J.J. Abrams: STAR TREK, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, Sequels
J.J. Abrams is the go-to guy for anything genre these days. Fringe, Mission Impossible, Lost, and of course, Star Trek. Newsarama grabbed a few moments of his valuable time on the red carpet for the release of the Star Trek DVD/Blu-ray at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. We got him to give us his thoughts on how the success of the DVD/Blu-ray may bring more people to the sequel, the change in release date (2012 now, sad to say.) and whether or not he'll be directing MI: 4.
Newsarama: This movie obviously did really well here, but you have to admit, Mission did a lot better overseas...have you put any thought into how to make this work?
J.J. Abrams: We're not there yet....to try to sort of figure out an overseas gimmick. But I think that it's not a bad idea to begin thinking...in that way. You know, what can be done to sort of help open it up. I think if you look at something like Batman Begins for example. And you see what that movie did internationally, and domestically...and the success it had, the movie was so well done and so entertaining, people often found it watching the DVD and the Blu-ray. And when the sequel came out to that film, there was more of a built-in audience that simply didn't exist prior. So that's like the ideal version and certainly no one is looking to expect any kind of Dark Knight numbers on a Star Trek sequel, but the idea of looking at ways that hopefully the quality of the cast in the first film and the fun of the movie, that that will eventually over time, touch people who would not normally have gone to see the film in theaters. And when the sequel comes out, they're converts because they've actually seen the film that was made originally. That's the goal. In terms of casting, sure. Casting an international star would be a really good idea.
Nrama: What does moving the target to 2012 do for your development?
Abrams: I think that it's like closet space. You use what you've got. I mean, the more time you have, the more time you have to use to hopefully make a better movie.
Nrama: Are you going to get your good luck charm Greg Grunberg in this time? In more than a voice over?
Abrams: Only if Greg Grunberg has his way. I would like to, except for his acting. No, I'm kidding. He's the greatest. Greg is my best friend. Having Greg in the movie would be, you know, I don't know how we can't. We have to. In some form.
Nrama: Red shirt?
Abrams: I don't know. He's got to be something. I actually tried to get him to be in the movie originally and he was unavailable, but having Greg as a red shirt would be my favorite thing in the world, actually. [laughs]
Nrama: You keep hinting about dealing with Khan...
Abrams: We're not even in that stage yet. But, you know, the fun of where we are in the sequel is we could use some of what was done before in a new way. But we haven't even figured out what we would use yet. So it's very early on.
Nrama: You said you're writing a movie right now that you're hoping to direct next year...
Nrama: Can you say anything about that and what your thought process is about possibly directing MI: 4 and possibly the Star Trek sequel after you direct that other movie?
Abrams: The one I'm directing, hopefully next year, I'm just in the very early stages of that too. Sort of the middle of that, so it's nothing that would be really interesting to talk about, which is probably going to preclude my availability for doing Mission, although I so love what the script is and what the story is, and Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec are writing a script, and they're doing an amazing job...I'm already envious of whoever ends up directing that movie.
Nrama: But you'd be available to direct the Trek sequel then, because that goes into production the year after?
Abrams: In theory, I'd be available, and you know, it would be fun to do. But since there's no script, it's hard to talk about directing a movie that...the story doesn't even exist.