Justin Lin calls Star Trek Beyond the “toughest thing” he’s ever had to do

Connie Queline

Justin Lin calls Star Trek Beyond the “toughest thing” he’s ever had to do

Justin Lin calls directing Star Trek Beyond the toughest thing he’s ever had to do, adding that he even almost quit on three occasions.

After directing Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams was ready to pass the reigns to someone else for the third movie. Justin Lin, best known for his work on the Fast & Furious franchise, was tapped to direct Star Trek Beyond, but the experience is not one he looks back on fondly; in fact, he told Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he actually quit the project on three separate occasions.

I’m shooting True Detective in Ventura, and it’s a Thursday. I get a call from J.J. Abrams, and he’s like, ‘Hey man, just curious, do you like “Star Trek?’ I’m like, ‘I grew up watching “Star Trek” with my dad, it has so much meaning,’” Lin said. “[Abrams] said, ‘Would you happen to have an idea for a “Star Trek” movie?’ And I said, ‘Aren’t you in pre-production?’ And he said, ‘Nope, no, we’re shut down.’ He said, ‘If you have an idea, would you want to come by the office on Monday?’ So, on Monday, I sat down with J.J. and shared with him the idea of Star Trek Beyond.’ He’s like, ‘Great!’ And this is the end of January. He said, ‘Let’s do it, but we have to start production in June.’ No script. Nothing… It was tough. The toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.

The script for Star Trek Beyond was penned by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung and Justin Lin said that the process of developing it was extremely difficult. “Simon [Pegg] and I joke about it now, but It was intense, I had quit three times, and Simon had quit four times… also we didn’t know each other… For me, Simon Pegg, it was a dream to have the opportunity to work with him, but he comes from a very traditional process… But I’m sitting there in Vancouver and I have to start building sets,” Lin explained. “‘Star Trek’ is not like ‘Fast and Furious,’ every idea you come up with is a build. And we had no time… love Simon and Doug [Jung], but it was rough, and I didn’t know if we were going to make it out of that first week.

Star Trek Beyond follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as they explore the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a ruthless enemy who puts them, and everything the Federation stands for, to the test. The sequel was seen as an improvement over Star Trek Into Darkness but underperformed at the box office, which has left the fourth movie in limbo.

Justin Lin is currently developing Two for the Money, a heist thriller set to star Daniel Craig and Charlize Theron. Apple Original Films snagged the rights to the project in a heated multi-studio bidding war last month. Plot details are being kept under wraps at this time, but the film is said to follow “the evolution of the relationship between two career thieves [Daniel Craig & Charlize Theron] over the course of three big jobs.

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