Paramount Pictures has officially announced that the next Star Trek movie will be helmed by J.J. Abrams, director of Mission Impossible III and the creative force behind the hit TV series Lost and Alias. Abrams and Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof will produce the franchise reboot, which is written by Mission Impossible III scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Created by Gene Roddenberry, the original Star Trek television series aired from 1966 to 1969 before spawinng five spin-off series and ten theatrically released feature films that have collectively grossed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Paramount is counting on Abrams to breathe new life into the film series, which appeared to run out of steam when 2002′s Star Trek: Nemesis only managed to earn $67 million worldwide.
“If there’s something I’m dying to see, it’s the brilliance and optimism of Roddenberry’s world brought back to the big screen,” says Abrams. “Alex and Bob wrote an amazing script that embraces and respects Trek canon, but charts its own course. Our goal is to make a picture for everyone’life-long fans and the uninitiated. Needless to say, I am honored and excited to be part of this next chapter of Star Trek.”
“We could not be more thrilled to be back in business with J.J. Abrams,’ adds Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey. ‘The revival of the Star Trek franchise is an important part of Paramount’s turnaround.”
Paramount has not released details regarding the storyline of the eleventh Trek flick, but the word on the web is that new actors will be cast as Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Bones, Scotty and the rest of the crew in a novel take on the origin story. In addition to writing the screenplay, Kurtzman and Roberto Orci serve as exec producers on the pic, along with Bryan Burk. Shooting is scheduled to begin this fall for a Christmas Day 2008 release.