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J.J. Abrams Not Returning To Direct Next 'Star Trek' Movie

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
9/13/2013 3:01pm EDT

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J.J. Abrams won't be returning to the director's chair for the next Star Trek film.

Abrams announced the news to on Thursday, telling the website that while he won't be calling the shots from directly behind the camera he will still be on hand as the film's producer.

"It's a little bittersweet," he says. "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."

Abrams is reportedly cutting down his role in the next "Star Trek" film to focus on the forthcoming "Star Wars" sequels, beginning with Star Wars: Episode VII, which is due in 2015. He's set to direct at least the first film in the planned trilogy.

"I certainly don't want someone to come in and try to do what I would have done," he adds of leaving Trek. "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."

The director's latest film, Star Trek Into Darkness, raked in a whopping $465 million worldwide at the box office since its release in May.

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© 2013
Photo Credits: Barbara Henderson / PR Photos