What the hell is going on with JJ Abrams and Star Trek XI? Last week Latino Review announced that he was off the project. Paramount denied. Last night they reiterated that he was off the project, and even announced the movie he was doing instead, a film called Cloverfield, which they say is a horror thriller. Harry Knowles at Aint It Cool News emailed JJ Abrams who replied back flatly stating “I am not off Trek!”
That seems pretty cut and dried, and it’s weird for Abrams to say that to Harry if Variety is just going to run a story next week about how he’s off the project. But I’ll tell you what I think – I think that at the end of this everyone will claim they’re right.
Latino Review is insisting that Abrams is not directing Trek XI… which could very well be where the confusion has come in. See, Abrams has never been officially directing Star Trek XI. Never. Gail Berman, who no longer works at Paramount, said at an event that JJ would direct, but Paramount has never made that official, and Abrams immediately distanced himself from that statement. Why? Probably because he never made up his mind. Here’s what Abramspal Greg Grunberg, star of Heroes and who has been in everything JJ has ever done, told IGN this week: "One week he tells me he’s not sure. One week, he told me, ‘No. I’m definitely just producing.’ And then just last week he was like, ‘Man, I’m really excited to do it.’ I said, ‘Are you doing it?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ I mean, honestly, it’s like he’s still really up in the air. But he’s really happy with the script. I know that. Really, really happy. I can’t wait to read it." (By ‘doing it,’ Grunberg obviously means directing.)
It is very likely that JJ Abrams will not direct the next Star Trek movie, but will only produce it. Which means he is not off the movie, which means that Paramount and JJ are right. But if you’re going by the internet gossip, and believe that JJ was definitely going to direct, then Latino Review is right. The thing is that he was never going to officially direct, although he has considered it – if JJ Abrams were to sign on to direct Trek XI and not just produce it, THAT would be news.
So what’s the final situation here? Same as it ever was – Abrams is producing Star Trek XI (my Paramount sources tell me that the first draft that has been handed in has been received very favorably, but it will be going back for more passes, which is how it goes). Is he directing Star Trek XI? He’s considering it, but we won’t have a definite decision until Paramount officially announces who is helming the Enterprise this time around.