One of the better event blockbusters of the year was undoubtedly J.J. Abrams’ franchise reboot of “Star Trek.” It’s been a lot of months and a lot of movies since that May release, but it’s still a heavily anticipated home video release for this holiday season. He’s got an auteur’s sensibilities, and each successive bit of work he turns out brings that fact into clearer focus.
As a man who straddles both film and television, “Star Trek” is an amazingly good fit for Abrams. And now that he’s well and truly nailed the movies side of things, one has to wonder what his plans might be for the small screen. After all, that’s really where he defined himself, with series’ like “Felicity” and “Alias.” So when MTV’s Josh Horowitz got to speak with Abrams earlier this week, one of the big questions was obviously what plans might be in store for a “Trek” TV series.
“There’s been talk about it but none of it has been mine,” Abrams revealed. “Obviously I’m open to anything. The key to doing another TV show is what would the approach be that would be worthy of the audience. If there’s a good idea that’s fantastic.”
Even if the idea of a TV series did enter into serious talks, there’s still the question of how to keep the actors around. The new members of the Enterprise crew enjoyed varying degrees of popularity before “Trek,” and their pop culture appeal has only grown since then. Asking them to essentially devote a chunk of their careers to a simultaneous film and TV franchise to the exclusion of all else seems like a tall order, even if it is a lucrative one.
Of course, the movie could merely be used as a jumping off point, an in for exploring another part of the “Trek” universe in Abrams’ newly established canon. The possibilities are endless really; imagine a diverse group of “Trek”-folk, a la “Lost,” scattered across far-flung parts of the galaxy. Perhaps an major event brings them together. Imagine what might come of a storyline in which a Vulcan survivor is forced to work alongside a Romulan. Again… endless possibilities.
It’s also important to remember that all of the big screen flash in “Trek” would have to be cut back on for the TV format. Abrams, for his part, is hopeful about the possibilities of a flourishing cross-medium franchise. “Obviously what you do in a film you couldn’t do week to week in a series. The advantage of a series– when you look at something as good as ’Battlestar Galactica’ you see that, despite its great visual effects, there was a level of character and interpersonal drama that never would have taken place had that been a film. [A movie series and a TV series] can definitely co-exist,” he said.
There’s still a big X factor looming over everything however. “The question is, who runs that show. Whats the vision of it? How does it work?” To Josh’s suggestion that the studio would likely approach Abrams before anyone else, he responded in his usual humble manner. “I don’t know. It would be nice certainly.”
For all of Abrams’ candid discussion, he is quick to point out the bare truth of the matter. “This is something that is in no way in active discussion,” he asserted.
Would you want to see a new “Trek” TV series? Would you want it to focus on the Enterprise crew? Another part of the universe?