"The ambition for a sequel to 'Star Trek' is to make a movie that's worthy of the audience and not just another movie, you know, just a second movie that feels tacked on. The first movie was so concerned with just setting up the characters -- their meeting each and galvanizing that family -- that in many ways a sequel will have a very different mission. 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. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story. 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."
SCI FI Wire also caught up with the busy director and discussed the Star Trek sequel:
Where are you in talks for Star Trek 2?
Abrams: We're hopefully going to have everyone, obviously, from the first cast. I keep trying to spread this rumor that I'm going to recast Kirk as Greg Grunberg, but no one ever prints it.
Have you settled on what direction you're going to take it?
Abrams: We're just starting on that. Yes, 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.
So Orci and Kurtzman have physically started writing?
Abrams: No, but we've started talking story, and Damon's writing it with them.
And also got in some questions for Mission: Impossible IV:
Any momentum on Mission: Impossible IV?
Abrams: Yeah, we have a really cool story. It's being written right now by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum.
What's your ETA on when you'll see the draft?
Abrams: We're hoping to get it soon, like by the end of the year.
Could it work out for you to direct it?
Abrams: I'm open to anything.
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol was released December 21st, 2011 and stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Samuli Edelmann, Ivan Shvedoff. The film is directed by Brad Bird.