Earlier this month, del Toro was linked to the project as a potential villain.
Abrams told MTV News: "Well, we're just in negotiations, we're in discussions. It's not even negotiations - just in discussion.
"But I would love to work with him. I've wanted to work with him for years, and this felt like a good opportunity."
He also praised del Toro for his versatility as an actor who can play any character "except for Uhura".
Star Trek 2 has been given a release date of May 17, 2013.
Watch the trailer for Star Trek below: