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Star Trek XI Update January 3, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Rumor,ST09 Cast,Star Trek (2009 film),STXI Plot,STXI Status , trackback

For Star Trek XI news, 2006 was both exciting and frustrating. In April and May we first learned about the project and got some public statements from producer JJ Abrams and his cohorts, then the cone of silence descended and it became almost impossible to learn anything about the film. This is actually quite normal for a film this far out. Paramount know that Trek is an important franchise and that there is really no upside to talking a lot about a film at this very early stage. For 2007, some of that will change…and it promises to be a big year for Trek XI. This article is to summarize where we are now (Much of the following has been reported before, but some is new)

First things first: Star Trek XI is set in the pre-TOS era and will feature Kirk and Spock
Although this does not seem like ‘news’, TrekMovie.com will no longer consider this to be ‘rumor’ or say this is ‘probably’ true. Although the studio has yet to say this officially, TrekMovie.com have spoken to enough sources to say that either everyone is being lied to…or we are going to see Kirk and Spock back in action in 2008.

Film Status…moving forward towards Winter 2008 (sorry not Summer anymore)
Star Trek XI continues to move forward and Paramount still continue to assume it will be in their 2008 lineup. However it appears that Abrams has got his way and the film will most likely end up closer to the end of the year, giving the team more time. Here is we have learned from our sources:

Crew & Creative…little bit of ‘insider’ hiring, more soon
Due to the film still being in development, no real hiring has happened (except for Abrams and the writers who are part of the ‘development’ deal). However, some people are being ‘tapped’ to be part of the film (told to clear schedules, etc). This includes Abrams inner circle people (like Michael Giacchino as composer and Scott Chambliss as Production Designer) as well as others he worked with on M:I:III. It is worth noting that none of those being tapped are  technically hired, because there is still no budget. The studio has brought in Stratton Leopold, a Paramount veteran who worked with Abrams on M:I:III. Leopold is an Exec. Producer and Unit Production Manager who will be handling the budget as well as much of the hiring of behind the scenes types. Once the film gets an approved budget and opens a production office, expect more announcements and leaks in February and March. It is possible at this time Abrams may start reaching out beyond ‘the circle of trust’. As for if Abrams will direct, this still will probably not be known until after the script and budget are approved.

Casting…we got nothing!
Last we heard Abrams has done some auditions already, but have heard nothing new since. Things are tight as a drum around this. On Shatner and Nimoy, all we know is that they have some kind of contract with Paramount for Trek XI related to promotion and/or consulting. We know that Shatner wants in and Nimoy is open to it. We know that various actors are interested (like Quinto, Grunberg, Weisman and others). And all that is known about Matt Damon as Kirk is that Abrams expressed interest once and that Damon is open to it if the script is good, but no contact has been made. Like with the crew, most real casting cannot truly start until there is a final script and budget (although the leads could be an exception to this). The announcement of the new Kirk and Spock will be a big event and Paramount want to be sure they control that. Due to concerns over leaks they will likely announce as soon as a decision is made.

Typical meeting on Star Trek at Paramount

Plot & Setting & Characters…is this movie ‘Kirk Begins’?
Like with casting, the story is something that is a very closely guarded secret. One could almost describe the level of secrecy at Paramount paranoid. The writers (Orci & Kurtzman) have been rather chatty on Transformers, but did get burned with an early script draft being leaked. A source at Paramount tells us not to expect the same level of openness on Star Trek XI (which is typical for how Paramount deal with Trek films). All that being said, TrekMovie has picked up pieces here and there, some of which are possibly conflicting. This may be due to bad information and/or out of date information due to changes between the story treatment and script drafts. Here is what we think we know. (unlike the pre-TOS setting and the inclusion of Kirk and Spock, everything that follows is considered rumor by TrekMovie.com…grains of salt please)

NOTE: the above lists of locations and characters is by no means complete and by no means concrete…there are sure to be tons more. Also some of these locations and characters may just appear briefly. 

