Zachary Quinto: J.J. Abrams Planning to Direct ‘Star Trek 3′

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jj abrams star trek 3 director Zachary Quinto: J.J. Abrams Planning to Direct Star Trek 3

James Bond (the movie version) turned 50 last year, and James Tiberius Kirk – along with his loyal crew members of the original U.S.S. Enterprise – will join the half-centennial club in 2016. It’s feasible that a followup to this past May’s Star Trek Into Darkness, a.k.a. Star Trek 3, could reach theaters in times to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek TV show (much like Skyfall was released in theaters in 2012 to celebrate 007′s birthday).

Star Trek producer Bryan Burke previously claimed that a 2016 release date for the next Star Trek movie is not guaranteed, but he and fellow producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and J.J. Abrams do not want to wait another four years between installments (as happened with their Trek movie reboot in 2009 and Into Darkness). That has cast doubt on the possibility of Abrams coming back to direct Star Trek 3, seeing how he’ll be preoccupied with shooting and editing Star Wars: Episode VII throughout 2014 (before Abrams starts promoting the film in 2015).

Star Trek Into Darkness Captain Kirk Commander Spock Zachary Quinto: J.J. Abrams Planning to Direct Star Trek 3

Zachary Quinto – who plays young half-human/Vulcan Spock in the rebooted Star Trek movie continuity – was interviewed while attending the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh (Ireland’s leading film festival), where he discussed his fan-favorite roles in Star Trek as well as the hit TV series Heroes and American Horror Story. Naturally, Quinto was asked about the next Star Trek movie, and had the following update to offer (via Buzzhub)

“Star Trek 3 should be filming, I suppose, next year. It’s going to be made a lot quicker than the last one. That’s the plan, although nothing is confirmed yet.”

Quinto also mentioned that he doesn’t expect – nor really want - to show up in the seventh Star Wars film installment (but he did not elaborate beyond that), in addition to saying that Abrams still plans to direct the next Star Trek installment. That conflicts with previous rumors about the director situation with Star Trek 3, which indicated that a shortlist of replacement candidates had been drawn up (based on the likelihood that Abrams will only produce the film).

J.J. Abrams on the U.S.S. Enterprise Zachary Quinto: J.J. Abrams Planning to Direct Star Trek 3

Now, there are a couple of reasons to believe that Abrams should be able to direct both Star Wars: Episode VII and Star Trek 3 (assuming he’s up for the job). For one, the latter has (officially-speaking) not begun the screenwriting process as of yet, even though Into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof has gone ahead and teased the potential antagonists in Star Trek 3 (hint: the film’s storyline would build off the characters’ brief appearance in the second film). Furthemore, it’s not yet been confirmed that Lindelof is, in fact, going to co-write the next Star Trek movie with Kurtzman and Orci. That duo could write alone, as they did on the Trek reboot.

It took longer than many anticipated for Kurtzman, Orci and Lindelof to crack the script for Into Darkness, yet the writing trio is even busier nowadays, thanks to their collective involvement with multiple upcoming tentpoles (see: Van Helsing, Tomorrowland), franchise installments (The Amazing Spider-Man sequels) and TV shows alike (Sleepy Hollow, The Leftovers). As such, there’s reason to doubt the potential 2014 start date for Star Trek 3 that Quinto loosely alluded to, considering that the script might not be ready for a while now (which, in turn, would affect when pre-production on the film can get properly underway). Similarly, if Abrams has it in mind to direct Star Trek 3, then there will be even more reason for his collaborators on the project to take their time (and, in turn, get the story right).

JJ Abrams Star Wars Episode 7 Zachary Quinto: J.J. Abrams Planning to Direct Star Trek 3

Lastly, it seems that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is the real caretaker of the Star Wars movie universe now, whereas Abrams is just the guy who was hired to get the next era of that sci-fi box office titan started on the right foot (beginning with Episode VII). Abrams indicated as much in a previous interview, where he admitted that he is not involved in mapping out additional Episodes or Star Wars character spinoffs to follow Episode VII.

That means it should be easier for Abrams to step away from the film – in the time between wrapping post-production and starting to promote Episode VII – and turn his attention on Star Trek 3, so as to allow the latter project to enter production in the first half of 2015 (so the movie can make a Summer 2016 release date). That is not meant to suggest that to do so would be a walk in the park for Abrams, much less the optimal approach for both sci-fi films; nonetheless, it does seem like a feasible scenario, at this stage.

