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After months of speculation, J.J. Abrams has signed on to direct the next installment of the "Star Trek" feature franchise, sources said late Friday. "Star Trek XI" revolves around a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, chronicling their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first space mission.
According to ComingSoon.net, a release date of December 25, 2008 has been scheduled.
Click the Read link to read the full article.
[Thanks to reader Ron H. for giving us the heads-up!]
Update - We just received the official press release from Paramount. I've included it below.
J.J. ABRAMS TO DIRECT STAR TREK FEATURE FILM FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES
IN THEATERS CHRISTMAS DAY 2008
HOLLYWOOD, CA, February 26, 2007 - "Star Trek," one of the most popular and successful franchises in the history of movies and television, returns to the big screen under the creative vision of J.J. Abrams, the force behind "Lost," "Alias" and "Mission Impossible III" for Paramount Pictures.
The team behind the film will include Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci ('Mission Impossible III") who wrote the screenplay and will executive produce with Bryan Burk. JJ Abrams and "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof will produce. The film will begin shooting this fall for a Christmas Day 2008 release.
One of the most popular film and television franchises of all time, "Star Trek" has encompassed 726 total episodes for television in six different series, beginning with the original 1966-1969 series created by Gene Roddenberry. The 10 "Star Trek" films have grossed in excess of $1 billion at the worldwide box office. The original characters have been named among the 50 greatest TV characters of all time and the Enterprise has lent its name to two proposed spacecrafts.
"If there's something I'm dying to see, it's the brilliance and optimism of Roddenberry's world brought back to the big screen," said Abrams. "Alex and Bob wrote an amazing script that embraces and respects Trek canon, but charts its own course. Our goal is to make a picture for everyone -- life-long fans and the uninitiated. Needless to say, I am honored and excited to be part of this next chapter of Star Trek."
Brad Grey, chairman and CEO, Paramount Pictures, said, "We could not be more thrilled to be back in business with J.J. Abrams. The revival of the 'Star Trek' franchise is an important part of Paramount's turnaround."
About Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global company that produces and distributes filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading entertainment content company with prominent and respected brands including Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, DreamWorks, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studios, and Worldwide Television Distribution.
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