Abrams on why he ultimately decided to direct the 2009 film:
ABRAMS: "The reason I wanted to direct it was because I thought, "When in the world, ever, am I going to get a chance to do a space movie? That’s cool." And I really loved the script that Alex (Kurtzman) and Bob (Orci) wrote, and I thought, "There is a version of this movie that is sort of surprisingly intimate and emotional and about these two men who are kind of displaced and who are both orphans in a weird way and they find a family." And I thought, "That is kind of a cool story. It happens to be called Star Trek. It happens to be Kirk and Spock, but cool." Casting that movie was tough, but it was a crazy joy to find that amazing cast. So, the whole experience was sort of bizarre, in working on something that I never in a million years I thought I’d be associated with, doing it with people that I would have loved to have worked with in any capacity, and getting to do things, cliché things, that feel like as a kid filmmaker you want to do… spaceships flying, huge things crashing and planets exploding, stuff that you’d only dream of doing. So it ended up being, oddly, of all things, a dream project."
Abrams on the alternate time line:
ABRAMS: "Here’s the thing… I think the key to that was, first of all, it was one of those things that not everyone even cares about or understands the timeline of it all. The notion that when this one character, Nero, arrives in his ship, that basically the timeline is altered at that moment, so everything forward is essentially an alternative timeline. That is not to say that everything that happened in The Original Series doesn’t exist. I think, as a fan of movies and shows, if someone told me the beloved thing for me was gone, I would be upset. But we didn’t do that. We’re not saying that what happened in that original series wasn’t good, true, valid, righteous and real. Let people embrace that. We’re not rejecting that. That, to me, would have been the big mistake. We’re simply saying that, "At this moment, the very first scene in the first movie, everything that people knew of Star Trek splits off into now another timeline."