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Viacom Chief Hearts JJ November 10, 2006

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,CBS/Paramount,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

A couple of months ago TrekMovie speculated that changes in the leadership at Paramount’s parent company Viacom may ripple down to the recently signed JJ Abrams. However it appears that the new CEO of Viacom is a fan; Philippe Dauman had the following to say in a conference call with investors:

We are doing all this while ramping up to produce a strong line-up of films including Tent Pole under the Paramount marquee. A key component to this revitalization is making sure we attract the best talent and we’ve already been successful in making deals with some of the biggest names in the business including Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, whom I had the pleasure to spend some time with last night, Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell.

We already know that Paramount chief Brad Grey is a big fan of Abrams, and it is good to see that this view goes all the way to the top. It also seems to convey that they see him as a blockbuster ‘tentpole’ producer, so it adds more fuel to the speculation that Paramount has big hopes for Star Trek XI.

 

In Abrams TV news…
According to E Online Abrams newest TV show ‘Six Degrees’ is being pulled by ABC and sent back to the drawing board. Although the show isn’t being cancelled, it has been put onto hiatus until next year and Abrams and his team are going to make have to make some big changes to keep it alive. In some good news, TV.com reports that Abrams’ ‘Lost’ finally saw a jump in ratings, with the fall finale once again on top for its timeslot. Plus Abrams third show ‘What About Brian’ just got a full season order. And as if Abrams didn’t have enough to do, Variety reports that Paramount may be getting back into the TV production business (after splitting off TV production to CBS) and that Abrams deal with the studio includes TV. This means that Abrams could end up producing shows for Disney, Warner Brothers and Paramount. Don’t get your hopes for an Abrams’ Trek TV just yet, CBS still own Trek on TV and they seem to be one of the few studios that don’t have a deal with Abrams.

 

 

Comments

1. VanEdge - November 10, 2006

if Trek XI is a bomb, you’ll quickly see a 180-degree change in opinion of Golden Boy JJ….

2. VanEdge - November 10, 2006

from Paramount, I mean…

3. Levita Lone - November 10, 2006

To whom it may concern…Don’t make another Star Trek.

4. admiraldeem - November 10, 2006

To Levira Lone….are you nuts???? Boy did you wander onto the wrong site!

5. Adam Cohen - November 10, 2006

I don’t like the summer release for Trek XI. Too much pressure for a film meant to resurrect a severly weakend franchise. Whatever Paramount’s expectations are, they’re probably too high.

6. trekmaster - November 10, 2006

But whats the right time for a release? Nemesis started in winter against LoR and HP. That wasn’t much better…

7. MichaelT - November 10, 2006

Who comes on a site like this and says don’t do another Star Trek… Admiral, I agree with you…. we’ll let anyone in here it seems.

8. MichaelT - November 10, 2006

And while I think of it…. We could see a fantastic film… As a young Kirk, not yet a captain serving aboard Farragut. Lots of action, perhaps a small interspecies war breaks out, etc. I am not eager for an Academy flick, but perhaps a pre-captainacy storyline.
Imagine the possibilities and let’s not worry about it bombing…

9. Duane Boda - November 10, 2006

They should take adaquate time to do the film right and not rush things.
Flesh it out completely in each and every way possible. Lets not see a Mission Impossible (In Space) do a story thats primarily covers the characters so that when the special effects come into play we will care about the story. Reintoduce the aspect of good stoy telling and everything else will naturally fall into place as it should be.
As far as a release date? How about Spring – 2009? Wasn’t the Wrath Of Khan released in March of 1982? New life…green grass and a whole totally fresh aspect to Star Trek. Makes perfect sense to me or Bonk…Bonk
to the head! Or as Ruk would say: Yes…it is still in my memory banks.

10. JON - November 10, 2006

Star Trek jumped the shark when they killed Kirk.It’s over.Time to have fun with a brand new interpretation.take the essence of what it was and broaden the appeal.By the way …if they don’t get Beyonce to play Uhura their crazy!

11. steve - November 10, 2006

Beyonce as Uhura– finally a casting suggestion I like!

12. MichaelT - November 10, 2006

I have given up on any hope of seeing the regular posters agree on most anything beside their love of some form of Trek, hatred of funky nacelle caps and too-dark Enterprise paint-jobs. This has caused me to drink heavily. In my delirium I have formulated the ultimate new Trek Movie.
(JJ, move in for my close up now…)
We don’t need Shatner or Nimoy…
No actors playing “kiddie Kirk” in diapers at the Academy.
No need for CGI actors faces digitally pasted on some buff body. Deforrest Kelly and James Doohan shall not be raised from the dead with their katras missing, walking like zombies across a new/old Bridge set spouting lines like “Captain… Aye kinnot fix the engines in time..!” or “Jim… I’m dead!”
All we need…

(The Alexander Courage theme begins to swell…)

… is Linda Park! (I am sure she’s available)

STAR TREK XI:
The reign of Empress Sato

What ya think?
Maybe we are all getting a little TOO serious in here?

