Abrams Still On For Star Trek XI – May Still Direct | TrekMovie.com
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Abrams Still On For Star Trek XI – May Still Direct February 7, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: 1-18-08/Cloverfield,Abrams,Rumor,STXI Status , trackback

Again with the rumors. Latino Review (who pushed last week’s debunked rumor that Abrams has left the project) have now morphed their rumor into saying that Abrams will not direct Star Trek XI, but will direct a different film called "Cloverfield" for Paramount. TrekMovie.com have been told by a source close to the production that this rumor is "so totally wrong". Abrams is still attached to the project as producer, the film is still going forward, and preperation are being made (including a number of stages being set aside). No decision or deal (either way) has yet been made regarding if Abrams will be directing the film. In addition Abrams confirmed to AICN that he is ‘not off Trek’.Some of this confusion may be due to the fact that Abrams has a multi-picture deal with Paramount; in fact Greg Grunberg recently told IGN Abrams had 3 projects going at the studio right now. As we have been reporting, this month may be where many of the big decisions on Trek are made so expect more rumors and more fact checking here at TrekMovie.com. And of course, things change so take it all in with the usual grains of salt.


1. Scott Gammans - February 7, 2007

Thanks for putting these inane rumors to rest, Anthony. :)

2. Scott Gammans - February 7, 2007

p.s. FIRST! Yahoo! In your face! ;)

3. andoriano - February 7, 2007

bueno eso se sabia, si es que los rumores estos solo hacen que marear a los fans, eso si a ver si se decide Abraams a aclararnos algo que estamos hasta las narices de tanto rumor. :( :(

4. Flake - February 7, 2007

If Abrams has so much on the go he should let someone else direct Trek.

5. StillKirok - February 7, 2007

Why would he NOT want to direct Trek. Of course, this is merely yet another “will he or won’t he” news story. Be it Shatner’s participation or Abrams’ decision to direct, it would be nice if he would simply say yes or no.

6. ScreenRant.com - Visit For Movie News & More - February 7, 2007

Producing and directing a film are two VERY different things.


7. Elrond - February 7, 2007

I had never *heard* of Latino Review until all this . . . I guess this is how they’re making a name for themselves. Thanks, Anthony, for clearing things up (again).

8. John N. - February 7, 2007

Actually, Latino Review made a name for themselves last year by scooping the casting of Brandon Routh as the new Superman.

However, aside from that scoop, I don’t know what their reputation is in the industry as far as reliability goes…

9. StillKirok - February 7, 2007

No doubt producing and directing are two different things, but it’s not like Abrams has never directed before, and I would think that this project would be his baby.

10. Michael Appleton - February 7, 2007

When you think of it, this is like waiting for a kettle to boil. Of course we get frustrated by devoting so much attention to a decision that could be made weeks from now. Even Abrams and Paramount don’t seem to know at THIS point. We need to distract ourselves with some other pursuit in the interim…..say Gorn hunting….yeah, that’s it. Gorn hunting! Hey, are they in season right now?

11. Captain Pike - February 7, 2007

babelfish made a mess of andoriano’s post:

“good that wise, if it is that the these rumors single make that navigate to fans, that if to see if Abraams is decided to clarify something to us that we are until the noses of as much rumor”

I think he’s saying it’s good that TrekMovie is debunking the rumor. I agree.

12. Sleeper Agent X - February 7, 2007

10 – Gorn’s good huntin’…and good eatin’!

Why do so many people think that if Abrams doesn’t direct it himself, the movie will stink? As I think has been mentioned here before, Lucas let other people direct Episodes V and VI of The Star Wars, and if anything, the franchise was better off for it.

I personally liked Mission Impossible III, but I know a lot of people who thought the action sequences needed to be handled differently. If Abrams thinks somebody else would be stronger handling all this science fiction stuff, that doesn’t mean he’s lost faith in the project.

13. Spirit - February 7, 2007

He’s playing hard to get for the sake of his price tag… standard procedure here.

14. jock ewing - February 7, 2007

as shatner would say! get a life! come on….

15. Adam Cohen - February 7, 2007

Until they roll cameras on this thing, the wait-and-see approach is going to be my policy on this from now on.

16. Anthony Pascale - February 7, 2007

although that is a wise policy in most cases, for me the next milestone is when they open a production office and have a budget. That is when the money starts being spent, and the say ‘follow the money’. Although the big big money is spent when cameras start rolling. For now Para are mostly like barely into the 7 digits on trek XI

17. yo - February 7, 2007

> Gorn hunting….yeah, that’s it. Gorn hunting!
> Hey, are they in season right now?

Tressaurian season should be coming around again fairly soon ….

18. Michael Appleton - February 7, 2007

Yeah, but what do you call a lesbian dinosaur? Answer: A Lickalottapuss!

19. Johnnie Walker - February 7, 2007

That’s just sick.

20. Dennis Bailey - February 7, 2007


Harry suggests that they’ve got soundstages on standby for this shoot. You hear anything about that?

#17, Tressaurian tastes a lot like chicken.