Things to look forward to in 2007
2007 is shaping up to be a huge year for Trek. Almost all the hiring will be done. The film will move from development, to pre-production, through the entire fim shoot, and begin pre-production. Also on the promotional side Paramount will probably start to do a few things

Thoughts: Cadet? Captain? Lieutenant?
Since the first leak in Variety one of the biggest questions around Trek XI is…where in Kirk’s life is it set. There is a lot of time before the Original Series caught up to him during his 5 year mission as Captain of the Enterprise. Much of the early speculation (sparked by Variety) was that the film would focus on Kirk’s Academy years. This site reported that the film would cover the other end of the spectrum…Kirk’s first mission as Captain of the Enteprise. Now we are hearing there are scenes at other times in his life, most interestingly as a Lieutenant on the USS Farragut. As we know the writers for Trek XI are steeped in Trek lore, and Trek history states that 7 years before Kirk was on the Enterprise he was a young officer on the USS Farragut. It was on this ship that Kirk met with a crisis and lost his captain and half his crew, and he also blamed himself for hesitating to fire phasers on a ‘vampire cloud creature’ that was attacking the ship. This was all covered in the episode ‘Obsession’, when Kirk as Captain of the Enterprise re-confronts the creature and goes a little nuts…or gets ‘obsessive’. This, probably more than the fabled ‘Kobyashi Maru Starfleet Academy scenario discussed in Star Trek II’, is a key moment in Kirk’s life. The big unknown is how much of the film covers these early times in Kirk’s life. It may be that it quickly goes over them and gets us to the Enterprise, or perhaps we can see Kirk’s journey. This is speculation now, but it would be interesting to see how James T. Kirk went from a young officer who lost his crew and blamed himself, to being the youngest captain in Starfleet…in 7 years. How did he pull that off? That sounds like an interesting movie.

So does the film get to the Enterprise early on…or does it show the journey to it (in the same way that Star Wars: Episode III showed how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader). Only time will tell, but rest assured TrekMovie.com will be looking out.



TrekMovie.com Info Section

Remember that TrekMovie.com has a complete Star Trek XI Info Section

you can always find updated info on the status, cast, crew, etc. This section will be regularly updated and expanded as the film progresses. This section also includes detailed FAQs, which are also updated. 

Remember…things change

As stated in our last Trek XI update…things change. This is a summary of what we think we know now. Nothing is really written in stone. Trek XI may never get a greenlight, or may never get made. Films further along that Trek XI (remember ‘Watchmen’) have run aground. And we fully admit we can be misinformed on some of the above details, it isn’t like Paramount are handing out press releases on Trek XI. Right now it seems like it is easier to get nuclear secrets thand get people to talk about Star Trek XI. Paramount would probably prefer everyone to just sit tight until the first teaser is released…but we just can’t do that. So we will remain vigilant, and remind you to be open minded.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
January 3, 2007 5:57 am

Gary Mitchell … interested to see if someone so close to Kirk will be in the story. He saved Kirk’s life (poison dart) after all.

January 3, 2007 5:59 am

Ooops! Thanks much Anthony for the very much detailed Editorial “Reset” — well done.

January 3, 2007 6:14 am

it will be interesting to see how they solve the design issue in 2007. do they stick with the vacuum tubes and 1960s colors, or does this movie look more like ENT? remember that the enterprise is supposed to look futuristic and the old constitution did look futuristic … 40 years ago.

i like the “plenty of letters” version of the constitution by Gabrial Koerner, that would be a nice design for the new film, IMO.

January 3, 2007 6:20 am

Brilliant Anthony!

The debates have been getting a bit ‘snipe-y’ on the forums of late as a mix of paranoia and expectation have merged confirmation with supposition.

I hope we get to a point now where people accept that this is the film we’re going to get and move on, rather than discussing whether this film ***should*** be made in preference to any other incarnation!

Between this film, and ST: Remastered, I’m a happy Trekker! :)

January 3, 2007 6:38 am

Interesting to have all this information from 2006 in one place now, and makes for some interesting reading.

Thanks for all the scoop over 2006.

Adam Cohen
January 3, 2007 8:18 am

Fantastic reporting, Anthony. Thank you for your hard work.

I’m very very interested in this “Kirk Begins” framework for the movie. It’s got a ton of potential and is infinitely more interesting than a story limited to “Starfleet Academy.”

January 3, 2007 8:34 am

Movie gets a name? How about “STAR TREK”. That’s it.

Jason L
January 3, 2007 8:39 am

MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! So far this is sounding pretty much exactly like what I was hoping for. I wanted to see a character-oriented film focused on Kirk and his journey from starry-eyed cadet to seasoned captain, not a buddy movie about Kirk and Spock galivanting around the galaxy. Not that I have anything against Spock or any of the other supporting characters, but Trek has done the ensemble thing and focusing on a single character is one more way to add some freshness and originality, and I also tend to think it would be more popular with today’s general audiences.

