With 'Mission' In Jeopardy, Abrams Looks Forward To Trek

By Michelle
May 8, 2006 - 9:48 PM

J.J. Abrams' Mission: Impossible 3 had a disappointing opening weekend, but the writer-director is looking forward to moving ahead to producing Star Trek XI.

M:I-3 opened in in 4,054 theaters - the second-highest theater count in history, according to L.A.'s Daily News - yet its estimated $48 million in ticket sales fell short of predictions and of the previous films in the franchise. Few pundits blamed Abrams, whose work received largely positive reviews in major newspapers; instead, the six-year delay since the last film in the series and the antics of star Tom Cruise came under more scrutiny.

Abrams expressed some concern about how Star Trek fans would feel about him taking over the franchise in an interview with The Irish Times. "I have been on the road since the news came out" that he would direct, Abrams explained, asking, "Is the reaction bad?" He added that he was "incredibly sympathetic" to fans concerned about what new handlers would do would Star Trek.

"They have put up with so many incarnations along the way," he observed. "These fans, they are a smart bunch. They are an intelligent group." He and his fellow writers "are very respectful and we have no intention of subverting the material."

As for those fellow writers, Variety reported that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman would work on the Red Cell screenplay for New Line with Mike De Luca. Kurtzman and Orci helped develop the project, which will be produced by Pete Chiarelli, the president of Kurtzman/Orci Productions.

Red Cell is based on Department of Homeland Security groups that help the government prepare for possible terrorist actions. It is based on Ben Ripley's thriller of the same name. Kurtzman and Orci have worked with Abrams on Alias and have worked together since Xena: Warrior Princess.

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