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Justman Up For Adventerous Star Trek XI March 20, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Interview,Star Trek (2009 film),TNG , trackback

Robert Justman was there at the beginning as a producer for both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the second part of our interview with Justman, he talks about his views on Abrams new Trek movie and how some of todays debates reminds him of Trek’s days past …

[warning note: Mr Justman uses some ‘colorful metaphors’]

TrekMovie.com: Over 40 years ago you worked on the pilots for both Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. If someone told you at the time that both would be big movie franchises 40 years later, would you have believed them?

Robert Justman: Oh no. At that time we wouldn’t even know that we would get a series

TM: So regarding the latest Star Trek movie, how do you feel about JJ Abrams and his new team coming in and in some respect redoing the original series?

RJ: Well I am prejudiced. I am thrilled about it.[laughs] It is a reverse prejudice. I want to be there as part of an audience when the first meeting occurs. Can you imagine you have Kirk on some planet and he turns a corner and someone turns around it is Spock or Spock’s father. It would be so thrilling.

TM: Do you think it is important that the new movie look like the old show in terms of the sets, ships, uniforms and such?

RJ: I think it is very important, because it gives the audience something to hang on to. If everything is changed, then it is foreign. But it is a conundrum. Mr. Abrams has got to make certain choices and they are tough choices, because you are committing everything to this one enormous effort. You have to be careful not to make people look askance at it. They should be able to be comfortable with it. But it is what it is all about that is important, not what kind of clothes you are wearing.

TM: What do you feel is the true essence of Star Trek that you feel it must capture?

RJ: It is an adventure! And it is thrilling! Those are the kind of things it should be. People on the screen should not only surprise themselves, but the audience. It will be difficult for some people, but it has to be done.

TM: Difficult for who?

RJ: For the originalists. The people who said “the original was a great show and don’t fuck with it.” If you have to fuck with it, then go ahead and do it, but do it right.  I remember when we were preparing Star Trek: The Next Generation and there was a Star Trek convention in Universal City and I invited myself over. Now this is before it aired and they were angry. All kinds of rumors were flying about and they were none too thrilled. I said “the least you could do is wait for something you could see, but don’t condemn us out of hand because it is important to us to make a wonderful show.” That was my message. Just be a real good human being and let’s see what they’re offering and then make up our minds. Don’t play it down before its’ time.

TM: And so you see parallels with that today?

RJ: Yes.

TM: There is some irony in that fans of The Next Generation are now upset because they want more Next Gen movies…

RJ: Well it was a terrific show. We did things that we were never able to do before. I went to Gene and said “Gene I think we should have a Klingon.” Gene’s posture was “Don’t do what you have done before, go further, reach out.” But Gene also had a penchant about talking about the future and how we are going to be having a good time and not a bad time. Less wars, less hunger and all that. I came to him with the idea of having a Klingon. Gene said “No, no, I am tired of that we can find new villains” and I said “but Gene, think of what it means” and he stopped and looked it to me and it sank in. It means that yes there is a way to co-exist and have a better future and this is living proof…and it was sold and that is how Worf came about.

TM: But you still think a return to The Original Series is a smart move?

RJ: I will tell you what is going to happen. He [JJ Abrams] is guaranteeing a tremendous audience. He is knocking over all these shibboleths. He is doing something that is audacious, and that is a great adventure. Maybe it wont satisfy the purists…probably it won’t because they know better than anyone else (laughs), but I don’t care. I am a film maker. I want to make something that people will remember and talk about for the rest of their lives. Doing it the old way isn’t going to do it. Now there is more to it than what the approach is, but how well they do it. How well they write it and direct it. Star Trek broke ground. And what I hope happens is that JJ is audacious, that he does something new. Surprise me.

TM: So if they wanted to consult with you for the film would you be interested?

RJ: Absolutely, it would be a thrill and I would be honored.

MORE: Part 1 of this interview – Justman on TOS and TOS-R 



1. DEMODE - March 20, 2007

I really hope they do hire him as a consultant on the new film. His vast experience on TOS is immeasurable, and it would show that they are serious about making Trek in the same spirit as the original.

2. Lukas - March 20, 2007

Yeah hire Justman, Zimmerman, Chattaway, Moore, Coto, Taylor and we’re guaranteed an awesome film!

3. DEMODE - March 20, 2007

Oh, and as for TNG… I am one of those fans upset that they won’t be making any more feature films. But there is nothing saying they can’t make some Direct-to-DVD movies (as long as TNG actors don’t get bruised egos doing it.)

Paramount has said they want to start making Direct -to-DVD movies of some of their properties (including possibly Star Trek). The fact that less money is wasted on advertising with DVD movies, and that TNG has a huge built in audience would guarantee that they make money.

4. Jeffrey S. Nelson - March 20, 2007

J.J. Abrams’ enthusiasm for the script is reassuring. Casting is key after that. Set design, lighting, costumes, etc. can all be faithful to the original series, yet the details can be updated to be more realistic. Bridge chronometers that are digital…that’s something CBS/Paramount could have boldly updated for Trek remastered.
One thing I never bought about ST:TMP is that the original series uniforms would be too glaring for the big screen. Baloney. Give me blue, gold, and red uniforms! Black pants and boots!
Gerald Perry Finnerman and Bill Theiss…their work is timeless as is Bob Justman’s… I hope J.J. Abrams gives him a call. Glad to hear Justman’s recollection of seeing Shatner work in “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” on Outer LImits. Wonderful episode with space program called Project Vulcan. And Shatner makes a prophetic speech about “boldy going” that really resinates with Trek two years later. But I digress.
Casting? Sinise is perfect as McCoy…and looks younger than Deforest Kelley did in 1966. Sinise is 52-53? Who cares? But Kirk and Spock deserve to be cast with unknown or lesser known actors in order to be believable. Just wonder who has been cast in one role, as announced in another thread today. C’mon… Anthony… please spill the beans!

5. Trevok - March 20, 2007

The man is a true legend, and what he says is so true. Before knocking XI lets see what they actually come up with. And I also add my vote to JJ using him as a consultant.

6. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

re 3- I’d love to see more TNG direct-to-DVD movies as well.

