Trekkies both original and new have spent pretty much the whole of 2011 wondering when J.J. Abrams would officially commit to directing Star Trek 2 – and thus, get the delayed sci-fi project moving forward once more.

We’ve been hearing for months now that Abrams was “hopeful” about directing Star Trek 2; then, that he was all but ready to helm the highly-anticipated sequel; and finally, about three months ago, that Abrams was essentially on the verge of actually claiming the director’s chair as his own. Seriously, there have been “will they or won’t they?” romances on TV shows that’ve been less drawn out than this…

However, it’s at last (pretty much) official: Vulture has learned that Abrams is finally set to helm the Star Trek followup, which will see the cast of his 2009 reboot (Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, etc.) reprise their respective roles as the “rebooted” crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Pre-production is well underway on Star Trek 2, which is expected to have a shooting script locked by the end of this month. Abrams is planning to start principal photography by this winter, with the intention of having the film ready for either a Winter 2012 or Summer 2013 theatrical release.

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Paramount will probably end up settling on a Summer 2013 release date, for two reasons:

  1. Abrams’ original Star Trek was supposed to soar into theaters in Winter 2008, but ended up being delayed until the next summer – and, judging by the box office returns, it certainly wasn’t hurt by the move.
  2. With big titles like Les Miserables, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, World War Z, and Django Unchained already being locked for release during December 2012, Paramount would probably prefer for one of its more lucrative tentpole releases to have a little less direct competition.

Virtually nothing in the way of concrete details have been released about the plot of Star Trek 2 – other than assurances from co-screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci that it won’t simply be a rehash of any previous Trek movies. So, for the time being, it is anyone’s guess as to who the villain will be (though, presumably, it will not be Khan), or what exotic worlds the crew of the Enterprise will be traveling to next.

If nothing else, though, at least the Star Trek sequel is finally back to making its way down the production pipeline – with all the same ingredients (re: writing, directing, and acting talent) as the first film. That’s cause for celebration, right? :-)

We will keep you posted on the status of Star Trek 2 as more information is released.

Source: Vulture