J.J. Abrams Is Close To Directing STAR TREK 2 in January

Though the sequel is now expected to be pushed back until summer 2013 as Paramount give it's June 29th, 2012 release date to G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation.

I'm not sure if J.J. Abrams was lying to himself or just lying to us but let's be honest, we all knew deep down he would return to the captain's chair to direct Star Trek 2. Deadline have finally confirmed today he is close to a commitment on delivering a sequel to Paramount and the studio have optioned their return agreement in the actors contracts to ensure shooting can begin around January. The film is now likely to open summer 2013. Abrams' somewhat dilly-dallying and as his ambitions with his Steven Spielberg collaboration Super 8 got bigger and bigger, resulting in more post-production work and press rounds for what was once a modestly sized film, has cost him his summer 2011 start date and his previously set June 29th, 2012 release. Paramount have done the widely expected thing and bumped up their tentpole G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation (new title) from it's previous August 10th, 2012 opening to fill in the gap left by Trek on that day. I'm sure director John Chu didn't appreciate the added pressure of delivering his movie almost two months sooner, especially as casting is still taking place (Joseph Mazzello joined the cast as Mouse yesterday but we couldn't even drum up the enthusiasm to write about it) but not much he can do about it. Anyway back to Trek and as we reported previously this summer Abrams kind of left his Trek high council (i.e. the scriptwriters) to it themselves for the sequel. From what we've been hearing Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman and Damon Lindelof were somewhat left in limbo, and themselves decided to work on other projects during the downtime. Back in May it was revealed that the trio only had a 70 page treatment for a proposed Trek sequel and not anything like a full script as everyone was waiting to find out when Abrams would officially sign on. Orci said;
€œJust been waiting for JJ to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish the script. Once he says go, we€™ll have it in no time. Meanwhile, our outline is detailed enough (70+ pages!) to do some prep :)€ In the meetings we€™ve had with JJ, he€™s already given us amazing input and ideas, and that€™s been while he€™s been up to his eyeballs in €˜Super 8.€
So nobody quite knows what condition the story or the script for Star Trek 2 is in right now though we are told Abrams has just come back from a much needed holiday and is ready to sit down with his high council and finish the screenplay. Abrams' 100% full commitment to directing the sequel will come down to what he thinks of the finished screenplay but as he has such a big hand in it's development, clearly he is going to make the movie. And of course the telling news is the option on the actors Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin. This is a common franchise practise and it ensures the actors will be available to shoot the sequel in January and likewise it means Paramount would have to pay lengthy fees to them if they miss the start date. Clearly studios don't exercise these options unless they are fully confident of hitting that start date. So Star Trek 2 is coming... finally. And in a few months we should start to hear plot/story snippets - something we've heard very little of so far. So all we've been able to do is write wishlists and speculate. You can find two of our articles below; 5 Things We Expect J.J. Abrams€™ STAR TREK 2 To Have10 Choices For STAR TREK 2 Villains
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Editor-in-chief
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.