21. Anthony Pascale - February 7, 2007

I have also been told stages are being set aside, i was told that a few weeks ago and again last week. I talkked to Harry Knowles about that over the weekend as well.

I could have sworn I put that in one of my recent articles. I am still trying to get confirmation on the specific stages.

yes stages are being set aside…according to sources. I will add that to the article

22. Dennis Bailey - February 7, 2007

You may well have mentioned it and I just missed it.

23. Michael Appleton - February 7, 2007

#19 “that’s just sick” You have to be quick to be sick!
#20 “Tressaurian tastes a lot like chicken” And Gorn tastes like corn!

24. Elrond - February 7, 2007

#8 – Thanks John N., I do seem to remember that scoop now. I hope this new rumor doesn’t pan out — guess we’ll find out eventually.

25. Michael Appleton - February 7, 2007

I’m still patiently waiting for one of you brainiacs to suggest one suitable actor to play the role of a young James Kirk. The collective postings here haven’t exactly been effusive on this subject. Is it maybe because we all recognize that any “known” actor would bring too much baggage to the role? It ultimately comes back to the premise of having a great script, a supremely talented supporting cast and a dynamic unknown thespian sitting in the captain’s chair.

26. Dennis Bailey - February 7, 2007

No, it’s because people can’t agree on these things in advance. Paramount will cast someone and after that people will adjust.

Damon’s suitable, as far as I’m concerned. I can think of a number of folks who would be – but then, I don’t care whether they look or sound any more like William Shatner than Daniel Craig resembles Sean Connery.

27. Michael Appleton - February 7, 2007

Oh, believe me, I don’t want a clone or even a clever impersonation of Shatner. What I would like to see is someone with exploding talent, charisma by the bucketload to be sure, but ultimately a man who embodies everything good and capable that we see in Kirk. To paraphrase Zod in Superman II: “Is there no one on this planet who can play the role?”

28. Johnnie Walker - February 7, 2007

“Kneel before Zod!”

Sorry, had to say it.

Back on topic, though, wasn’t this rumor brought up and debunked just a week ago? I guess we just have to take everything we read about Trek XI with a grain of salt unless we hear it directly from JJ, Paramount, or Anthony. The excuse that “it *has* to be true because I read about it on the internet!” is simply no excuse at all.

29. Johnnie Walker - February 7, 2007

Unless, of course we read it on TrekMovie.com

30. Michael Appleton - February 8, 2007

Jeez, I’m drunk on Johnnie Walker’s discourse! Is anyone going to respond to my queries of post # 25 + 27 or do I have to go this alone?

31. Johnnie Walker - February 8, 2007

Another shot of Johnnie Walker?

As far as who to play young Kirk, I don’t have any new names for you. I think most people have been saying Matt Damon mainly because he “looks the part,” however, whoever is cast in the role should make the character believable. I honestly think that Damon can do just that. Whenever I watch the “Bourne” movies, I don’t think “Hey, there’s Matt Damon!” I see him as Jason Bourne. So, I wouldn’t have a problem with James T. Kirk played by Matt Damon. But if they decide to cast Ben Affleck as Spock, I think I would have a problem with that.

32. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

Kirk needs to be an unknown. Matt Damon is not even a good actor. Neither is Ben Affleck. Even if Damon were a good actor, he’s just not right for James T. Kirk. He isn’t fit to lick Shatner’s boots.

Yeah, Connery was replaced as Bond, but Bond also started off in the books. And with the possible exception of Pierce Brosnan, all the Bonds were unknowns.

33. Paul W. - February 8, 2007

Roger Moore was an unknown?

34. jason - February 8, 2007

probably Trek XI will just get totally scrapped

35. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#32:”Kirk needs to be an unknown. Matt Damon is not even a good actor. Neither is Ben Affleck. Even if Damon were a good actor, he’s just not right for James T. Kirk. He isn’t fit to lick Shatner’s boots.”

None of those things are true, really.

36. Sam Belil - February 8, 2007

Please! Please! NO Matt Damon!!!!!!!!!!!!

37. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

35–except that every word of it is true.

What the hell did Roger Moore do outside of Bond? Just a bunch of bit parts and a short lived series called the Persuaders that lasted 24 episodes. That’s an unknown.

Matt Damon is a miscast, not unlike Nick Cage as Superman. He brings a hell of a lot more negative baggage than positive. No one is going to see Star Trek because Matt Damon is in it.

38. John N. - February 8, 2007

#35 – Dennis Bailey

Of course they’re not true… unless of course StillKirok thinks:

a) that someone with an Academy Award isn’t worthy to lick the boots of someone with an Emmy, or

b) that someone who’s movies have outgrossed Shatner’s by 181% worldwide is again not worthy of said boot licking

(figures courtesy of http://www.the-numbers.com)

39. Adam Cohen - February 8, 2007

Hey gang, I was wondering what you all thought of David Boreanaz as a Younger Kirk? Adide from having the right look, I think his persona and self-effacing sense of humor matches well with what Shatner brought to the role. Anyway, here’s a recent pic:


40. Paul W. - February 8, 2007

#37 StillKirok… Roger Moore did The Saint from 62 to 69 before he was cast as James Bond. He was known as The Saint in the day much like Pierce was known for Remington Steele. There was a lot of controversy about the casting (that never happens!) because people still associated him with his character in The Saint.