13. Josh - November 10, 2006

If it has the stench of the repulsive feces excreted successor series namesakes, keep it as far away from real Star Trek as possible.

Star Trek – The Next Generation, was a cute novelty for it’s time, a place holder, something to remind us how awesome Kirk and crew truly are, but when it came to pop cultural influence, it fizzled faster than a royal fizzbin.
Even as popular as Next Gen was in it’s heyday, the late 80’s to early 90’s, it’s impact was frightenenly negligble.

Don’t get me started on DS9, Voyager, and Bermanprise. You talk about smearing the glory of a once noble brand name.
Star Trek is met with snickers and sneers because of these programs.

Someone at Paramount evidently awoke from a sound slumber one night on the verge of a bonafied thought, and realized the further they distanced themselves from REAL Star Trek, the less popular it became. Hmmmmmmmm. And then as any perspiring executive knows, ponder on the quasi-idea long enough and you may actually make some cash.

So it’s back to the drawing board, and what’s stunning is that notion actually stuns some people.

Picard didn’t resonate. Sisko didn’t resonate. The Defiant didn’t resonate. 7 of bosom didn’t resonate. Archer didn’t resonate.
T’Pol wasn’t T’popular. No one cared.

But Star Trek – James Tiberius Kirk, Mister ” You couldn’t pronounce it” Spock, Leonard “Bones” McCoy, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Andreiavich Chekov, Nyota Uhura, the Starship Enterprise …… these characters are icons, ever bit as engrained in the collective pop culture as Darth Vader, Big League chew, Apple Pie or Coca-Cola.

My 90 year old Grandmother and Generation Y2ker co-worker, couldn’t tell you a phase conduit from a delta quadrant, but they know about the “starship Enterprise with Captain Kirk” .
Paramount is wise abandoning the self inflated, pedestriant, internalized, smug follow-up series that relied entirely too much on their own premise and internal histories.
I want Star Trek, not “days of our space opera.”
Anyone watching the original Star Trek immediately recognizes from episode to episode only the ship and main characters remain consistent, nowhere are they bogged down by their own internal episodic history depending on previous episodes to support future episodes.
The writers of Star Trek never ran out of ideas unlike the successor series.
For all the cheese of a “Spocks brain” , compare it to a SEASON of Voyager, or Enterprise.
Apples and oranges.
Even in the midst of camp and self parody Star Trek had a spirit of fun and quirkiness, never taking itself to seriously and preaching to the audience. The successor series were not fun. They were condescending and smug. Compare the adventurist spirit of Star Trek’s opening narration of Shatner boldly expounding the purpose and mission of the show, to Picard’s droll, dull, science class recitation of the Next Gen intro.
Star Trek should NEVER be self reverential. This isn’t the bible. Or history. It’s supposed to be fun and spirited, alive and colorful .
That’s what gave Trek it’s eternal charm and delight,
not immediately dated science jargon passe’ 3 years from the time the episode airs. Talk about uninspired and insipid writing.
Going back to basics is the first BEST destiny for the Trek producers if they want to keep their cash cow fat and golden.

14. Ralph - November 11, 2006

The studios doesn’t have a problem with the acting or script. But their special effects better be up to par. Fan movies are of high quality anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJatMBOurk&mode=related&search=

15. Cervantes - November 11, 2006

Hiya MichaelT, yeah, you just made me realise how much some contributers to this fine site are going to be disappointed if each new future CONFIRMED casting, storyline, or production snippet to do with this movie is NOT what we individually hoped it would be…myself included possibly, in which case I may just join you in drink my friend…however these threads are going to make fascinating reading throughout the next few months…I just hope everyone remembers that Anthony’s Mom will be reading too…

Whatever the comments, it will mainly be because people care so much about this property…and that can only be a good thing.

And I’m also with you Josh, where your Beyonce as Uhura notion is concerned…I laughed at first, but then realised we’d definately get a Uhura that could get the pulse quickening as we did originally…only let’s NOT get her warbling the Theme song…

16. Cervantes - November 11, 2006

Deep apologies JON,

The Beyonce idea was yours, not Josh. Eyesite is not what it was…

17. Cervantes - November 11, 2006

Any ideas for who plays Yeoman Rand anyone?

18. Cervantes - November 11, 2006

Finally, awesome video on post #14 Ralph.

19. Scott of the Morgites - November 11, 2006

He’s baaaaaack… #13 – Josh – As someone who has been known to get on a soapbox or two myself, I was wondering maybe you and I could share the expense for future purchases. Of late the cost has increased tremendously… Man oh man, the last four or five years have been a killer. And the quality of the soapboxes are not nearly as good… I can’t prove this but I think the assertion by the Bush Administration that there were Soapboxes of Mass Destruction really hit the industry a lot harder than expected.

