J.J. Abrams, the creative force behind the 2009 Star Trek reboot, says he would “love” to include a gay character in the next film.

The 45-year-old Abrams produced and directed the eleventh film based on the Star Trek franchise. The film featured the main characters from the original Star Trek television series, portrayed by a new cast.

A follow up film is in development with Abrams again at the helm.

At the Television Critics Association Press Tour, Abrams told gay entertainment website AfterElton.com that he was shocked to learn that the television series and its various spin offs did not include an openly gay character.

“As someone who was never a huge Star Trek fan and I didn't watch the shows. And my experiences with the movie was the first series and then watching and re-watching some of the movies that I've seen. I'm frankly shocked that in the history of Star Trek there have never been gay characters in all the series. In Deep Space Nine and all the Enterprises that that's never come up,” Abrams said.

Abrams added that he would explore the possibility in the next film: “I think it should be done and I'd love to be able to do it.”

“[H]onestly this was not in the list of priorities to try to figure out how to make this movie in the best possible way,” he added. “But it will now be in the hopper. And it's one of those things I'll bring up with the writers next time we meet.”