For the record.. I don’t care who plays Kirk as long as he can act. A Shatner look a like or impersonator would just be a farce. Who do I think would be good in other parts? Someone said Ray Liotta as Pike.. I think that is great. He is a great actor and he looks the part for all the die hard purists. If not for Gary Sinise’s age, he would be a great McCoy. I like his acting. Scotty… hmmm… what’s his name from Stargate maybe. I have no clue who I would cast as Spock. That will be the toughest to cast properly. Thems my two Candian cents…

41. Paul W. - February 8, 2007

pardon my spelling.. I have two left thumbs.. :)

42. Vifx Twokay - February 8, 2007

Latino Review is typically on the level but they also don’t always have access to all of the info in a timely manner. I suspect they found out Abrams is attached to direct another film and concluded this must mean he’s *off* STXI. When in fact, he’s never said he would do anything more than write and produce. While it would be great for him to direct, the fact is he’s a writer/exec producer first, and a director second. So if he comes up with someone else to direct this, there’s not a tragedy there at all.

43. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

An academy award? Are you aware he won that award for WRITING? Last I checked, writing isn’t acting. But either way, Liam Neeson has an academy award too, but he’s not right for Kirk either.

Damon hasn’t had done any notable acting SINCE Good Will Hunting, and that movie was overrated. More important, even if he were the best actor on the planet, doesn’t mean he would be right for the role of Kirk.

Also, The Saint didn’t air on network TV in the US according to this site:

The show was before my time, but either way, Roger Moore was nowhere near as famous as Matt Damon is now.

As for other casting, who says Senise is too old? We don’t know enough about the script to know that. If the script takes place mainly dealing with Kirk taking command of the Enterprise for the first time (where it makes the most SENSE that he meets Spock), then there’s no reason Senise couldn’t play McCoy. Now THAT is perfect casting.

Can’t say I agree with Liotta as Pike. Maybe in 1990.

44. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

Actually, I should have read further–the same site said that The Saint did air 41 episodes on NBC in it’s later seasons.

And while I hate the idea of Damon as Kirk, I do think he’d make a perfect Gary Mitchell.

45. Canonista the Cultist - February 8, 2007

I agree with Kirok (this time). I think Kirk needs to be played by a lesser known actor.

I also think JJ needs to direct his own film.

46. Paul W. - February 8, 2007

#44 StillKirok …

I have to agree with you there. Matt Damon would make a great Gary Mitchell.. if Gary Mitchell is part of the script. What about Finnigan … wonder if he’d be part of the script.. who would you cast as him?

47. John N. - February 8, 2007

#43 – StillKirok

I wasn’t disputing you about whether he should play Kirk or not. I took issue with the line “He isn’t fit to lick Shatner’s boots.”

Which of course, is untrue.

48. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#37:”No one is going to see Star Trek because Matt Damon is in it.”

LOL. Quite a few more people will go to see *any* movie with Damon in it than will bother with any film headlining Shatner.

Damon is a popular star with folks who actually like and spend money to see movies in general – not just trekkies.

The notion that Shatner is either more popular or more talented an actor than Damon is something you’d *only* hear from trekkies – not even the mainstream folks who praise him for his work on “Boston Legal” would make that kind of claim on his behalf.

49. John N. - February 8, 2007

#45 – Canonista the Cultist

Since it’s hard to discuss “unknown actors”, because by their very nature they are “unknown”, I thought that I would post this guy up just for fun… he declared his interest in auditioning for the part of young Kirk some time back… don’t know if he can act or not, but he kind of looks like a young Kirk:


What do you think?

50. John N. - February 8, 2007

#48 – Dennis Bailey

Notice that StillKirok also conveniently forgot to address the fact that Matt Damon’s movies have outgrossed Shatner’s by 181% worldwide in his reply to me…

And StillKirok… to keep your reply on track… I’m not advocating Damon for Kirk… just asking you to lose the rhetoric that is obviously just based on your opinion.

51. Paul W. - February 8, 2007


You have a point.. depending on the timeline… yes, Gary Sinise can play McCoy.

Finnigan.. anyone?

If Matt Damon were to play Kirk… my girlfriend, a NON-Trekkie, said she would actually go see the movie. That being said, if they want to pull in the dough and get people in the seats.. they have to appeal to the mainstream audience as well, not just all the geeks living in their parents’ basements… Casting Matt Damon would do that.

52. Canonista the Cultist - February 8, 2007

#49 & #50…

I don’t agree with Kirok’s point that “Damon should kiss Shatner’s boots”.

I also don’t really care who’s movies “grossed” more than whatever.

I didn’t much care for “Bourne Identity, Supremecy, etc.” What do I care if Bourne was financially successful if I didn’t like the movie or Damon’s portrayal? To me, Damon has always looked like a young Marky Mark (sans the Funky Bunch).

