Kurtzman & Orci Talk Kahn and Klingons for 'Star Trek' Sequel

September 13, 2010

Kurtzman & Orci

Though it certainly wasn't universally received, there are plenty of people looking forward to the impending sequel to J.J. Abrams 2009 franchise reboot of Star Trek. While details have been scarce (just the way Abrams likes it) the script is a work in progress. Luckily the forthcoming 200th issue of SFX magazine (via Trek Movie) talked to Abrams and writers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci about the potential of the anticipated sequel. I don't want to get anyone too excited, but Klingons and the infamous villain Kahn are certainly talking points, but you'll find all that in the information that they were willing to disclose below.

Keeping with his secretive traditions, Abrams isn't willing to give much up, but he talks about the challenge in figuring out what direction they should boldly go in the Trek universe: "The universe that Roddenberry created was so vast. And so it's hard to say there's one particular thing that stands out as what the sequel must be. Which is on the one hand, a great opportunity. On the other hand it's the greatest challenge. Where do you go? What do you focus on? But I'm incredibly excited about the prospects."

Kurtzman isn't exactly overly forthcoming about what they will bring into play for the sequel, but he's very adamant about what they don't want to do: "Starting at a premise of what you want to see and then working a story around it is not how we do it. You have to start with what is the right story. And that if you can say 'That's a story that Khan fits into,' that's how you get to that. Not deciding on a menu list of items and then seeing if you can't string them all together." So this thankfully isn't going to be a "greatest hits" of the finer points of Roddenberry's most iconic characters and stories, so that's at least a good start to the sequel.

Orci is a little more specific in his talks as he mentions their decision-making process on the sequel's villain: "Introducing a new villain in the sequel is tempting because we now have this incredible new sandbox to play in. On the other hand, some fans really want to see Klingons and it's hard not to listen to that. The trick is not to do something that's been seen before just because you think it will be a short cut to likeability." No matter who the villains end up being, they say not to expect a violent push into the dark side, "The first one had dark elements, but was ultimately very warm. We'd hope to strike a similar balance [in the sequel]."

Agreeing with his writing partner, Orci confirms that humor will be alive and well in the sequel (in addition to beefing up the role for the always hilarious Simon Pegg as Scotty). The writer explains: "Humor is part of the franchise and I think it's critical, certainly to the Bones-Spock relationship. It's definitely a big part of the Bones-Kirk relationship. So, I don't see any world where humor doesn't play a part." Personally, I think Kurtzman and Orci have treated the characters and stories of Roddenberry's iconic universe with immense respect, and I can't wait to see where the sequel takes us. If you want more, pick up the October issue of SFX magazine on newsstands now! Stay tuned for more. What do you guys want from a Star Trek sequel?

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions



I'm in. I remember the scene when Kirk Sr. and the ship were destroyed it was an epic explosion!

Xerxex on Sep 13, 2010



jasn on Sep 13, 2010


Whales. I want lots and lots of whales.

Voice of Reason on Sep 13, 2010


Maybe a revisit to the V-Ger story lines. In keeping with the Star Trek universe, that would still apply given that in the timeline, V-Ger would have been launched before the rift. Does that sound a bit to nerdy? OK, maybe just more of the green chick!

Big Red Moose on Sep 13, 2010


In future sequel (not this one) i'd like to see Spock & Kirk Square off. "bum bum bum bum bum bum..."

Solo Calrissian on Sep 13, 2010


"certainly wasn't universally received" really? i have yet to hear from someone first hand who said they did NOT enjoy the movie. seriously, not one single person-and this pool im pulling from consists of people from all walks of life. i just find it strange that you'd say that. gives me the impression you thought the film was more of a cult flick at best as opposed to a highly successful blockbuster reboot...

Nick S. on Sep 13, 2010


p.s. i want GORN in the sequel. i almost **** myself when i read that they were considering the species as a major player in the upcoming film.

Nick S. on Sep 13, 2010


Either Evil Kirk or Evil Spock with a Moustache. That's definitely the way to go.

BAM on Sep 13, 2010


Off in a new direction. New sandbox. The old sandbox is closed for a reason.

colin on Sep 13, 2010


@ #6, Nick S. Oh, not at all. I know tons of people who loved Star Trek. The main reason I didn't say that it was universally received is because we've had a few comments from naysayers on past Star Trek articles, and I knew someone would end up pointing that out or just complaining about the reboot all over again. No doubt Star Trek was successful and I loved it, but there are definitely some who, for whatever reason, just didn't like it that much.

Ethan Anderton on Sep 13, 2010


Wasd a fan of how it looked. Biut was sort of bored with the cheesy parts of it. Should have been more Ridley Scott-esque and less Michael bay/Transfomers. But I'm not a big Star Trek fan so don't really care. But will be fun to see something as visually striking in the cinema again.

ryderup on Sep 13, 2010


The Trek reboot had a decent look for a modern sci-fi movie -- not that difficult these days. Unfortunately the story sucked and had no depth and too many nonsensical and pointless scenes. Good luck trying to make a movie as excellent and memorable as 1982's Wrath of Khan.

the best of times, the worst of times... on Sep 13, 2010


gotta agree with #12, tho the story didn't suck, but the only depth in the movie was Kirk and Spock, the villian was dull and the main plot about Vulcan & old spock seemed half-assed. It's a great reboot hands down, however it suffers from the big drawback of many blockbusters: the evil badguy fell flat. Of course the vast majority of Star Trek is one giant Time-Travel cliche', which is why any hope for a great premise in a Trek film is utterly hopeless.

Akirakorn on Sep 14, 2010


12 & 13 - exactly. Really dumb story with burnt out old spock's cameo. Should have left that story and crew behind if you really want to re-boot. I want to see another Khan mullet.

Waste of Time on Sep 14, 2010


I think going the Kahn route would be a huge mistake, otherwise why make it so easy to have NEW stories if your not gonna use that opportunity, if they do that then all they want is money, if they do something original which is what I thought the point was then I can respect that, but to give in to all the whinny little freaks is bad. Kahn has been done and done right, why do we need more? we dont.

Jimmy Love on Sep 14, 2010


All I ask is PLEASE, no more time travel or Borg story lines. EVERYONE does time travel now days. It's getting a little tired. And the Borg has ruined every series of Star Trek that they were involved in. The only series where they actually worked was in TNG. The series Enterprise used the Andorians a lot. I like that story line. Obviously the Klingons and the Romulans are viable story lines for this new series. Romulans had the reboot movie, now let's incorporate the Klingons. As for a few of the other comments here, While I did enjoy the new story (new time line), I felt there were a boat load of technical errors. One jiust as an example. You don't go from Cadet to Captain in the series of one day, week, month or year. However long this last episode was to occur over. This is a slap in the face of every Ensign, Lieutenant, Lt Commander, Commander and existing Captain in history. Yes, I'm ex military.

Jamie on Sep 14, 2010


@14 - You want to leave the old crew and story behind, but still want to include a villian from the other timeline? Let's make up your mind. If you're going to do a Khan-type villian, shouldn't it be set up in the second movie, and then have him come back for revenge in the third or fourth? If you remember, the back story for the character of Kahn was set up in the original TV show, and no one expected to see him come back to be a major villian in the second film a couple of decades later. In this new timeline (which was set up and explained by the inclusion of "burnt out old Spock's cameo") how would Khan fit in at this point to return as a major villian unless you referenced the alternate time line of the original series and films which you are obviously against doing?

Jedi on Sep 14, 2010


Why is everyone misspelling Khan? It's not Kahn, it is KHAN.

