The sequel, which won't actually be titled Star Trek 2 (it's just the simplest, most effective moniker, despite this actually being the twelfth movie in the theatrical Trek franchise), commences shooting on January 15, 2012, according to a new report at TrekMovie. Naturally, preproduction has been underway for some time, initially working from that very detailed 70-page outline we heard about in the spring.
According to Roberto Orci, who is writing the film with regular collaborator Alex Kurtzman and Lost co-executive producer Damon Lindelof, the screenplay has been submitted to Paramount Pictures. An unnamed source asserts that the studio is "very enthusiastic" about that script, but nonetheless, that writing triumvirate is currently working through a third draft, as Orci explains, "Rewriting is a good thing which normally makes the script better. We like to keep pushing the script, even if no one gives us notes."
Star Trek went into production in the midst of a writers' strike that hobbled rewriting, so the extra time going into Star Trek 2 should help the team create a bigger, better story.
On the technical side, Industrial Light and Magic is already at work on the film's visual effects. Returning production designer Scott Chambliss has already completed a good amount of the design work on the sequel. Many sets, such as the USS Enterprise bridge, will be taken out of mothballs and rebuilt, but construction on some all-new sets already underway on the Paramount lot.
And that's not all. As with the first film, Abrams intends to make extensive use of location shooting. Apparently, the director himself recently traveled to Hawaii in order to scout potential sites for a jungle planet that will play a part in the film. It's worth noting that Lost, co-created by Abrams, was also filmed in Hawaii.
Additionally, a museum in Los Angeles has been selected to stand in for a "famous Star Trek location." Place your bets on just which museum will be involved. I'd guess it would be the J. Paul Getty Museum, an architecturally unique and cool-looking location that would be right at home in the Trek universe. It could also be the Getty Villa, the Huntington (the grounds of which is an unbelievably common shooting location), or any number of other museums in the area.
Earlier this month, we learned that Benicio del Toro would be offered the role of the film's villain, whose identity remains a mystery. If he joins the cast, he would face off against returning castmembers Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin.