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Quinto On Spock’s Origins in the Prequel + Possible Sequels August 24, 2007

by Charles Trotter , Filed under: ST09 Cast , trackback

Another day, another Quinto interview – this time with ComingSoon.net. The actor, who has admitted that he is new to the franchise now  says he will not necessarily be analyzing old movies and episodes too much: “I think that the key to the success of this character is probably going to be reestablishing a perspective on this character with gratitude and respect for what’s come before.” The new Spock also gives the strongest indication yet as to the setting of the film:

The interesting thing is that you meet this character before you ever knew him on the television series and the other movies, so sort of what you know about him and then also an exploration of how he got to that point. All of the characters, not just Spock.

Commenting on why he is interested in playing Spock, he said he found the character interesting and “that exploring these characters at this point in their lives is a really gratifying exploration from a perspective of an actor.” He again stated that he does not feel any pressure in playing the role due to the overwhelming support he has received from the creative teams of both Star Trek and Heroes. Regarding the time he has been spending with Nimoy, Quinto says:

The time I’m most interested in … is really just getting to know him and learning about his life, not just about this character and his perspective on the character … But just knowing him as a man [and] as an artist. I have a profound respect for the journey that he’s taken and for the way he’s redefined his creative expression over the years. So I look forward to being a part of that and being exposed to that. I think it will be a really gratifying part of this experience.

Ready for sequels

In addition, Quinto revealed that he has signed on for sequels. “It is a multiple picture deal,” he says. “If there end up being sequels, that remains to be seen. There’s more than one movie attached to this one.”

For more, see the full interview at ComingSoon.

Comments

1. Scott Gammans - August 24, 2007

Hm, sounds like an origins story like we had with Batman Begins. As Spock would say, fascinating!

I certainly look forward to watching Quinto as Spock… it’s too bad that there probably won’t be any onscreen interaction with Nimoy, though.

2. steve623 - August 24, 2007

“I think that the key to the success of this character is probably going to be reestablishing a perspective on this character with gratitude and respect for what’s come before.”

Very lawyerly!

3. Anthony Pascale - August 24, 2007

I have often said that this film is going to be an origin story and that we are going to see the characters in a different light. These characters have arcs and they end up like they do in TOS, but just like they are different in the movie era after TOS, so to will they be different in the new movie era before TOS.

Kirk and Spock especially went through big changes. In this film we will of course see two Spocks. Leonard Nimoy recently talked about this issue of the Spock arc and how he and JJ are going to have to find the right place to put him in his arc as the older Spock.

I hope that people who watch this film realise this arc notion and dont flip out that Kirk and Spock are acting different than they did during TOS…they are on a journey towards that. This is one of the things that the recent star wars prequels got right…especially with Obi Wan. Over the three films we saw the character grow and evolve towards the Alec Guinness version step by step

4. 1701 over Gotham - August 24, 2007

My problems with new actors taking over new roles is that they don’t review what has come before…
I understand an actor not wanting to duplicate another’s work… but that doesn’t mean the character can’t be researched.

However, that negative notion aside, Nimoy’s backing gives me a great deal of faith. My biggest worry for Quinto is those eyebrows! *shudders*
Those things are alive!!

My biggest worry for the film is still the “big villian” notion… even with a fresh start, we still live under Khan’s shadow…

5. Craig - August 24, 2007

So does this mean it will be an Academy movie and not when they all first met on th 1701? Or will the movie show both? The first half being at the Academy and their first missions. Then the second half all of the crew meeting on the 1701 to embark on the 1701’s first mission? One cool scene would be to have 1701 pulling out of drydock with Kirk and crew onboard.

6. ObiWanCon - August 24, 2007

Great Stuff!

7. Campe - August 24, 2007

As an actor in community theatre, I have to say that there is a double-edged sword that can come from watching what has come before. I’ve done quite a few plays/musicals in the past two or three years that I’ve had significant parts in where a film adaptation exists (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers playing Adam, A Christmas Story playing the elder Ralph, Crossing Delancey playing Sam, Wait Until Dark playing the husband, The Full Monty playing Harold (who was Gerald in the film adaptation) and now I’m in The Sting playing Singleton).

Some of the plays are different enough that you can make them your own and there won’t be that much of a problem (Crossing Delancey, Wait Until Dark and The Full Monty and probably The Sting), but there are certain roles (Seven for Seven and A Christmas Story) that are so iconic that it is difficult to try to make it your own because you run the risk of alienating your audience (which I did on both occasions).

