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Star Trek to attract all movie fans

Movie director JJ Abrams hopes to persuade mainstream movie fans to embrace Star Trek.

Star Trek. Picture: Supplied

LONDON - Director JJ Abrams is hoping to persuade mainstream film audiences to boldly go where they have never gone before and embrace the next instalment of Star Trek, a franchise usually reserved for sci-fi geeks.

Abrams also produced the cult TV series Alias and Lost.

The Star Trek director initially hesitated when Viacom's Paramount Pictures asked him to take on the film series, whose instalments in 1998 and 2002 failed to draw crowds.

But then he worked out how to make Star Trek appeal to a broader audience, by forgetting its creaking legacy and focusing on the drama.

His first attempt to reboot the epic with 2009's Star Trek Into Darkness was a critical success, though analysts were disappointed with foreign box office sales of about $130 million.

Now he is hoping to push even further towards the final frontier with the 3D sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, the 12th in the series, opening in Britain on May 9 and the United States on May 17.

Abrams said, "The idea was to make a movie that works on its own terms ... This film was not meant to be like an in-joke. This is very much for moviegoers and not just Star Trek fans."

The plot focuses on the crew's emotions and moral dilemmas to make "an action adventure thriller a little more visceral and thrilling", he added.

Most hardcore Star Trek fans welcomed Abrams' involvement in the series.

He already had a huge geek fan base thanks to his TV and film back catalogue.

However Abrams was far less enthusiastic about the franchise when he first encountered it.