'Star Trek' to Return with 'Mission Impossible: 3' Director at Helm
Real-life NASA astronauts Michael Fincke (right) and Terry Virts (left) dressed in Starfleet garb with actor Scott Bakula, who portrays Captain Jonathan Archer of the starship Enterprise NX-01, during taping of the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Credit: NASA.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Mission Impossible III'' director J.J. Abrams is going from Cruise control to warp speed.

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 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 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'' and won an Emmy for his role as an egotistical attorney.

"Star Trek'' movies have grossed more than $1 billion (euro81 million) 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 a flop 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.

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