In the least surprising bit of movie news in recent memory, JJ Abrams has finally committed to directing the sequel to 2009's awesome Star Trek reboot / sequel / tangential parallel universe offshoot.
While it may hardly seem worth reporting, remember that Abrams' occupation of the director's chair wasn't set in stone until now. Delays in the production while Abrams was consumed with Super 8 and screenwriter Alex Kurtzman was off directing Welcome to People saw Abrams carefully deflecting questions about the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise, while the film's original June 2012 release date was given up in favour of Paramount's other tentpole GI Joe: Retaliation.
"I want to make sure I know what it is I'm being asked to direct before I do it," the vacillating Abrams explained, "although I'd be jealous of anyone else who got to work with that amazing group of actors. We're working on the story and getting there. I'm very excited about what Alex and Roberto have come up with so far."
Clearly that excitement has now grown into full-blown confidence: enough for Abrams to finally sign on the dotted line anyway. Kurtzman is back in the office with his writing partner Roberto Orci, with a final script due at the end of this month; pre-production is underway; the cast's contracts have been picked up; and shooting should start this side of Christmas.
There's still no word on what Star Trek 2's specific direction, but Abrams promises, "The most important question is how to do something that we get excited about and that is worthy of the audience." Watch this space for updates.