Stanky McFibberich
January 3, 2007 8:41 am
When they don’t stick to the original design concepts for the TV series I will not be interested in seeing it. This includes using the original theme and background music. I will also not be interested in seeing different people playing Kirk and Spock or anyone else, even if they are in the movie as older versions of themselves. I just think it is a bad idea all around. Of course, I realize that they will do it anyway, so thankfully I can watch the series any time I want and I have no need for new adventures.
January 3, 2007 8:41 am

I like it!

Some one should have used it before! ;)

I agree that the best thing would be for a Star Trek film to use just the title and not ‘Star Trek: the something something.’

Fantastic way to relaunch the series!

All fans should bow down to you Ralph!

It’s one of those bleeding obvious things that everyone else will wish they’d thought of before!!

T Negative
January 3, 2007 9:14 am

Excellent report!!

Very exciting. There is a HUGE gap in Star Trek where we don’t know how Kirk became Captain of the Enterprise. This is a story that needs to be told!! I hope this is the type of story we get to see.

January 3, 2007 9:30 am


This article includes info not mentioned in previous articles nice work if true.

It doesnt include reports from Shatner and Nimoy that JJ wants the older characters involved too.

January 3, 2007 9:41 am

Sci-Fi Bri, what’s this “plenty of letters” version of the Constitution class that you mention?

Captain Pike
January 3, 2007 9:51 am

As Greg said: Gary Mitchell. We know from WNMHGB that Mitchell and Kirk were best friends and had been so since the academy. Any story set pre-TOS has got to include Gary Mitchell. If it does not, I’d see it as a serious flaw.

Jim J
January 3, 2007 9:55 am

Potential, I say…potential!!!

January 3, 2007 10:13 am
When you think how much detail was put into the backgrounds of of TNG-era Trek characters, it’s shocking when you realise how little we actually, ‘canonically-speaking’, know about the TOS characters. We know where Chris Pike was born, but we don’t know where Jim Kirk was, for example. Uhura has at least three possible first names. Sulu finally got a first name in STVI. It says a lot about the writing and acting down the years that no one really worried about it much! More than any of the generations, TOS’s background has been built up by often-contradictory, non-canon books… Read more »
Sam Belil
January 3, 2007 11:10 am

Like I have been saying all along Gary Mitchell HAS TO BE in the film. In that one episode only “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, we see just how close bond is with him and Kirk. You want to leave out Pike — FINE, You want to leave out Carol Marcus — FINE, You want to leave out Garrovick — FINE. Just DO NOT leave out Gary Mitchell!!!!

January 3, 2007 11:27 am
#16 Dom, Kirk has origins… “I’m from Iowa. I only work in outer space.” – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Riverside, Iowa has “claimed the fame” to his future birthplace, although it’s not canon. It was mentioned in a ST novel as Riverside. But should JJ want a nice, real Iowa locale, I have a few places in mind and for a small fee or a line in the movie (How much IS a SAG card?) I’ll be happy to guide the production. I am sure I can get time off. JimJ, y’all come up… what size uniform you… Read more »
January 3, 2007 11:45 am
I’m so thankful they’re going back to the TOS era with this film, and with a great director/writer/producer leading the way. I saw Generations in the theater and was so disappointed that it became the last one for me. It took several people telling me how great FC was for me to rent it, and it was definitely an improvement over Generations, but then with the last two I didn’t even bother. I tried to hang on but I just couldn’t take anymore TNG, so Trek has been dead to me for years. When I heard the news about Abrams… Read more »
January 3, 2007 11:52 am
No matter what gets posted, or said, or rumored, or whatever, I am simply going to wait patiently to see what the “new blood” comes up with. Sure, I have all sorts of ideas of what the film could be, or might be, but none of that amounts to anything more than self-indulgent speculation. Let’s give Abrams & Co. a chance to show us what they think Star Trek is. Let’s give the new cast (whoever they turn out to be) a chance to show what they can do with the characters. Of course, it is going to be near… Read more »
January 3, 2007 12:38 pm

I think based on what was done with MI:3 we have a pretty good idea of what the look and feel of this film is going to be. Sure, it could be completely different in tone and style, but so far there’s no reason to think it will be.

January 3, 2007 12:41 pm

Thank you for the Cone of Silence.

January 3, 2007 12:45 pm

13. KDoug :

the only web based image i can find is on amazon.com. check the back of the calender on the lower left, theres a greyish enterprise that sorty looks like kirk’s enterprise.


and here’s a page more about the image including a like to the image.


to be honest, i’ve just found these images now, i like what i see. imo it’d be an exciting change.