Although the characters that I played do not have years and years of backstory behind them like Spock does, I can certainly understand Quinto’s desire to try to play him his own way. Sometimes watching the material makes you feel limited in what you can do and I’m sure he will watch SOME of the episodes, and he has Nimoy there, so I’m personally not all that concerned.

8. Craig - August 24, 2007

Or maybe it will be a three part trilogy? First one at the Academy. Second one their first mission. Final one when they all met on the 1701? Or was my first idea right?

9. RandyYeoman - August 24, 2007

he has the script and he has the avowed trekkie nerds making the movie and he has nimoy. He doesnt need to watch all the episodes. With most movies you just have a script. if he obsesses over the old episodes he may end up doing an immitation. Plus he is playing the character at a different time. I especially hope the new Kirk is not a trekkie and does not obsess over the DVDs…they should keep them away from him. Anyone who \’does shatner\’ will end up looking like a clown.

people, these actors are the new Kirk, Spock, etc. We have to let them make the characters their own…and trust the film makers to keep them still true to the characters.

They are hiring actors – not impersonators

10. Greg2600 - August 24, 2007

Further relief for me that this will be a prequel. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy certainly can be featured in various backstories. Although I don’t see the need to find a place for the secondary characters, other than Scotty. They were fairly young at the start of TOS, so I don’t know where they’d fit in? By setting the film and possibly sequels in a time period, and more importantly circumstances, never before covered by Star Trek, I think they’re on safer turf. I know some fans are gung ho for a film set in the 5 year mission with new actors, but I’m not. I just don’t see where doing so adds anything to the franchise?

11. Xai - August 24, 2007

#9 Randy

Good point

12. OneBuckFilms - August 24, 2007

First, I think it has been said many times that this is an early voyage of the Enterprise, and that it is not an Academy story.

I suspect this to be the first mission for Kirk and Crew, after or as they assemble for the first time on the Enterprise.

It provides an opportunity to see the Kirk/Spock relationship begin.

– What did they think of each other?
– How did Spock’s loyalty to Kirk begin?

If told from a young Spock’s perspective, and his early reactions to the crew of the Enterprise, it would be the classic Star Trek idea of having an outsider’s view of humanity.

It could also cover the teething troubles of Jim Kirk’s first command, and possibly Spock’s first assignment under a new captain (since Christopher Pike).

If done right, then no prior knowledge of Star Trek would be required, but there would be hints at the depth of the Star Trek universe established in the original series and beyond.

I also suspect that Leonard Nimoy playing the older spock would be as a meaningful book-end to the story, and a way to pass the torch to the new interpretations of our iconic heroes.

There is so much good potential here, and I believe we have the right people to get it right.

Good luck J.J., and to all involved in this project.

May the wind be on your backs.

13. Mikey - August 24, 2007

How about adding the original klingnons in the movie That whould be a good idea

14. Adam Cohen - August 24, 2007

The ambition of this project has me extremely hyped. For one, it seems like they are seeking to add to the mythology of TOS characters– a worthwhile storytelling goal. And second, I think that the filmmakers are going to give us a second chance to see TOS for years to come. If they do it well, we can have Star Trek all over again (a la James Bond). That would be magnificent.

15. John_Pemble - August 24, 2007

Obi One? Obi One… Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

If Ewan could make it work for Obi One in a sequel in the prequel, Quinto may be able to do the same thing for Spock, providing there is no Jar Jar Binks.

16. Dom - August 24, 2007

The multi-year runs of the other Trek shows gave them ample time to flesh out the histories of their characters. It’s a testament to the strength of TOS and the original cast that they made their characters seem so complete when there is so little early backstory!

17. Craig - August 24, 2007

Does this also mean Paramount is switching Trek to just movies and wont ever have a TV series again? That way they could save money just doing a Trek movie every few years than spending millions per episode on a new Trek TV series. Don’t get me wrong I would still like a new Trek TV series.

18. Duane Boda - August 24, 2007

I’m certain that this will end with a different outlook of how Capt. Kirk first took command of the Enterprise but not before telling how perhaps Kirk may have saved Spock somehow
just after they meet. Maybe thats where the villian part comes in….he on the verge of killing Spock get thwarted by Capt. Kirk – but of course it would have to be done real good to make it believable otherwise…..why bother? Capt. Pike will be seen too – I only hope.

