The Key Advice J.J. Abrams Gave Justin Lin Before He Directed Star Trek Beyond

Spock Star Trek Beyond

When the Star Trek movie series was rebooted many years back, J.J. Abrams was leading the charge, directing the 2009 movie and the 2013 sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. However, once he signed up to helm Star Wars: The Force Awakens, someone needs to take his spot in the director's chair for Star Trek Beyond. That someone ended up being Justin Lin of Fast & Furious fame, and as you would expect, those were big shoes to fill, not just in comparison to Abrams, but every Star Trek movie that came before. It can feel like a lot of weight on one's shoulders, but Lin made sure to follow the key advice that Abrams gave him: make the movie bold.

Previewing one of the special features from Star Trek Beyond's upcoming Digital HD release, EW dropped a video earlier today of Justin Lin revealing the words of wisdom J.J. Abrams passed on in one of their early conversations. He said:

I remember my initial conversation with J.J. --- he was kind of handing over the keys, and saying, 'Just be bold, make it yours.' I tried to take that to heart and I feel like every frame of this film, whether it's a big action sequence or some small decision, I go back to that initial conversation of being bold. And I think that will show for everybody that watches the film.

As the 13th Star Trek movie to be released, Star Trek Beyond had a lot riding on it. While 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness was well received among critics, many fans didn't care for its bombastic action and borrowing elements several Wrath of Khan elements. With J.J. Abrams departing for a galaxy far, far away, this third reboot movie was a way to softly relaunch and bring a fresh perspective to this new continuity. It would have been easy for Justin Lin to retread too much old ground, but by taking Abrams' advice to heart, he made sure Star Trek Beyond felt bold and unique. That meant bringing in a lot of fresh material, ranging from a brand-new villain to Kirk riding around on a motorcycle. Of course, that didn't mean all past elements needed to be tossed aside. Can you imagine a Star Trek reboot movie without any Beastie Boys music? The horror!

So how did the final product turn out? Critically, Star Trek Beyond did well for itself, earning many positive reviews and currently ranking at 83% among top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, its commercial performance was disappointing, only hauling in a little over $336 million worldwide. Nevertheless, the franchise is still moving forward with Star Trek 4, which will see Chris Hemsworth reprising George Kirk and most of the main cast returning. Whether Lin will also direct that installment remains to be seen.

Star Trek Beyond will be released on Digital HD tomorrow, and the Blu-ray/DVD release will follow on November 1.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.