But to change topics…

Regarding the interview:

“There is some irony in that fans of The Next Generation are now upset because they want more Next Gen movies…”

I have to shake my head at Anthony sometimes, because it almost seems like he goes out of his way to malign fans of TNG for no good reason. Really, with that statement you’d think there are hoards of TNG fans out there protesting against this film. When in actuality, the loudest voices against Trek XI have been TOS purists.

Honestly, where is this rabid TNG crowd? I’m willing to bet even those of us who are disappointed there won’t be any more big screen TNG adventures are generally more open-minded to Abrams’s vision for Trek than some other fans, because like Justman said in the interview, we’ve been here before.

I know you’re a big fan of TOS and Trek XI, Anthony, but please don’t misunderstand those of us who love TNG, or mischaracterize us, “Trekkies” style.

7. Adam Cohen - March 20, 2007

#6 Sleeper Agent X

With all due respect, I don’t see how Anthony’s question is a jab at TNG fans. He said there are TNG fans out there that are upset that there are no more TNG movies. I think that’s a fact. You extrapolated from that statement this notion that Anthony is saying there are “hordes of TNG fans out there protesting against this film.” And Anthony goes on to talk about the purists/originalists as well in the same interview. I understand your gripe, but I don’t think a fair reading of the interview comes close to suggesting Anthony is singling out TNG fans or maligning any single group in particular.

8. JB - March 20, 2007

My confidence level on Trek XI would go way up if Abrams hired Justman as a consultant to the project. Read his book if you haven’t already.

9. Dom - March 20, 2007

Anthony’s TNG question was perfectly in keeping with Justman’s remarks about ‘Originalists.’

Everyone should chill out! Justman’s wired for this film, so the rest of us should follow his lead. This is a hugely exciting time to be a fan of any version of Star Trek.

Don’t just think in terms of this film as a single entity. There’s the possibility of spin-offs, sequels, a separate series of novels and heaven knows what else!

Remember back in the 80s when there was only TOS with its movies, (alongside the fledgling TNG) and everything seemed less convoluted and complicated? When Trek was about excitement and adventure rather than the preserve of ‘canon-keepers’ jealously guarding every line of dialogue from every iteration of Trek?

Justman’s interview is a common-sense wake-up call to us all. Thank you Anthony for an extremely illuminating interview!

10. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

#7 – You have to take Anthony’s statement in context with the rest of the interview. Justman had just related an anecdote where “originalist” fans at a convention were upset about TNG, before the show had aired. Anthony then said–after asking if Justman saw parallels to the situation today–that “There is some irony in that fans of The Next Generation are now upset because they want more Next Gen movies…” Essentially intimating that the furor over Trek XI is caused by Next Generation fans who are dead set against the new project because it’s not what they’re used to.

And that’s the only way to read that exchange. There is no “irony” there if Anthony was just stating that TNG fans are upset because there are no more TNG films. The irony would only exist if TNG fans were demonstrating the same close-minded attitudes displayed by “originalists” just prior to when TNG premiered 20 years ago. And I just don’t see much evidence out there to support that case. Again, most of the negativity towards Trek XI comes from TOS purists, from what I see here and on other Trek fan sites.

Besides, the truth of the matter is, this is not something new from Anthony. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting this site and really appreciate a lot of what I find here. But from the first day I started visiting I’ve noticed Anthony occasionally goes out of his way to come down on posters who write something as innocuous as “I wish we could see TNG get a real send-off on the big screen,” with words to the effect of “that’s just stupid.” Now, I don’t necessarily disagree with him on that point by itself, nor do I think he’s got some deep-seated anti-TNG agenda. It’s just that he seems a lot more respectful toward frothing-at-the-mouth types who demand that Paramount make Trek XI about Kirk coming back from the Nexus and they better use CGI to make Shatner look exactly like he did in Generations, dammit. Why the difference?

I just find it puzzling, and occasionally irksome. It’s not TNG fans who are threatening to boycott this movie. We’re not the ones (in general) bemoaning the lack of a red bridge railing or Kirk being recast. We’re a pretty benign group, really. And I don’t like seeing us cast in a negative light, especially when there’s no validity to it.

11. Driver - March 20, 2007

I imagine Mr. J sounds just like the actor Jack Albertson. But he is part of the Old Guard. Would you have welcomed your grandfather on your first date? Second? This is a young whippersnapper game. A thank you to Mr. Justman, but we can handle it, thinks Mr. Abrams.

12. Dennis Bailey - March 20, 2007

I met Mr. Justman on one occasion a few years ago and was overawed – His manner is rather diffident and modest but he’s quick, sharp-witted, and has a clearly analytic mind. God knows how important those qualities must have been in putting together the original “Star Trek,” where it appears that dealing with the extravagant visions of script writers so often was a process of trying to shove ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound sack.

He’s also the producer who proposed Patrick Stewart as the captain of TNG, BTW, probably the single most important factor in the show’s success.

13. Dom - March 20, 2007

Good God! There’s no anti-TNG agenda run by Anthony on this site! If anything, Anthony goes out of his way to try to keep all fans happy. There might be some issues with posters on the forums who dislike anything not connected with TOS, but that’s just their opinion.

Fans of non-TOS Trek have to realise that ‘current’ Trek is TOS-R and Star Trek (XI.) Inevitably there will be a certain TOS bias in terms of interest. Berman Trek is going through a low at the moment, because the focus is more on Berman Trek’s predecessors and successors. Berman Trek is going to be a ‘forgotten middle child’ for a little while.

Don’t worry about it: sooner or later new fans brought in by the new Trek film will start devouring all the other Treks as well. If this new film succeeds, all the iterations of Star Trek stand to benefit!

14. Olde Timey Fan - March 20, 2007

#11 —

There was a time when children adored and learned from their grandparents. Of course, that was before the Me Generatio said, “Don’t trust anyone over 30″ and “F#¢& the Establishment!”

I think Justman has got it. Keep enough of hte original design so we old farts can feel a little bit of patronizing nostalgia, instead of the alienation of ST:TMP. Keep the glorious colors because I’m tired of drab black and white and gray color palettes at the cinema and on television. Life is about color — and Star Trek is about life! Star Trek is bigger than life! Red railings! Red shirts! WOOHOO!

