Star Trek XI Movie Info
Thursday, July 27, 2006
TBA (working title: Star Trek XI)
2008 (possibly summer)
TOS era (probable)
An ‘origin story’ for Kirk and Spock (probable)
First aventure Kirk as Captain of the Enterprise (rumored)
Pre-production (a third of the script completed as of late July)
JJ Abrams (probably..has option but has yet to commit)
No cast confirmed yet
(JJ Abrams is rumored to be interested in Matt Damon for Kirk)
Is there really a new official Trek film project in development at Paramount?
Originally reported in Variety on April 20th, 2006, it has been confirmed by Paramount.
Are the filmmakers Trek fans?
Abrams is an avowed Trek fan, especially of TOS and TNG, and he very much wanted to have Trek be his next movie for Paramount. The other writers are said to be major Trekkies, including fans of the books. The other producers are of varying levels of fandom.
How is it 'probable' that it will be a Kirk 'origin story' in the TOS era
The original Variety article stated: ‘will center on the early days of seminal "Trek" characters James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer space mission.’. Although Abrams subsequently stated the Variety report was ‘not entirely accurate’ he also stated that ‘Kirk and Spock could live again’ and most other comments from Abrams and others involve indicate they are most interested in the TOS era. The clearest indication is the TOS era artwork used for the teaser poster, which StarTrek.com called ‘an indication of direction of the movie’. The writers have stated that they want to ‘fill in a gap’ in Star Trek history with old and new characters and that they want to explore the ‘origins of the Original Series’. Again the teaser poster indicates a TOS era story and more specifically sends a signal that it will involve Kirk and Spock (by being a melding of their respective uniform colors)
Will it fit with Star Trek History (canon)?
Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman have repeatedly said they will respect Trek history and canon.
Does ‘Trek canon’ allow for Kirk and Spock meeting before the Original Series?
First it is not yet clear if the film will be set before the 5 year mission or not, but if so, there is nothing in established canon that would contradict meeting before.
How much is known about Kirk and Spock before the Original Series?
A few tidbits with some big gaps
There are 14 years to cover from the Academy to Kirk’s promotion to captain. A few events are known (such as Kirk’s solution to the Kobiashi Maru at the Academy or his being a Lieutenant on the USS Farragut), but for the most part there are large gaps where there is nothing known, including the 7 years immediately prior to the Original Series and its ‘5 year mission’. These gaps give the writers ample opportunities to work with.
Is this the same Academy movie that Harve Bennet (Producer of the first five Trek films) wanted to make for STVI?
Firstly it is unclear what role (if any) the Academy will have. Secondly the writers and Abrams have stated that they have an entirely new and unique idea for a film. Lastly Mr. Bennett has recently stated that he hasn’t heard from Paramount in years regarding his Academy script/idea.
Will familiar Trek characters be recast?
The writers are on record as saying the film will have known Trek characters (Which ones is unkown)
Will Shatner or Nimoy or any previous Trek actors have any role?
Is Rick Berman, Brannon Braga or other previous Trek producers, writers or production people involved in Trek XI?
What happened to the previously reported possible movies (Rick Berman/Erik Jendersen Romulan War project- ‘Star Trek: The Beginning’ and the John Loga/Brent Spiner idea for a ‘crossover’ Nemesis sequel)
Jendersen submitted a script and it was rejected. It appears Paramount is also not interested in the Star Trek Nemesis sequel idea submitted by Nemesis scribes John Logan and Brent Spiner. Most likely they lost faith in the TNG based films and Rick Berman after Nemesis became the first Trek film to lose money.
Is the IMDB listing for Trek XI accurate?
Yes and no.
The following items in the IMDB page are mistakes, rumor and/or conjecture:
- ILM being attached for SFX
- Budget of $100M
- Michael Giacchino as composer
- JJ Abrams confirmed as director (probably but not confirmed)
- JJ Abrams not listed as writer (he is confirmed as a writer)
Why now and why Abrams?
