Orci & Kurtzman: Balancing geekery and nongeekery June 24, 2007by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Orci/Kurtzman,STXI Plot , trackback
Yes…even more on Orci and Kurtzman. Today the pair of Star Trek (2008) writers are profiled in the New York Times in an article titled ‘Character-Driven Films (but Keep the Kaboom).’ The piece covers their biography and discusses how they are just a couple of fanboys who made it big (interesting fact…Orci had a phone shaped like the USS Enterprise). Orci talks about what it is like balancing fandom with business:
You can never be just a fanboy in the eyes of other fanboys, because you’re also, in a way, the establishment. You’re like, ‘No, but I’m you.’ But you’re accountable for all your decisions, and inevitably you can’t please everybody.
The article also quotes Star Trek (2008) producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof on their Trek writing team.
Abrams on some of the mixed reviews of Orci and Kurtzman’s previous work (Island & MI3:
It’s easy to dump on anyone who helps create something that can be seen as a commodity for a company. At the same time you can tell that their movies are no less full of passion just because they’re meant to be crowd-pleasing.
Lindelof on their ability to take a franchise to a larger audience:
Alex and Bob are both geeks and nongeeks at the same time. They can have a tremendous amount of respect for the source material, but they know that a studio is bringing them in because they can make it understandable to an audience that has no comprehension of that source material whatsoever.
Specifically on Star Trek, Lindelof noted that Orci is the bigger fan of the pair, with Kurtzman mostly just a fan of TOS, but said that they are using that to their advantage.
It’s like talking to a priest and a casual churchgoer about Catholicism. The story is being cooked up by someone who is aware of every shred of arcane Trekkery, and someone who isn’t hampered by decades of canon.
The article draws a comparison between working in the Trek and Transformers universe, and how they plan on avoiding rewriting Trek’s history.
Compared to “Transformers” “Star Trek” is a miles-long minefield of established chronology, laid down over four decades, one that Mr. Orci and Mr. Kurtzman must be careful not to tamper with or contradict. But they say that by focusing their film on the earliest adventures of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, they can avoid most of these perils.
Yes, the article does seem to confirm that the new Star Trek film will be about Kirk and Spock’s first adventure…but we all knew that anyway. In the past the writers have spoken about how they want to ‘fill a gap’ in Trek history. We have never seen how Kirk and Spock met or seen their first adventure(s). Of course when they had their first adventure is still an open question.
The Transformers promotional tour is certainly getting a lot of exposure to the writers and gleaning more and more information from them. I expect more from them in the next few weeks as well. From reading all the articles and from meeting the pair I am getting more and more comfortable with them. It is clear that they respect the material and are not here to change Trek’s history, but to tell a new story to both the fans and a new audience.
Source: New York Times