Adventure. Justman nails it here. Trek is not some bogus, tiresome, gnostic philosophy — it is adventure. The crew were knights errant and that’s why castles and other mediaeval themes came up so often. Fights. Good guys. Bad guys. Yeah, some remorse for killing the bad guys and certainly a Christian “helping hand” to those that want to change from bad guys to good guys. But fights! Explosions! Falling actors! Shaking cameras! Smoking Redshirts! Awesome hot babes in space-skirts!

Oh yeah… I’m juiced for this.

Star Trek Lives, baby!

15. Paul - March 20, 2007

Mr. Justman says “Surprise me.” I can’t agree more – we need to be surprised. We need groundbreaking Star Trek again.

Problem is, how can we agree what’s “groundbreaking” and what’s not?

For instance, some people seem to think that “groundbreaking” means shaky handheld camera. But that’s hardly groundbreaking – EVERYONE does it these days. For some people, “groundbreaking” means using rap or opera in soundtrack – but again, everybody does it these days, so it’s hardly groundbreaking.

Would it be groundbreaking to use sixties design and music in 2008 movie? I guess yes, it would be groundbreaking and also surprising, because nobody does that anymore. But, would it be *acceptable* too?

Anybody here remembers “Lost in Space” movie?

16. Dennis Bailey - March 20, 2007

#14: “There was a time when children adored and learned from their grandparents. ”

:D So you’ve been told. :D

In fact, they still do as much as they ever did. Look around a little more and stop projecting your jaundiced, bitter and fearful impression of the world onto everything and everyone in it. That’s long past being tedious.

17. Admiraldeem - March 20, 2007

I agree with Sleeper Agent X in that TNG fans are not the problem. We were the ones open-minded enough to accept a new version of ST in the first place and the ones who made DSP, VOY, ENT and this movie possible.

I also agree that Anthony is not targeting TNGers. He is being about as fair and balanced as one could ask for.

Why not employ Mr. Justman as a consultant? They don’t have to listen to him but I suspect they would!

18. Cygnus-X1 - March 20, 2007

Justman’s got the right attitude and spirit. I’d love to hear his thoughts on what went wrong with the TNG films.

19. TiberiusK - March 20, 2007

I wish more fans thought as he does. Justman rocks.

20. TomBot2007 - March 20, 2007

Sometimes, the weird spin that comes out here is far more alien than anything seen in Star Trek or beyond… ;-)

I’m glad Bob has such an optimistic, open mind about Star Trek “XI”. Truly, I am hopeful that JJ & Company will reach for the stars on this. It’s about time we break some new ground. Star Trek TOS broke the ground in the first place, and it’s successors, each blazed minor paths in their own way. Star Trek “XI” should set a new bar, in my opinion. The only thing I’m skeptical about, really, beyond casting, script, and baubles, is whether or not this can be attained.
There was a time when I felt jaded, and out options in Sci Fi… but then I discovered new authors, new ideas. Star Trek needs new authors and new ideas…
TOS purists will have the hardest time with “XI” no matter what, but I think if “XI” is a great Sci Fi Adventure, more in line with the spirit of TOS, all will be forgiven for a chance at that.

21. diabolik - March 20, 2007

See, I don’t see the design esthetics of the show to be “60’s” because there was nothing ever done like it before. It’s futuristic even today, except for the obvious things like computer interfaces, which couldn’t be done back then. It could all be easily adapted to look great without changing the overall outlines of any of it.

22. diabolik - March 20, 2007

Oh, and #16, I think you meant “jaded,” which is an attitude, whereas “jaundiced” is a medical condition. :)

23. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

re 13 – Read my posts again. As I already stated, I don’t think Anthony does have a real anti-TNG agenda. And of course the focus is going to be on TOS-R and Trek XI. That’s how it should be. Beyond that, in my opinion, “Berman Trek” as you describe it, really needed to come to an end, for the good of the entire franchise.

I do wonder whether Anthony has a skewed sense of who the ‘troublesome” people in Trek fandom, however. I mean really, there’s no other way to “spin” what was said in this interview, is there?

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I appreciate that this site tries to be inclusive of all aspects of the franchise here, like the video clip with Patrick Stewart that was put up recently.

24. KDoug - March 20, 2007

I read Bob Justman and Anthony Pascale’s comments regarding TNG like this: When they first heard about the new series, many Star Trek fans were upset at the idea and didn’t want it to be made. They didn’t want it to “replace” TOS. But now, (ironically) a lot of fans are upset to see TNG go, in favor of more TOS.

I think it’s as simple as that. It simply illustrates that people can get attached to a TV or movie series and that those people can get upset when the series ends and something else takes its place. It’s just a human reaction and it’s often true, whether you’re talking about Star Trek or any other well-loved series. There’s no need to blow Bob and Anthony’s statements out of proportion.

25. Anthony Pascale - March 20, 2007

lets not get focused on the interviewer who is irrelevent, the focus should be on the interviewee.

but for the record I do not think all TNG fans oppose Trek XI, nor do I think all those who oppose STXI are TNG fans. But clearly some do and I was struck with the irony at the time. Mr. Justman was not saying all TOS fans were purists opposed to change, nor was I saying all TNG fans were opposed to change….but there are parallels within each group…and that struck me and him mas ironic. Bear in mind when you are having a conversation with someone it isnt exactly natural to say something like: Isnt it ironic that some of the fans of TNG are opposed to Trek XI, not saying that all those opposed are TNG fans, but an estimated x percent of opposition would prefer another TNG film


and again for the record…I am a TNG fan…and btw I hope people have noticed the increase in TNG coverage on the site for books, comics and TNG@20.

now please…stop seeing conspiracies and such and focus on Mr. Justman

26. Lendorien - March 20, 2007

Meh. I’m happy that TNG has been put to rest after Nemesis, it’s clear to me that they are incapable of putting together a good movie that captures the core values and characters of the show. Let it rest.

I am thrilled about XI, but there’s a lot to worry about. “remakes” are a hollywood trend these days, and by and large, they’ve all sucked or been way inferior to the originals in countless ways.

