As reported yesterday, Star Trek XI Writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman held a live chat about their next film The Transformers Movie. Unfortunately they did not take any questions regarding STXI. However they did reveal quite a bit about their writing process. Although Transfomers is based on a cartoon, they said they wanted the film to be ‘realistic’ and wanted it be accessible to fans and non-fans alike. Orci said: “we want everyone to be able to enjoy this film, young, old, girls, whoever”. It is likely that a similiar approach will be taken with Star Trek XI to expand it’s audience beyond the ‘Trekkie base’. One thing that was quite clear is that is these two are hardcore fans of the Transformers franchise and have loved it since they were kids. The pair discussed how they had originally pitched the idea to director Michael Bay (who they worked with on last year’s The Island). If these guys approach Trek with the respect and passion that they demonstrate with Transformers, then Trek XI is in good hands.
Looking to Fans To Help Write The Movie
Orci and Kurtzman say that they keep a very close eye on the Transformers forums to guage reaction from the fanbase. Kurtzman says: “when we get stuck we go check the boards to find out what the fans want to see. They are now taking this approach to the extreme. They announced an upcoming contest called ‘Write a line for Optimus Prime’, where fans can submit ideas for a line to be said by the ‘leading man’ of Transformers Optimus Prime. The winner’s line will end up in the movie. Could a ‘Talk for Spock’ contest be in our future? It will be interesting to see if the writers take such an active approach to the Trek fanboards which are notoriously prickly, especially the one at StarTrek.com
Making changes, but character comes first
One question caught my attention as something that may be a preview of things to come for Trek. One fan asked why a particular character “Bumblebee” had his car changed from a VW Bug to a Camero. The writers reply was “even in a different skin he is the same character that you know”. They went on to elaborate that when it came to designing the character it just seemed to work better by changing the ‘skin’, but that fans will recognize the character through his core attributes, such as being the underdog. Although I had actually no idea what they were talking about, I could imagine similar questions coming up about various cosmetic changes made within the Trek universe.
See the Video of Orci and Kurtzman at Yahoo Movies
Behind the Scenes on the Transformers set at Google Video