J.J. Abrams signs on to direct 'Star Trek 2'

Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal

J.J. Abrams is ready to engage. EW has confirmed that the insatiable media multi-hyphenate has signed on to direct the sequel to his 2009 hit Star Trek. (Vulture first reported the story.) The first film’s screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are penning the screenplay with producer Damon Lindelof, and the main cast — including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (pictured, right, with Abrams on the set of the 2009 Trek) — are all set to return. The untitled sequel was originally scheduled to come out June 2012, but the film has moved off of that date to give the writers enough time to polish the script.

Abrams’ first crack in the captain’s chair netted the reboot the highest-ever grosses for a Trek movie, pulling in $257 million domestically, and $385 million worldwide.

Read more:
‘Star Trek’ sequel: ‘We’re looking at a lot of old episodes for inspiration,’ say writers
‘Star Trek’: 25 Enterprise Milestones
‘Star Trek’: Capt. Kirk’s 20 Best and Worst Moments

Comments (141 total) Add your comment
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  • Steve Gennarelli

    Not exactly a big surprise, but good news for Trekkies everywhere. I expect the next film will be a fun, thrill ride, just like the last one was.

    • Helen

      The Gene Roddenberry years, when stories might play with questions of science, ideals or philosophy, have been replaced by stories reduced to loud and colorful action. It’s been thirty years since I last found myself at the movies, rooting for a black hole.

      • Do

        You sound like a pretentious hack.

      • Helllooooo Nurse!

        Please go & get lost in a library or something Helen. Wait you would probably like that.

      • nickwritesaboutmovies

        Helen is stealing from Roger Ebert’s review of “Star Trek” Bad, Helen. Bad.

      • Chris Dube

        I have to agree with Helen. Good storytelling has been replaced with mindless special effects. An unfortunate trend in movies today.

      • The Cynical Optimist

        What’s wrong with getting lost in a library?

      • Tom

        Helen is absolutely correct. If that is being a pretenious hack, then I’ll take more of that anyday than these mindless brown nosers.

      • Chris Dube

        Well said Tom. It is a wonder these kids can even spell the english language.

      • LOL

        JJ is better than someone just who does “loud and colorful action.” Be fair.

      • Tom

        JJ made a truck load of money. I think the last Star Trek Grossed more than all of the previous ones combined, almost? So I will give you that much.. But Still, I’m more of a fan of the really cool psychological-thriller-drama.

      • DarkHawke

        Let’s not elevate Gene Roddenberry to godhood just yet. The Original Star Trek was home to many a exciting action-oriented episode, and Next Gen delivered many more episodes of pretentious politically correct crapola masquerading as deep social commentary. Maybe it’s just me, but i never felt like I had to turn off my brain while watching J.J..’s movie MANY times. Oh, wait: it wasn’t just the most financially successful Star Trek movie (even adjusted for inflation), but it was also the best reviewed one (96% on Rotten Tomatoes), so no, it wasn’t just me! It wasn’t a perfect movie (that would be Wrath Of Khan!), but what minutia they missed was more than made up for by the kind of exhilarating high adventure I haven’t associated with any Star Trek production since 1991! If you can’t see the forest for the trees, don’t blame the park ranger.

      • Chris

        When you spend 150 million on a movie, and it’s name is Star Trek, people will go see it.

      • JJ

        Star Trek II: Now with twice the Lens Flare!

      • Shellibelli

        the last Star Trek was so wonderful I find myself watching it at least once a week. As much as I loved the original and TNG this movie series promises to be even better. Maybe its the friendship between all of them that is growing and seems interesting. loved it

      • Ben

        I agree with Helen. As a Star Trek fan, I was upset to see my good stories replaced with shiny gadgets, bad plots and crap acting to appeal to the younger crowd and their ADD. Honestly, the acting was bad in the last movie. It made Shatner look good by comparison. If the last movie scored so well, it was because the old Trek fans were desperate and hopeful to see their franchise back and Abrams brought in the younger Lost fans. I don’t see this movie doing as well as many older fans won’t want to pay to see anything like the last film. Essentially, Star Trek is over. Whatever these new films are, they aren’t really Trek. Maybe drek.

