Both Sci Fi Wire and The Los Angeles Times recently spoke with J.J. Abrams, director of Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek, and of course took a moment to ask him about the upcoming sequels to both films.
First, he briefly discussed the status of Mission: Impossible IV saying, “We have a really cool story. It’s being written right now by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum.” He hopes to have a first draft by the end of the year and when it comes to directing the fourth installment he says, “I’m open to anything.”
Of course, as interested as many will be in the idea of another Mission movie, the hot topic this year was the blockbuster success of Star Trek in which Abrams successfully rebooted the franchise and scripters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are back to write Star Trek 2 with Damon Lindeloff, which is currently slated for release summer of 2011. However, it seems things are still in the story stages as Abrams says, “We know the direction, but it’s very early. We’re working on a script right now still. I can tell you it’s cool. We have some really cool ideas, but it’s too early.”
When it comes to story, that’s where L.A. Times writer Geoff Boucher comes in handy as Abrams told him, “The ambition for a sequel to Star Trek is to make a movie that’s worthy of the audience and not just another movie… it needs to do what [the late ‘Trek’ creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant.”
Roberto Orci was also on hand and told Boucher, “We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.’ We’re trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what’s going on today as possible. So that’s one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today.”
Abrams added to that saying, “There needs to be relevance, yes, and that doesn’t mean it should be pretentious. If there are simple truths — truths connected to what we live — that elevates any story — that’s true with any story.”