'Star Trek 2' Officially Lands J.J. Abrams As Director

Helmer of the 2009 franchise could begin shooting this winter, according to reports.

Sometimes, if you wait long enough (and blog hard enough), the universe will hear your cries of anguish and soothe them with a big glass of thirst-quenching Romulan Ale. Or, better yet, provide confirmation that J.J. Abrams has finally committed to directing the "Star Trek" sequel.

Either way, you're pretty psyched.

After indicating that he was still up in the air about directing the anticipated sequel to his wildly successful reboot of the space franchise, New York Magazine's Vulture blog is reporting that Abrams is onboard and that pre-production is under way. Citing unnamed insiders familiar with the "Super 8" director's plans, Vulture reported that the script is expected to be done by month's end and that shooting could begin this winter. Entertainment Weekly confirmed the news on Wednesday (September 14).

Abrams recently finished shooting the fourth "Mission: Impossible" movie, "Ghost Protocol" — which again stars Tom Cruise, along with Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway and Paula Patton — has hedged in the past about whether he would take up another tour on the Enterprise before a killer script was in place. In August, he told Collider, "Once you say, 'We're ready to go, but we don't have a finished script yet,' or, 'I'm directing the thing and here's the release date, but we don't have a finished script,' what starts to happen is that you're suddenly in production on a movie where you're thinking, 'Oh my God, we weren't really ready!' "

In July, producer/screenwriter Damon Lindelof told MTV News that work has continued on the script, even as the director's chair question remained up in the air.

"There was a lot of work going on over the course of the last year between Bob [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman] and I," he said. "We generated, like, a 90-page half-script half-treatment based on some meetings that we've had with J.J [Abrams]. Now that J.J. is finally finished with 'Super 8' we've kind of, not thrown out that material, but we're reworking a lot of it."

Describing how the four writers wrote the original movie, Lindelof said, "Those four people sort of sitting in a room bouncing ideas off each other, challenging those ideas, sort of shaking the tree."

At the time, he said the idea was to get back to that form of creative thinking. "Because 'Trek 2' has to be better than 'Trek 1,' " he said, likening the sequel to the increase in quality from the already great "Batman Begins" to the exceptional "The Dark Knight." "It has to."

He said at the time that they were working hard to make a great leap forward in storytelling. "We are deep into that process now and writing."

A spokesperson for Paramount Pictures could not be reached for comment at press time.

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