      • Joep

        Nice Roger Ebert quote Helen. Your opinion would be worth more if it wasn’t copy pasted from a movie critic. Come back when you can use your own brain to write your own thoughts

      • Jay

        I’m afraid you are dead wrong, Helen. I consider myself a very picky Trek fan and I loved the 2009 Trek. I thought it was the best feature the franchise has ever produced. (Yes, I even like it more than Khan but, to be fair, I like First Contact more that Khan also)
        I hope this new timeline really gets a chance to grow and become a new Star Trek for the future

      • MeME

        I will admit that Star Trek (v.2009) was not a perfect film. I did enjoy it but was somewhat let down by the film overall. I will most likely see the sequel as I have every other Star Trak film and hope that it is an improvement.

      • steve

        I’d rather be a pretentious hack than a shallow douche any day.

      • Star Trek Fan

        You seem to forget, Helen, that DS9, a non Roddenberry Star Trek brought morality into question with Trek. The very idea of Section 31, a secret organization of the Federation that rivaled the Romulans Tal Shiar and the Cardassians Obsidian Order. Their methods were cruel and immoral yet benefitted the federation at every turn. Voyager, again a non-Roddenberry Trek, dealt with hard hitting questions such as the morality and dignity behind assisted suicide. You talk about Star Trek being about ideals. What about Spock’s ideal in Abrams Star Trek that he tried to unify his people and the Romulans? Or the almost Shakespearian fall out of Romulus being destroyed in one timeline and Vulcan in the other, further uniting, in a twisted way, the Romulans and the Vulcans. Or dealing with Nero’s philosophy that the law of the universe should be an eye-for-an-eye? No, you must have missed over that, huh? Next time you want to actually bring up a point, I suggest you look further in depth at the film and don’t get distracted by the lens flare.

      • Alex

        Yeah, cause Star Trek: The Movie was the best of all the Trek movies. Amirite? Gene’s storytelling ability doesn’t work so well in movies; it’s much better adapted for television. And even that ability started to wane as evidenced by the first few seasons of TNG. It wasn’t until Gene backed out of the show that it found its footing and became great.

      • will

        She sounds like a pretentious hack because she took the quote directly from Ebert’s review of the movie.

      • daji

        Yay!!! Although most of us already knew this would happen, it still makes my little geek heart very happy. I couldn’t imagine anyone but Abrams directing Star Trek now.BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a businessman!they met via Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for rich people and their admirers to chat online. …You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • Michael

        To DarkHawke: While Abrams’ TREK made more money than any TREK movie, it only beat ST: TMP by 12 to 16 million–depending on your source. Not much to boast about. The one great thing about Abrams’ movie was that Paramount finally got around to spending money on a TREK film; something else it shares with TMP. I thought the movie was just dreadful, with some of the biggest coincidences I’ve seen in recent movies. Add to this, senseless plot holes; an anemic antagonist; juvenile dialog; an overused TREK plot (Earth threatened yet again); gimmicky alternate universe/time travel nonsense, and you get one over-rated movie. I account for the good reviews for three reasons: 1) Abrams is a critic darling; 2) There has always been a large number of TREK and non-fans who never liked Rick Berman’s TREK (TNG, DS9, etc.) and had been waiting for the return of TOS and it’s characters. They were so happy, they didn’t care that the movie was so flawed and dumbed down–the current trend in cinema; 3) The erosion of American and world wide institutions is quite apparent in recent years. If you think film criticism hasn’t also decayed, I think you’re not being honest. Also, I thought THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, THE VOYAGE HOME, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, and FIRST CONTACT–all had just as much exhilarating high adventure as Abrams’ film–minus all those quite apparent flaws.

