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Spielberg Helped Convince Abrams To Take On 'Star Trek XI'

What did it take to get J.J. Abrams to helm the rebirth of the Star Trek franchise? Nothing short of Steven Spielberg himself.

"Star Trek XI" scribe Roberto Orci told fans at Creation Entertainment's Grand Slam: The Sci-Fi Summit in Burbank, Calif., that Spielberg had to work to convince Abrams to take on the project while the up-and-coming director was visiting the set of "Transformers" last year.

Screen Rant reported that Abrams took that advice from the acclaimed director and talked it over with his wife before making the decision. And the rest ... well, you know the rest.

Other details that came from the convention is that the budget for the film is nowhere near the $200 million that has been bantied about, and also that "Star Trek" will be rated PG-13. However, since the film has not yet been screened by the Motion Picture Association of America, it's likely that the PG-13 is what producers feel it will get, and not yet an official rating designation.

Even at less than $200 million, Paramount Pictures apparently is gambling quite a bit on the film, especially with its move late last year to shift the film from a holiday release at the end of 2008 to a May 2009 release that will line it up with other potential summer blockbusters.

Leonard Nimoy, who reprises his role of Spock in the film, also attended the convention and said that "Star Trek XI" is the "biggest film" he's ever worked on.

"He also said that Paramount is losing money on this investment now because they really have a lot of faith in the film as a summer blockbuster," Screen Rant said. Although Nimoy didn't seem to elaborate, according to the convention report, it's likely he's referring to the fact that Paramount will not be able to expect to see a return on its investment in 2008 like it was anticipating when it first budgeted for the movie, so money spent would be considered a loss in 2008, but will count as a gain if "Star Trek XI" exceeds expectations and finishes in the black in 2009.

Nimoy also said he was not a big fan of how Capt. Kirk was killed off in 1994's "Star Trek Generations," and that it's likely the reason why William Shatner wasn't invited into the new production is because of Abrams' determination to maintain continuity, and that means dead is dead.

"Star Trek XI" is slated for a May 2009 release.

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About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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