It seems that while out promoting ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ J.J. Abrams has taken time to discuss his disappointment with the last major franchise film he worked on, which of course means he wanted to talk about ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.‘ In his own words:
“I didn’t want to enter into making a movie where we didn’t really own our story. I feel like I’ve done that a couple of times in my career. That’s not to say I’m not proud of my work, but the fact is I remember starting to shoot ‘Super 8’ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and feeling like I hadn’t really solved some fundamental story problems.”
Which of course, is Abrams trying to deflect some of the issues with the film onto the hasty production schedule and studio pressure to get everything done as quickly as possible, even without a story that really resonated with the director. Yet, while fans of the series may only remember its issues, as well as the Khan game that was played out during production (wherein Abrams and company fervently denied that Khan was in the film, lying to everyone around them), the fact of the matter is that the movie scored reasonably high with critics (getting an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes) and grossed $80 million more than Abrams’ first ‘Star Trek,’ so it cannot be considered a total failure.
I do find it interesting that Abrams lumps ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and ‘Super 8’ in together as films that he started without ironing out the story issues first, as they both did seem like high concept, artfully made movies where the biggest problem was a story that lacked depth and significant character arcs. Of course, we will never know what may have happened if Abrams had directed a third ‘Star Trek’ film, perhaps correcting his mistakes the from the second film, as the man went on to direct ‘The Force Awakens,’ and one cannot help but wonder if he had the time to get everything story-wise together on that film before Disney started pushing him to get in done in time for the premiere (though based on this interview I believe he is saying he made sure he was happy with the story before beginning.)
I guess we will find out if Abrams learned from his past mistakes when ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ hits theaters on December 18th.