      • MysterWright

        The last Star Trek movie was awesome visually but the story was flawed. To put Spock in at the end without first establishing, even via narration, that this movie is set in an alternate reality, is kind of a major deus ex machina. I mean yes, the real super Trekkies would catch on that Kirk’s dad was alive in the real Trek universe but that’s still not good storytelling to just assume EVERYONE would catch on just because a few might. I mean if we writers are presumably “better than that” then why would we let someone set us up here to look like we’re elitist? Drop those zeroes, bring on this hero and I can tell you right now there won’t be ANY of *those* problems from here on out. ;)

      • Tom

        Star Trek II The Wrath JJ

      • Miranda

        Unfortunately, you’re right Helen. Stories have stepped aside for bigger action and noise. What’s even sadder than that is I’ve gotten used to it and I go just to see something blown up.

      • wgalvira

        Roderbery is a socialist. Boo boo hoo , s t sucks , say the Republicans.

      • Peter Vee

        You damn kids, get off my starship!

        Give it a rest, Helen. Every interesting scifi concept ST ever used was stolen from the work of SF writers, and wrapped in a cloak of swashbuckling space opera. The latest one featured alternate universes and questions of nature vs. nurture, which while not exactly original, are just as valid as say, the planet of the piebald people or the many, many telekinetic godlike aliens of TOS.

      • dour hero

        I have a feeling that you’re all defending or criticizing a spammer. Often the first comment in these threads is someone who gives a throwaway comment then tells us about her ‘relationship’ and the great website we should all visit to be happy like her.
        Recently someone has been coming along behind and deleting the spammy parts of the messages and leaving the initial comments.
        Nice that it engendered some debate, though.

      • Tom

        Wow, that’s your argument folks? Meh. Give me 150 million and the rights to use the title to a blockbuster film and I will make you rich too.

      • Buck

        I must agree with you Helen! JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek” was an ill conceived, contrived, badly executed science fiction film that simply contained elements of the real Star Trek. That’s where the similarities end.
        It just proved that Abrams should stick to producing TV shows and leave feature films, and Star Trek, to those who know what they’re doing.

      • jc

        great stories lke spocks brain and the one with the space hippies. Now those were monuments in entertainment….

      • Jack 2211

        “when stories might…” is the key phrase (from Mr. Ebert). In fact,very few episodes actually did this, and none of the movies did, really. They were about the characters and their limitations. Star Trek had the perils of all origin stories (they’re about nothing but the origin, and contrivances and coincidences bring everyone together) but still had the heart and the spirit, i hope, of the original. We didn’t get much of a sense of why the characters want to be out there, beyond the desire to over-achieve based on childhood hurts.

    • Rush

      This means more lens flare.

      • Ding

        I actually returned my blu-ray due to the lens flare.

      • Lauri

        I really liked the first one so this is great news. He needs to cool it with the lens flares, though. I was a neat effect in the first movie but when I saw it again in Super 8, even when lens flares shouldn’t happen, I said enough already.

      • Tom

        Lens flare is horribly underrated.

      • Spocks GTi

        I’m looking forward to more lens flare and more cowbell!

      • Courtney

        I actually did a university paper on Star Trek, and wrote a whole section on the lens flares. They had a purpose: the future was too bright to be contained, according to Abrams.

    • shoop shoop

      agreed Steve. I am jsut so glad they are all coming back together. Abrams directing Pine and Quinto is my dream team for star trek. I have been watching star trek since I was a kid, have seen every movie and every series completely (except Enterprise… f*$k that crud) and I gotta say I totally fell in love with the 2009 Trek. The new take on James T Kirk wad badly needed. Shatners version has been a bad acting joke for 30 years now so I am glad Kirk finally has a bit of grittiness to him.

    • billy

      one word: Lindelof. I am totally sold.

    • Editboy

      “Good storytelling has been replaced with mindless special effects. An unfortunate trend in movies today.”

      THANK YOU!!! I couldn’t agree more!!

      The wonderful depth of the original has been soured by Kirk and Spock practically high five-ing each other as they blow stuff up! Pathetic! HATED the new movie, and even though I’m sure everyone from Generation Pilgrim will consider the next one to be the best movie of all time, I’ll happily be watching the REAL “Star Trek II”….it’s called “The Wrath of Khan”!

      • District 12

        wtf is “generation pilgrim”?