BTW: I can’t view MySpace at work (thankfully). John, in the future, please help me in my quest to remain “MySpace” free. lol

I don’t have any ideas about who would make a good Kirk. Throw out some ideas other than Damon and Affleck.

53. John N. - February 8, 2007

#52 – Canonista

“What do I care if Bourne was financially successful if I didn’t like the movie or Damon’s portrayal?”

While no one expects you to individually care about the financial success of his films, it is one of the few quantifiable measures we have to the universal appeal of an actor. Obviously enough people enjoyed Damon’s portrayal to make his films financially successful… popularity will only help out a film’s gross for the first weekend or two… then word of mouth takes over. In order for a film to have an above average gross, people usually have to speak well of the film to their friends and family.

So while I respect that Damon may not be your cup of tea, and you individually don’t have to care about his box office success, that doesn’t invalidate it as a legitimate discussion point. Of course as with the Trek/Bond comparison, you don’t have to participate in the discussion, but that doesn’t allow you to take it off the table… ;)

Now…. as for the myspace thing, I commend you for your aversion. I’ve hosted Todd Masterson’s image for you so that you can at least take a look. I repeat that I have no idea if he would be good in the role, though he does a decent young Godfather impersonation on his myspace page:


54. Sam Belil - February 8, 2007

#37-You could not have said it ANY BETTER!!! The thing to remember is not Star Trek NEVER was or should be about “STAR POWER”, lets put this Matt Damon stuff to rest already. I do think Gary Sinese can be an outstanding McCoy. And depending on just how young Kirk will be in this movie, I think the young man who plays Edy Brit’s nephew (on Desperate Housewives) has great potential. He certainly looks a LOT MORE like a younger Shatner than Damon!

55. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

47—ok, maybe on a good day, he would be fit to lick Shatner’s boots. But only if he’s not wearing them at the time.

Who cares how much Damon’s movies grossed? Shatner is not a MOVIE actor. He’s predominantly a TV actor so he doesn’t have the same types of roles in the movies. And Damon’s movies don’t mean squat when it comes to Star Trek. Not to mention you are comparing apples to oranges due to increased movie prices and inflation.

Being in a hit movie doesn’t mean that it will translate to Trek. Look at Patrick Stewart. Not that X Men was a Patrick Stewart movie or Stewart had anything to do with the grosses of XMen, but the man was in a big hit, and look what that did for Nemesis.

Oh wait, nothing.

To say that Damon would bring in as many people as Shatner is utterly laughable. There is a difference when William Shatner is playing James T. Kirk. There is no single person that will bring more people to the seats than William Shatner.

Matt Damon as Finnegan? I don’t see it–at least not the Finnegan as Kirk remembered him in Shore Leave. Finnegan is probably best left to an unknown as well.

Matt Damon WOULD make an excellent Gary Mitchell. He just has the right look for it. Plus, Mitchell WAS Kirk’s best friend before he died. Personally, I think Mitchell SHOULD be in this movie in the young Kirk era in a significant part.

56. John N. - February 8, 2007

55 – StillKirok

Please refer to #53 for my response to your question regarding the significance of movie grosses.

As much as you love Shatner (and therefore will never see this), he’s predominantly a TV actor because he’s not a draw at the box office.

If Charlie Sheen were still a box office draw, he wouldn’t be on television either, he’d be back up on the silver screen.

57. Michael Appleton - February 8, 2007

It seems we get the same forty or so people posting here on a consistent basis. Are there any other readers with opinions out there who would like to participate? It’s not likely that most Star Trek Fans are shy by nature…oh, and even though he’s too big a star for such a small part, how about Colin Farrell as Finnegan?

58. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

Actually, he is predominantly a TV actor because that’s what he does. When Shatner was doing Trek movies, 5 out of the first 6 movies were among the top 15 grossing films of that particular year. TMP, TWOK, TSFS & TVH were in the top ten, and TMP and TVH were in the top 5. TSFS was 9th and TWOK was 6th.

William Shatner as James T. Kirk draws big time.

59. Canonista the Cultist - February 8, 2007


As far as the discussion part, I’m not trying to ‘take it off the table’. I’m also not disputing that “star power” translates into dollars. My point is that instead of discussing whether or not Damon would make money for Paramount by appearing in Trek XI….we (as fans, not Paramount Corporate Marketers) should be debating whether or not using “Star Power” to cash in on a big audience will translate into a decent Star Trek film.

I have a longer response to the Casino Royale / Trek comparison that I’ll post when it’s more relevant to the discourse. For now, I’ll say that I maintain that they are very different and *should* remain different for the sake of current Trek fans (regardless of whether or not it would make money for the studio).