19. Kobayashi Maru - August 24, 2007

I respect the process in which the actor needs to find the right balance between his personality and the givens of the character.
That being said, if I found myself in the position of assuming the mantle of portraying one of these characters and preserving their legacy, I would pursue it as if I portrayed a real life character of history.
Without relying on imitation, there are certain traits and mannerisms that would be expected from how one would play someone like FDR, and aside from the small scenes of Resurrected Spock’s evolution in STIII, Leonard Nimoy was the template for making Spock a real person.
Proceeding from that point will go a long way in helping the audience except the shifting pardigm.
Anthony was right in citing Ewan MacGregor’s work. He studied his character as if Alec Guiness was Obi-Wan, and proceeded accordingly.

20. Adam Cohen - August 24, 2007

#17 Star Trek is, at its heart, a television show. Save for TMP, the Trek movies have all been expanded Trek TV episodes, more or less.

In that regard, I believe it is only a matter of time until we hear about a new Trek TV series. Interestingly, from Anthony’s reporting over the past year-plus, we have learned that within VIACOM, CBS and Paramount have split “ownership” of Trek-proper– so it will be interesting to see how things play out with no Trek Czar running both tracks of the franchise.

21. Etha Williams - August 24, 2007

#9 — “They are hiring actors – not impersonators.”

Good point. One of the main shortcomings I’ve always seen in fan films is that they tend to try to impersonate everything about the original actors’ portrayals of their characters (the imitations of Shatner’s pauses between words are the funniest), and you just end up focusing more on the quality of the imitation than the qualities of plot, character, etc. Even with a bigger budget and bigger actors than fan films, I could see this movie falling into the same trap if they try too hard to imitate the exact styles of how Nimoy, Shatner, et al portrayed their characters.

On the other hand, I don’t think it would hurt for Quinto to watch some more of the episodes…just as long as he doesn’t take obsessive notes on each and every one of Spock’s mannerisms, tones of voice, gestures, etc, or get to feeling confined to work within what’s already been established for Spock’s character (as opposed to building on what’s already been established).

22. Trekkie84 - August 24, 2007

My problem with this whole thing is, if this is Pre TOS, how will the other chars involvement in the story be? In the Second Pilot (Where No Man Has Gone Before), a couple of the characters were not seen (As in, not on the Enterprise), with one other at least, being on the ship, but in a different position.

Will have to wait and see.

23. Charles Trotter (Chuck Amuck) - August 25, 2007

#20 Adam Cohen

TMP was more of an expanded Trek TV episode than the other films… mainly because it really *was* an expanded Trek episode. ;)

24. Inge - August 25, 2007

#23
The story of TMP was indeed an expanded episode (the pilot for the TV-show which was never made), but the movie itself felt more “cineastic” than the other ST films. IMHO TMP was THE Motion picture (like 2001 was one, or Star Wars Ep.4), and the other movies were just like a series in the cinema instead the TV. I mean, They could also have made a tv-show after TMP, TMP would anyway be THE Motion Picture…
I think ST XI is going to be as the same big as like TMP once was.

25. trektacular - August 25, 2007

Quinto is gonna play it like he wants, so get over it guys

26. Adam Cohen - August 25, 2007

#23 Touche, Chuck.

I tend to pull TMP out of the bunch for it’s epic cinematography and obsessively philosophical attitude towards the plot. To me, TMP moves at its own speed, disregarding a lot of the necessities of hour-long television (which has to be economical and direct). I think you’re looking at the story itself as being vintage TOS (see Nomad from “The Changeling”), and in a way you’re correct. But Robert Wise’s approach to this story has more 2001: A Space Odyssey than TOS to it, in my opinion. I actually enjoy a lot of TMP for its style and ambition. But to me, it is so different from the other movies in tone that it doesn’t fit in well with the series as a whole.

27. decilia - August 25, 2007

I will put my faith in Qunito how he want to portray Spock. Don’t forget he has Nimoy as is mentor

I haved to agree with #20 and #24 regarding TMP being only TOS movies that felt as big budget cinematic movie directed masterfully by Robert Wise, the academy award winner and still is the most successful movie in Trek history.

#23 You are right that TMP story was extended from a unaired TV episode however you cant ignored that ,,TWOK´´ (considered to be best TOS movie) back-round or origin comes directly from TOS aired TV episode, Space Seed.

28. Adam Cohen - August 25, 2007

I find it encouraging that nearly 30 years later, TMP is getting love from a lot of fans. Sure, it had it’s problems, but never has Star Trek felt so “big” as it did in TMP. It’s a fantastic experience watching TMP, even to this day.

29. Snake - August 25, 2007

3- wow nowthats an intresting point – tos then movies1-6 post tos then movies 11+ pre tos…nice symatry

30. Ralph - August 25, 2007

Which is better? The original TMP or the Directors cut?

