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J.J. Abrams Confirms He Will Not Direct Star Trek 3

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AbramsSince taking the reigns of Star Wars: Episode VII, it has seemed very unlikely, if not impossible, that J.J. Abrams would have time to also helm Star Trek 3 as well. Now, after a lot of hemming and hawing, he has finally confirmed that. That’s good news for Trek-loving Abrams haters, but the Star Wars-loving Abrams haters are still stuck with him for at least one movie.

Abrams broke the news that seemed inevitable to Collider while promoting the Blu-ray/DVD release of Star Trek Into Darkness. The general consensus was that there was no way Abrams would be able to direct both projects, especially since Episode VII is effectively launching a new era in Star Wars history, courtesy of the Disney buyout and their ambitious plans for the franchise. Asked about how he felt about passing the director’s chair to someone else, Abrams replied:

It’s a little bittersweet. But, I will say that I’m going to be producing the movie. Whomever it is that directs the film will be someone we all know is going to keep the cast and crew in good hands. I feel very lucky to have been part of it, and it definitely feels like the right time to let someone come in and do their own thing. I certainly don’t want someone to come in and try to do what I would have done. We want to hire someone who’s gonna come in and bring their own sensibility. I’m very excited to see what comes next, despite feeling jealous of whomever that person is.

This should be exciting news for Trek fans, whether they enjoyed Abrams’ vision for the franchise or not. I don’t think there’s anything inherently “unfixable” about the current Trek universe even if you hated both of the previous films. The cast is solid, and the true potential of the new timeline has yet to be fully explored. I’d love to see somebody take the helm who can take the foundation Abrams has laid and put their own spin on the franchise…perhaps one closer to the old-school Trek so many love. No matter how much anybody hates 2009’s Star Trek and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, if you love Trek, you shouldn’t be rooting for Trek 3 to fail. You should be rooting for it to improve and become something even the scorned Trekkers can appreciate. With the right director on board, Star Trek 3 could be something truly special.

Just who that director might be is still very much up in the air. Rumors so far have dropped names such as Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Justin Lin (Fast and Furious), Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), and Jon Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation).

As for Abrams, he will still be a producer on the next Star Trek film, but hopes that whoever takes over from him will take the franchise in an exciting new direction:

It’s a little bittersweet. But, I will say that I’m going to be producing the movie. Whomever it is that directs the film will be someone we all know is going to keep the cast and crew in good hands. I feel very lucky to have been part of it, and it definitely feels like the right time to let someone come in and do their own thing. I certainly don’t want someone to come in and try to do what I would have done. We want to hire someone who’s gonna come in and bring their own sensibility. I’m very excited to see what comes next, despite feeling jealous of whomever that person is.

Star Trek 3 is expected to target a 2016 release, tying into the 50th anniversary of the original series. Star Trek Into Darkness is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download.

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