The writing's kinda been on the Enterprise wall for a while now, but now it sounds like J.J. Abrams is ready to actually talk about the fact — thereby confirming for really real — that he won't be returning to the director's chair for "Star Trek 3."
The silver lining, if you want to see it, is that he will still be involved in a couple of other ways (cue the eye-rollage), including picking his replacement helmer.
Speaking to HitFix at the "Star Trek Into Darkness" release party, Abrams danced around the issue of him not directing the third "Star Trek" pic as best he could but ultimately just gave in and went with it.
"The experience of doing 'Star Trek' has been sort of one of the luckiest things in my professional life and I would feel much more hardship about if it I were sort of stepping away entirely," he explained, "but I plan to be involved in the story and producing the film and feel very blessed to be involved at all."
Considering Abrams' jam-packed schedule ahead, taking on that other out-of-this-world series (the one he actually liked as a kid) with "Star Wars: Episode VII" beginning filming in January, not to mention that mysterious book project and the other 5,000 wheels he undoubtedly has turning right now, we kind of figured he'd need some space from "Trek," but then Zachary Quinto got all ahead of himself and hinted at number three being filmed next year with Abrams in tow and everyone was like "whaaaaaaaaaa?" (even the producer, who had to put the kibosh on that news). So, now we know.
But don't fret too much, Trekkies, because Abrams also thinks a director switcharoo will be a good thing for the franchise.
"One of my favorite things when I was lucky enough to be asked to do a 'Mission: Impossible' movie," he explained, "was to get to work in a series that had different directors that kind of came in and did their own thing, and I was allowed to — as was obviously [Brian] de Palma and John Woo before me and since then Brad Byrd and now Chris McQuarrie — and I feel like to see that next generation in the hands of whoever he or she ends up being is very exciting."
(Yes, we caught that "next generation" pun too. Come on, Jayj.)
And since he's still gonna be on-hand for the development process, he's got some insight into those rumors that "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" director Rupert Wyatt might be the chosen one for the job.
"There's no director," Abrams warned before conceding, "I know Rupert [Wyatt] a little bit. He's incredibly talented. And, you know, we'd be lucky to have someone as talented as Rupert."
"But there are things that we're focusing on right now before the director which is sort of the fundamentals of where this thing's gonna go," he also cautioned.
Some are perceiving these comments as Abrams giving a pseudo-endorsement of Wyatt. What the full interview below and see if you agree.