Hot because: Between his slow-boil disaster flick Cloverfield and his upcoming directorial work on a long-rumored re-boot of the Star Trek franchise, the man behind Lost, Alias, M:I III, Joy Ride and even Regarding Henry is getting set for a block-rocking 2008. The Cloverfield build-up has been masterfully slow and insidious. (A note to the marketing team behind The Mist's spoil-tastic trailer -- which should have had a music bed of the Red Hot Chili Peppers singing "Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now!" as one of the best moments in the film played out in full and completely: Cloverfield is how you do a monster movie trailer.) And for every head-scratching moment in Star Trek's casting (Karl Urban as McCoy? What, Dakota Fanning wasn't available?), the vast majority of the announcements coming out of the project make it sound like Abrams wants to keep Trek on track -- and, with extras only allowed to walk outside in long, costume-hiding robes, under wraps.

How to stay hot: Well, the dream that a plum pitch, smart marketing and geek-tastic ideas automatically means great movie making can be punctured by three painfully sharp words: The Matrix Revolutions. Hype -- even well-handled and hand-crafted hype -- is pretty much irrelevant if the movies are no good, and the fact that the writing team -- excuse me while I ironicize that properly: the "writing" team behind Transformers are also scripting Star Trek doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Abrams needs to spend as much time reading and re-writing Trek as possible -- because re-starting a stalled franchise means you need a strong motor and a place to go far more than just a flashy fresh paint job.

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categories Cinematical