Venturing into the Star Trek Universe with Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Looking ahead to next summer, there is an exciting line-up of geek-driven films, from Wolverine to Transformers to Terminator to Harry Potter to Star Trek. While I've been keeping my eye on all of them, Star Trek is one that I'm particularly interested in seeing. As a big fan of "The Next Generation" series and J.J. Abrams (separately), I've been tremendously excited to see what Abrams has done with such a beloved franchise. Although there are still quite a few more months left, and we still haven't even seen a real trailer, I'm still excited to bring you any news we can. Wired recently caught up with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and tackled some tough questions surrounding the movie.
Orci and Kurtzman have become quickly become two of the next biggest writers in Hollywood. After penning the screenplay for Michael Bay's Transformers last year and Mission: Impossible III before that, the two went on to produce Eagle Eye and write scripts for "Fringe", Transformers 2, and of course, Star Trek. When they were first given the opportunity to write a reboot of the Star Trek franchise, they were both quite hesitant. "This was not something you go into lightly, unless you feel you really have something serious to contribute because we really grew up on Star Trek… It became more about: Are we worthy? And we came to the conclusion, well, this is our chosen profession! We might as well go for it."
Both Orci and Kurtzman are Trekkie's at heart and "insist that their screenplay sticks to the rules in a way that should satisfy even nit-picking defenders of the faith." Orci grew up using a Starship Enterprise phone and Kurtzman became a fan after seeing Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan in 1982. Now they're singlehandedly deciding the fate of the franchise next summer. So what's their plan? Well the first step was coming up with an idea. "We agreed it was going to be the original crew, and the minute we did that, it limited the scope of where we'd be looking for story." And the second is sprinkling in some Star Wars. "It's controversial to even mention Star Wars and Star Trek in the same sentence, but Alex said, 'We have to bring more Star Wars into Star Trek.'" The third and final step was convincing J.J. Abrams to direct.
"What we get from J.J. directing Trek is 100% translation from script to scene. An epic space adventure is something not a lot of directors can handle. You need someone who understands genre and the spirit of Trek to accomplish a movie of this scope, which is bigger than anything Trek's ever been before. Yet hopefully it's also intimate." I definitely think Orci and Kurtzman nailed the choice of director, since Abrams has continued to impress all of us consistently since Mission: Impossible III. Their confidence in him only proves even more that the genuine classic Star Trek feeling that these two Trekkies put into the script will shine through in the finish product. And we haven't even mentioned the perfect cast yet.
So with all this discussion about Orci and Kurtzman being the perfect Trekkies to write the script and Abrams being the perfect director, it all comes down to the story. "It's about how the original crew came together, which was never covered in its entirety by either the show or any of the movies. No one has ever told the story of how the Enterprise set sail." For a triumphant return of this caliber, that kind of plot sounds like one of the last few good ones left in the entire Star Trek universe. "There are details in canon where the characters refer to their past but there are wide areas of interpretations and sort of blank spots where you go, 'Wait, I understand this, but how did they get from here to there before they got to that point?'" Unfortunately we've got to wait until May 8th next year to find out the answer.
Thanks again to Wired for the fantastic interview with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
Reader Feedback - 9 Comments
Good interview. I'll be seeing this opening weekend.
Film-Book dot Com on Oct 4, 2008
I will be seeing this opening weekend as well. I am more confident with the more interviews we get from everyone involved.
Big R on Oct 4, 2008
I am so excited at the news that there will be a new Star Trek movie however the idea of a Star Wars mix is decidedly unappealing. I love them both but they don't belong together. I hope that they don't mess this up.
Renee on Oct 4, 2008
I'm surprised no one's complained about the statement "we have to bring more star wars into star trek." i'm still looking forward to the film tho.
andrew on Oct 4, 2008
K'plah! I think they mean to make it more epic like Star Wars is. If this is the direction they are following then its going to be great for us. And that probably means letting go of some of Gene Roddenberry' original ideology of the Universe he created and this would lead to some die hard fans setting they're phasers to Kill!
werdnafaz on Oct 4, 2008
I'm very interested to see what's next for Star Trek's future. I really hoped they'd go back to the future Trek universe (after the disastrous Enterprise series), but I'm open to another interpretation of the Starfleet "college years". The pedigree of these two writers does not inspire me, however.
avoidz on Oct 4, 2008
i'm not abig star trek guy but i like J.J Abrams because of Lost. this will be good.
darrin on Oct 5, 2008
Also not a big Star Trek fan so it excites me quite a bit to hear that they're taking this franchise in a new direction to appeal to a wider audience. Plus I love JJ and will be seeing this opening weekend just to see what he does with it. Check out Abrams at the below link...he gives a great inspirational speech about how he first developed his passion for film and how he gets the ideas for filming certain scenes from previous movies: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html
Peloquin on Oct 6, 2008
Nothing new here,,, Every interview they give reads just like this one.
firstname.lastname@example.org on Oct 7, 2008
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