J.J. Abrams Discusses Casting and 3-D for Star Trek 2; Production Starts This Week
01.09.12 by Ryan
Director J.J. Abrams hasn't said much about the upcoming sequel to his 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise, tentatively called Star Trek 2, other than declaring the rumors of Benicio del Toro (Traffic) playing Khan Noonien Singh in the highly-anticipated sequel were "not true."
Del Toro's no longer in the movie, and recently cast British actor Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC's Sherlock, War Horse, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) is believed to be playing the villain. Cumberbatch wouldn't reveal anything about his role in a recent interview, though he did say he was "very, very excited" about it. In an interview with Collider, Abrams discussed the reasons for casting Cumberbatch in the role.
We just were looking for someone with the most awesome name in history. That was the casting call. We asked for someone with the most awesome name in history, ever, and Benedict Cumberbatch showed up, so we were like, 'You’re cast!
Pithy comments aside, Abrams admitted that they were "very lucky" to get Cumberbatch, but would not confirm whether the actor would be playing a "villain" in the sequel. "Who said he’s our villain?" Abrams asked.
Abrams did admit that losing del Toro did not mean a change in the character del Toro would have played. "We haven’t made any changes because of casting," said Abrams. Of course, it's still possible that del Toro's role and Cumberbatch's role are entirely separate, if Abrams' comments aren't a lesson in misdirection. Such is the information gathering for Star Trek 2.
Abrams was more forthcoming about the sequel's use of 3-D, something he admitted was imposed by the studio. It wasn't until he saw some of his original movie converted to the format that he was sold on the idea.
I did not fight for the 3-D. It was something that the studio wanted to do, and I didn’t want to do it. And then, when I saw the first movie converted in sections, I thought that it actually looked really cool. So, I was okay with their doing it, as long as I could shoot the movie the way I wanted to, in anamorphic film, and then let them convert it. So, those who want to see it in 3-D, which looked pretty cool, can do it, and those that want to see it in 2-D can do that too.
Abrams said he will continue the use of lens flares, a point of contention for some fans and critics. "I’ve had some people make fun of me about that, said Abrams who also admitted that there will be slightly less pressure making the sequel than the original.
I think the job of the first movie was just to establish it. I don’t want to give anything away, but I would say that the burden we had in the first movie was just existing at all. With this movie, instead of having to stand on the shoulders of the original series, we built a little bit of a platform for us, with the last movie, to tell this story.
Shooting on Star Trek 2 begins this week and, according to Abrams, will last for four months. "We start shooting Star Trek on Thursday, so I’ve gotta go!" said Abrams.