J.J. Abrams Was Forced to Make Star Trek Into Darkness in 3D

'I approached it very cynically,' says the director of the upcoming sequel. But he's come around. Sort of.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

We were all skeptical when they announced that Star Trek Into Darkness would be released in 3D. The last thing we needed was yards and yards of lens flare flying into our faces for two hours. It turns out we weren't the only ones who were skeptical of J.J. Abrams' sequel being released in the format. The director himself admits he was forced to use the technique by Paramount for "economic reasons."

"The studio said, 'You have to make it in 3D if you're going to make it, for economic reasons'," Abrams told SFX Magazine (via Digital Spy). "But my feeling was I didn't like 3D. So the idea of doing Star Trek in 3D was ridiculous. But that was very helpful in some ways, because it let us work with stereographers and the 3D crew in a way that didn't assume we just loved 3D."

Abrams admits that he "approached the process very cynically," but that he eventually came around to the process.

"They've figured out things. They've made enough movies now with this new process that they can understand ways to eliminate some of these problems," says Abrams. "Things like breaking shots into zones, 3D zones, using multiple virtual cameras. A lot of this has made me a believer, whereas before I was really against it… There's this myth that if you don't shoot the movie in 3D it doesn't look good. Actually, the opposite can be true."

Does that mean that he's happier with the 3D version of the film? Not necessarily. "The key for me is I got to make my 2D movie that I wanted to make, just the way I wanted to; and it gets to be augmented in 3D but that doesn't detract from the 2D."

It's refreshing to see a filmmaker admit that 3D was foisted upon him for practical reasons, and not pull a 180 and claim that the process is the greatest thing since synchronized sound. 2D would appear to be the ideal way to view Star Trek Into Darkness, at least from an artistic perspective, although maybe the 3D version will look alright too.

Which Star Trek Into Darkness do you plan to see: the 2D or the 3D version?

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.