Phantom on Sep 14, 2010


fuck Abrams...he ruins everything...rather watch the originals on the re-runs...

blasphemer on Sep 14, 2010


I'd like to see where the political ramifications of 47 destroyed Klingon warbirds take us, personally. The Klingon fleet was functionally decimated by 'one massive ship' they identified (correctly) as Romulan. The Klingon Empire was always notoriously resource-poor; they expanded aggressively in order to survive. This isn't a blow the Klingons can weather militarily or economically without allying themselves with a major power. In the traditional three-way faceoff between the Klingons, the Romulans and the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulans had an uneasy, on again/off again alliance. That obviously just got turned on its head in the reboot; the Klingons are going to have a massive hate-on for the Romulans in this timeline. Their best move would be to ally themselves with the Federation a few decades early and work from within that alliance to instigate a war with the Romulans. Failing that, how's about a lost, pre-Surak Vulcan colony being rediscovered? An old tome was saved when Vulcan was destroyed; some of the Vulcan elders have managed to save useful bits of knowledge, piece together and follow the clues, find the colony. Or, okay, for those who want a Shatner comeback, the Nexus gives you the perfect literary license for it. Once you're inside the Nexus, you can exist in multiplicity. One Shatner died horribly; he simultaneously continues to exist in the Nexus, and always will. Another Shatner can be spat out of the Nexus anytime, anywhere. At any rate, I'm praying they leave Khan out of it. Khan has been done to death. Leave it where it is. Ubervillains are a cheap device anyway. Star Trek was inevitably at its most interesting in situations with no ubervillains and no easy answers.

CatoTheCensor on Sep 14, 2010


#6 & #10 - Yeah I was wondering about that "not universally accepted" comment as well. I guess no movie is ever 100% liked, but that comment did throw me off as well. Critics liked as well as the sane Trekkies. I'm not a hard-core Trekkie, but I have seen every movie and watched Next Generation when it was on tv and thought what Abrams did with the franchise was brilliant. In story, casting and visuals. Very little to complain in my book. There's always going to be those that are too picky. Very, very anxious to see a sequel, though if Khan is involved they better be very careful with that characer because he is such an iconic character in the Star Trek universe. #19 - Ummmm. whatever.

jjboldt on Sep 15, 2010


They should do a course in screenwriting, one that specialises in dialouge because they work is shite.

DiR3cT on Sep 16, 2010


BORG please!

Cmurder on Sep 20, 2010


Well, now that Roddenberry is gone, there are hundreds of novels out there to make a movie out of. The issue of him never canonizing the novels is pretty much moot, is it not? 1.) he is long gone, and 2.) that universe never existed anyway. I'd like to see some interdimensional travel to different realities (like in that show "Sliders"). But no more time travel PLEASE, and no more "villain of the week" crap. Soran, the Queen, Ruafo, Shinzon, Nero, this is getting old fast, boldly going nowhere. More exploration and strange new worlds, please. AND ONCE, JUST ONCE, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE AN ALIEN RACE TEACH THE FEDERATION A MORAL/ETHICAL LESSON. I am tired of seeing the almighty Starfleet teach a backward indigenous culture THE ONE TRUE PATH OF THE FEDERATION. THIS is really, really, getting old isn't it? Remember that TNG episode "Journey's End" where they were trying to forcibly remove that group of native indians? KUDOS to Crusher for having the balls to stand up to Picard!!! YES!!! One of the best episodes ever, because it taught Starfleet something, not vice versa.

tinkerbell on Sep 29, 2010


And another thing: Khan=genesis device, Soran=trilithium, Ruafo=baryonic particles, Shinzon=thalaron, Nero=red matter. When will this end? God, THIS SO OLD!!!!! And now they want to bring kahn BACK?? Why does there even have to be a villain to fight at all?!! The DVD remastered version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is still my favorite, with no villain!

tinkerbell on Sep 30, 2010


The really memorialble Star Trek movies had symetry to them. They flowed effortlessly with the previous plots and time lines. The "New Star Trek Movie" showed no interest in this symetry and seemed to be made in a parallel universe . To completely destroy the Vulcan homeworld without having the Vulcans fight back.... or Spocks emotional love scenes, shows more interest in keeping the audience excited and on the edge of thier seets rather than building a plot. The excitement factor will show people a good time but it isn't what peeked Trekkies interest regarding what could be a future. Star Trek was "real" science fiction. Not "Entertainment tonight". If you question this assessment, ask a Trekkie which were his/her fovorite Star Trek Movies. ie. First Contact..etc.

Mike on Oct 20, 2010

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