Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
Frazier Tharpe reveals for Complex Pop Culture J.J. Abrams’ decision to not direct Star Trek 3:
“Abrams has officially announced that the director’s chair for Star Trek 3 is officially up for grabs (he’ll remain a producer) while he moves forward with the Star Wars: Episode VII production. We’d say Trekkies are going to weep, but maybe not—they recently voted the J.J. helmed Into Darkness as the worst movie in the entire series and declared Abrams’ reboot a “broken” entity.”
Read the full article here.
As Tharpe explains, this choice was inevitable – and Abrams was hardly going to jump ship in the middle of his publicity campaign for Star Trek Into Darkness. He remains producer, of course, but his trademark methods will not be employed in the same manner.
Here at Flickering Myth, we reported Abrams revealing that the direction of Rupert Wyatt would be ideal for Star Trek 3 – indeed, he is a filmmaker who clearly has the skill to direct large-scale reboots (see Rise of the Planet of the Apes).
But there is a tendency to write-off filmmakers’ lack of involvement as a negative. Christopher Nolan’s poetic Dark Knight Trilogy showed a consistency and thematic connection that only serves to enhance viewings. Justin Lin and his take-over of The Fast and the Furious series with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift improved ratings, credibility and box-office figures one film at a time leading to this year’s Fast & Furious 6. The fact remains that if a director commits to a series – and follows it through to its natural conclusion, it can become a mark of quality. Indeed, Justin Lin’s departure from TFATF series is a concern now Fast & Furious 7 is in production. Can James Wan (director of Saw), helming the seventh film, really handle a major blockbuster?
Unfortunately, the director is not the selling point to Star Trek. The brand will sell itself. Despite J.J. Abrams clearly rebuilding the series – whether Trekkies like it or not, it has reached a new audience – his own opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode VII takes precedent and studios won’t wait around. Ironically, studios wouldn’t wait for Justin Lin either – and the accelerated release of Fast & Furious 7 meant that Lin could not take part. With no official release date for Star Trek 3, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto won’t get any younger either – and waiting for Abrams to finish Star Wars in 2015 (and, the potential of directing a trilogy isn’t entirety off the cards) means that Star Trek 3 hitting theatres in 2016 would be unlikely … unless a new director was brought in.
So, it all makes sense. Financial sense anyway, because even if the film is a dud – and the third destroys everything Abrams set up, it’ll still make its money back as a ‘Star Trek‘ film. And I’ll bet J.J. Abrams could be brought back in for the fourth instalment anyway – renewing interest and pulling back the lost fans who didn’t enjoy a different director’s take.