      • Editboy

        Generation Pilgrim is the designation for the current generation of fanboys and fangirls roughly between the ages of 18 and 25. Their favorites include TV shows and movies like “Smallville”, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek” and of course, “Scott Pilgrim vs The World”. They’re usually quick to find anything cheesy or dated that came before their time.

  • heather

    This news made my mom a very happy woman. Die hard Trekkie she is. Can’t wait to see it!

    • wsugar

      Sorry, heather it wasn’t the news. I spent the night with mom.

      • Spock

        You spent the night with your mom?

      • Winger

        You eat pieces of s… for breakfast?

      • Mike

        Nice Winger lol

      • Tom

        You mom needs a new boyfriend.

  • kevin

    BEAM ME UP AGAIN JJ. :)

  • Flip

    It’s already been over 2 years since the first one. Hurry the HELL up and release Star Trek 2 ASAP!!!!

    • Jay

      No, dont rush it!!!! I like the fact that a few years will have gone by before we the sequel

    • steve

      It’s not Star Trek 2. It’s more like Star Trek 14, or whatever. Let’s not pretend that all of these Hollywood remakes are not just the result of a lack of ideas and a desire to make more money off of a dedicated fan base.

      • sean

        I think in some cases that’s not necessarily fair – this is a chance for people who may have dismissed star trek entirely to embrace the concept in a new, 21st century way. And getting someone who is truly a devoted fan like Abrams to do the first and second remakes is proof of that.

  • sean

    woo-hoo!!!!!

  • jason

    awesome news!!

  • District 12

    YAY! Love J.J. Abrams!

    • Tom

      Who?

  • Ella

    YESSSS!

  • Sofia

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, about time. Can’t wait…………

  • DavidJ

    Awesome news. Screw the haters, I’m a longtime Trek fan and absolutely LOVED the visually dynamic style JJ brought to the first movie. Can’t wait to see what he does with the sequel.

    • Timothy McNeil

      NOOOOOOOOO!

      I don’t care about the visual style. I hated the story, and the complete “what if” alternate timeline BS. Bob & Alex are not skilled at their craft, and I would prefer that they not be given another bite at the apple just because an audience starved for light action/sci-fi made the re-boot a financial success.

      While I’m at it, if Paramount had EVER put that kind of money behind a previous Star Trek film, they wouldn’t have looked so second rate.

      • Jay

        I liked the visual style AND the story. I loved the casting and left the theater very satisfied… just saying

      • sean

        you and a lot of people, Jay. don’t pay attention to timothy’s negative vibes!

      • Editboy

        Couldn’t agree more!!! This whole thing was like a one-off and I don’t care to drink JJ Abrams Kool Aid again! All flash and no substance. They threw what made the original Trek great right out the window to give us this?! I didn’t care about a single thing or character in the entire movie. Please, no more!

  • GeorgeAndGracie

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MsSuniDaze

    Yay!!! Although most of us already knew this would happen, it still makes my little geek heart very happy. I couldn’t imagine anyone but Abrams directing Star Trek now.

  • Hi! I’m 12!

    Make it so!!!

    • Marcie

      :-)

  • Damian

    I’d rather they take their time but the waiting is gonna suck!

    The last movie was great but here’s to hoping the odd/even number legend lives on which would make Star Trek 12 (or 2) insanely great! Here’s to hoping someone in the crew cracks open a bottle of wine from “Chateau Picard” though.

  • Mason

    • The Orion Syndicate as the villains
    • Larger all-star cast as well as many cameos including by William Shatner
    • More planets
    • Larger space battles with more starships
    • Kirk having better fighting skills
    • Kirk having several human love interests played by Hollywood’s most beautiful young actresses
    • No cut scenes
    • The Star Trek theme music from the Insurrection end credits used at the end

    • District 12

      I will agree with you on the Insurrection theme, it was a saving grace for the movie, but the rest…….I don’t know if we necessarily need more battles with more ships and what would more planets accomplish?

    • Rebecca

      Mason, the ideas you suggested for ST12 are amazing! I just love them!

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