection say hi, dumbass. If you can not see Star Trek – Insurrection as being as close as the TNG series, you are a moron, you are a moron anyway, for liking the turd that is jj abrahms.

  • niles kent

    I want paramount to scrap jj abrahms shit phony star trek films and give TNG another movie, or do DS9 movies, or heres a thought, acknowledge all 5 series and 10 movies and cartoon series and make up a new crew,but no, jj is a hack and has no originality. he is going to shit all over his phony star wars film. the asshole jj and his fans are.

  • shelia


    • nosferatu

      Dave Filoni should be directing star wars 7, Dave Filoni is the perfect choice for director of star wars, seeing as he did an excellent job of star wars – the clone wars. Disney, lucasfilm, kathleen kennedy already f*ed up with star wars by casting turd jj.

  • Nosa

    eduardo – you are pathetic as well.

    Star Trek – Insurrection and Star Trek – First Contact and Star Trek – Generations, Star Trek – Nemesis, Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country are far, far, way better than anything JJ pathetic abrams has crapped out and called films/shows!

  • leesse

    eh, i hate jj abrhams, I was so thinking he was NOT directing star wars, I AM NOT interested in star wars anymore with this turd hack behind it!!!!!

  • shizzel

    eh jj go to hell you dumbass hack!

  • chimes at midnight

    I knew not to get excited for star wars when they announced more movies. I was relieved when they said that abrahms said no to directing, but then he fucking changed his dumbass mind, the hack, now I have more money because I will not spend it on star wars no more.

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  • SOD

    Call him Abrams not JJ.

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  • disqus_DOVo82hiWM

    Please be there for the third movie. And looking forward to Cloverfield 2.
    As for Star Wars I really think that is a lost cause no matter who directs it. The very fact Disney is involved makes it so.