Let us know if you want J.J. Abrams to finish what he started by directing Star Trek 3 – or if you would prefer he concentrate his efforts on one sci-fi franchise at a time (rather than jumping back and forth) – in the comments section.


Star Trek Into Darkness will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on September 10th, 2013.

Source: Buzzhub

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  1. I hope he doesn’t mix up the two though I do hope he puts references from each in both movies lol

    • He already did. Twice. Didn’t you notice? ;)

      • What was the reference in the second one?

      • I know about r2 in the first one but what was the second one????

        • I didn’t mean the references. I meant that he already mixed up the franchises, because Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness felt totally like Star Wars movies.

    • Yeah. His approach to Star Trek is heavily indebted to Star Wars. (Based on the 2009 film; missed STN2D in theater.) So he has already shared references one way. I hope that there are no deliberate Trek-isms in SW7.

    • @drunkenmunkey

      I hope he does. That’s the only reason why I find his Star Trek movies so good. I’m actually not at all a Trekkie… But I loved his Star Trek movies.

      • I hope Abrams turns Star Wars into Star Trek the way he turned Star Trek into Star Wars. Imagine, instead of always fighting, Luke and the new Jedi sit down with the Sith and discuss how similar they really are to each other, and how they can negotiate a lasting peace and learn from each other. Then, the characters would have more time to focus on how to become better people and how to develop a social utopia in which there is no disease, poverty has been eliminated and everyone reads classic literature. With the abolition of money and commerce, Han would no longer need to smuggle for work, of course, and he and Chewie could turn the Falcon into an exploratory science vessel that seeks out new life and new civilizations for the betterment of humankind. Anyone know how you say “scanning for anomalies” in Wookie? Oh, and they should also go back in time and blow up Tatooine while Luke is forced to watch from halfway across the galaxy stranded on Hoth. This would be awesome. Hey Disney, if you’re reading this, I’ll direct SW7 for HALF of what you’re paying Jar Jar Abrams. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

  2. Bring back WORF

    • Yup, I’m all for that. Time travel Worf story!!!

  3. LOVED Into Darkness!! My favorite movie of the year so far!! I’m hoping me could direct, but I’m doubtful…:-s

    • Likewise! Into Darkness is also my favorite movie this year (so far), directly followed by World War Z and Iron Man 3 (yes, that one). Oh, and I also liked A Good Day to Die Hard a lot more than most people.

    • I agree. Into darkness is my favorite movie so far as well, but i do not wish to be negative as such i am worried that he will not be directng star trek 3. i am worried that if he would not direct number 3 then the series will loose its touch. that is why i refuse to believe tht h will not be directing star trek 3

  4. I loved into the Darkness. It is soo far the best movie of the year as of right now. I can’t wait for the next installment

    • do you not think it lacked a comedy aspect tho? i wanted to see some of the humor from the first one

    • Only downside, need more Khan, you don’t have Khan playing second fiddle to Robocop.

      Apart from that small gripe it was pretty awesome.

  5. This news just made my day. I know it’s not confirmed, but a promising sign!!

  6. Hmmm. Maybe it is logistically possible. I think it’s obvious that no one person should be ongoingly involved in both franchises simultaneously, but if JJ is just coming in to direct SW7 and then moving on… The barrage-like release scheme that Lucasfilm has claimed for upcoming Star Wars films seems like it will require the employ of multiple directors.

  7. Missed the trick with ‘ST: ID’. Really should have been a two part movie shot back to back (the Klingons as the threat in the first part and you know who in the second). Would’ve legitimised a lot of forced moments had they occurred during what would’ve been the third movie (mainly Spock’s embarrassing moment screaming you know what). Two movies as it was was simply not enough time to earn the character beats ‘Into Darkness’ tried to pull off.

    Perhaps it was all timing. Maybe had J.J known a year earlier he was getting the Star Wars gig this would’ve presented itself more as a viable idea. Whatever the case, whilst both movies have been fine it feels more like an opportunity missed. In this respect, let J.J focus on ‘Star Wars’ and bring in fresh blood for part three.

    • I totally agree with you, two films, Klingon first leading into you know who for the 50th.

