J.J. Abrams On The ‘Star Trek’ Sequel And ‘Alcatraz’

Abrams speaks about his upcoming projects from this year's TCA press tour.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

After the Television Critics Association panel on "Alcatraz," the press did a good job trying to get Star Trek information out of J.J. Abrams. He starts shooting the film on Thursday, and he’s converting it into 3D in post because he wants to keep shooting anamorphic film to match the look of the first movie. He knows people make fun of him for the lens flares and he says that he cast Benedict Cumberbatch because he has has “The most awesome name in history.”

 

Photo Credit: WENN.com

 

Q: There was a little explosion online when you were trying to cast Benicio del Toro in "Star Trek 2." What did you make of that reaction?

J.J. Abrams: What do you mean?

Q: The speculation and pushback about his character.

J.J. Abrams: I was just happy that anyone was interested.

Q: Did you have to do away with the character you were going to cast him as?

J.J. Abrams: We haven’t made any changes because of casting.

Q: Do you have any interest in down the line introducing the "Next Generation" characters into your "Star Trek"?

J.J. Abrams: No plans, but, you know.

Q: "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" was great and it’s doing well. When do you start thinking about a fifth one?

J.J. Abrams: Oh, thanks. That’s a good question. Tom’s in Pittsburgh shooting something and we’re about to start the "Star Trek" movie, so I’m not sure when.

Q: They’ve always been several years apart.

J.J. Abrams: That’s true.

Q: You’ve taken great care of your "Lost" actors. Why is it important to keep that family in the fold?

J.J. Abrams: Because when you are lucky enough to work with people who are great and they for some reason want to work with you, it’s insane not to try and cultivate that relationship and let it last as long as possible. So I’ve been very lucky to get to work with some really amazing people in front of the camera and behind the camera. I just try my best to continue that.

Q: Do today’s audiences know Alcatraz mainly from movies like "The Rock"? Is part of the show reeducating the audience on Alcatraz?

J.J. Abrams: A little bit but I think even just the name of it, there’s a mystique that is sort of built in that it’s the existence of it. It’s obviously just permeated the culture. I’m not saying that kids across the country are aware of it so I think there’s a little bit of having to explain what Alcatraz is but it was a weird thing. When I heard it, all I can do is trust my gut. When Steven [Lilien] and Bryan [Wynbrandt] pitched this idea, I literally was like, “That’s genius.” I just loved the notion from the very beginning. Whether or not anyone else will honestly remains to be seen.