January 3, 2007 1:13 pm
JJ knows his shat!!!! This will be a great year for us Trek fans indeed. Doomsday machine and Ultimate Computer are coming, Our new Kirk and Spock are coming and hopefully Gary Sinise as Dr. McCoy, There are new Babylon 5 movies coming, More Shatner being Shatner, More Nimoy chasing after nude models with his camera, Starship Exter Act III and beyond??, More George Takei on Howard Stern and now apparently on Heroes, Of Gods and Men, more bitching and sniping from the Next Gen crew of the USS SourGrapes, more Lost episodes from JJ, no more Rick Berman!!! very… Read more »
Stanky McFibberich
January 3, 2007 1:21 pm

re: 18. Orbitalic – January 3, 2007
I’m not asking for Shatner to play the part of the young Kirk. I am just stating that no one else should play the part of Kirk even if they allow Shatner to play an older version. I realize that would scrap this movie concept, but that’s A.O.K. since I know my opinion means very little to the producers or anyone else for that matter. It’s all about M O N E Y.

New Horizon
January 3, 2007 1:53 pm
-9. Stanky McFibberich- Pfff, and you call yourself a Trek Fan. Come on off it, give it a chance to succeed at least. The original series was more than just the actors, it was an idea almost fully realized. So long as the new production crew stay true to the spirt of Gene’s vision, it WILL be the characters we love on the screen. Sure, they may look and sound a bit different, but IF they are true to Star Trek…why would we not want to see it thrive? I don’t want to see new actors give a bad Kirk/… Read more »
Stanky McFibberHitch1969
January 3, 2007 3:39 pm

re: 26. New Horizon – January 3, 2007
Just to clarify, actually, I call myself a fan of the 1960s Star Trek TV Series. To me, Shatner/Kirk and Nimoy/Spock can’t be separated. I’m sure there are plenty of others that feel this way. But, I will just shut up and let the “true” Star Trek fans rule the roost. Now there’s a saying you don’t hear that much any more.

Koowl Roowl Droowl and all very much ants in the McPants.



January 3, 2007 3:42 pm

I love the classic movies because they really contain a development of the characters that fits to the aging crew of the ship. The TNG movies did not have that, so they have been a disappointment related to the absolutely character based TNG series itself. In addition TNG either was a too intellectual concept for the common audience.

January 3, 2007 3:50 pm

The author of the above article left out the biggest piece of news in regards to Star Trek XI.

He failed to mention that Shatner + Nimoy have been asked to be in the film.

January 3, 2007 4:14 pm

What about Finnegan??? ;-)

John N
January 3, 2007 4:18 pm
Why is it that enough Bond fans can get past an “ugly, blonde” actor replacing the previously beloved Pierce Brosnan to become the highest grossing Bond film ever (and currently the 47th biggest international gross of all time according to IMDB), but there are STILL a very vocal group of closed-minded Trek fans that ‘cling for dear life’ to Shatner and Nimoy playing Kirk and Spock? A while back, a regular poster to this site went on record and stated that he wouldn’t waste his hard-earned $10 on what he felt was a terrible casting choice. That’s his choice, and… Read more »
January 3, 2007 4:54 pm

@John N
Shatner and Nimoy played their roles for decades and not just for a few years in a fistful of films.

January 3, 2007 4:55 pm

I’m with you #31.Star Trek needs exciting,fresh and dynamic.All the the Shatner/Nimoy features were about the characters either coming out of retirement or coming back from the dead

January 3, 2007 4:56 pm

As always, an exhaustive and informative article, Anthony. My compliments to the chef. :) It’s interesting that they’re now saying fall/winter 2008… that’s pretty much what I had assumed all along–in fact, the Star Trek XI countdown clock on my website has been assuming a premiere date of Friday, December 5, 2008 ever since the movie was announced last April! It will be interesting to see if my prediction turns out to be correct. :)

January 3, 2007 4:57 pm

so my post being #1 got deleted. Thats nice

January 3, 2007 4:59 pm

Additionally.I feel alot of Trek fans are resisting the reboot and holding on to “canon” because it makes THEM feel old and obsolete.

Sam Belil
January 3, 2007 5:00 pm

John N — I could not agree with you more regarding Casino Royale. In addition to being a MAJOR Star Trek fan since it first came out 40 years ago — I’m also a big Bond fan, and for me Casino Royale was the best Bond movie since From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Daniel Craig was nothing less than superb (really playing Ian Fleming’s character according to his original novels).

Still Kirok
January 3, 2007 5:51 pm

As important as the origins is to make sure the crowd has something to look forward to–hence including Shatner and Nimoy as a POST-Generations Kirk and Spock.

