JJ Abrams backs Joe Cornish to direct ‘Star Trek 3’

Director also says he regrets reveal of Khan in 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

JJ Abrams has given his backing to Joe Cornish as a potential director for Star Trek 3.

Abrams helmed both the 2009 reboot and this year’s sequel Into Darkness but will not return for the next installment as he will be busy working on the eagerly anticipated upcoming Star Wars movie.

Last month, it was rumoured that Cornish – best known for being one-half of Adam & Joe and the director of 2011’s British sci-fi flick Attack The Block – was Paramount Pictures’ first choice to take over the Star Trek franchise. Speaking in an interview with MTV, Abrams said: “My guess is that’s up in the air. I adore him and love him and can’t wait to see what he does next. Hopefully it will be Star Trek. Whatever it is, he’s brilliant. Attack The Block was one of my favourite movies of the year when it came out.”

Abrams also said that he regretted the way he had handled Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain in Into Darkness. The character was originally introduced as John Harrison before later revealing that he was the classic villain Khan, but Abrams said he now wished had been honest about his identity from the start. “The truth is, I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront, ‘This is who it is,'” he said. “It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimatise and accept that’s what the thing was.”

“It was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you’ve really got to know what Star Trek is about to see this movie. That would have been limiting,” he added. “I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it.”

Shooting on the next Star Trek film is expected to start in summer 2014. Abrams will begin shooting on Star Wars, meanwhile, in spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, directing from a script he has co-written with Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). At present, plot details are unknown and no cast members have been confirmed.