60. jason - February 8, 2007

putting matt damon in star trek to attract a bigger audience is like thinking a pink football will make women watch sports

61. Anthony Pascale - February 8, 2007

I think it is being a good fan to be concerned about the franchise’s ability to attract larger audiences. Especially because Trek has lately seemed to be moving more and more into just being a niche and therefore no longer appealing to a mainstrream audience. In essense, if Paramount cannot find a way to make that mainstream appeal then there wont be a Trek XI at all.

and no that doesnt mean I want them to change everything and whore it out, just find a way to make a trek movie appealing to a wider audience. As fo Damon specificallly, I think he would make an excellent Kirk.

and I really think people here constantly dimiss that Abrams and his crew are huge Trek fans who brought this project back to the front burner due to their love of it. They arent trying to cash in, Abams could have done any thing he wanted to do at Para…he chose this. Therefore he isnt going to just whore it out and abandon any ‘trekness’ for the sake of money.

62. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

And THAT is Abrams’ saving grace right now. I agree that Trek should appeal to the mainstream, but it DID–when Kirk and crew were the center of the franchise. Trek became limited when the person in charge hated the original series and didn’t have any talent. Abrams has actually proven he can do something successful and did so without simply building on an idea that someone came up with. So I believe Abrams has the talent to pull it off. I also think it’s an absolute necessity to be a huge fan of Star Trek to be in charge of it. When you have 2 boneheads who clearly hated the original series in charge, you get Star Trek: 1991-2005.

Let me ask this–wasn’t Abrams the one who came up with the idea of making Lex Luthor into a Kryptonian in his draft of Superman? That would have been a dumber idea than giving Superman a bastard son.

63. Clinton - February 8, 2007

I think casting Gary Sinese as McCoy would be brilliant move, but I also want to address the age issue touched on elsewhere. IF you can believe the given actor birthdates, Deforest Kelly was 46 when Trek first aired in ’66. Gary is 52 years old. So, if the story revolves around a younger Kirk, Sinese is actually a bit old to fit in. The farther back you go, the more the age discrepancy would matter.

It would also be great to have a young Carol Marcus in this story, and have her being set up for her dates with Kirk by Gary Mitchell. But that’s probably too much “inside baseball.”

64. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#55:”To say that Damon would bring in as many people as Shatner is utterly laughable. There is a difference when William Shatner is playing James T. Kirk. There is no single person that will bring more people to the seats than William Shatner.”

There are *dozens* of actors working right now who simply by virtue of their names associated with a film can guarantee a bigger opening than any Trek movie has ever had.

Damon would bring more people. Cruise would bring more. Hell, even Bruce Willis would bring more. Shatner’s not good for a 100 million dollar first-run, much less anything beyond that.

After all, only two or three Trek movies out of the ten were bona fide hits and none were blockbusters by current standards.

What’s laughable is this trekkie notion that Shatner is somehow a megastar because he’s successful on television right now and the public likes to laugh with him about his eccentricities when he does commercials. It’s just a matter of some trekkies looking at the entertainment business through the wrong end of the telescope.

Or do you figure that it’s just an accident or oversight that no notable studio movie of the last thirty years has headlined Shatner as the big star *besides* “Star Trek” movies?

65. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#58:”Actually, he is predominantly a TV actor because that’s what he does.”

No. He’s predominantly a TV actor because that’s what he’s offered. He’s not been required to turn down a single *big* movie role or choose between a starring film role and a television series since — well, ever.

He’s predominantly a TV actor because that’s what he can get – unless the movie is called “Star Trek,” of course, and clearly the studio doesn’t *need* him for those any more.

66. Clinton - February 8, 2007

I guess I just have to get clarification from you on “none were blockbusters by current standards.” Not sure what that means. Trek II was #6 overall for 1982, Trek III was #9 for 1984 and Trek IV was #5 for 1986. That seems like a pretty good track record.

67. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

Actually 65, judging by how much the Star Trek franchise tanked without Shatner, they need him more than you would ever acknowledge. Without Shatner, the franchise failed miserably.

There are NO actors that would bring more to the franchise than William Shatner. Whether you choose to acknowledge or not, Shatner puts butts in the seats.

Bruce Willis would be a bigger deal than Shatner? That’s actually comical.

68. Canonista the Cultist - February 8, 2007

#62 is where Kirok and my opinion diverge significantly on this thread.

69. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

Bottom line: Trek run by people who hated the original series and were ignorant with no successes on their own–failed miserably.

Trek run by the guy who actually created it, and writers that actually knew how to write–became a billion dollar franchise that took 15 years to ruin.

70. John N. - February 8, 2007

#65 – Dennis Bailey

Dennis, I keep replying to you in particular, because I think that you’re the only one looking at this rationally.

I completely agree with you on all points.

#59 – Canonista

While it’s fun every once in a while to try and isolate Trek from the real-world rules that its success will ultimately governed by, ultimately I agree with Anthony when he says that we are being equally good Trek fans to consider the long-term sustainability of the series, rather than focuses on the short-term wish lists of the fans.

#66 – Clinton

The problem with your figures are that those are only domestic totals from boxofficemojo.com. Only looking at domestic totals is like assuming that the NFL is loved worldwide because of the weekly US television ratings.

If you look at the worldwide grosses of Trek V and VI, V isn’t even in the top 30, and VI was 14th, right behind that other blockbuster “Fried Green Tomatoes”.

