The Force isn't strong with this one!
When J.J. Abrams took the Star Wars: Episode VII job, it became pretty clear pretty quickly that he would have to step away from directing Star Trek 3. And while there's been a lot of hemming and hawing on the subject in the past several months, it seems that the man who put the "Khaaaaaaaannnn" back into Trek has now essentially confirmed that he won't take the center seat on the Enterprise again.
QUESTION: J.J., how important was it for you to stay involved with the franchise, even though you won’t be available to direct the next film? Does it feel a bit like you’re sending your baby away to college?
ABRAMS: It’s a little bittersweet. But, I will say that I’m going to be producing the movie. Whomever it is that directs the film will be someone we all know is going to keep the cast and crew in good hands. I feel very lucky to have been part of it, and it definitely feels like the right time to let someone come in and do their own thing. I certainly don’t want someone to come in and try to do what I would have done. We want to hire someone who’s gonna come in and bring their own sensibility. I’m very excited to see what comes next, despite feeling jealous of whomever that person is.
So he'll produce it but won't direct it, which is what we all figured already. That's one Abrams mystery box opened at least.