27. Driver - March 20, 2007

Star Trek XI may end up being as far removed from TOS as Tim Burton’s Batman was from the 60’s TV series. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

28. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

25 – See, I just disagree with you about the “parallels”, Anthony. There’s _NOT_ a sizable chunk of TNG fans who are dead set against this movie. Of course there’ll be a very few, but I just don’t see them in any real presence anywhere. And while I understand the interview is about the interviewee and not the interviewer, if I disagree with how the interviewer presents the facts, that’s a fair topic for discussion, IMO. Otherwise we could never criticize Fox News, lol…

Also, I never said there were any conspiracies, so I personally wish people would stop saying that I claimed there were.

And hey, everybody…see? I was right about how I interpreted that interview! Not so crazy, am I?

29. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

27 – That’s a good way of putting it. I hope after seeing XI, we’ll be able to make those comparisons–though TOS was _way_ better than Batman the series ever was. For it’s time, Tim Burton’s Batman was astounding.

30. Stanky McFibberich - March 20, 2007

4: Jeffrey Nelson

“One thing I never bought about ST:TMP is that the original series uniforms would be too glaring for the big screen. Baloney. Give me blue, gold, and red uniforms! Black pants and boots!”

Absolutely. Blue, Gold, and Red….and a red bridge railing and door….and lots of pretty colored light-up things.

Still does not solve the problem of having to recast, but at least it is something.

31. Jeffrey S. Nelson - March 20, 2007

Diabolik… you are right on the mark: ’60s designs are just as futuristic as anything cuz they haven’t been done before. If this wasn’t true, the Enterprise would have been scrapped. Even Battlestar Galactica closely follows its predecessor’s designs for the ship and Vipers. By your command, don’t change Trek too much. But, yes, surprise me and make it an adventure per Justman. My grandpa’s Enterprise is just fine.

32. Paul - March 20, 2007

re 4 & 30

yeah and lets make the baad guys ship out of an aluminum pie plate and CHristmas lights and steal the original model of the Enterprise out of the SMithsonian along with Spock’s uniform that had coffee spilled on it.

Sorry for being so sarcastic, just had to get it outta me. I agree totally with above posts that mention that Abrams and crew keep the big stuff the same but trim up all the little things. man i’m so stoked for Christmas 08

Viva La Star Trek!

33. Stanky McFibberich - March 20, 2007

A few observations…

1. I am an originalist – and proud of it.
2. I loved Mr. Justman’s book, agree that he was a major part of the series, but I do not agree with him completely on the movie topic. I also don’t think it is necessary to print or post the F word in an interview just because the guy said it.
C. I don’t think Mr. Pascale ever intentionally goes out of his way to upset or dig at certain factions of fans. If they feel that way, it is most likely because they are reading things into what he writes. Of course that is prevalent throughout this site, no matter who is writing.
4. Shaky handheld cameras and rap, hip-crap, or whatever have no place in Star Trek (or anything else in my opinion). Definitely not groundbreaking, just annoying.
E. How about a Star Trek movie…only with supermarionation and the voices of as many original actors as possible? Naaaaaaaaaaa!!

34. hitch1969© - March 20, 2007

Stanky McFibberich© does not like the use of the word beginning with the letter F. SO that’s that. Restrict your vocabulary appropriately. There are many other words that you are allowed to use. That is, until Stanky McFibberich© deems them improper, until their all gone.

then alls we got left is poor little letters with no co-mingling allowed whatsoever. What a lonely alphabetto.

Thats a sacrifice that we are all willing to make, so long as Stanky McFibberich™ is a happy trekmovie.com-er.



35. lightyearmodels - March 20, 2007

Its Fiction….I don’t care about continuity anymore. I used to be “canon or nothing.” But now I just want a good story and a great plot.

36. Dr. Image - March 20, 2007


37. paul austin - March 20, 2007

well Gene was right on the money in one regard and its a shame he had no power, less klingons in the TOS films would have been much better. But thank god he was overruled by Justman on the Worf thing, while in the first year or so it seemed Worf was just the big guy on the bridge that will be overpowered by alienX to show how strong they are. But he went on to better things in TNG and especially DS9.

38. Michael Appleton - March 20, 2007

Anyone who disagrees with Stanky McFibberich can go [CENSORED] themselves! HEY, WHO DID THAT!? WHY, I OUGHTA TAKE MY KNIFE AND CUT YOU A NEW [CENSORED] AND THEN [CENSORED] YOUR [CENSORED] TO YOUR [CENSORED]!! Aw,…forget it!

39. Aaron R - March 20, 2007

See here now. Here is a Hollywood professional that understands and agrees with the need for audacious change while still having tie-ins to TOS. He says it best, break new ground don’t give us recycled BS that could be an old eppisode. Go ALL out and make your masterpiece the way you want and do a great job so you can be remember. Who cares about the purists who think Shat is the only person remotely capable of playing Kirk, bring the younger generation in so that in 40 years when I am 63 they are still making new Treks. Come on people lets run wild, be free, make a great flick, but most of all have fun bringing your vision to the screen…

Love it guys, love it.

Aaron R.
Film and Stage

40. Al - March 20, 2007

Tell me about Spock’s coffee stained uniform. Is this a piece of trivia I have missed after all these years?

41. Steve Austin - March 20, 2007

its cool to hear such a candid view from someone from back in the day.

i can remember the time before TNG and it is like someo of the stuff you hear today….almost the same arguments about how change is sure to fail. and when you look at other sties it is clear many TNG fans want TNG to have their ‘closure’….the TNG equivelent of STVI….but lets face it…that is just not ever going to happen. Nemesis could have been that, or it could have been successful enough to give them another chance….but neither of those things happened. I would love to see it, but i have got over it.. But from some posts on other sites…others clearly have not got over it and seem to blame Abrams for no more TNG films

42. Aaron R - March 20, 2007

Ok Next Gen had its chance at closure and Paramount (CENSORED) it up big time. Paramount pushed for a non Trek director and pushed for a young new writer and then butchered the film Nemesis to death in re-writes and then edited it to death to. By god the (CENSORED) orriginal Nemesis filmed was over 40 minutes longer what all did they hack out??? They tried to streamline it and overdid the hack and slash of editing. As Lord of the Rings has showed us you can make a movie longer and be a great movie you don’t need to slash it to much. You know who deserves a movie more than anyone even if it is straight to DVD at this point is Deep Space Nine. DS9 was awesomely creative and had a huge core of fans especially in the latter seasons. TNG has had 4 movies great let them rest. If you are going to bring together a crew from a TV series that is off the air it should be DS9 as it is next in line to get what it deserves as far as movies. Even if it is straight to DVD at least DS9 will have some closure which it lacked in the finally which could only be described as bittersweet.

Aaron R.

43. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

41- “others clearly have not got over it and seem to blame Abrams for no more TNG films”

Where are you seeing that? All I see are TNG fans expressing disappointment there’s not going to be another TNG film, which is to be expected from true-blue fans. I don’t see TNG fans threatening to boycott the new movie, or any of those kind of negative tactics you see from some of the TOS purists.

There might be a few out there like you describe, but certainly nothing that warrants characterizing the group as a whole or even a significant part of it.

44. DEMODE - March 20, 2007

I am totally happy that Abrams is making a TOS movie. I think it is going to be great. As for TNG, I still wish they could make more movies. I remember way back in 1983 when both Sean Connery and Roger Moore had James Bond movies out that year, and both did well at the box office. So with that logic, I don’t see why they couldn’t make a TOS movie one year and a TNG the next.

That probably will never happen, but I still think TNG has a few adventures in her left, and that they could easily be made into direct-to-DVD movies. Heck, they can even add those to the official movies DVD Box Sets that they love to sell so mich and make more returns on them that way too.

….Oh, and I really hope Michael Dorn sends a Christmas Card to Mr Justman every year … :)

45. Stanky McFibberich - March 20, 2007

re: 39. Aaron

“Who cares about the purists who think Shat is the only person remotely capable of playing Kirk…”

Shatner IS Kirk.

46. Tim Handrahan - March 20, 2007

He was there at the beginning of TOS and TNG. No one alive has a better understanding of the STAR TREK UNIVERSE than this man. Had he been involved in TMP, I believe that film would have been better as well. Here’s hoping once again that Paramount and J. J. Abrams uses his knowledge and experience once again for the re-launch of the franchise.

47. hitch1969© - March 20, 2007

Yo, double A – Appleton and Aaron,

You fellas be down wit da sickness. Very macaroon in the pantaloon. hitch0 thinks you da tops with grate game. G’s up, Ho’s down.



48. Doug - March 20, 2007

re: to all those purists out there…

All this talk about TNG people wanting more movies, and TOS people claiming that Trek is finally back… Hey, we can have both… and enjoy both when done well…

Explore the options… Direct to DVD?…why not??
Animated… Comics… Books.. Mini-Series (that’s my pick)… Trek is huge, we are only limited by how well it all sells. If it don’t sell, we won’t get anymore.

I love Mr. Justman’s attitude. He lays it down though, it’s all about good storytelling, good directing, and being true to the spirit and intent of what came before!

Yeah,… it’s true. I want it all!!!!!!!!! bring it!


49. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

If Abrams’ team treated Star Trek as a part of history as seen by the remote future, say the 33th Century, then they could design the ninth movie as a historical or period piece, like the movies “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”, “The New World”, and “Pirates of the Carribean”. They could therefore treat the uniforms, props, and sets of TOS as period uniforms, props, and sets, and update only the underlying, embedded technology that could be extrapolated from the technology of 2007 rather than from 1966. For instance, in the infamous third season episode “Spock’s Brain”, Kirk ordered his landing party to adjust their uniform temperatures. This implies that their uniforms had embedded technology. None of the other episodes or movies expanded on this idea, but Abrams’ team can exploit this.

50. Michael Appleton - March 20, 2007

Lawrence, I like the way you think!

51. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

Thanks Michael!

52. Adam Cohen - March 20, 2007

#49 Ahhh you mention my favorite Star Trek movie in passing: MASTER and COMMANDER! Russell Crowe made a fantastic Kirk in that movie. If Abrams could appropriate the charm and wit of that movie for Trek XI, I could very easily delude myself into accepting the new movie into canon the way I did with M & C. I *really* love that movie.

53. Robogeek - March 20, 2007

Two thoughts:

1.) Sleeper Agent X: Holy crap, dude, get the heck over it! ;-) You’re making a mountain out of a molehill that isn’t even there, and life is frankly too short. Seriously. Clearly Anthony meant “some fans”, and it was a fair and innocuous observation. You’re reading waaaaaaaaay too much into it, and beating an _imaginary_ dead horse.

2.) I’ve said it before and will say it again – MASTER AND COMMANDER is the best STAR TREK movie never made.

54. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

53 – Dude, I was willing to leave my comments at one post. But some others here tired to deny my point had any validity, or misconstrued what I said, so of course I had to get into things further.

In the end, Anthony pretty much corroborated what I’d been saying. I then made one post stating I disagreed with him, and that was that.

But if you want to keep arguing, hey I’m up for it. ;-)

55. Cygnus-X1 - March 20, 2007

#33 – “I also don’t think it is necessary to print or post the F word in an interview just because the guy said it.”

It’d be rather childish not to.

I get the impression that Mr. Justman tells it like it is. And, I want to read it like he tells it. Mr. Pascale even went to the trouble to warn the reader of “colorful metaphors,” which he certainly didn’t have to do.

The next time you see such a warning, you might prepare yourself, emotionally and spiritually, for the very real possibility of reading the horrifically disturbing “F-word.”

56. SithMenace - March 20, 2007

Hey, #45 Stanky, not anymore.

Oh and, the F word? Come on man, don’t be so repressed. Do you cover your eyes when there’s a boob in a movie too?

57. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

#55 – I don’t have that big a problem with the F word, but I thought us posters were discouraged from using curse words like it? It makes no sense to me to have the one policy for posters and yet a different one for interviews and reviews.