I love Trek, but I think that we as fans need to look at it a little more objectively both in terms of universal appeal, and realistically how much “Shatner will bring people into the theatre in droves”.

71. John N. - February 8, 2007

and finally… #69 – StillKirok

(presses “Play” on tape)

Once again… 25 years of television programming far surpasses your assessment of “failed miserably”.

Please don’t confuse your opinion with fact.

(presses “Stop” on tape, rewinds to prepare for the inevitably requirement to play it again)

72. Clinton - February 8, 2007

Thank, John N. That helps clarify the point. However, you raise another question. Are we saying that it really doesn’t matter who is featured in XI, as Trek does not have much universal appeal to begin with?

73. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

Being on TV does not mean being successful. The show lost audience every year and made an existence based on years of goodwill built up by the two shows created by Roddenberry.

DS9, VOY, and Ent wouldn’t have survived one season on a real network. The movie grosses post-Kirk era had higher budgets and lower rankings. The reason? Less people went to see them.

The ratings declined every single season after Generations.

On all 3 shows.

These are not opinions. These are facts.

You can come up with all the excuses for the failures of Star Trek in the Rick Berman era. Bottom line is that the franchise failed.

Keeping it on the air when the ratings were a fraction of what they were isn’t a sign of success, it’s a sign of just how low Paramount was willing to sink.

There’s a reason these guys haven’t had a success on their own.

74. Josh - February 8, 2007

grrr…i wish JJ would make a gorram decision already =P

75. John N. - February 8, 2007

#72 – Clinton

Well, you’ve just asked the million dollar question, haven’t you? ;)

It’s my understanding (and I could be wrong), that ST:IV was the most successful of the orignal movies at crossing over into the mainstream audience. I wish that boxofficemojo.com had some worldwide data on that film, as it might be a decent indicator of appeal outside of North America.

I think that in recent years, sci-fi and fantasy films have “come out of the closet” so to speak, which can only help Trek. Growing up, it was incredibly uncool to admit that you loved Star Wars or Tolkien, and that’s obviously changed somewhat as of late.

I think that if the new film is fresh, exciting, with a strong script and fresh faces, that it might be able to expand its appeal. I think that it’s incredibly narrow-minded to think that a big name will not help to attract an audience outside of the established fanbase.

Personally for me, the whole issue with Shatner is not about whether he deserves to be there, etc., but rather about putting him in at the sacrifice of a good script. People in here shout over and over again how easy it would be to incorporate Shatner and have Kirk alive again post-Generations, but if they ever actually sat down and tried to write that script, I’m pretty sure that they would find it much more difficult than they profess. And even if they did churn out that script, I would be surprised of anyone who objectively read the script would think of it as the coherent, dynamic, and inspired script that you would want to use to re-launch a flagship franchise.

So what’s your take on that million dollar question? :)

76. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

I wouldn’t call STIV the most successful because when you adjust everything for inflation, TMP kicks the butt of all the movies.

As for putting Shatner in, his presence will hardly sacrifice a good script. It can only enhance it.

It’s not the place of people here to write the story. Hell, one could argue that putting story ideas could set up lawsuits, if anything actually in the movies resembles any posts here.

Sign me to a 7 figure contract to write this script, and I’ll get it done :D Until then, I can just point to THE RETURN as a successful return of Kirk that worked both within Trek canon and was a financial success.

I do believe Abrams is talented enough to pull off everything. And at this point, it’s all down to what #74 said.

77. John N. - February 8, 2007

#73 – StillKirok

Well, at least now you’re arguing with something more tangible to discuss.

I won’t dispute any of the stats that you just posted. I will point out of course that all of them had longer runs thatn TOS, and only Ent was cancelled earlier than they had originally anticipated. And of course, I will continue to disagree with the conclusions you draw from your choice of stats to discuss.

“Failed miserably”? No… that would be getting cancelled after one season (which happens to many, many, many shows).

‘Did not live up to your expectations’? In your case, most definitely. But that’s a subjective decision for you to make, limited to your perception of reality.

“Keeping it on the air when the ratings were a fraction of what they were isn’t a sign of success, it’s a sign of just how low Paramount was willing to sink.”

You talk about Paramount like it’s some petty ex-boyfriend or girlfriend punishing viewers by keeping on sub-standard shows instead of it actually being a business. They didn’t keep post-TOS shows on the air because of any lingering respect for TOS, or conversely as punishment by disrespecting TOS, or whatever it is that you’re implying.

Rest assured… the only reason that Paramount kept DS9, VOY, or Ent on the air as long as they did was because it continued to be profitable for them.

78. John N. - February 8, 2007

#76 – StillKirok

Saying that “it’s easy” after I pointed out that it’s a lot easier to say “it’s easy” than to actually do it doesn’t really add much to the conversation.

At this point, it’s fair to say that we simply disagree, and hopefully this will all go away when a real announcement is made.

