Things are still pretty quiet on the Star Trek XI front. As JJ Abrams said in his recent message to the fans they were in ‘pre-pre-pre-production.’ However, TrekMovie.com has learned that they are getting ready to move into the pre-production phase soon. The script is complete, however the budget is not (so there may still be some changes based on the final budget). The production office should be opening up on the lot by mid month, and hiring for various behind the scenes people has already started. Although some ‘nuts and bolts’ Paramount people who have worked on Trek in the past (like in construction) are being tapped, for creative work it appears that the Abrams team is sticking with people that they have worked with in the past. Production designer Scott Chambliss is still filling out his art department, but some artists are already at work (primarily at their homes). They should be moving into offices on the lot this month as well. Set construction is set to start in early July.
Shooting on historical sets and some place new
It has now been confirmed that Trek XI will primarily be shot at Paramount, however there also appears to be a tiny bit of truth related to the rumors that the film may be shot off the lot. A source close to the production tells TrekMovie that they plan to use one stage at Universal. Apparently they needed a very large stage for some ‘planetary shooting’ and there wasn’t a large enough stage available at Paramount. This would be the fist time a Trek production would be shooting on indoor stages at another studio. At Paramount they plan to use 6 stages – all of which have been used for Trek in the past. The stages planned for use are: 8, 9, 11, 14, 15 & 18 (click links for history Trek history on each). Shooting is tentatively scheduled to begin in October.
Not The Rumored Cast…think younger
Probably the most persistent casting rumor is IGN’s report that Matt Damon will be Kirk, Adrian Brody will be Spock and Gary Sinise will be Bones. Of course before IGN announced that list those names were on many people in the media’s ‘wish lists’ (including mine). IGN have stuck with this rumor to the point of saying that some are in final negotiations, but then again they also stuck with their report that Abrams would be directing Dark Tower and not Trek XI (when TrekMovie.com was saying Abrams was still likely to direct). TrekMovie.com has not been able to find out exactly who is being cast in the film, but multiple sources have said that the IGN rumors are not true. "He [Abrams] is looking younger" says one source close to the production. Adding credence to this is that it appears that neither Sinise nor Damon would be available based on their other filming commitments. We have got conflicting reports on if casting deals have already been done, but it seems likely that they are currently ongoing. It is of course possible that IGN’s sources know something ours don’t in this instance. Regardless this will all be straightened out this summer. Paramount are planning some kind of Trek XI announcement or presentation at Comic-Con (end of July), but hopefully the primary cast will be known by then.
Plotwise there is nothing new to report. We have been told by multiple sources that the script has gone through significant changes from the first draft to the current draft, however it still appears that it covers various events in the life of James T. Kirk. One thing is for sure, security and secrecy is very tight around the film and the script. In addition we are also cautioned by one source at the studio that many things are still fluid with the movie and so things can change.
As always TrekMovie.com will monitor things.