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J.J. Abrams Says Directing 'Star Trek 3' Still A Possibility & More From His Playboy Interview

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist April 25, 2013 at 5:27PM

In the latest issue of Playboy Magazine, which people still totally buy for the articles, there's a lengthy interview with J.J. Abrams, cinematic wizard behind "Mission: Impossible III," "Super 8" and the "Star Trek" reboot. Abrams' second foray into the "Star Trek" cosmos, "Star Trek Into Darkness," opens on May 17th , while Abrams' next gig is even more daunting – directing the still-currently-subtitle-less "Star Wars: Episode VII" for Disney. The interview is full of juicy information – about 'Trek,' 'Wars,' the possibility of future Abrams sequels ("Cloverfield II" anyone?) – so much so that we just had to make a little crib sheet for the ten things we learned from the interview. Read on and prosper.
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J.J. Abrams
6) He Might Direct "Let The Great World Spin"
After noting that his influences range from Alfred Hitchcock to David Cronenberg to Steven Spielberg (duh) and that his favorite movie of all time is "The Philadelphia Story," Abrams let it slip that he might be up for directing an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel "Let the Great World Spin," which has been in development at his Bad Robot production company for a while now. "There’s an amazing book called 'Let the Great World Spin,' that we’ve been developing with Colum McCann, the writer, and I’d love to do that," Abrams said, which is about as close to an admission of intent as you're going to get from the secretive filmmaker. "Not because of anything other than I feel the characters are beautiful and alive and have incredible heart and soul. But I’m open to anything."

Michael Bay Pain and Gain

7) His Need For Secrecy Stems From The Leak Of His Superman Script 
Abrams is notoriously secretive, with his offices housed in a purposefully anonymous building and a widespread policy of silence being of paramount importance. (He even gave his TED talk about "The Mystery Box," some kind of magic kit he received as a child made more magical by the fact that he never opened it.) More recently, though, his strict adherence to secrecy had to do with a "Superman" script he wrote for McG. (One that got out and was savaged by Ain't It Cool News.) "That’s a paranoia I’ve developed since the Superman script I wrote years ago was reviewed online. I always had a sense of how I enjoyed entertainment, which was to sit down in front of a TV or inside a darkened movie theater and be surprised by everything that happened on the screen. It used to be that to get a spoiler you had to really seek it out," Abrams said. He then noted: "Now you have to work to avoid it."

8) He Gave Michael Bay Shit
It's easy to forget that Abrams was one of the credited screenwriters on Michael Bay's apocalyptically epic "Armageddon" and while he has something of a reputation in Hollywood, Abrams wasn't ruffled, especially after Abrams found out where he went to school. "I know Michael’s a guy who can be abusive and crazy and all kinds of stuff. But when I was driving over to meet him for the first time, someone called and said, 'He went to Crossroads,' which is a private school down the street from here in Santa Monica. I thought, He’s a Crossroads kid? Growing up in Brentwood, I knew kids like him. I had never met Michael, but this idea that he was a Crossroads kid suddenly demystified him for me," Abrams said. "I met him and immediately started giving him shit, and he was giving me shit. He liked me because I wasn’t afraid of him and I understood who he was, which was someone who was a little freaked out by how big he’d become so fast." 

Star Trek Into Darkness, JJ Abrams,Orci, set

9) Directing 'Star Trek 3' Is Still A Possibility
While Abrams' commitment to Disney's new "Star Wars" franchise seemingly puts him out of the "Star Trek" game for the foreseeable future, something that really upset "Star Trek" fans (especially since the long-held belief was that the Abrams films would form something of a trilogy), Abrams says no. "I would say it’s a possibility. We’re trying to figure out the next step," Abrams said, before diplomatically adding: "But it’s like anything: It all begins with the story."

10.) "Cloverfield II" Could Be Inspired By "Pacific Rim"
Another endlessly theorized-about Abrams-led sequel is a follow-up to his found-footage monster movie "Cloverfield" (directed by Matt Reeves, who is now one of the most in-demand dudes in Hollywood). Abrams has mixed feelings about the project. "Part of me just wants to let it go, though we’ve had a couple of discussions about cool ways to do it," he said. Abrams then said that it could be at least partially inspired by another giant monster movie opening this summer: Guillermo del Toro's buzzy "Pacific Rim." "I’m looking forward to seeing 'Pacific Rim' this summer. It feels like there are some really big monsters coming down the pike that could inspire something we do."

There's yet another Abrams property that, shockingly, he still could be open to bringing back on the big screen: "Alias," his wonderfully bizarre, woefully under-watched spy show for ABC (which is where we first fell in love with the dude). "We discuss it. In the right circumstance and situation I would definitely be open to it," Abrams said teasingly. In other words: don't hold your breath, but it could be in the mystery box one day.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" opens May 17th.

This article is related to: J. J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, Michael Bay


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