January 3, 2007 6:50 pm
#31-since you asked… Mind you, I am very excited to see a new Star Trek movie, but I have to admit the idea of recasting these two icons is somewhat bothersome. Why? Because Bond was based on fiction while Kirk and Spock were based on Shatner and Nimoy. For over 40 years we have seen Shatner and ONLY Shatner as Kirk. In the 60’s we saw a young energetic 30-something Shatner as Kirk. Then the 70’s gave us an animated series and movie with Shatner as an older Kirk. Then the 80’s gave us a middle aged Kirk, portrayed my… Read more »
John N
January 3, 2007 6:55 pm

#32 – trekmaster

While that is a point to consider, it by no means invalidates my point. To each successive generation that grew up with them, Connery/Moore/Brosnan WAS Bond.

Even to those who accepted mulitple actors, only a charming, martini drinking, ultra-cool, uber-suave Bond WAS Bond.

Only an audience with an open mind as to how the character can be portrayed was willing to embrace this new Bond.

Star Trek fans should pay attention.

John N
January 3, 2007 6:59 pm

#40 – jonboc

Agreed… it is unrealistic to think that it would be a cake-walk for the new actors. Fortunately, I never suggested that it would be… ;)

Like you, I’m cautiously optimistic. But Cautiously optimistic is a far cry better than close-minded premature rejection.

January 3, 2007 7:19 pm
#42 Thinking it over, I think one thing that is in the new actor’s favor is the fact that the youngest of the movie going audience will not be that well versed in TOS, aside from a few pop culture references. And if Berman’s 24th century hasn’t soured them (assuming they have even watched it) and if JJ can make it “cool” and as aceptable as LOST, Trek might lose the stigma attached, find a new audience and succeed. If the comparrisons are left to film critics and old school Trek fans then maybe, just maybe, that new, mainstream, fan… Read more »
January 3, 2007 8:18 pm

All the TOS fans who left the series after Kirk’s death. Need to see him alive post nexus in order to get back on the Star Trek bandwagon.

January 3, 2007 8:20 pm

The movie going audience for a Trek reboot will be a young crowd.Probably not tht different in age from Transformers appeal (my guess,8 years to 18yrs).The new Trek will be made for them.They don’t care about canon and they re not loyal to Shatner’s interpretation of Kirk.

January 3, 2007 8:38 pm

Thanks for the links, Sci-Fi Bri! I agree that Gabriel’s re-imagining would be an interesting choice for a Star Trek movie, but I don’t think they should do it unless it’s going to be a reboot or if it’s supposed to represent a previously unseen class. If they’re going to show us the original Enterprise in the established continuity, it should remain true to the original design.

January 3, 2007 8:41 pm

With every new info I get more and more excited about STXI. The only thing I’m worried about is release date.
As #34 I think Dec.5 is most likely.

January 3, 2007 9:53 pm
Thanks for the excellent recap, Anthony. It definitely helped clear some things up. It also helped me in completing the overhaul of the STXI article at Memory Alpha to include all available information. Proper credit is given in the sources, of course. ;) I think this movie has great potential. I know many fans will have trouble accepting different actors in the iconic roles of Kirk and Spock, but as long as the RIGHT people are cast in the roles, I don’t see a problem with it. Besides, as someone else stated above, Shatner and Nimoy have let go and… Read more »
January 4, 2007 1:08 am
I love the idea that the film simply be titled “Star Trek.” That is so freakin’ fabulous! Not “Star Trek: Blah Blah Blah.” No bloody A, B, C, or D. And it’s a fantastic promotional idea, too. “You want ‘Star Trek,’ well, here it is!” I really hope they have the courage to do this. It would be so damn cool. Re: Gabriel Koerner’s Enterprise. I’ve seen this design before. The hi-res photos from the third link are excellent. As a CGI artist myself, I love the design. Mr. Koerner did a great job of retaining the ship’s wonderful design… Read more »
January 4, 2007 2:54 am
#49 I, too, think just naming the film “Star Trek” would be a great idea. In fact, the day the teaser poster was released, I figured that would become the title. Based on what Abrams and his crew intend on doing with this film, I don’t think a sub-title will be necessary. That said, however, if they DO choose a sub-title… I hope it’s not something simple like “Star Trek: Origins,” “Star Trek: Beginnings,” or “Star Trek: The Beginning” (which was the tentative title for the abandoned Rick Berman / Erik Jendressen “Trek” project). Also, I hope it’s not something… Read more »
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