I mean, you could always use the old F*** F*** F***! to get the general point across…

58. Anthony Pascale - March 20, 2007

uh 54 no i didnt

feel free to keep putting words in my mouth and believing what you wish, but you are just plain wrong about my beliefs or the point i was trying to make…as others have pointed out and i have pointed out. some who oppose trek xi do so for their desires for a tng film, not all opposers, not all tng fans, but they exist and that is ironic….and thats that

now move on


RE: f word

well i just didn\’t want to censor one of the original Trek creators words…he said it and thats that. That is the second time it has shown up in an article and i warn you all now…it may happen again…at this rate maybe 3 f words a year.


if that isnt something people can handle, even after being warned, I am sorry


there are some who complain a lot, perhaps there are other sites that are less offensive or controversial or whatever it is you are looking for


 TrekMovie.com cant please everyone and I dont really want to try

59. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

58 – I’m happy to move on, Anthony. If you check you’ll see it’s other people who keep bringing the subject up.

And I stand by my opinion that there just isn’t a substantial number of TNG fans who have gone out of their way to hate this film. The evidence just isn’t there. That’s my opinion, and I think I’m entitled to it. You are entitled to yours, as well. But I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to discuss the issue, from time to time.

All from me on this subject for now, per Anthony’s request.

60. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

52, I loved Master and Commander too. I vaguely recall Roger Ebert once mentioning that it reminded him of Star Trek. I myself think so too. And as you probably know, Gene Roddenberry once referred to his captain as a space-age Captain Horatio Hornblower, Hornblower being of course the captain in another Napoleonic-era naval novel series.

In any case, if the production team of Master and Commander had modernized or stylized the uniforms, props, and sets even the slightest bit, then the movie wouldn’t have been an authentic period piece.

61. DEMODE - March 20, 2007

Mmmm… can anyone picture Russell Crowe as Kirk in the new movie?

62. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

61 – Well, he’d be great, but he certainly couldn’t play a Kirk just out of the Academy or the start of the five year mission.

As for all the talk of Master and Commander–great film, and yes, the linkages between Trek and the old Royal Navy of fiction are fascinating.

I would love to see Trek XI pay as much attention to story and detail as Master and Commander did. If Trek XI reached those heights, I think it would be a film we could all be proud of.

63. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

52, So like you, I perceived Master and Commander to be Star Trek.

By the way, Abrams could cast Crowe as Kirk and Paul Bettany as either Spock or McCoy.

53, But it WAS made.

64. Stanky McFibberich - March 20, 2007

re: 56. SithMenace – March 20, 2007

“Hey, #45 Stanky, not anymore.”

They can take some other actor, put a uniform on him (probably the wrong one), call him James Kirk and let him speak lines that James Kirk might say, but the fact remains…

Shatner IS KIrk.

65. TomBot2007 - March 20, 2007

All this Master & Commander talk has me wanting to see that movie again… I recall renting that on a lark, and coming away quite impressed, and yeah, it probably didn’t hurt that it had a lot of TOS-like tones to it, especially the commeraderie and interplay of characters. Is there a younger Russell Crowe out and abouts? ;-)
Is there any hint of the story arc of this XI yet? Will it have undertones establishing a possible trilogy arc?

66. Xai (I'll take the bloody '01, A, B, C, D, E, J or NX anytime.. she's still Enterprise.) - March 20, 2007

Mr Justman is a treasure to both Trek universes, real and fictional. Even if JJ doesn’t ask advice or consult him, this man deserves a front row seat on opening night to watch what his baby has become in 40+ years.

It’s the right thing to do and if necessary, I’d contribute to get him there.

Regarding the F*word….
Stanky didn’t like it and that’s his opinion. He’s entitled, like we all are.

Anthony wants us “on track” and it’s his place, we just borrow it. Pull it together folks and be good guests.

67. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

62, Unfortunately, you are correct; Crowe would be too old. Bettany would be the right age though, but he would have to dye his hair to play either Spock or McCoy. So I would have to agree with others that Zach Quinto looks more like Nimoy; in fact, his face fits Roddenberry’s original description of Spock, ‘potentially frightening, with a heavy-lidded and somewhat “satanic” face’. As for Kirk, how about Ewan McGregor? He’s a little more rubberfaced and zanier than Matt Damon, and he’s played a commanding officer before, General Kenobi in Star Wars, while Damon just played a private, Private Ryan of “Saving Private Ryan”.

68. omf - March 20, 2007

I’m surprised that no one in the More-TNG-Movie-Wanting crowd has brought up the possibility that more TNG movies may be made if ST XI does well. It’s been 13 years since the last TOS-era movie was out, and here we are on the brink of a new one. It seems reasonable to assume that another TNG movie will makes its way onto the big screen eventually, assuming ST XI doesn’t tank (and even if it does, I’d never rule out the possibility).

TOS had its day, TNG had it’s day, and now we might be back to TOS having its day. It’s all good.

69. omf - March 20, 2007

(And by the way… can you believe it’s been that long since “Generations”???)

70. Michael Appleton - March 20, 2007

My, aren’t we all getting a little touchy regarding foul language. Since we’re being asked to refrain from any salty talk, then let it be known here and now, that from this moment forward, we shall be required to employ euphemisms to make our point. For example, when you’re sorely tempted to tell a fellow poster to “f#*k off!”, you shall now type the phrase, “go forth and multiply!” Right, have at it, one and all!

71. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

Oops, Damon has played a second lieutenant in “Geronimo”.

72. craig - March 20, 2007

I think someone is trying to get a job but seriously JJ can do alot worst than get a few of the old guard on board to stop any crazy ideas getting out of hand… Just imagine some1 had told Lucas “god we can’t cast Darth Vader as a 8 year old boy who can fly spaceships and another thing about this Jar Jar Binks character…”

73. Sleeper Agent X - March 20, 2007

67 – Hmmm. Ewan McGregor isn’t a bad idea at all. It took me a while to imagine him without the beard and mustache he was sporting in the later prequel films, but he’s a great actor (as the Brits usually are!).

We’d be fortunate to get someone like McGregor in a Trek film, absolutely.

74. Michael Appleton - March 20, 2007

McGregor is far too puny to play the role of James T. Kirk. Tell him if he bulks up his scrawny frame by adding twenty pounds of muscle, then maybe…otherwise, forget it!

75. Lawrence Jeung - March 20, 2007

74, According to IMDB.com, McGregor is taller than Shatner by an inch. That may make him seem leaner than Shatner.

76. SithMenace - March 20, 2007

64. Stanky McFibberich – March 20, 2007

“They can take some other actor, put a uniform on him (probably the wrong one), call him James Kirk and let him speak lines that James Kirk might say, but the fact remains…

Shatner IS KIrk.”

