Traversing fanboy culture can be treacherous. Say the wrong the thing (or anything really) and it can be taken under a microscope of scrutiny, speculation and potentially ill will. Worry and concern are always something that trouble the culture when something leans in the wrong direction, and studios have generally come around to being wise to this, often offering the safe answer when the reality is up in the air. When it was announced that relentless multitasking filmmaker J.J. Abrams had ultimately decided to direct Disney's "Star Wars: Episode VII," fans rejoiced (though maybe some will rejoice less if they feel the same way our reviewer did about "Star Trek: Into Darkness"), although much of the audience -- including the "Star Trek" creative team writer/producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof -- all wondered aloud what this meant for their franchise.
Simon Pegg quickly responded with, "yes he will," but soon retracted it, admitting he didn't really have a clue about Abrams' intentions, but it seemed, at the time, like a maneuver to mollify worried fanboys. More recently, Abrams attempted himself to assuage fanboys in a Playboy interview, tentatively stating, "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." It's not the most declarative statement in the whole world, but for the fans, it was more than enough.
But Abrams talked to the New York Times this week and when asked about "Star Trek 3," he was noncommittal about directing a third 'Star Trek,' aside from saying that his production company, Bad Robot, would produce it. While there are no specific quotes, clearly an exchange (probably not that pullquote worthy itself) took place over the subject. The NYT writes, "He said it was unlikely that Paramount would wait another four years for such a film, in which case his 'Star Wars' schedule would likely conflict with it."
That's obviously not a "no, I won't do it," but maybe Abrams -- who is, like the above quote suggestions, always noncommittal until he has a good story or screenplay -- simply trying to manage everyone's expectations. Much of the Times pieces is about Abrams time and how stretched thin he is. Abrams, who juggles several projects at once including the ones Bad Robot produces has to manage and go, “Wherever the fire is burning the most severe,” Damon Lindelof said, “But there’s always a fire burning.”
Even his producing partner, Bryan Burk, says Paramount were not happy with the wait between these two 'Star Trek' movies. “I would routinely get calls from the studio asking for confirmation that he was directing the movie," he said. "And we never really confirmed it. We just kept going forward.”
Will something have to give? Can Abrams do it all? “I know that we all have our capacity," he told the newspaper, "And at a certain point it’s going to be too much.”