From Abrams' Trek Launching in Christmas '08
"If there's something I'm dying to see, it's the brilliance and optimism of [creator Gene] Roddenberry's world brought back to the big screen," said Abrams.
"Alex and Bob wrote an amazing script that embraces and respects Trek canon but charts its own course. Our goal is to make a picture for everyone—lifelong fans and the uninitiated. Needless to say, I am honored and excited to be part of this next chapter of Star Trek."
Filling unknowns in the timeline are great, but respecting canon is key! My ever-forgiving plot-hole solving brain immediately comes up with that since they haven't mentioned Spock as a student at the Academy at the same time as Kirk, it could work out. Canon timing could have Spock teaching at the Academy when Kirk was a student, and they happen to meet Bones somewhere along the line, since he never attended the Academy...I still have some issues with them being such friends for so long, since they seemed less friendly in the early classic episodes, but if they do it right, they could pull it off...Matt Damon = meh but I could accept it, Gary Sinise = inspired casting as Bones, but I can't hack Adrien Brody as my beloved Spock! ;)
Of course they should call it something other than an odd number somehow...or because STX was a box-office dud does it count as breaking the curse? Since Nemesis was acutally a better film than Insurrection, I define the curse in terms of film quality vs. $$ it happened to make... ;) They tried getting around the numbers thing before by calling VII just Generations, no number anywhere in the official marketing campaign, but it still wasn't as good as VI or First Contact (VIII)...