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J.J. Abrams, "Star Trek"
Previous nominations or wins: None
Pros: It's possible no one deserves a nod more than Abrams. The TV veteran did the impossible with his second feature. He turned a dead Sci-Fi series into one of the biggest blockbusters of the year and revitalized the franchise for a whole new generation. Add in some more than positive reviews and Abrams finds himself touted as the next Spielberg.
Cons: A mantra you will keep hearing until it breaks through: when it's all said and done, to Academy members it's still "Star Trek" and that's not a good thing.
[Left, J.J. Abrams accepting an honor at the 2009 Scream Awards.]