Making movies that he would want to see is only natural for J.J. Abrams, because he considers himself part of the audience.
The Internet is useful to Abrams when it comes to gauging what works in a movie and what doesn’t. “The great thing about getting a consensus because of the Internet is it allows you to really hear what the audience is feeling,” he said. “It’s a wonderful tool to understand what’s working and what’s not working. Because I do try and work on the kinds of projects that I want to go see, I don’t feel like my audience is any different from my friends or myself. I feel like I am those people.”
So Abrams aims at making a movie that he would want to see, not necessarily aiming it at one certain type of fandom. “The only litmus test that I ever have,” he said, “is ‘Is the thing that we’re working on the thing I want to go see?’ It’s always just about trying to work on the stuff that you feel like you yourself would go out and go see. If you start trying to anticipate what an audience is going to like and not like, you’re probably in trouble.”
As Abrams has said in previous interviews, making Star Trek meant that he had to find a way to connect with the characters, finding aspects of them to which he could relate. “[Star Trek is] a story about family and friendship and loyalty and finding your place and your way and being insecure about any number of things,” he said. “And that is a universal idea that doesn’t need to take place in space; it can take place anywhere, and that idea feels very personal. I found myself surprisingly connected to a character called James T. Kirk. I found myself loving a character whose name was Spock. And as someone who was never really a Star Trek fan and who never really connected with any of the characters, it was the last thing in the world I ever expected.”