79. StillKirok - February 8, 2007

All of the shows may have had longer runs than TOS, but that’s a lousy basis for comparison, since NBC made a massive blunder and there are much different standards. TOS got better ratings than the UPN shows and DS9. Not sure how it compared to TNG, but TNG didn’t air against network competition.

Again, there are different standards for networks, fledgling networks, and syndication.

The ratings declined every single season at rates that would get shows that don’t have franchises behind them canceled.

When it came to Trek, Paramount was stupid. They left a billion dollar franchise in charge of a guy that had absolutely no clue what he was doing. Before Star Trek, what did Berman ever do? I think he worked on the Big Blue Marble.

Star Trek under Rick Berman was like Barbaro after the Preakness. Paramount kept it around for hope that they can get something like they once had, but in the end, it had to be put out of its misery.

80. John N. - February 8, 2007

#79 – StillKirok

You’ve made some good points here, and to be honest, I agree with some of them… though I personally really enjoyed TNG.

What killed Trek for me as the series went on was not the fact that they didn’t honour TOS, or that they killed Kirk. I can tell you the exact moment that I tuned out of Trek:

I was watching TV one day, flipping through the channels to see what was on. I came across a scene with an actress running through the forest. I had never seen the actress before, and I had never seen the shot before. However, based on about 3 seconds of music, the composition of the shot, and the style of the edits, I knew immediately that I was watching Star Trek. I didn’t know if it was a repeat of DS9, VOY, or an early episode of Ent. All that I knew was that Trek had become so stagnant in terms of creativity that I could pick it out of a blind taste test.

To me, none of these things will be fixed by bringing Shatner or any of the original crew back, or by having Kirk alive post-Generations. To me, these things rank so low on the list of things that needs to be fixed that I find it laughable how strenuously people scream for it.

So… to sum up… we have different solutions to what we percieve to be different problems with the same product that we love. So… we sit back, and see what comes.

In the meantime, I would encourage you to write that script… ;)

81. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#70:”I love Trek, but I think that we as fans need to look at it a little more objectively both in terms of universal appeal, and realistically how much “Shatner will bring people into the theatre in droves”.”

Absolutely Right(TM).

If this were any film that didn’t have the words “Star Trek” in the title no one at any studio would even mention Shatner’s name as a potential box office plus. That it *is* a Trek film means that he has a certain potential value to them, but they’re quite capable of assessing how much dollar value there is in that – ie, he’s worth *this* amount of money, but certainly not *that* amount of money.

They don’t need him to make this film, they won’t pay anything like the money they used to pay him to headline a Trek film, and they’re far more concerned with how the mainstream audience perceives whoever they cast as the *real stars* of the film – that is, whoever is going to play Kirk and Spock now and hopefully in the sequels.

For all the slinging around of Damon’s name, it’s of course not very likely that he’ll be the guy cast. You can bet that it’ll be someone whose name means something to the studio folk and to the public at large – and that it will not be “Shatner.”

82. Michael Appleton - February 8, 2007

Don’t give ST:IV more credit than it deserves for appeal at the box office. It’s a distinct possibility that great “word of mouth” reaction to ST:II+III created a groundswell of interest for when IV came out, and thus led to a surge in ticket sales for The Voyage Home. By the time word got out that it was a “piece of crap” it was too late. It was considered a bonafide hit and Paramount took that to mean the general audience wanted more comedy instead of drama, with each successive film after that being more insipid and inane than the last one. The franchise was ruined!!

83. John N. - February 8, 2007

#82 – Michael Appleton

But… but… that would mean that Trek was ruined before Berman…

“Does…. not…. compute…. Shatner… God… Shatner… God….” *bzzbbzbpt*


84. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#82:”Don’t give ST:IV more credit than it deserves for appeal at the box office. It’s a distinct possibility that great “word of mouth” reaction to ST:II+III created a groundswell of interest for when IV came out, and thus led to a surge in ticket sales for The Voyage Home. By the time word got out that it was a “piece of crap” it was too late.”

Except that none of that is true. The movie was very well reviewed and well-received, and succeeded at surpassing the others largely on the strength of moviegoers who did not care one way or another what the “word of mouth” on the previous two films had been (not that there was “great” word of mouth on “Star Trek III”. It was a mixed bag that, while popular with fans, did not do quite the business that ST II had).

A turkey dies pretty quickly no matter how good the previous film in a series is; word travels fast. For example, all the good will generated by the huge success of “Star Trek IV” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was unable to help “Star Trek V” in the face of bad reviews and poor audience experience.

Nope “Star Trek IV” was a bona fide hit because people liked it and told their friends that it was a good, funny film.

85. Canonista the Cultist - February 8, 2007

#80….”I can tell you the exact moment that I tuned out of Trek:”

Here’s mine: I tuned out of Star Trek during the closing credits of the “Star Trek: Enterprise” finale. Twenty four years before that as a young child, I remember watching my first TOS rerun with my dad. In between I saw pretty much every single episode, read over one hundred novels, saw every film in the theatre, filled in the ones I missed with DVD’s, etc, etc.

