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'Star Trek 3' Shooting In 2014 With J.J. Abrams Directing? Set Phasers To Keep Dreaming

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by Edward Davis
July 16, 2013 4:43 PM
9 Comments
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Star trek, set photo

9.11.13 Update: We hate to say toldja, but..."It’s a little bittersweet. But, I will say that I’m going to be producing the movie," he confirmed to Collider. "Whomever it is that directs the film will be someone we all know is going to keep the cast and crew in good hands."

Actors love to talk out of turn and all too often their wishful thinking is pretty much the equivalent of fanboy daydreaming. Take comments from “Star Trek” actor Zachary Quinto that seem to have been taken at face value across the entire Internet. Quinto “supposes” that “Star Trek 3” will shoot next year. “'Star Trek 3' should be filming, I suppose, next year,” is the full quote. “It’s going to be made a lot quicker than the last one. That’s the plan, although nothing is confirmed yet.” (If that’s not the most tentative, and half-hearted declaration of news this month, we’re not sure what is). Elsewhere in the article from Buzzhub, Quinto “mentioned that J.J. Abrams was planning to direct 'Star Trek 3.' "

Let’s count the ways why this won’t happen: 1) J.J. Abrams will be spending 2014 prepping, shooting and editing “Star Wars: Episode VII.” There’s absolutely no way on earth that Abrams will shoot two massive-scaled tentpoles in the same year. That’s downright laughable. If you were to use odds, it would be something like 10-million-to-one. Abrams wants to nail the new “Star Wars,” and all his attention and focus will be on that franchise only— he won't be multi-tasking as a director on two mega-sequels.

2 & 3) Disney and Kathleen Kennedy will simply not let Abrams shoot his competing franchise in the same year he’s supposed to shoot “Star Wars.” Likewise, Paramount is not dumb enough to put “Star Trek 3” head to head with “Star Wars” and nor would they want him doing double promotional duties (the same promotional duties which would overlap with any number of elements of the other film). The gap between the original "Star Trek" and “Star Trek Into Darkness” was four years. Sure, Abrams shot “Super 8” within that time frame, but that’s still one film every two years. And ‘Into Darkness’ was a fairly long process for Abrams. The movie shot in January 2012 and wasn’t released until more than a year later in the spring of 2013 (at the insistence of Abrams, who forced the studio to move back the release date so he didn't have to rush). The original “Star Trek” was also a year and four months from shoot date to release.

So count J.J. Abrams out directing "Star Trek 3" in 2014— no amount of hoping and dreaming will make this happen. As for “Star Trek 3” shooting in 2014 without Abrams (or with him taking a producing credit)? Sure, Paramount doesn’t want another four year gap between “Star Trek” films and that could be possible, but as of right now there’s a white page: There’s no screenplay written. It would need to be written, developed, finished and then you’d have to find a director to shoot it (because J.J. Abrams is NOT directing this movie, kids). It’s not inconceivable especially because “2014” could mean anytime in 2014 (like in December at the end of the year). If we were betting people, we wouldn’t put a cent down that it’ll happen.

The general rule is that sequels always make more money than their predecessor, this is the reason they are made. This is the reason why franchises with little to no (or tiny) profits (“Red,” “G.I. Joe”) get followups, because the wisdom is that the property is now known, and even if they first film didn't clean up, the second one will likely outgross it. But “Star Trek Into Darkness” is the rare major blockbuster sequel that didn’t outperform its predecessor. 2009’s "Star Trek" grossed $257 million domestically, while 'Into Darkness' only grossed $224 million despite the brand having already successfully rebooted itself. The story was reversed worldwide with 'Into Darkness' outgrossing the original by about $60 million, which is heartening for the studio, but one has got to think the writers and producers have to wonder what went wrong and why “Star Trek” went soft within North America; the territory where the franchise should be the largest. One would think they would actually want to work on the script a little bit too.

Abrams himself has even pooh-poohed the idea of a “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” arriving one year after each other let alone shooting in the same year. “If they want in that period of time [2015 and then 2016] and if 'Star Wars' goes forward as planned, it would obviously be a conflict. It depends when this movie would happen,” he told Trek Movie earlier this year.

Magic Eight Ball result: A resounding, dream on, nerd.

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9 Comments

  • Andrew Ford Smith | July 18, 2013 7:28 PMReply

    If anyone can get this message to Abrams, tell him the winning formula for the next Star Trek film is Johnny Depp as Kruge (the role made famous by Christopher Lloyd in ST-III) vs Kirk and company, the Romulans and a certain weapon of mass destruction that wanders into the galaxy. call it Star trek DOOMSDAY! The enemy wants to weaponize the Doomsday Machine and Starfleet sends the Enterprise to stop them. Nuff said!

  • John | July 18, 2013 7:34 AMReply

    There will another Star Trek film, possbily even a series. I have liked both ST films, however I was abit dissapointed with the way in which the whole Khan thing panned out. It was cringeworthy to see the roles reversed between Spock and Kirk (a blatent rip off of ST:II bar a few lines of script, not happy about that!) and it was equally shocking for Kirk to be conveniently revived (massive plothole)! At least in the original was more believeable. I don't mind old plots being rewritten and deployed differently but I can't stand the fact the writters got lazy on this scene, I could have been epic and emotionally charged however it came across as cheap and flat. I really hope the writers come up with a unique story for the next film, something a little less unrealistic

  • Ben | July 17, 2013 11:55 PMReply

    One of the reasons it underperformed was, well two reasons....first, they waited 4 years to get the damn thing on the screen!!! By then, all of the love everyone felt with Star Trek 2009 was long gone and forgotten. Second, because they were trying to be cleaver and kept Khan a secret. If instead they would have promoted that it was Khan and played up how awesome B. Cumberbatch was going to be, I swear it would have done better! Who the hell wants to go see a movie about John Harrison??? They will definitely make a third, almost half a billion worldwide isn't chump change you fools!

  • The 2.5th Doctor | July 17, 2013 12:01 PMReply

    He is going to direct both.

  • Danielle | July 17, 2013 10:22 AMReply

    I LOVED Into Darkness! I saw it multiple times in theaters, and everyone I saw it with loved it, too. I think the poorer box office was due to such a crowded summer and Star Trek being unable to totally shake off its nerdy brand name. The only people who seemed to dislike it were tools on the Internet (*clears throat*). Star Trek has been by far the best reviewed big film of the summer--check out Rotten Tomatoes if you don't believe me.

    I really really REALLY want J. J. to direct the third film, but I keep having to tell myself it's unlikely. I'll be so pissed if he stops directing Trek to shift entirely to Star Wars (which will probably happen, which means I most likely will end up pissed). As a Trekkie who has never been a Star Wars fan, it just breaks my heart. But I'm still holding out hope!

  • Tempus Fugit | July 16, 2013 5:26 PMReply

    No, that's OK because 'Into Darkness' was awful. Let's see what some other directors can do.

  • Ben | July 17, 2013 11:51 PM

    Larry is right! You guys are full of shit!!

  • Larry | July 17, 2013 1:47 PM

    Bullshit. That movie was awesome

  • Francis Heh | July 16, 2013 5:30 PM

    Amen, not gonna happen. Double Amen, 'Into Darkness' suuuucked.

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