But seriously, folks… Josh, a very nicely written dissertation on why TOS was… is… and continues to be resonant, respected… and Real (notice the capital “R”?)

Although I don’t agree (entirely?!?) with your laments about the other incarnations of Star Trek, I absolutely agree with your assessment of the original series…It was… It is as you put it, “fun and spirited, alive and colorful.”

Further, you hit the nail on the head, with “Going back to basics is the first BEST destiny for the Trek producers if they want to keep their cash cow fat and golden.”

My question (and real concern) is, can they? Can they recreate the “magic” of a show born in another time?

For all it’s timelessness, there is still a “dated” aspect to the TOS. The ideas it dealt with… war, sex, prejudices, tolerance, etc… were dealt with through the words and the lenses and the filters of an American Culture in the late 60’s.

Certainly, we face the same problems and questions and dilemmas, but that culture today is… more cynical… more jaded… I don’t know? Maybe for that reason alone, going back to “the basics” will work.

Josh, I understand not wanting to be met with sneers but’s what’s wrong with snickers? I love ‘em, especially frozen! Glad to have you back in the fray!

20. JON - November 11, 2006

17-I had suggested Paris Hilton once before.But I think I was in one of my punchie moods after work.Kinda works though ,doesn’t it?Think of the free press.And she would’n’t have to act much.thank God.Just a cameo.

21. MichaelT - November 11, 2006

Wow… I try to lighten the mood a bit with parody and Josh is reminded of “repulsive feces excreted successor series namesakes”. I am not your set up man Josh… Don’t use my comments, comedic or otherwise, to set up your own viritol.

22. Josh - November 12, 2006

Do you mean “vitriol?”

If one is bold enough to mention television series that have the quality of fecal matter served steaming fresh, one must be prepared to garner such anecdotes and allegories,

aside from which , you presume a great deal by suggesting your post mattered enough to me to merit expanding upon.

Which it didn’t.

23. manpage - November 12, 2006

Hm, it appears that Josh is a recognized troll around here, but I’ll bite anyway. Next Generation had a frighteningly negligible impact? Then why is “resistance is futile” a catchphrase? Now, Voyager inarguably shot the Borg in the foot, but the fact remains that they’re established right alongside the Klingons in the popular perception of Star Trek. Why was “The Inner Light” the first Trek episode since City on the Edge of Forever to merit a Hugo award? Why did the TNG finale rope in a record audience for syndicated television? Why did First Contact have the best theatrical gross since The Voyage Home? Why does Patrick Stewart have name recognition? The debate you’re pressing is age-old and ultimately irrelevant. TNG has quite a significant fanbase, even if you’re not part of it. Hell, even DS9 did fairly well for itself… at the time, TV Guide called it the best Trek series of them all. But Berman’s pet project was Voyager, and he had the studio’s marketing arm on his side.

Star Trek died not because of TNG, but because the radical success of TNG led to it being treated as a brand to stamp on just anything.

24. MichaelT - November 12, 2006

Dear Josh, I spelled it incorrectly, my mistake, but you understood.

And to continue… you did “expand upon my post”, despite what you said. But I can’t figure out where I mentioned any “television series that have the quality of fecal matter served steaming fresh”. I was, I as said. doing a parody of some of the conversations in here to lighten the mood and mentioned in jest… “Star Trek XI: The Reign of Empress Sato”. If THAT was the fecal matter series… golly, I am sorry. I thought I made that one up.

I am off to study my thesarus.

25. MichaelT - November 12, 2006

But my apologies to Anthony, sorry…. I had to.

26. MichaelT - November 12, 2006

Josh… you say whatever you wish… Your opinion is yours, of course.
I re-read your post above and can see where I likely thought it referred to my post. I’ll retract my statements above and apologize.
However, could you refrain from comparing anything in here to feces? Please.

27. Scott of the Morgites - November 13, 2006

MichaelT don’t be too hard on yourself. When I’ve had a few too many, I’ve done much worse than misspell a word.

Actually, in your admonishment to Josh (post #21), I thought you had spelled it correctly… you just forgot to capitalize the “v”.

I heard that Viritol is a new enhancement drug by the makers of Viagra. It localizes it’s effects to one’s tongue, making it harder and, in some clinical trials, sharper. One can only extrapolate by the contents of this thread as to it’s efficacy.

Josh… However, salient or insightful your arguments about what made the original series great is diminished when you refer to all other things Trek as… well, s**t. Moreover, it is insulting to a bunch of folks (including a few working on TOSR) who spent a good portion of their professional lives creating, crafting and caring about a franchise that deserves celebration… and respect.