  8. My comment here probably won’t be very popular but that’s fine.
    If Star Trek 3 doesn’t come out in 2016 and misses the 50th anniversary that’s fine by me and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.
    Yeah it was a nice little bit of trivia that Skyfall came out on Bond’s 50th but that’s all it really was. I didn’t see any promotional footage or trailers saying “come see Bond on his 50th” or anything like that and it was still a huge success and I think it would be the same for Trek. Yeah, Trekkies would like it but they’ll be seeing it anyways. Nobody will not see it because it may come out a year later.
    What’s my point?
    1. No film benefits from being rushed.
    2. If JJ wants to direct and the studio wants him back, waiting is fine.
    3. I’d love to see JJ direct both but I don’t want either film to suffer if he gets burnt out.

    • No disrespect, over here in the UK we knew Skyfall was the 50th which is why we supported it to the max. Think I would personally do the same for Star Trek, no JJ tho this time.

      • @ Cyclops
        No disrespect taken.
        I should have mentioned that at least here in the U.S. other than on-line there wasn’t really any mention at all about it being the 50th anniversary. I guess you could mention the Oscars but that was months after Skyfall’s release.

        • we are a bit sentimental about James Bond over in the UK. Cheers my friend

    • I agree with you. I think some people may have seen Skyfall because of the 50th anniversary, but the generally movie going public probably wasn’t motivated mainly by that fact (or even knew about it).

      Rushing a film is not usually a good thing, as we’ll probably see with F&F7.

  9. Honestly, I’m more interested in seeing how people react to the new SW movie than in the actual movie itself. How bad would the movie have to be in order for people to lose interest in Star Wars?

    I mean, Abrams has proven he can make a fun space adventure (star trek), but will that be enough to meet peoples expectations?

    If Episode 7 doesn’t recapture the magic of the originals will the general populace just lose interest in the franchise?

    Or is Star Wars a big enough cash cow that Disney could throw any kind of schlock on the screen and people will eat it up?

    Based on how the prequels turned out, probably that last one. But still, this is an unparalleled situation in American pop-culture and it’s gonna be fun to watch, regardless of how good the movie is.

    • Yeah, past experience suggests Star Wars will be financially successful regardless of how good a film is or isn’t.

      I think that JJ Abrams was a very safe choice based on his consistency and obvious grasp of the technical side of Star Wars-style filmmaking. It is going to be very interesting to see how it all turns out, though. Improving on George Lucas’ prequels should almost a given, but will they be able to deliver something truly great? JJ has created expectations by painting himself as someone who understands SW…but does he really? We shall see.

  10. They better do something NEW! this time around. Base the movie off of episodes like “The Apple.” Where the landing party beams down to a strange life threatening environment and are forced to come face to face with an untouched society. The society and environment will be the adversary.

    If they redo “The Return of the Archons” people with think it’s “The Purge.”

    • Doomsday machine, loved that episode when I was a kid

      • Yeah, that was a great one. Have it be across between “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “The Doomsday Machine.” Bring in something so alien and so bazaar, it’ll be like watching Star Trek: TOS and not a Star Wars additive.

      • Soooo….Star Trek 3

        Doomsday Machine

        JJ Abrams does Star Wars EP7

        Doomsday Machine, a Giant Planet destroying machine that eats planet and was destroyed by flying a shuttle craft and then Starship in and letting the warp core destroy the machine?


        • “your required to maneuver straight down this trench”…. bugger what film am i working on again lol

  11. J.J. Abrams Planning to Direct ‘Star Trek 3′ —
    I’m already planning to skip ‘Star Trek 3′

  12. STID was good, it wasn’t brilliant, too many plot flaws for that. However, the big one this year is Elysium directed by Mr Blomkamp, get him in for the 50th for a much more grittier Star Trek, simples!

    • Yeah, I liked his work on ‘District 9′. Neil would be a great choice for ‘Episode 7′.

  13. If they want to make a Star Trek movie to celebrate the 50th anniversary, then they should actually make a REAL Star Trek movie.

    • Yes.

    • I’m still trying to figure out why the Enterprise had to be in the ocean in the last film; made no sense to me.

      • Because it was absolutely necessary that they violate the Prime Directive for a cheap laff, and it’s so much harder to do that in orbit… ;-)

        • (raises eyebrow)

          I fail to see the logic in your proclamation. :-D

      • To answer the question from The first movie.

        How the hell did the Enterprise get off the planet? Was it towed, was it some sort of anti gravity device.

        No, it got off earth under its own power.

