J.J. Abrams Says Paramount Wouldn’t Make STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Unless It Was in 3D

     January 11, 2013

star trek into darkness zachary quinto

One of the most anticipated films of this year is undoubtedly Star Trek Into Darkness.  Fans have been following the development of the J.J. Abrams-helmed sequel for the past couple of years now, and one of the more peculiar announcements was the news that Into Darkness would be filmed in 2D and post-converted to 3D.  It wasn’t exactly a shock that a huge tentpole movie was going to be released in 3D, but it was an interesting decision given Abrams’ previous comments about 3D.  The filmmaker had made no secret of the fact that he wasn’t a huge fan of the format, so fans wondered whether he had changed his mind or if Paramount was simply adamant about the film going 3D.

We actually learned about a year ago that it was a case of the latter, but Abrams recently talked a bit more about the decision, admitting that Paramount would only make the film if it were in 3D and saying that he’s actually come around a bit on the format.  Hit the jump to read on.

jj-abrams-star-trek-into-darknessFirst up, here’s what Abrams had to say about the 3D decision back in January of 2012, before filming had begun:

“I did not fight for the 3D. It was something that the studio wanted to do, and I didn’t want to do it. And then, when I saw the first movie converted in sections, I thought that it actually looked really cool. So, I was okay with their doing it, as long as I could shoot the movie the way I wanted to, in anamorphic film, and then let them convert it. So, those who want to see it in 3D, which looked pretty cool, can do it, and those that want to see it in 2D can do that too.”

Abrams was keen on shooting on film, not digitally, and in fact he shot some of the sequel with IMAX cameras.  Speaking with SFX (via Digital Spy and /Film), Abrams revealed that Paramount essentially gave him an ultimatum:

“The studio said, ‘You have to make it in 3D if you’re going to make it, for economic reasons. But my feeling was I didn’t like 3D. So the idea of doing Star Trek in 3D was ridiculous. But that was very helpful in some ways, because it let us work with stereographers and the 3D crew in a way that didn’t assume we just loved 3D.”

star-trek-into-darkness-simon-peggIn fact, Abrams says that his cynicism actually lead to a 3D conversion that he’s pretty happy with:

“I have trouble with 3D sometimes. I can’t see it right; I get a headache; it annoys me; I hate the glasses; I hate the fact that things get so dim. I approached it very cynically. And the fact is that we’ve been using techniques that haven’t been used before in 3D. They’ve figured out things. They’ve made enough movies now with this new process that they can understand ways to eliminate some of these problems. Things like breaking shots into zones, 3D zones, using multiple virtual cameras. A lot of this has made me a believer, whereas before I was really against it… There’s this myth that if you don’t shoot the movie in 3D it doesn’t look good. Actually, the opposite can be true.”

In the end, though, Abrams says he got to shoot the 2D movie that he wanted to shoot, and that gets to be augmented to 3D in a way that doesn’t detract from the 2D.  Audiences still have a choice of seeing Into Darkness in 2D or 3D, and after reading Abrams’ comments I feel confident in knowing that when I choose to see the film in 2D, I’ll be getting the movie that the director fully intended to make.  Star Trek Into Darkness opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 17th.


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  • govna

    “the idea of doing Star Trek in 3D was ridiculous. But that was very helpful in some ways, because it let us work with stereographers and the 3D crew in a way that didn’t assume we just loved 3D.” — wonder what JJ meant by that?

    Sounds like he still had lots of control over the 3d conversion. He got to do it HIS way…as much as it could be, anyway.

    Also….i think his comments about coming around to the idea are just him towing the company line. I think he still doesnt like 3d and just cant admit it fully if he’s going to help sell the idea.

    i hate 3d btw.

    • James

      He spent a good deal of time talking to stereographers on set, who no doubt convinced him of the benefits of 3D. That’s not to say he’s a 3D fanatic now- just that he now sees the appeal of it.

  • James Freud

    Will the lens flares be in 3D?

    • J Wilson

      2009 is on line one, sir…something about returning it’s hackneyed, old joke…

      • Jack2211

        Marry me.

    • Rob

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha……………good lord, will people NEVER shut up about the stupid lens flares?????? GET OVER IT, you’re not being clever anymore! Lens flares this, lens flares that…Oh my gosh, Abrams uses lens flares. Ugh

  • chad vaughn

    As big as the first film was I think Paramount was bluffing about not making it unless it was 3d.

    • Jack2211

      Or maybe they just would have gone with another director.

  • J.G. Pliskin

    How can cinematographers tolerate 3D? Their efforts are rendered moot by the colour degradation caused by the glasses. I can only assume 3D is pushed so that companies can boost their margins by the increased ticket prices.

    David Keighley, please introduce the handheld IMAX camera you have previously alluded to.

    Pliskin, out.