As far as respectfully refuting your harsh opinions about the other incarnations of Star Trek, manpage (post #23) has done that… with accurate restraint.

I like dialogue… discourse… debate… I like when opinions (whether I agree with them or not) are advanced, expressed or otherwise proffered provided there is a civility of intent and the notion of acknowledgment. With out those elements these postings degenerate to rhetoric and one “ups-man-ship”.

I fully understand my finger-wagging may incur another appellation like “Scott of the Moronogites” (which, as in my face as it was, was pretty funny) or perhaps, this post like another may not merit your response.

Whatever your reaction, please keep your exuberance and exaltation of the original series with a humor and spiritedness it (and this site) deserves but, as MichaelT requested, please lose the scatological preoccupation.

Back on point… I truly wonder if Abrams, et al. can reinvigorate Star Trek. Many of Josh’s points about what made TOS great and delightful have gone the way of the times. There was this wonderful naiveté… this sense of “it is all new”… and it was in 1966.

Star Trek was born in time of the Viet Nam conflict… a time of societal discord this country hadn’t seen since the Civil War… a time of sexual awakening for many… a time when our fear of Red China was reaching an hysterical peak… all these things and more.

Granted, we face many of the same issues today and, sadly, some pretty horrific new ones. The difference is we lack, as a country, much of the optimism we held then. We hadn’t experienced Watergate or global terrorism or melting ice caps or AIDS or a frighteningly polarized political system or… yeah, a long list for sure.

The country for all of it’s individual hopefulness and accomplishment is collectively much more cynical… more jaded… less apt to “believe”… So, can the powers that be make this new Star Trek, as Josh put it, “fun and spirited, alive and colorful .” And can they make it resonate with that careful balance of adventure and gravitas that TOS had?

As much as I love the past forty years, my preference would be to not “re-boot” the franchise by going back to an early Kirk-Spock-McCoy story. I’d prefer them to totally re-start the universe that I’ve enjoyed so much. Believe me, I don’t abandon that “canon” easily. It has held together remarkably well, even with an occasional inconsistency. And to be honest, I’d miss that universe that has delighted me for so long. But…

The idea of telling new stories with a new Kirk and Company without being constrained to forty years of history is very compelling to me. I’d like to see a reinvention of Star Trek a la Battlestar Galactica (obviously, with a much less fatalistic viewpoint.) And I can see this being successful without Shatner and Nimoy… (manpage makes some very astute observations in posts #34 & #37 http://trekmovie.com/2006/11/09/shatner-there-will-be-another-captain-kirk/ and although I don’t agree with all of them, they are very well positioned and extremely thoughtful)

I agree with Josh when he says, “Going back to basics is the first BEST destiny for the Trek producers if they want to keep their cash cow fat and golden.”

The question is… can they? And, can we?

28. Scott of the Morgites - November 13, 2006

Josh – I just re-read what I wrote above and forget about my finger-wagging… you should be able to say whatever you want… however you wish… It isn’t my place to tell you otherwise. Take care and good luck.

29. K - November 13, 2006

Nice view of the new model.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOITwUrGyeg&mode=related&search=

30. Josh - November 14, 2006

And yet,

To those in defense of modern incarnations of Star Trek as being quality television entertainment….

Are we not in the slump and dryspell Trekwise because of those series?

Why the need then to go back to basics instead of revisiting Kirk?

Why was Berman axed?

It is no disrespect to the artists of those series to call a spade a spade. They recieved their paychecks just the same.

If modern incarnations of Trek had resonated, this dialogue would not be occuring.

I am justified in my assertion.

31. MichaelT - November 16, 2006

your assertion is still an opinion, Josh… this is my (slightly modified) post from another thread. I think this addresses most of your opinion with one of my own.

“…In my opinion and others I have read here and on other threads, this film is almost 100% likely to be a Kirk/Spock TOS story. Not any of the other franchises because since TOS was first and did it well (for the most part, despite giant space amoebas), and it’s the most recognizable to fans and non-fans. Both are needed to make this film a financial success.
I disagree with the all the smack talk about TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT. Especially TNG and DS9. Those shows were TREK in a different form, not just in a different uniform. All had their moments, and in many cases, well written. TOS had it’s salt vampires and TNG had it’s techno-babble… none were perfect. I won’t go into great detail, but poor writing was not the only problem ENT had… the final season was fun and that’s why I watch any Trek show…to ENJOY it. In my local market ENT was buried late at night and made it difficult to watch and the time varied. It made it hard to find or tape. I suspect this could have happened in several markets. Also, the audience has changed over time, tastes have changed… and more channels have been added. It’s fragmentation of the viewing market and TV viewing as a whole has suffered.

“resistance is futile”… where did that resonate from?

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