Planning for the sequel, including work on a screenplay, has been ongoing for some time with Abrams involvement, though he has always been carefully to point out when asked that he wasn’t “officially” signed on to the film.
Abrams has been working with writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof on the story and screenplay for the project for some time. One of the reasons that the process has been so slow, however, has been the fact that Kurtzman has been working on finishing post-production work on his directorial debut Welcome To People. With that film wrapped, he is able to fully concentrate on Star Trek 2.
Reportedly, the film is currently moving through pre-production with an eye towards shooting in the winter. This would put us seeing the film sometime in 2013.
But what will we be seeing when the film finally premiers? Everyone has been rather coy as to what story elements of the Star Trek universe will be incorporated into the sequel. Fans have been rather vocal with their ideas and with multiple suggestions of reworking classic Trek stories like The Wrath Of Khan leading the conversation. Personally, I would rather see a story that is unique to Star Trek, not a re-tread of one we’ve already seen.