This is something we’ve kept hearing about, for months and months, but it seems more official than ever to say that, yes, J.J. Abrams is directing Star Trek 2. Deadline claims that the director is “ready to commit” to the sequel, and he’ll be working on the script with Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof in the very near future, with the plan calling for the shoot to finally start in January. And, in another development that should surprise no one, the cast is having their option exercised by Paramount, with them being “ready when Abrams is.”

As glad as I am to hear that he’s coming back, it’s frustrating that this aspect of production keeps getting reported on throughout its various stages of development, and yet nothing “official” has been announced yet.

If you ask me, the release date is the biggest question; we thought it was going to be June 29th, 2012, before script problems and time consumed by Super 8 pushed it back to a reported time of December 2012. Now, there’s speculation that it could be as far away as the summer of 2013. To me, waiting four years between an original and a sequel is something that’s way too risky — on the financial side of things — for a studio to do. All I care about is a good movie, which I have the patience for, but I don’t know if the studio would be keen on taking that long for this to be released.

But, Paramount will at least release one action film based on a pre-existing property on June 29th, 2012, as Deadline also reports that the G.I. Joe sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation (previously titled G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes), will come out on that date. Directed by Jon M. Chu, this brings back Channing Tatum from the first, while introducing a new cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Ray Stevenson, RZA, Adrianne Palicki, Elodie Yung, and D.J. Cotrona.

The first three of those names are performers I genuinely like to watch onscreen, and they manage to add some promise to a movie that I otherwise couldn’t care less about. The thing is, they’re just not quite enough to get me excited, so this is one I will probably skip. The first is a mostly harmless blockbuster, but the fact that I have essentially no desire to ever see it again should tell you how much I care about a sequel.

No real plot details have been released about the follow-up yet, but based on the first movie, I’m expecting it to have a lot of explosions in scattered parts of the planet, with some (read: a lot) of cartoonish CGI aiding in said explosions. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’s the case this time around.

Are you happy about Abrams returning? How do you feel about the release date issue that Star Trek 2 is experiencing? Is G.I. Joe: Retaliation something you’re looking forward to?

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