During an interview with GyaO! in Japan, transcribed by Trek Movie, the controversial director talked a bit about the movie’s plot, about the role that Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison will play, the decision to make Star Trek Into Darkness a 3D movie and more.
“So this movie doesn’t require you have seen the first movie,” Abrams said. “The characters are a group of people who have recently come together and find themselves up against this incredibly terrifying force. His name is John Harrison and he is sort of an average – that is what makes him so scary – he is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda. After two very violent attacks, one in London and one in the US, our characters have to go after this guy and apprehend him. And it is a far more complicated and difficult thing then they ever anticipated. Into Darkness is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against.”
And if you’re thinking that the vague reference to Harrison having “this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda” suggests he may be playing the Loki role–fighting the good guys on behalf of a more powerful bad guy lingering in the background–you’re probably not the only one.
“I love movies that are big and unabashedly a huge fan of big pop mass appeal movies. I do love that,” Abrams admitted in the interview. “I love being in a theater packed with people and everyone gasping at the same time and having that communal experience. I don’t like going to the movies to feel bad. I don’t like going to the movies to feel depressed and feel diminished. The reason you go to the movies is to feel bigger and stronger and happier. So this is a movie that they certainly go Into Darkness, but I would be the wrong director if it was about characters staying there. This is very much a movie about hope, about love, about romance, and about facing something that is truly terrifying and finding a way through the connection of your family and surviving and being stronger afterwards.”
On the 3D conversion, he acknowledges (again) that he was hesitant to take it on, but with a movie of this scope it’s just expected by the studios at this point. Apparently nobody outside of Christopher Nolan has the power to fight it.
He said, “I had never done anything in 3D and frankly it was a format that scared me a little bit because I really loved the sort of purity of the 2D, but I have to say – especially because we filmed in IMAX – doing a conversion to 3D with some new techniques with people who have done amazing conversion work on movies like Titanic, has actually opened up some doors to some really creative and really fun moments. So I am becoming a little bit of a convert to it.”
And, yes–lens flares.
Said Abrams: “When we made the first Star Trek we never added lens flares, it was always ‘in camera.’ And I do love them and I know I get beaten up some times because of it. But it actually works pretty well in conversion.”