I know, I know. The “mainstream” didn’t do that. One Corporation’s mainstream isn’t another’s. It’s all in who your target market is. I’ve been using Crest Toothpaste for years….P&G considers me a “mainstream” consumer. Why should Paramount dismiss me?

Anthony said Trek was on the verge of becoming a Niche player. In business, being a Niche player isn’t a bad game. Under promise, over deliver. Invest less, make a modest return, maintain a loyal customer base and grow it on the margins instead of trying to hit the long ball every single time.

86. John N. - February 8, 2007

#85 – Canonista

Again, I think that we can cordially disagree on this one.

You obviously have a great appetite for Trek, and from what I can gather, enjoyed it in its many forms, be they books, movies, series, etc.

I also have a great love for Trek. Like you, my first exposures to Trek was when I was a little kid, and my Dad would call me in from the other room, yelling “Captain Kirk’s on!” I love TOS. TNG excited me. I’ve read my fair share of books for each. I collected Peter David comic books. I blew some hard earned money at a few Trek conventions in the process.

DS9 lost me somewhat, and Voyager even more so. I tuned in for each premiere hoping to be excited again, but I just wasn’t. With Enterprise, I thought that they had a great idea going to a prequel, but it ultimately just felt the same, and (for me at least) kind of made TOS seem out of place in the timeline.

You apparantly loved all of it. I did not. Is one of our loves stronger or more valid? No. We just see the solution for moving forward differently.

Where we differ is in your comfort of fitting into this little niche. I would propose that Trek has tried to survive in that niche and ultimately that niche could no longer sustain the business to the level that they felt was profitable. Words like “franchise fatigue” come up… personally, I thought that it was more likely “creative fatigue”.

Hopefully, we’ll both be happy with what is yet to come.

87. Adam Cohen - February 8, 2007

I think it’s important for everyone (the fans, the studio, the producers, etc.) to be realistic here- this new movie is going to have to be some kind of perfect everything in order to bring back the mainstream audiences. The casting, the story, the FX, the production design, everything needs to beextremely well-done AND THEN it has to be something most fans and a significant part of the mainstream are going to want to see in order for this movie to reverse the trend of the franchise. Casting name actors may help boost interest/buzz in a project, but that does not necessarily equate box office durability. The name “Star Trek” is its own celebrity (with all the trappings of fame that one could expect- baggage and nsotaliga all wrapped up into one). I think any strong desire to bring in A-listers may create a false sense of hope for the production with respect to its box office potential. First priority is to get the story done right. After that, get the right actors (if they happen to include A-listers, fine, but focus on quality in all aspects first). But reality is a nasty thing, and unless all of the stars align perfectly for this release, Trek XI is not going to blow the doors open with a $200 million take. It’s a worn-down property. Despite whatever one does with it at this point, one single movie is not going to escape the franchise’s own gravity. Maybe a couple of great movies later things will be different, but fences needed to be mended with the moviegoing audience before there’s going to be a full-fledged return to box office form. Well, that’s my opinion :)

88. Still Kirok - February 8, 2007

Enterprise was not Star Trek. It was a bastardization of a copy of a copy of a copy.

89. Michael Appleton - February 8, 2007

#84 “all the goodwill generated….was unable to help Star Trek V”.
Ohmygawd! Star Trek V was one of the worst movies ever made! It makes Plan 9 From Outer Space look like Citizen Kane in comparison. This is what happens when actors get too much power! Nimoy came up with the whaleshit idea for #4 and then Shatner says, “My turn. In #5 let’s have us search for God!”. It came THIS close in #5, where the Three Stooges flavour was so flagrant, it wouldn’t have surprised me to see Kirk turn to Spock and say, “Hey, Spock! How many fingers am I holding up? whooo, whoo, whoo…nyuk,nyuk,nyuk…”.
See what it’s like when the lunatics run the asylum?

90. Dennis Bailey - February 8, 2007

#87:”I think it’s important for everyone (the fans, the studio, the producers, etc.) to be realistic here- this new movie is going to have to be some kind of perfect everything in order to bring back the mainstream audiences.”

And if it doesn’t bring them back in sufficient numbers to generate a big payday for Paramount – much bigger than the old Trek movies did – “Star Trek” is done.

#88:”Enterprise was not Star Trek.”

Yes, it was. Your not liking it doesn’t alter that.

91. Johnnie Walker - February 8, 2007

Wow, I’m off for a day and people go hysterical over “who’ll play Kirk?” Sure opened a can of worms there, didn’t I?

92. Michael Appleton - February 8, 2007

Hey, at least give me some of the credit (blame). I asked first in #25+#27 about who best to play a young Kirk, before you came along in #31. You’re not the only one who enjoys “throwing a cat in amongst the pigeons”! Yeeehaaaah!!

93. Craig - February 10, 2007

Just Scrap the Idea it’s illogical and stupid… To boldly go where we’ve been before … some must be on Acid if they think this is a good idea.

94. Neil Radio » NewsBrief - 2.8.07 - Episode 4 - February 26, 2007

[…] Source: Abrams Still On For Star Trek XI – May Still Direct […]

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