JJ Abrams Had To Make Star Trek Into Darkness In 3D Even Though It Made Him Sick

By Rudie Obias | Published

Star Trek Into Darkness

When Star Trek Into Darkness was released in 2013, it was the first 3D movie in the Star Trek franchise. The decision to make the film in 3D was not J.J. Abrams’ but rather came from Paramount Pictures. At first, the director was completely opposed to making the Trek sequel in 3D, but while getting the film together, he worked out a compromise.

In an interview with SFX at the time, Abrams described the 3D process as “ridiculous,” but the studio had other ideas. The main reason Paramount Pictures wanted Star Trek Into Darkness converted to 3D was purely economic.

They stood to make more money with a higher 3D ticket price. According to J.J. Abrams, “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.”

Star Trek Into Darkness was originally shot in the traditional 2D and then converted to 3D, so the option was available for audiences who didn’t like the new format.

He shot it this way so the audience wouldn’t “lose” anything in the format translation. For the most part, the 3D in Star Trek Into Darkness was mostly used as set dressing, rather than the usual leaping-out-of-the-screen stunts. J.J. Abrams said at the time, “The key for me is I got to make my 2D movie that I wanted to make, just the way I wanted to; and it gets to be augmented in 3D but that doesn’t detract from the 2D.”

Did it matter in the end? Well, maybe. This was the last Star Trek movie J.J. Abrams made, moving on to Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens a couple of years later. That movie also had a 3D version, though by that point it was becoming so commonplace that it stands to reason J.J. Abrams was able to look past it (so to speak) by that point.

As far as Star Trek Into Darkness was concerned, well, it didn’t really land with Trekkies even though the movie looked slick enough. Sure, there were explosions and action sequences, but really isn’t the kind of thing the true fans come for with this franchise. It worked a bit within the context of the franchise, but missed out on any real philosophical depth or thoughtful exploration. Basically, it was a J.J. Abrams movie.

Sure, the 3D made him sick, but the 2D version of Star Trek Into Darkness had a similar effect on fans, though for a different reason.

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