31. Greg2600 - August 25, 2007

30 – Ralph, the Director’s Edition DVD is definitely worth buying, if you haven’t. The wealth of extras is truly amazing. There are also some on Star Trek.com http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/MOV/001/feature/4389.html. As for your question, I think there’s no question this truly was a fairly extensive refit in terms of the amount of time and money spent by Paramount and Robert Wise and the FX Team. Considering that nothing from the plot is changed, the movies are essentially the same. The changes were mostly visual, and were done to fulfill the initial vision of Wise and others. Other than the Kirk/Vger/Illya banter getting a bit boring, TMP is I think the most definitive Trek film. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Bennett’s movies, but TMP has the closest relationship to TOS. Without question, the Enterprise unveiling at the beginning with that great music still gives me goosebumps. I know some people hate the movie, but IMO it’s the feel that Abrams should shoot for.

32. Adam Cohen - August 25, 2007

#30 Yes, Greg is correct, the Director’s Edition and the original are essentially the same movie, but that’s a testament to the tasteful choices Wise and Dochterman made in updated TMP for the DVD. There’s no “Special Edition” overkill here– the FX work is augmented in parts and some scenes are cut differently too. Otherwise, it’s the same adventure– bombastic and ambitious.

33. Shatner_Fan_2000 - August 25, 2007

I really enjoyed the director’s cut of TMP, with one minor exception. One line was changed that didn’t make much sense at all to me. In the scene where McCoy confronts Kirk in his quarters about The Captain’s harsh attitude, we join the argument already in progress. In the original version, we first hear Kirk say, “Get out of here, Bones.” In the new version of that scene, the line is replaced with Kirk saying, “Make your point, doctor.” IMO, the first version was the stronger of the two.

The new CGI work on Vulcan sure looked awesome, though.

34. Charley W - August 25, 2007

#25- if Quinto is truly a good actor, he will play it NOT “as he wants”, but “as how he is DIRECTED. There is a difference.

It’s looking more and more like this movie is going to be more ‘Young Mr. Spock” than the “Adventures of Young Indiana, oops Iowa, Kirk”. Realizing that changes a lot of expectations, such as the reduction of demand for Shatner (therefore avoiding the whole ‘JTK’s Dead’ problem. Too bad, with 2 or 3 years between pictures, they may have lost the chance to have Shatner reprise Kirk (or some other cameo). WS’s tricks, at whatever level he was trying to influence things, may have backfired on him, although I personally think he ended up pricing himself out (demanded too much $$).

Without Kirk as the focus (I’m still sure the character will play a major role, and the stretching out of picking an actor is deliberate), a lot of things change- gone probably is Kirk’s backstory, Iowa, Sam, Ruth, etc. We may still see the Academy, and Capt Garrovick though. If we see Kirk asuming command of the 1701 as implied by the ages asked for in the casting call, we will probably see GMitchell. There may be instead a new Sarek, Amanda, Leila, even T’Pau and T’Pris (spelling?).

35. Etha Williams - August 25, 2007

#26 — with regards to TMP’s epic cinematographic style, I agree, it was a very “movie” type movie rather than seeming more like a long tv episode. However, instead of simply “moving at its own speed, disregarding a lot of the necessities of hour-long television,” I think the directors of TMP took it waaaaaaaaay too far, and instead made it move *too* slowly in order to try fit the necessities of two-hour long feature films. Probably because the plot *was* initially intended for a TV episode.

Nevertheless, despite it’s dragging pace, TMP has always been one of my favorites of the movies for its plot and characterizations.

#34 — I doubt T’Pris will be in it since she appeared only in a non-canon novel. T’Pring would be much more likely than T’Pris (and, for that matter, T’Pau).

36. Charley W - August 25, 2007

#35- T’Pring was the one I meant. Thanks for the correction.

37. Fireoftime - August 26, 2007

I’d think the best way to handle a multiple picture deal, would be to have one story, cut up into three parts. Because it’s kinda hard to have very much drama in movie after movie when we already know what happens to the principle characters! Theres no fear that Kirk or Spock or any of the others will die in their first mission out.
Obviously we will get to see Kirks relationship with Dr. Carol Marcus and even the birth of David Marcus, so there is one plot point to look forward to.
And of course Spocks relationship with his father.
But you have to wonder how they can stretch this out into a few films, keep it engaging and dramatic, and not trip over the already established time line from TOS.
No expert here, but I think a Lord of the RIngs type Trilogy would work best. It would allow a “just before” time period, and not cut into TOS’s plot points.

just an opinion…

38. Tassieboy - August 26, 2007

I don’t agree with the ‘TMP was the only movie’ thing. The only films that really felt like extended tv epsides to me were ST5 and Insurrection.