    • Kang

      “I can only assume 3D is pushed so that companies can boost their margins by the increased ticket prices.”

      Ya think???

  • Louis

    Does this mean I can only watch this in IMAX 3D and not IMAX 2D? Was hoping for a Dark Knight Rises style experience.

  • Jesus

    Translation: “Paramount is still pissed about my anti-3D comments because the format would make them more money, so they want me to say I like it now so people won’t just see it in 2D after citing my earlier disdain of 3D for what it really has been all along: a money grabbing gimmick.”

  • buddman

    …I guess loki is done with that glass cage..

    • Strong Enough

      Joker did it first bitch

      • dan rose

        hannibal lecter and magneto beat them both.

  • NorthernSoul

    It’s worrisome to hear things like this:

    “The studio said, ‘You have to make it in 3D if you’re going to make it, for economic reasons. ”

    Why has 3D become a pre-requisite to making a blockbuster film? Only a few years ago we had plenty of summer blockbusters that weren’t 3D, and guess what, the studios that made those films are still around. Why is that now a movie HAS to be 3D or it just won’t get made, for financial reasons? It smells of greed to me.

    Hopefully over time the viewing audience will vote on 3D with their dollars and it will fade away like that fad it is.

    • Righto

      Exactly. This is very worrisome and concerning development in Hollywood, that a studio can determine, that 3D is actually a MUST condition to get greenlight before production. This is all about greedy moneymaking and has absolutely nothing to do about artistic integrity or whether it fits to the specific film experience or fits to the actual story etc. (Don’t ask James Cameron…) How come that Spielberg has to alter his plan for ROBOPOCALYPSE to make it a more personal story due to expected cost, but studios has no problem to throw money to produce another one in 3D?! That’s bulls*it. I really hope, that Paramount doesn’t force Christopher Nolan to make his next INTERSTELLAR movie in 3D and i hope, that he doesn’t get weak for this kind of gimmick., as we all know, he’s not a big fan of 3D.

  • Anonymous

    The 3D is great! I know it because I am rendering my shots in stereo for this movie. I’ve seen other shots in stereo and I enjoy seeing the depths.

  • Michael Horne

    I always thought that when any film was going to end up 3D it forced certain restrictions on the film-maker, like how quickly the camera can move, how quick the cuts can be. 2D it will be for me!

  • 2 Dimensional Mr Kippling

    fuck 3D!!!

  • Thinkaboutit!

    Avengers 3D and 2D both worked.

  • Lens Flares Suck

    3D is awesome. You get to pay more money to wear uncomfortable glasses, see a dim looking movie and get a headache to boot! Gosh Hollywood, thanks so much.

  • J.R:

    money money money by ABBA……………….F#$%&%!! 3D

  • MainFragger

    I love 3D, to the point where I even convert a lot of my own personal nature and modeling photography to 3D stereoscopic and view them on a 3D TV.

    3D works well when the director and cinematographer know what they are doing..regardless of whether it is filmed in 3D or post converted. I have noticed that the best looking 3D scenes often look 3Dish even in 2D versions of the clip. Which means you have to know how to film your subject to begin with for any 3D filming or post conversion to mean anything.

    I disagree with JJ’s comment about 3D being rediculous for Star Trek..I think thats THE best place for it. A ship moving through space and lots of set pieces..Perfect for 3D!

  • potterboy

    i think 3D ONLY works if you “alter” the way you shoot a movie. Life Of Pi had “offbeat” camera placements that worked best in 3D. Hugo was the same. if you shoot it without incorporating the 3D as part of the storytelling, and think of it just as an “added tool”, chances are, the movie won’t look good in 3D and people will wonder why they didn’t just release it in 3D.

    personally, i would rather watch IMAX 2D than 3D. but because of this 3D thing, we won’t be able to watch it in IMAX 2D. it’s a shame. those IMAX shots would have been awesome!

  • gimpsuit

    3D is awesome cause it gives you something to look at while generic plot lines and bog standard characters liter the screen for two hours. I’d rather look at something pretty and be bored than look at something ugly and be bored.
    Better movies would be a nice starting point.

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  • elim

    The look of JJ first startrek film was not the problem. OK it looked like the enter is using Apple computers now. But then he completly screwed the Utopian character of STartrek by introducint coproration and ads in the film anyway. The biggest problem was that it was pathetic. The intro scene: giving bith during a space battle was such a cheap way of getting some emotional response from the audience, I actually had to LOL. He always said that Trek should be like Starwas (which is going to screw next) and that what it was. Yet another action movie. Startrek used to be about diplomacy, dialog, moral dilemmas discussed in turbolifts and humor. Now we have bearded romulan vilans that compared to interesting characters of Comander Tomalak or Gul Dukat where stupid bullying kids.
    I dont want to see people driving old cars through deserts when watching startrek.

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