JJ Abrams discusses directing Star Trek and Star Wars franchises in the latest issue of Playboy.
"The worlds are vastly different," says Abrams. "Honestly, that was why I passed on Star Wars to begin with. I couldn’t imagine doing both. But when I said that my loyalty was to Star Trek I was literally working on finishing this cut.
"I couldn’t even entertain another thought. It was like being on the most beautiful beach in the world and someone saying, “There’s this amazing mountain over here. Come take a look.” I couldn’t balance the two, so I passed on Star Wars.
"I was near the light at the end of the tunnel with my work on Star Trek," continues Abrams. "I felt I needed a bit of a breather, actually. But then Kathleen Kennedy called again. I’ve known her for years. We had a great conversation, and the idea of working with her on this suddenly went from being theoretical and easy to deny to being a real, tangible, thrilling possibility. In the end it was my wife, Katie, who said if it was something that really interested me, I had to consider it."
Abrams maintains that his Star Wars will have a very different look to his Star Trek.
"As with anything, because these are very different worlds, they shouldn’t feel the same aesthetically. They can’t. You’re right. But again, I don’t apply aesthetics first and fit a movie into that aesthetic. If I had come into Star Trek with those eyes, I would probably have been paralysed.
"The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do. With Star Trek it was harder because I wasn’t a Star Trek fan; I didn’t have the same emotional feeling, and I didn’t have Gene Roddenberry to go to. But I came to understand the world of Star Trek, and I appreciated what fans felt and believed about this universe and this franchise."
On the subject of a third Star Trek movie.
“I would say it’s a possibility. We’re trying to figure out the next step. But it’s like anything: It all begins with the story.”
Star Trek: Into Darkness opens in the UK on 17 May 2013, while Star Wars: Episode VII is expected in 2015.