Another Actress Joins <i>Star Trek 2</i> as Filming Gears Up for Thursday

While making the rounds for his spooky new Fox series Alcatraz, J.J. Abrams took some time to talk about another project of interest: Star Trek 2. The director announced that filming is set to begin Thursday and last about four months, the same as the original.

Speaking of the 2009 franchise reboot, Abrams said that seeing parts of that movie post-converted to 3D helped him feel better about doing so with the second.

"I did not fight for the 3D," Collider quoted the director as saying. "It was something that the studio wanted to do, and I didn’t want to do it. And then, when I saw the first movie converted in sections, I thought that it actually looked really cool. So, I was okay with their doing it, as long as I could shoot the movie the way I wanted to, in anamorphic film, and then let them convert it. So, those who want to see it in 3D, which looked pretty cool, can do it, and those that want to see it in 2D can do that too."

Abrams also talked about the recent announcement that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the cast, calling the actor a genius. "Honestly, he’s just an incredible actor," he said. "If you’ve seen his work in Sherlock, he’s just got incredible skills. He’s an amazing stage actor. He did amazing work (on stage) in Frankenstein. He’s brilliant. You try to cast people who are great. We got lucky."

The director also said that no changes were made to the script after Benicio del Toro dropped out of talks, and then explained a core difference between the new film and the original. "I think the job of the first movie was just to establish it," Abrams said. "I don’t want to give anything away, but I would say that the burden we had in the first movie was just existing at all. With this movie, instead of having to stand on the shoulders of the original series, we built a little bit of a platform for us, with the last movie, to tell this story."

Finally, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that actress Nazneen Contractor has also joined the cast. Contractor played Kayla Hassan on 24 and is set to play Noel Clarke's wife in the film. Star Trek 2 is set to open May 17, 2013.

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