"The fun of this [new alternate 'Trek' reality] is that the destiny of these characters is in their hands - it's not constrained by the pre-existing films or TV series," Abrams explained. "Believe me, whether it's William Shatner or Khan ... it would be ridiculous to not be open to those ideas."
"One of the reasons we wanted to break with the original 'Star Trek' timeline was it felt restrictive," Abrams said. "The idea, now that we are in an independent timeline, allows us to use any of the ingredients from the past - or come up with brand-new ones - to make potential stories."
"It'll be fun to hear what Alex and Bob are thinking about Khan," Abrams said of their impending meetings to discuss sequel plotlines. "The fun of this timeline is arguing that different stories, with the same characters, could be equally if not more compelling than what's been told before."
Regarding Shatner's Kirk, Abrams said "I wouldn't rule out anything. The point of creating this independent timeline is to not have the restrictions we had coming into this one. And one of those restrictions was that Kirk was dead."