Although it has seen better days, Star Trek is one of the longest running franchises and has been very profitable for Paramount. Trek fits into Brad Grey’s new strategy of bringing ‘big tentpole events’ into the Paramount lineup using their franchises (they have recently shelved two films in development in favor of bringing back known franchises: Star Trek and the Jack Ryan series). Another factor may be that JJ Abrams wanted to do a Trek movie and Paramount very much wanted (and got) JJ Abrams to sign on to a long-term production deal. Its doubtful a Trek film would be in production if it weren’t for Abrams, and he wants it to be his next film so it appears he thinks the world is ready. Paramount did say that the franchise would return even after the failure of 2002’s Star Trek Nemesis and the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005. Paramount talked about ‘franchise fatigue’ while others faulted the projects themselves…most likely it was a bit of both. Only time will tell if the ‘fatigue’ will be over by 2008, but a new team and new actors will make it clear to the movie going public that this is a New (and hopefully improved) Star Trek.
Why a TOS prequel?
It is unclear why (if the rumors are true) a prequel was chosen over other proposals (Romulan War, another TNG, etc) , but the most likely explanation is that this is the story that Abrams wants to tell. Clearly Paramount had lost faith in Rick Berman and the rest of the Trek team (and possibly casts) and they seem to have quite a lot of faith in Abrams. In addition Abram’s deal with Paramount gives him an unprecedented amount of creative control, including final cut. Even though it may be Abrams idea, Paramount probably see it as a ‘get back to basics’ origin story along the lines of Warner’s Batman Begins and MGM’s Bond ‘restart’Casino Royale. And of course there is the precedent of the StarWars prequels which made tons of cash for Fox…let us not forget that it was the success of Star Wars in 70s that got Paramount thinking about bringing Trek back as a film franchise (resulting in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture). It appears that Paramount aren’t concerned about the failure of the latest Trek TV series (and prequel) ‘Enterprise’. It may be that they feel that TV and film audiences are different or perhaps that ST:XI will be a ‘true prequel’ to the iconic characters of the Original Series and therefore have more resonance. The TOS characters to this day are probably the best known and most iconic of any of the Trek shows.
Will people accept new actors as Kirk and Spock?
This of course is a big unknown. It is clear from the reaction from some fans that many are unwilling to accept new actors in the Shatner and Nimoy roles, but there are also many fans that appear to welcome it. So for the fans the answer is…some will and some wont. But of course the core fanbase are just part of the target audience and most likely secondary to the mainstream movie public. There are dozens of examples of successful recast characters on both TV and film as well as between TV to film (from Darren on Bewitched, to the many ‘Bonds’ and ‘Jack Ryans’ to Obi Wan Kenobi). So the question is really..is there something unique about Star Trek that makes it different? It would appear that Abrams and Paramount feel Star Trek is just like other franchises that have prospered after recasting. Much of course will depend on who is eventually cast and their final performances
Star Trek XI FAQ Sources and Links:
Original Variety Article about a New Trek Film
Star Trek.com confirmation of Trek XI and Rick Berman's not being involved
Abrams discusses Variety leak and Kirk and Spock characters
Abrams discusses respect for Trek fans
Abrams talks about his views and approach of the Trek franchise
Writers Orci and Kurtzman talk about respecting Trek Continuity
Insider reporting on Damon/Kirk rumor
Shatner telling USA Today Damon idea is ‘great’, telling ST.com he hasn’t heard from Abrams
Variety on announcement of Abrams multiyear deal including Trek XI as first film
Variety interview with Abrams about his views on Star Trek
TV Guide interview with Abrams…extract of part on Star Trek
StarTrek.com article announcing teaser poster and downloads
Patrick Stewart interview saying role in ST XI is ‘unlikely’ and Trek relationship is ‘over’
IMDB page for Trek XI
Memory Alpha Entry on Kirk's Early (preTOS) history, ( Spock's entry )
Wiki Page on Trek XI
Memory Alpha Page on Trek XI
Star Trek Film Franchise Box Office Numbers
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