J.J. Abrams is in London to talk about his second Star Trek movie and also talked about the upcoming Star Wars Episode 7...
"I feel preposterously lucky," said Abrams, a self-declared "Star Wars" fanboy.
"I do feel at the core this incredible disbelief that I'm actually even answering questions at all about my involvement in something that until fairly recently I didn't even know was going to come back as a series. And now I get to be involved in it."
Will Abrams direct the entire new trilogy? Will he be involved in any of the spinoffs? Will George Lucas play a mentoring role? He can't say.
"I never see myself doing anything more than what's in front of me," Abrams said – one film, due for release in 2015 and scripted by "Little Miss Sunshine" screenwriter Michael Arndt.
"What the approach is going to be remains to be discussed, because it's in process," he said. "So it's a weird thing to be talking about. If I'm charging down the court dribbling the ball, it's hard to comment on the layup that's about to take place. I feel like the ball is just getting passed to me now, to complete the annoying metaphor."
For "Star Wars" – which he emphatically has loved since childhood – the stakes are even higher (than Star Trek). Abrams knows he has to find a new way to approach material that has seeped into the global bloodstream. He also has to erase the tang of disappointment that clings to the inferior second trilogy, released between 1999 and 2005.
Abrams says his approach will be similar in some ways to the one he took on with "Star Trek."
"No project can be or should be approached assuming that the audience has any investment," he said. "If they do, that's a bonus. But it doesn't preclude the required steps of reintroduction."
He is fairly certain about one thing – the worlds of `Star Wars' and `Star Trek' will never meet.
"One is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. And one is us in a few hundred years," he said.
"They could not feel more different to me. I feel like in my mind there is no Venn diagram overlap."
Abrams, whose output suggests a ferocious work rate and a lack of sleep, insists he almost turned down "Star Wars" because he had enough on his plate already.
"We had family plans, and I thought the next movie I was going to do was a small, very specific story that we're working on, a comedy-drama that I really love," he said. "And then this thing came along that was a fairly unique opportunity and it sort of interrupted every expectation of what the next couple of years were going to be."
But colleagues scoff at the idea he could ever have said no to his dream job.
"I knew he loved `Star Wars' so much that my first thought was `Oh my God, my friend is going to get to do what he's always wanted to do,'" Orci said. "On the other hand, I'm a `Star Trek' geek, and I was like, ` You traitor!'"
Pine admits to being "a little heartbroken that he won't be back for the third to direct us, because he's obviously gained all our trust."
But, the actor said, "I'm excited for him and can't wait to see what he brings to ("Star Wars"), because as a kid from the `Star Wars' generation, it's something near and dear to my heart. And I know what he's capable of doing."