'Star Trek' to Return with 'Mission Impossible: 3' Director at Helm

After ISS, a Starship Ride for NASA Astronaut
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. (Image credit: NASA.)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - "MissionImpossible III'' director J.J. Abrams is going from Cruise control to warpspeed.

Abrams has committed to producethe 11th "Star Trek'' feature film and there are plans for him to direct aswell, Paramount Pictures announced Friday.

Abrams also will write thescript with his "Mission Impossible III'' co-writers Alex Kurtzmanand Roberto Orci, Paramount spokeswoman NancyKirkpatrick said.

The studio is hoping torelease the film in 2008.

No plot for the movie hasbeen nailed down and no one has been cast for the film.

TheStar Trekfranchise covers several centuries of a future in which humans make theirway in a universe populated by a bewildering variety of aliens, from theultra-logical Vulcans to the merciless, hive-like Borg.

Thestarship Enterprise in various incarnations was the focus of the originalseries and many of the movies. Two Star Trek series followed the exploitsaboard a space station called DeepSpace Nine and a marooned spaceship, Voyager.

Abrams created the hit ABCseries "Lost'' and Paramount hopes that "Lost'' producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk will produce the movie, Kirkpatricksaid.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoyportrayed Kirk and Spock in the original "Star Trek'' TV show in the 1960s andin numerous movies but "they have not yet been approached,'' Kirkpatrick said.

Shatner, 75, currently stars in the hitseries "Boston Legal'' and won an Emmy for his role as an egotistical attorney.

"Star Trek'' movies havegrossed more than $1 billion (euro81 million) but the last one, "StarTrek: Nemesis,'' four years ago did relatively weak box office and gottepid reviews, while the last TV incarnation, "Star Trek:Enterprise,'' was a flop and was canceledlast year.

With the new movie, "wecertainly are hoping to bring 'Star Trek' back to its former glory,''Kirkpatrick said.

A story about the revivalplan first appeared in the trade paper Daily Variety.

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