'Star Wars: Episode 7' -- The Real Reason J.J. Abrams Left 'Star Trek'

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The geek world was torn asunder when J.J. Abrams jumped off 'Star Trek' and signed on to direct 'Star Wars: Episode 7.' However, it turns out that his decision to do so went beyond simply preferring one franchise over another. According to a new report, Abrams felt strangled by legal red tape wrapped around the 'Star Trek' franchise, which prevented him from creating a true multimedia platform (and making a lot more money).

The story comes via The Wrap and it's the kind of thing that involves lawyers and shared licensing rights and business squabbling. In other words, it's the exact opposite of the cinematic space adventures at the core of it all.

Here's the nutshell version: J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company had grand plans for the 'Star Trek' franchise. More movies, TV shows, video games, comic books and just about everything else you can slap Kirk and Spock on. However, the rights to various aspects of the 'Star Trek' universe are owned by different entities -- CBS owns the rights to the original 1960s TV series and Paramount owns the rights to the films. This made merchandising sticky and confusing, with CBS having the right to veto many new 'Trek' products while continuously pumping out toys and collectibles based on the original series, creating "brand confusion."

And Abrams simply didn't like having his ambitions strangled.

The original article goes on to describe Disney as the perfect partner for Abrams' grand, multimedia ambitions. In Disney, he has a corporate partner who will not only fund, market and distribute 'Star Wars: Episode 7,' but will fully have his back when it comes to the world behind the film frame. Working with Disney, Bad Robot will have its hand in one of the world's most popular franchises and have the backing of the world's most popular entertainment company. Forget about video games...we're talking about theme parks, here.

At the end of day, it's all about the movies. 'Star Trek Into Darkness' is a solid, very fun movie and with luck, 'Star Wars: Episode 7' will be the success its fans are praying for. But when you play with billions of dollars, someone is bound to get burned.

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