Star Trek's Abrams makes nice with fans after getting flak

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Trek reboot movie, clarified his remarks, reported last week, in which he suggested the movie was not necessarily aimed at longtime fans in a panel at WonderCon in San Francisco on Saturday, proclaiming his and his producers' love for Trek fans and assuring the roomful of convention-goers that the movie will be faithful to canon.

Abrams also unspooled the film's new full trailer, which is slated to be released in theaters on March 6 along with Watchmen. The trailer featured about 50 percent new footage, including more looks at some of the images already seen in earlier teaser trailers, a better look at the film's epic visual effects and battle scenes, a new glimpse of Chris Hemsworth as Kirk's father, George, and even a quick shot of Kirk sitting in the captain's chair on the bridge of the Enterprise.

In response to a fan question, Abrams said: "If we were just to make the movie for fans of Star Trek, then we would be limiting the audience enormously. ... Because we love this, because we are beholden to you, because the fans of Star Trek are what allows us to make a version of Star Trek now at all, I can assure you that we are making this movie for you. In many ways it goes without saying, although it's important that we say it. I've taken some flak for saying in the press we're making this for future fans of Star Trek, as if we don't care about the existing fans. That could not be further from the truth. We love and are beholden to existing fans of Star Trek."

Abrams added that the film will reference all that has come before. "There are a million references, and the story adheres to canon pretty much as well as the original series adheres to canon. I mean, the movie really does," he said, adding: "The truth is that we love it, and as someone who was not a fan to begin with, I've come to appreciate and understand and actually feel jealous that I didn't get hooked earlier, because I can understand how amazing the show was."

Screenwriter Roberto Orci, an avowed longtime Trek fan, added that the film will reward longtime fans. "Everyone here, I think, respects and was inspired by what Trek was," he said. "This movie is in a unique situation in that it is both a prequel but a sequel. All of Trek that preceded this movie is necessary within canon for this movie to have happened, if you're a fan. So if you're a fan, your knowledge of Trek will be rewarded. And if you're not, you're going to learn why we were all inspired by it."

Abrams and Orci were joined on the panel by stars Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto and producer Bryan Burk. Star Trek opens May 8.