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The press day for 'Star Trek Into Darkness' took place in London last weekend, and we sent Guy Lodge to talk to the cast and to director JJ Abrams about what they've done with the sequel.
However, there's something hanging over the press for "Star Trek Into Darkness," something unavoidable, and I'm willing to bet every single time the conversation digresses, Paramount's publicists want to climb the walls out of frustration.
That's what happens, though, when your director is announced as the director of "Star Wars Episode VII" before his current film is released. Suddenly, that's the thing everyone wants to talk about.
Guy broached the subject with Abrams in the middle of the interview, and while he doesn't reveal anything about the content of the film (and certainly no one expected him to), he did talk about his approach. What he said mirrored something that Simon Kinberg recently said to me when I ran into him at the Arclight at the "Elysium" event. Kinberg is one of the writers who has been brought in to work on the spin-off films, and when we spoke, he talked a bit about how Lawrence Kasdan has been approaching every conversation about "Star Wars."
Basically, the worst thing that the "Star Wars" team faces is the crushing weight of expectation. Nothing they do is going to satisfy everyone, and so they can't really worry about any of that. They have to focus on telling stories that are exciting in their own right and that don't just lean on our feelings about the old films. In addition, they can't really do what anyone expects.
The smartest thing that Abrams says in the whole interview is that he's got to make sure that these films work as their own thing. If they try to compete with what already exists, they'll fail, so they have to focus on telling great stories and making sure the characters all exist as fully-realized characters, and not just as fan service.
We've got two years until we'll see the first of the films, but that's not that long a time in development terms.
In the meantime, "Star Trek Into Darkness" opens on May 16 now.
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