In about a month and a half, Star Trek Into Darkness will head into theaters everywhere. Once the film is released, J.J. Abrams will go from one sci-fi geek franchise to the next, shifting his focus to Star Wars: Episode VII. Abrams has a hard road ahead of him in introducing Star Wars to a new generation, while still trying to make long-time friends happy with the new movie as well. But it seems like the 46-year-old director is ready “to boldly go” into “a galaxy far, far away.”
In an interview with Empire Magazine, J.J. Abrams talks briefly about leaving the Star Trek universe for Star Wars: Episode VII. It’s no secret that Abrams was not a Star Trek fan before rebooting the film series in 2009, but he is a huge Star Wars fan. Abrams opens up to Empire about transitioning from one fan-beloved franchise to another:
There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.”
How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.
J.J. Abrams also talks about why he took the Star Wars: Episode VII job, when he initially turned down the new movie. Apparently it was a hard decision to take the directing job, but with the support from his wife and director Steven Spielberg, Abrams decided to take it on.
My knee-jerk reaction was that I’m in the middle of working on the Star Trek movie and I can’t even consider it. But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation. I went down to tell Katie, my wife, and I said ‘I had just a very interesting conversation with Kathy.’ That was the beginning. I will say that Steven [Spielberg] was very encouraging of Star Wars. It’s funny because I talked to him about it and it turned out he knew all about what was going on.
It will be a very interesting next few months for J.J. Abrams. Star Trek Into Darkness is slated to be one of the biggest movies of the summer, so the temptation to come back to direct the third film in the series will be strong. On the other hand, making Star Wars: Episode VII will be like printing money for Disney and Lucasfilm. The film has the potential to be the highest grossing movie of all-time, so it would be foolish to turn down an opportunity like that.
Star Trek Into Darkness will hit theaters everywhere on May 17th, in IMAX and 3D, while Star Wars: Episode VII is planned for release sometime in 2015.