  14. I really want Abrams to do Star Wars i love Star Trek just as much as I love Star Wars and want him to hop from wars to trek but I don’t know how manageable that would be. Look forward to both films I think they’ll both be great

  15. I don’t think it is a matter of JJ being burnt out. I think it all depends on Orci and Kurtzmanns script. If they come up with a great idea then it should be a no brainer for Abrams. If he’s unavailable then go with Brad Bird.

  16. Pointing out the Star Wars influences on the current JJ Abrams Star Trek has always seemed an odd one to me, bearing in mind that there’s no way the Trek movies would have ended up looking the way they did or assuming the structure they did, from The Wrath Of Khan through the ’80s and ’90s right up to the present, if it hadn’t been for Episode IV in the first place.

    • @Big Dentist?

      Well Episode IV owes it to 2001 a Space Odyssey that got us wondering about Space.

      Star Trek sort of got us interested in Space fighting.

      • 2001 certainly left an indelible impression on Lucas and Spielberg’s generation, Jeff. I just meant that the Trek movies have always been in competition with the special effects and action-based format of Star Wars – that’s nothing new.

        It’s a real shame that ST:TMP combined effects and 2001-ish philosophical musings with so few of the human elements that made the show work. The Wrath Of Khan managed to get the balance between spectacle and character-driven story spot-on, but it created a template that’s been stuck to like glue ever since. Abrams has been too in thrall of that; he’s guilty only of ramping up the Star Wars action quotient, not reworking Trek in Lucas’s image. That’s already what’s been done to some degree or other for the last thirty years.

  17. I hear people complain about the New Star Treks being like the old ones but I guess people do not understand that the stuff happening in the new ones is going to happen just like in the original time line but at different times.

  18. With all the technolgy today, can’t see why JJ can’t direct both. He doesn’t have to be on set to direct. Telecam the darn thing. With pre viz, having the right camera men, he can accomplish shooting Trek from afar

  19. There is no way that JJ Abrams can direct SW7 for 2015 and direct ST3 for 2016, that’s just not happening. The best thing for Paramount to do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ST would be to make a new ST series, one which is set in either Gene Roddenberry’s universe, to pay homage or something, or one set in JJ’s universe to say, “this is the current universe and it will remain as such.” I would rather like a ST series set in the original Roddenberry verse and set in TNG era.

  20. The 2009 movie brought the ‘Trek universe nicely full-circle, the Enterprise warps out to a brand new future to be explored, with nothing predetermined in advance thanks to a new timeline… it was a rocking little movie and one that I thoroughly enjoyed!

    However, I have no interest in seeing ‘…Into Darkness’ and certainly not after reading about it, four years to come up with a strong script and THAT’S the best they could come up with? The only way to justify (at least creatively) a third installment is if someone comes up with brand new and original characters to threaten the valiant crew of the Enterprise with… no more Klingons or Romulans or Khan or Borg or ANY alien races or villains from any of the past series!

    If they can’t think of an original concept and premise with original characters for the next one, maybe they should seriously consider giving ‘Trek a well-earned and (in my opinion) long-overdue retirement… whilst it still has grace, dignity, credibility, and public goodwill intact!

  21. William Shatner is the Sean Connery of Star Trek so hopefully there could be some kind of nod to him without it taking viewers out of the film.

  22. No one wanted Khan in the last Star Trek and we got that.

    Now no one wants Klingons as they have been done so many times just the thought screams BORING! on a major scale.

    So we will probably get that.

  23. Why do people keep hiring these guys, they’re hacks

  24. I’m glad. I like the two ST movies he directed.

  25. God help us. No. He’s already ruined the franchise and dumbed it down to pander to the moronic masses. Why can’t he just LEAVE and give the franchise to someone who LOVES Trek??


  27. I’ve read tons on what and when the production of Star Trek 3 will happen, but noone seems to really know. It would make more sense for them to start production soon and release in 2016 for the original Star Trek 50th Anniversary. I honestly think that alot more fans would be happier if Star Trek 3 was released sooner than 2016. Most people want more now and would enjoy it alot more because they wouldnt have to wait a long time just to see the new movie. I would personally be exstatic if Star Trek 3 was released sooner than 2016.

  28. While I do love Star Wars, I like J.J should focus on Star Trek right now. He has already done the newest two movies, why quit now! Both movies are so fantastic and fans are dying to get production along the way!

  29. I hope J.J Abrams still continues to direct Star Trek, he already did such a good job in the first two installments. I understand it was gonna be a trilogy, i hope he sees it to the end.