JJ Abrams talks about approaching 'Star Trek Into Darkness' as a stand-alone experience
At this point, it's just funny that I've never done a formal sit-down interview with JJ Abrams.
After all, we've been colliding now for years. For a while, I made an accidental habit out of busting his biggest secrets wide opens months before they were supposed to be revealed, and in the case of his Superman script, before film had even rolled.
It was during the production of the first "Star Trek" that we called a truce, and since then, our e-mail correspondence has been somewhat cordial. Abrams is still playing the game, though, as should be perfectly clear to anyone who goes back to read this article after they see "Star Trek Into Darkness."
I don't blame him at all. That's what the modern world of film marketing is all about. These days, there is an illusion of transparency as the studios have created a system that brings journalists to almost every set and where the entire process is being written about, from development to release. There's still a ton of control being exerted over every part of that presentation, though, and in the case of the films that Abrams has been making, he has gone above and beyond in his quest to keep certain elements of his films secret until they are released.
What I wish I'd had a chance to ask him about is the exhausting pace of this film. It is unrelenting in the way it tells its story, and the staging of much of it looks like it must have been a crazy accomplishment to even approach, much less pull off. The smartest thing he talks about in this conversation with Guy Lodge is the way they approached this as a stand-alone film, trying to create something that works if you've never seen a "Star Trek" film before while also building things in that will reward long-time fans. I think the angriest responses I've heard so far are from the longtime fans, and that is, in large part, because they've had a relationship with these characters longer than Abrams has, and they simply disagree with his interpretation. That's valid, but I think a lot of people are finding themselves drawn to the characters who have never really reacted to "Trek" before, and that's an interesting moment to observe.
You'll get your chance to weigh in a day early now as "Star Trek Into Darkness" opens on May 16.