Over the last week The Trek Movie Report has got a number of tips regarding an article in the new Star Trek Magazine titled “Blank Slate / New Film Producers Deny Kirk and Spock Recasting Rumors”. Coming from the officially licensed Star Trek magazine this at first did seem like significant news. A few other websites ran ‘news’ that the Kirk and Spock recasting rumor had been ‘officially denied’, but the Trek Movie Report noticed something a bit familiar to the story and decided to dig deeper. After speaking to one of the editors at Titan Publishing it is clear that the headline was not based on any recent conversations Star Trek Magazine had with any Trek XI producers. Although Titan (who also publish the official magazines for both Lost and Alias in addition to the Star Trek Mag) work with Trek XI and Lost producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof regularly, the editor confirms that they were not contacted for that particular article. “As far as we know Paramount have a policy to not confirm or deny any plot details on Trek XI and our article was trying to convey that” said the editor.
So why the ‘Producers Deny Rumors’ Headline?…It was a blast from the past
For their initial US issue Star Trek Magazine had a full two page spread on the new movie. It tried to sum up everything known at the time it went to press about a month ago. Titan were primarily using culled information from around the internet and other publications. The headline in question appears to have been born out of an article from Empire Online from last April titled “It Won’t Be Kirk and Spock”. In that article Abrams did say that the original report in Variety from the preceding week was ‘not entirely accurate’. However it has become clear that it wasn’t the Kirk/Spock story he was specifically denying, but Variety’s report that he was confirmed to direct (see image below of STM article and where it quotes Empire). Abrams and the team have consistently since that time kept mum on the Kirk and Spock storyline, but he has repeated that he is only a ‘probably’ to direct Star Trek XI. It is fairly clear that Empire took Abrams quote about Variety ‘not being entirely accurate’ out of context and assumed he was referring to the Kirk and Spock part of Variety’s article (even though he actually specifically denied the part about directing to them). Subsequent comments from Shatner, Nimoy, Grunberg and others (as well as the Abrams’ designed teaser poster) continue to point very strongly at a (recast) Kirk & Spock storyline for Star Trek XI.
Empire article rears it’s head again
Some good new quotes from Frakes and Moore
The two page Star Trek XI spread also includes a ‘reactions’ section where they quote various Trek luminaries (Stewart, Moore, Picardo, Takei, Okuda, Sternbach and Frakes) on Trek XI. The Trek Magazine editor confirmed that two of those quotes were unique to Trek Mag. Jonathan Frakes about him being a big fan of Lost and joking about directing Trek XI (previously reported here). Trek Magazine noted that they had tried to get longtime Trek producer Rick Berman to comment on the record but he declined. They did get Ron Moore to go on the record about Abrams, where he makes it clear that his views on Trek’s future have changed now that Abrams is on board:
I think it’s an interesting move and probably good for the franchise. Abrams’ lack of involvement in Star Trek is hopefully a positive thing, just as it was for Harve Bennet and Nick Meyer when they came in on Wrath of Khan. In that case, it let people take a clean look at the original series and wipe away a lot of the sentimentality in an effort to get at the roots of what the show was and the results speak for themselves.