JJ Abrams Sits Down With Gizmodo Australia

JJ Abrams Sits Down With Gizmodo Australia

It’s official, the torch has been passed: JJ Abrams is the next-generation Steven Spielberg, and now holds the key to the future of franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars, making him the new beacon of geek culture. We sat down with him to talk about Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars and the movies based on Portal and Half-Life.

On making Star Trek Into Darkness

We approached this fresh, meaning we didn’t want people to have to have seen the other film we did or certainly the original TV show. We wanted to treat this [differently]. A lot of sequels start assuming that you care, and we just wanted to say ‘brand new movie, brand new story’.

Part of it was really balancing the huge action spectacle stuff with the characters, and just making sure that you cared about, laughed with, felt for the characters, because that was everything, and so I guess that was the hardest part of it: making sure that you are able to connect with people as much as you’re able to gasp at the spectacle.

Will we see any Easter eggs in the new Star Trek movie?

R2-D2 is in Star Trek Into Darkness as well. R2 has been in every movie I have done, but I have been asked to, like, not say anything and just let people find it. He is in this movie, I swear to God. [You can find him in] something that involves the Enterprise…

For some reason I have always put him in every movie, and maybe I should just put him in Star Wars as well?

On Star Wars…

I can’t help but [come into Star Wars as a fan]. It’s very early days on that, so I feel like that movie is the epitome of the greatest opportunity of all time, so we’re trying to get Star Trek Into Darkness finished, we’re down to the wire, and get it out, and we’re starting work on Star Wars now, and that’s really fun.

On Half-Life and Portal movies…

I will say that the thing about Valve specifically that I really appreciate is that they have been pursued for a long time with both Portal and Half-Life among other things to get involved in film and they have said no every time. This came about through conversations with us, Gabe and the rest of the Valve team very organically, and the fact that we’re now able to begin the process of working on those stories [is exciting].

They [Valve] are a very narrative-conscious company. Really incredibly detailed. They approach their games the way we approach the stuff we [Bad Robot] work on emotionally, and using technology as a magic trick to make you feel the thing they want you to feel. I’m hoping and hopeful that this is going to result in a couple of great stories and great movies, that by-chance, happen to be based on other things, in this case, some video games.

Star Trek Into Darkness hits cinemas around Australia today.