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2008 release planned for new ‘Star Trek’ movie

‘Mission: Impossible 3’ director to produce, script not yet written
/ Source: The Associated Press

"Mission: Impossible III" director J.J. Abrams is going from Cruise control to warp speed.

A couple of weeks before the arrival of Tom Cruise and `M:I3,' Abrams has committed to produce the 11th "Star Trek" feature film and there are plans for him to direct as well, Paramount Pictures announced Friday.

Abrams also will write the script with his "Mission Impossible III" co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Paramount spokeswoman Nancy Kirkpatrick said.

The studio is hoping to release the new "Star Trek" film in 2008.

No plot for the movie has been nailed down and no one has been cast for the film.

The "Star Trek" franchise covers several centuries of a future in which humans make their way in a universe populated by a bewildering variety of aliens, from the ultra-logical Vulcans to the merciless, hive-like Borg. The starship Enterprise in various incarnations was the focus of the original series and many of the movies. Two "Star Trek" TV series followed the exploits aboard a space station called Deep Space Nine and a marooned spaceship, Voyager.

Abrams created the hit ABC series "Lost" and Paramount hopes that "Lost" producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk will produce the movie, Kirkpatrick said.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy portrayed Kirk and Spock in the original "Star Trek" TV show in the 1960s and in numerous movies but "they have not yet been approached," Kirkpatrick said.

Shatner, 75, currently stars in the hit series "Boston Legal" winning an Emmy for his role as an egotistical attorney.

"Star Trek" movies have grossed more than $1 billion but the last one, "Star Trek: Nemesis," four years ago did relatively weak box office and got tepid reviews, while the last TV incarnation, "Star Trek: Enterprise," was ratings-challenged and was canceled last year.

With the new movie, "we certainly are hoping to bring `Star Trek' back to its former glory," Kirkpatrick said.

A story about the revival plan first appeared in the trade paper Daily Variety.