I don’t know why people like you can’t approach this movie with an open mind and judge after you’ve seen the new actor’s performance. It doesn’t make any sense to me to judge a movie that I know nothing about, but I guess that’s what sets people like you and I apart.

Oh well, it sucks for you come ’08. I’ll be in the theater enjoying a great new TOS adventure, and you, well, I’m sure you’ll be there too, even after all of your talk.

77. Michael Appleton - March 20, 2007

I’m telling you, think of the Sherlock Holmes example I gave you in an earlier post. Years ago Basil Rathbone defined the role of Sherlock Holmes in the movies. Everyone thought it couldn’t be bettered, then Jeremy Brett came along and impressed one and all with his subtle and nuanced performance of the famous detective. Let’s all take a deep breath and maybe, just maybe, allow another actor to give us his take on portraying Starfleet’s most famous captain. We might just be pleasantly surprised.

78. Cygnus-X1 - March 21, 2007

#57 – “I don’t have that big a problem with the F word, but I thought us posters were discouraged from using curse words like it? It makes no sense to me to have the one policy for posters and yet a different one for interviews and reviews.”

The day that you write a killer Trek Script, or produce a killer episode, or, even fetch some killer coffee for someone who has accomplished one of the aforementioned – on that day, you get to used the “F-word,” too, while being interviewed.

Sensible enough?

; > )

79. Driver - March 21, 2007

If Paramount wants to truly reimagine Star Trek, would it not make sense for this film to launch a new TV series on CBS. In that case you would have to cast relative unknowns.

80. DEMODE - March 21, 2007

I don’t think they are planning to bring a new “TOS” to TV. I think they are just going to focus on the movies with the new crew. If they use TOS characters in a TV show, I guarantee you it would be an academy show with young Kirk and Spock (ala Smallville.), being played by different actors then the ones featured in the new movies

81. DEMODE - March 21, 2007

Oh, and alot of people here think Ewan McGregor should play Kirk. I think Ewan would be a great choice. I’m surprised no one has ever mentioned this (from what I have read), but what about Ewan’s good friend Jude Law as Spock??

82. Driver - March 21, 2007

Ewan – No, Jude – No. Who, then? Don’t know. Keep lining them up though.

83. Michael Appleton - March 21, 2007

Not to sound trite, but the reason Ewan McGregor isn’t the right “type” to play Kirk is that he doesn’t have the right jawline. That’s right, I said jawline. When you picture someone with a commanding presence sitting in the Captain’s chair, one doesn’t envision the person having a weak chin. That makes them look both indecisive and ineffective. There, I said it! Let the bitch-fest begin!

84. Jon - March 21, 2007

Another reason why Ewan McGregor wouldn’t be considered is because He played Obi-wan and is slated to reprise the role in the upcoming Star Wars TV series.

85. Jon - March 21, 2007

By the way…is there a website that’s tracking the progress of Star Wars TV series?

86. Anthony Pascale - March 21, 2007


paramount make movies, cbs makes tv shows. Paramount’s goal is to make as much money off movies as possible. They arent going to sacrifice star power for 2008 in order to help some notional TV show for CBS years down the road…no way.

RE: Ewan
great actor, but for some reason i dont think they would pick him.

87. Sleeper Agent X - March 21, 2007

78 – That’s just elitist! Me on the other hand, I think if it’s okay for some of us to curse, we should all be allowed to drop F-bombs like we’re in a Tarantino film. But for now, I’ll just tell you to shut the frak up, mothefrakker! ;-)

81 – Jude Law is also a very good actor. He’s got a reputation as a bit of a lad, though, shagging his nanny along with Sienna Miller and all that (lucky bloke). Might make it hard for the audience to buy him playing someone as ascetic as Spock.

83 – So by that criteria, Bruce Campbell should be the best. choice. ever. to play Kirk. Bruce!

88. John N. - March 21, 2007

87 – Sleeper Agent X

re: Bruce Campbell

“Hail to the Kirk baby.”

89. Sleeper Agent X - March 21, 2007


90. Kevon99 - March 21, 2007

As others have said before-J.J please use Mr. Justman. He understood and still understands what Trek could be. He would be the best person on your team to tie old and new. I am a TOS purist-however let’s face it -most of us enjoy the remastered versions (I do!). The actors cannot for obvious reasons continue their roles. Neither would I want them to. I am looking forward to a rebooted Trek-with hopefully familar sets and a not too overdesigned Big E. Actually she is fine as is (so is the bridge opps the purist in me) . I am looking forward to seeing some new faces asKirk, Spock, and Mcoy ain a new and Exciting adventure.
Please remember the TNG joke. “How many crew of the TNG does it take to change a lightbulb? None. The lightbulb turns into a sentient being, poses a moral delimma and moves on.” Great for character-lousy for drama. Drama is conflict! Let’s keep out fingers crossed. Live long and prosper.

91. Driver - March 21, 2007

#86 CBS and Paramount are the same company. One hand feeds the other.

92. Michael Appleton - March 21, 2007

Nice try with the Bruce Campbell suggestion, but the problem is his age. He was born June,1958 so, by the time the movie comes out, he would be 50 friggin’ years old! Much too old to play a young Kirk. I personally hate making that remark as I’ll be 52 in June of this year! Good suggestion otherwise!

93. Sleeper Agent X - March 21, 2007

Oh c’mon. If they can use the de-aging technology on Shatner, surely the can use it on Campbell? ;-)

94. Matt Wright - March 21, 2007

#91 — Yes and no. Viacom was the parent congolomerate to both CBS and Paramount Pictures. However Viacom offically spun CBS off on to its own company as of last year called CBS Corporation.


95. Michael Appleton - March 21, 2007

#93 “use the de-aging technology”
They could, but honestly, it would look like crap warmed over. Why even go there? Pick another talented actor who’s got youth on his side. Why fight an uphill battle?

96. Sleeper Agent X - March 21, 2007

But no young actor has the all-important jawline, Michael!

