J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot may have given the franchise new life, but its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, is considered a downturn for the series — something Abrams "takes full responsibility" for, he said in a recent BuzzFeed interview.
Into Darkness, released in 2013, was a financial success, but drew the ire of fans and critics alike. According to Abrams, Into Darkness lacked one of the most important elements of any film: a "fundamental argument ... a central question." Not even Abrams had it. Leads Kirk and Spock, despite coming out of the first film with a strong story about orphans learning to survive, lacked the same compelling dynamic.
"It was a little bit lightweight, ultimately, that Kirk was disappointed that Spock didn't feel that their friendship was as meaningful to him as it did to Kirk, which is sort of what we're saying," Abrams said. "And that Spock's arc is coming to unabashedly love his friend Kirk."
Abrams, despite feeling "frustrated" by his own choices with the film and its plot, credits the film's high points to its cast — especially Benedict Cumberbatch's turn as the villainous Khan.
"I would never say that I don't think that the movie ended up working," he said. "But I feel like it didn't work as well as it could have had I made some better decisions before we started shooting."
Just this week, Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin said he would be "politely ignoring" the events of Into Darkness. Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22, 2016.
Correction: The article originally misstated director Justin Lin as Jeremy Lin.
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