Star Trek Into Darkness - Pine, Quinto, Abrams 1

Since being hired to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, J.J. Abrams has had a secondary role in addition to keeping the Star Trek series on track: being a cheerleader for two very different series owned by different companies. As the new captain of Trek, Abrams is just about to launch his second Enterprise mission, and then will have to quickly shift over into Star Wars mode to get Episode VII rolling early next year.

Part of his role as shepherd of both series has been to remain optimistic about the chances of working on both going forward, even though such a thing seems unlikely. Simon Pegg once blurted out that Abrams would definitely direct Star Trek 3, but later had to admit he couldn’t speak for Abrams. And Abrams has said that directing both Episode VII and Star Trek 3 was a possibility.

There are a couple years of work ahead on Star Wars, and also the very real possibility that Paramount will want a Trek sequel as soon as possible. And so Star Trek may need a new director after all.

The New York Times has a piece on Abrams’ attempt to straddle two massive franchises, and while there is no direct quote from the producer/director about his future with Star Trek as he works on Star Wars, the article does say,

He was noncommittal about directing a third “Star Trek,” except to say that Bad Robot would produce it. He said it was unlikely that Paramount would wait another four years for such a film, in which case his “Star Wars” schedule would likely conflict with it.

None of which comes as any sort of surprise; the notion that Abrams would be able to direct the next installments of both series seemed wildly ambitious at best. We’ll see how Star Trek Into Darkness pans out for Paramount; the studio may end up wanting to go with a new creative team to keep the series fresh.

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