I’ll be seeing JJ AbramsStar Trek (Paramount, 5.8) very soon so Dave Itzkoff‘s N.Y. Times profile of Abrams and his filmmaking partners — Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk — had my attention right off.

Star Trek director JJ Abrams

“Abrams and his partners are guys with mainstream pop-culture aspirations,” Itzkoff writes. “Their forte is taking on genres with finite but dedicated fan bases — science fiction, fantasy and horror — and making them accessible to wider audiences. And what they had in mind for their Star Trek movie is a film that is consistent with 43 years of series history but not beholden to it.

“Despite their collective reverence for Star Trek — and Star Wars and Indiana Jones and X-Men, and other cultural artifacts of their awkward adolescence — none of them are total Trek completists (not even Orci, who once owned a telephone shaped like the Enterprise). They say that makes them the ideal candidates to upgrade Gene Roddenberry‘s creation for 21st-century audiences.

“There’s just too much stuff out there to be loyal to everything,” Lindelof said. “Someone will find 50 ways to tell us we’re idiots, and it wouldn’t be Trek if they didn’t.” At the same time they appreciate the perils of chiseling away at a cultural touchstone whose influence has remained enormous even as its reputation has varied wildly over the years.

“If Star Trek fails, Kurtzman said, ‘it’ll be the biggest personal failure we’ve ever had, because we will have actually violated something that means a lot to us.'”