The number of directors that have officially declared they either turned down the job (Joss Whedon, Matthew Vaughn) or have stated they didn't want the job (J.J. Abarms, Guillermo del Toro, Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg) or were considered and didn't get the job (Ben Affleck, Jon Favreau) for directing the new Star Wars film for Disney was almost enough to make fans think it would never move past the early development stage. Everyone seemed to have the same basic reasons: I'm too busy, or, who would want that job? Turns out, at least one of those names might not have been telling the whole truth. Like when he said:
“There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan [of Star Wars], I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”
LOST/Fringe/every other damned show on TV producer, and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has been given the director's chair on the presumptive flick, according to Deadline. This has not been confirmed, as far as I can see, by either Abrams or Disney, so I'm a little hesitant to mention it. But reports are, despite his past insistence that he wasn't interested in directing the picture, Abrams has taken the job.
If this is true, any speculation about what the new film might look like is just that: speculation. However, I think it does spell a very clear reality for any further Star Trek films: they will be Abramsless. And it's not because of some absurd notion that someone can't be involved in both franchises, it's that as a human being, I doubt he could. Future films would be in (various stages of) production at the same time, and juggling the two sci-fi giants would be impossible. Which, I'm actually OK with. I feel, like Marvel has done with the various Marvel films, that a change of creative direction can serve a franchise better in the long run, rather then striping a single person clean of their creative juices. The Bond films have done the same for part of their life, and they've lasted fifty years (the ones that share the same director tend to be the least effective).
Abrams has long held that he is more in tune with Star Wars. When he got the job on Trek, he flat out admitted that Wars was his wheelhouse, and that he sought to bring that sort of sensibility to the Trek film. I felt that it worked in his favour, not being a fanboy for the material, which allowed him to make decisions not motivated by an emotional attachment to the characters or setting (Vulcan), and resulted in a very good film. My worry might be that he is that he is too close to Wars, and depending on how closely related it is to the originals, that might present issues. Or, Abrams could be a professional who knows how to do his job. Could go either way.
If this is true, and Abrams has taken the job, I think what Wars fans should be happy about is that a smart, imaginative director has been hired, so that at least the new film has a chance of working. Disney looked at their success with Avengers, and the continuing creative failure of the Pirates films, and opted to go with someone who will respect the material and make a good picture, rather then someone who might just throw some stuff together with the knowledge that the movie will make money no matter what they do. A good, successful film might not be any different from a bad, successful film to a studio executive, but it matters a lot to audiences, and I'm glad they are taking that into consideration.
I still only barely care. I take the Trek side of this argument. I'd rather have Spock over Yoda any day of the week.
Via The Guardian and Ubergizmo.