JJ Abrams passes on directing next Star Trek film as he readies for upcoming Star Wars shoot instead.
The first two JJ Abrams-directed Star Trek films have won the applause of critics and audiences alike. But a third film will have to find success without the Lost creators’ special touch.
Abrams has announced he is not returning to direct a third Star Trek film.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” the 47-year-old director says. “But, I will say that I’m going to be producing the movie.”
“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.”
Abrams has been, however, helping screenwriters Alex Kurzman and Bob Orci – who wrote the first two films – get the third installment’s story off the ground.
The first two Star Trek reboot films were box-office boons, and anything less than a smash opening will be a disappointment for the third film.
This summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness is the highest-grossing film in the entire Star Trek franchise, drawing more than $462 worldwide.
The 2009 pic reboot, meanwhile, remains the second-highest-grossing Star Trek film and actually opened to greater domestic box-office success than its sequel.
It was also the first Star Trek film to win an Academy Award (in this case for best makeup).
Abrams’ decision to not return for a third go probably has all to do with his upcoming duties on Star Wars: Episode VII.
The announcement of his selection came in January, and both fans and industry figures have since hotly debated whether Abrams will correct a string of mediocre modern Star Wars films. There have already been some hiccups, however.
For one, Abrams is massively annoyed with Disney’s decision to shoot the film in London. Though all six previous Star Wars films have included production in the UK, the director wanted to avoid moving his family halfway across the world for production, especially as his kids are transitioning in school. “When you’re 13 and 14, it’s like, f-ck that, I don’t care what the movie is.” he said at a conference.
But a source told The Hollywood Reporter that Abrams is building post-production facilities – including a green room and sound studios – in Santa Monica, California at his production company Bad Robot’s headquarters. That would mean he can tackle the bulk of the editing and effects work near his home in Los Angeles, a city in which Abrams has shot all of his films thus far.
Shooting for Star Wars is set to commence in early 2014.