STAR TREK Marketing Issues May Have Influenced J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS Decision
Due to marketing/licensing issues between Paramount and CBS, J.J. Abrams wasn't able to create a "multi-platform Star Trek experience" with his 2009 reboot. As a result, this may have been a factor in his decision to direct Star Wars: Episode VII.
After helming two Star Trek films for Paramount, J.J. Abrams surprised many people when he signed on to direct Disney's Star Wars: Episode VII earlier this year. The acclaimed director stated that, despite his reluctance, Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy convinced him to take on the job even though he was attached to Star Trek. However, there may have been more to the switch. An in-depth article by The Wrap reveals that differences amongst Paramount, CBS and Bad Robot led to merchandising being limited; Abrams had plans to create "a multi-platform experience that spanned television, digital entertainment and comic books." After splitting from Viacom in 2006, CBS owns the rights to the original Star Trek television series as well as producing any future shows, while Paramount owns the film rights.
A source tells The Wrap, "J.J. just threw up his hands. The message was, 'Why set up all this when we'll just be competing against ourselves?' The studio wanted to please Bad Robot, but it was allowing CBS to say yay or nay when it came to what was happening with the 'Star Trek' products." While marketing for Star Trek Into Darkness was better than the first film's, it's still little compared to what was in mind. "Right now the 'Star Trek' movies are movies," says Starlight Runner CEO Jeff Gomez. "There is no apparent ongoing transmedia strategy behind them, just a handful of licensing opportunities around the release of 'Into Darkness.'"
However, what Abrams had in mind is exactly what Disney plans on doing with Star Wars. While Star Trek merchandising rights are split amongst Paramount/Bad Robot and CBS, Disney has the right to do anything that they'd want with Star Wars. The director has a deal that is said to include both creative and profit participation in the multi-platform marketing, and that he'll have much more control over that franchise than Star Trek. The Wrap confirms that there are plans for Star Wars television properties, theme park rides and spin-off movies that will revolve around the sequel trilogy, which will be overseen by Abrams.
There's much, much more over at The Wrap, so click the source link below to read the entire article for full details.
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