Recreating a franchise that had a verbal fan base was nerve-wracking for J.J. Abrams.
It’s a relief to Abrams that Star Trek XI has been well-received because pleasing fans of a show that has been around since the 1960s is not easy.
During an interview, Abrams was asked if he agreed that he had made Star Trek cooler than Star Wars for the first time. “You’re asking a dangerous question, my friend,” he replied. “I don’t know how you respond to that without sounding like a douche bag. Why don’t you just put a bull’s-eye on my head? You know, making a film knowing there were so many fans out there was nerve-racking. I was behind the camera. Chris, Zach, Zoe, John, Simon, Karl, everyone in front of the camera, they were the ones literally putting themselves out there and asking for it. The fact that we were accepted and helped by Mr. Nimoy building that bridge between what was and what is now, it was incredibly gratifying to see it was well-received.”
Both Abrams and Chris Pine admitted to nerves and a bit of worry. For Abrams, keeping busy helped keep that at bay. “Because we had an ambitious shoot, the good news was that often drowned out the din of naysayers and the suspicious fan base and even the enthusiastic supporters,” he said. “We were so busy, we were just trying to focus on that and not let the nerves of ‘What are they going to think?’ get to us.”
For Pine, a sense of responsibility took hold after the euphoria of getting the part of James T. Kirk settled. “After I got [the part] and then talking to J.J., the nerves kind of slowly built, because as an actor, and as someone who wants to make a living doing what he loves doing, I was happy to get the part, and that lasts for about 15 minutes, and you call everyone you know and make plans to move out of your parents’ house,” he said. “And then the reality of the situation sets in. Not only is it a tremendous amount of responsibility because of all the money involved, but it’s also a franchise that’s beloved and it’s William Shatner to boot. After being scared shitless, I let it go. The fact that we could be eviscerated or succeed was actually liberating.”