97. Michael Appleton - March 21, 2007

Cute! I love it when people throw my own logic back in my face! My reply is, “gosh, you’re right! No male thespian on the planet has a jawline firm enough, or delineated enough, or chiseled enough…” Someone stop me, or I could keep “jawin” all night!

98. Michael Appleton - March 21, 2007

Wait, I’ve got the title for the new Trek film! JAWS, THE REVENGE! Oh wait, it’s taken! Damn!

99. Josh T. ( The Prime Directive is for shmucks) Kirk Esquire' - March 22, 2007

Look at all of this arguing!

It’s time like these Kirk needs to drop by us uncivilized pre-warp societies and start laying some law down in the form of pre-emptive drop kicks, double axe-handle chops, and hip tosses, followed of course by the obligatory lecture.

Petty mortals all.

“No…you….don’t understand…..your…Bible and society is…..wrong.”

100. Josh T. ( The Prime Directive is for shmucks) Kirk Esquire' - March 22, 2007

It always cracks me up how Kirk intervenes in a developing society and tosses that peoples most sacred and fundamental, cherished beliefs out the window, rubs his ass with them, then instills his own morality and principles, often times with a sink or swim non-chalant attitude.

It’s sociologically damning in practise, but hilarious to watch in fiction I tell you.

101. Mysterious Stranger - March 22, 2007

Anthony, Thank you. Thanks for the interview and thanks to Bob, for putting things in perspective.

I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Return to the adventure, no more preaching, no more Social Utopianism. Play it for real!

God, I can’t wait for this movie. I’m so glad to see Trek return to its roots!

102. Driver - March 22, 2007

Perhaps we need to stop thinking about who can replace Shatner and start thinking about the attributes the character has as written and conceived by Roddenberry.
To wit; Young(Early 30’s), Handsome, Alpha male, Ladies man, Gentleman, Intelligent, Courageous, Ingenious, Good sense of humor, Loyal, and more. Also he is as American(or Canadian) as apple pie.

103. Driver - March 22, 2007

Oh, and he may also be a “Swaggering Dictator with Delusions of Godhood”.

104. Jay - March 22, 2007

Stanky McFibberich – March 20, 2007 wrote:

> 4. Shaky handheld cameras and rap, hip-crap, or whatever have no place in Star Trek (or anything else in my opinion). Definitely not groundbreaking, just annoying.

Hallelujah! With this style of film-making SO prevalent these days, I was beginning to think I was the only one who HATED the over-use of wavy, shaky, hand-held cameras! For the ultimate example of that, check out a (cheap, AWFUL B-movie called The Cavern!). The ONLY good thing about it being so common is that (hopefully!) soon it’ll become old-hat, and “groundbreaking” filming style will revert to shots that don’t shake continuously or shoot right up someone’s nose!!

On the real subject of the thread… great interview of course, and I loved reading all the comments above.

Best to all.

105. Michael Appleton - March 22, 2007

#102+103..describing Roddenberry’s Kirk.
As I read the list of attributes for Kirk; handsome, intelligent, ingenious I thought, gee, if I was twenty years younger I’d apply for the job myself! No, please, stop it….I’m blushing!

106. Xai (Turning the pages..) - March 22, 2007

After looking at this 100+ post thread I cannot help but wonder how different people would react. (with apologies to all)

Shatner’s take …”I ….. am…. irreplacable, dammitBones.”

Ewan McGregor “Does Spock have to have pointed ears? He looks too much like that green puppet fellow in the last movie I did”

J.J. Abrams “These people are insatiable… think they’ll mind the polar bears wandering through the corridors? Hmmm…”

Rick Berman “… finally, someone else to take the heat awhile.”

Robert Justman “I’ve got these young ones so snowed..they think I remember it all. Where’s my teeth?”

Gene Roddenberry “What have I done!”

107. ozy - March 22, 2007

It’s importent that trek XI be part of canon. They can make great movie.

108. Michael Appleton - March 22, 2007

“they can make great movie”…”genesis is planet forbidden!”
Hmm, could it be the same guy? Nah!

109. Xai (lighting the fuse on the canon) - March 22, 2007

Ozy…. if it’s Trek on TV or film and done by Parmounted, it’s canon unless they say otherwise.

110. FlyingTigress - March 23, 2007


Given the track record, it is canon UNTIL [they don’t like how it did, or creates a conflict with ‘NOW WITH NEW, IMPROVED, CANON!] they say otherwise.

111. Xai (waiting for more Trek news.. make something up) - March 23, 2007

#110 Tigress… I’ll give you that one.


112. Desperate Star Trek Fan - July 4, 2008

I can hardly believe that even after the prequel series “Enterprise” has failed, although it was really well made (for the most part at least), the guys at Paramount still don’t understand that science fiction fans like to see things about the FUTURE and not the past.
Thus, they are not interested as much in a young Kirk trying to look under some female cadet’s skirt, but would like to know how the federation develops politically, socially and scientifically after the year 2380. Personally I do not really care which crew is used to show these things to me.
Of course the Star Trek universe is interesting because it so complex and there is so much love for detail, but I simply do not think that nostalgia is the answer to Gene Roddenberry’s idea “to boldly go where no one has gone before”. As a fan, I will certainly watch the next movie and probable even the next prequel series, showing us Spock’s first pimpel, Wesley Crusher’s first day of kindergarten, Ben Sisko’s change of voice or Janeway’s prom night, but Star Trek as – still – the most important scifi-universe out there has to appeal to more people than just the fans. And even as fan I would like to cry out to Paramount: I WANT NEW SHIT!!!

113. as2525 - November 6, 2008

At first, I’m happy that Star Trek is still alive. Nevertheless I wouldn’t mind dying of Star Trek, if there are only movies and series with small quality. Star Trek Enterprise (Captain Archer) has no quality. Actually TNG was the best series of Star Trek, “to boldy go where no one has gone before”, DS9 was okay, but it got worse in the end. Voyager is okay, too, but I think series like TNG are the best one (ok, TNG is the first series I watched, that could be a reason why I prefer this). I would begin a series in >2380, in 2385 for example, a ship called Enterprise F, flagship, a new crew, new worlds and less wars. There must be good stories, good characters, a comfortable ship, jokes&fun, Action and Special Effects are important, but they CANNOT replace the other things I mentioned! And by the way, the 23. century is over!

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