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J.J. Abrams confirms he will not direct Star Trek 3 but will help craft the story

09.12.2013

We all assumed that duties on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII would keep J.J. Abrams from helming the follow-up to STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, but some fans and those in the cast have repeatedly said that they were holding out hope that Abrams would still return to the director's chair. It seemed unlikely that Abrams would leave the franchise entirely, but we didn't know the scope of his involvement, until now.

Speaking with IGN, Abrams shared his feelings on giving up control of STAR TREK 3:

[It is] a little bittersweet. I’m going to be producing the [next] movie. Whomever it is that directs the film will be someone we all know is going to keep the cast and crew in good hands. I feel very lucky to have been part of it, and it definitely feels like the right time to let someone come in and do their own thing. I certainly don’t want someone to come in and try to do what I would have done. We want to hire someone who’s gonna come in and bring their own sensibility. I’m very excited to see what comes next, despite feeling jealous of whomever that person is."

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS was successful enough to guarantee a third film and yet underwhelmed many fans of the series. The third film will need to truly impress audiences with something different from the first two movies if we expect the series to continue. With that in mind, Abrams did express that he would still be involved with crafting the plot and story for the third movie alongside Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

"It's too early to talk about details, but there have been a lot of really exciting ideas about what comes next."

Abrams said very similar things after the first movie was a hit and all of the folks at Bad Robot follow Abrams code of silence when it comes to details. But, if their denial that the second film wouldn't be a remake of WRATH OF KHAN proved to be untrue, can we assume the third film will utilize any elements from THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK?

STAR TREK 3 is expected to hit theaters in late 2015 or Summer 2016.

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