The director’s edition of TMP was a great improvement. I was very pleased with it.

39. GraniteTrek - August 27, 2007

I think there’s a lot of canon already out there to support the idea that Spock was more emotional when he was younger – the character’s portrayal in the original pilot (which became canon when it became part of “The Menagerie”) and his portrayal in the second pilot both point to him being more outwardly emotional. When I think of the Spock character in the series versus the movies, I get the impression that the older Spock in the movies was more at peace with himself, whereas even in the later TOS episodes, the feeling you get from the character is that he’s, well, a bit sharper and more tense (most of the time), indicating that more is happening under the surface. When you’re still trying to find your place in the universe, a journey younger Spock needs to go through due to the conflicts inherent in his mixed heritage and his father’s disapproval, I would think that would make him more emotional, and I suspect the changes resulting from the transition to the young, fiery Kirk from the older and burnt-out (by his own admission) Pike would be unsettling (a bit like when you start a new job). It makes sense then that Spock will be more emotional than we saw him at other times.

40. Joe Burns - September 1, 2007

39 – I’ve got the sense that in Spock’s early years in Star Fleet, he was “leaving Vulcan behind” and fitting in, as well as getting in touch with his human side. In WNMHGB, I feel like he’s most of the way in his change from the shrill junior officer. Perhaps the change from gold to blue (uniform)represents his taking on the science officer duties after becoming the XO, a seemingly strange distraction from command duties.. unless it’s part of a personal journey. Perhaps Spock realized he was running from his Vulcan side, and that he was losing something important. An emotional decision that ended badly? If he had been in control, things would have been different…..

Did anyone see the **SPOILER ALERT** Moriarity article over at aintitcoolnews?
If the intimations are true we could see “violations” of canon without violating canon, LOL! Are we *sure * Brannon Braga is not involved? Heheh.
The article I refer to is spoiler-heavy, but not this post. You should stay away from that article if you don’t want to know anything, though if it’s true I think everyone will know before it gets released, it’s too big.

41. TrekLog » Blog Archive » Trek XI - Newsflash - September 21, 2007

[...] Was ist eigentlich seit der letzten Convention alles passiert? Eigentlich viel (was Meldungen des Trek Movie Report angeht) und zugleich doch recht wenig! Zunächst einmal hat sich das Casting-Karussell ein wenig weitergedreht. Nicht Sydney Poitier, sondern eine junge Dame namens Zoe Saldana wurde für die Rolle des Kommunikationsoffiziers der Enterprise, Nyota Uhura, hochoffiziell gecastet und unter Vertrag genommen. Somit sind schon 3 Mitglieder der Originalcharaktere gecastet worden: Spock, Chekov und Uhura! Als nächstes wird wohl der Chefingenieur Scotty gecastet werden, denn Berichten zufolge wird derzeit nach einem Darsteller gesucht! Daniel Dae Kim aus Lost (hat auch schon bei Star Trek: Voyager Gastauftritte gehabt) gilt ebenso als heißer Kandidat für die Rolle des Navigators Hikaru Sulu, aber wir Leser wissen ja, dass es dahingehend gleich mehrere Bewerbungen zu geben scheint. Der neue Spock-Darsteller Zachary Quinto bereitet sich hingegen ganz speziell auf seine Rolle vor. Anstelle des intensiven Studiums alte Star Trek-Episoden versucht er, sich mit der Person hinter Spock, Leonard Nimoy, zu beschäftigen. Somit verbringen die beiden sehr viel Zeit miteinander und laden sich gegenseitig zum Essen ein, wenngleich die Mythologie, d.h. die vulkanisch-romulanischen Ursprünge, dennoch in Quintos Interesse zu liegen scheint. Über die Plot-Details zu Star Trek XI hatte ich jüngst schon einen Kommentar abgegeben, und laut Quinto handelt es sich bei Trek XI um ein Projekt, dass weitere Fortsetzungen wahrscheinlich macht… damit bestätigt er auch den Wunsch des Autorenteams Orci und Kurtzman, die sich beide ebenso Fortsetzungen erhoffen würden. Zuguterletzt kann man noch sagen, dass nebenbei Russell Crowe kurzzeitig als Bösewicht im Gespräch war (was jedoch Hinweise auf das gesuchte Kaliber des gesuchten Darstellers gibt) und dass das uralte Jennifer Garner Gerücht im Zusammenhang mit einer Liebesaffäre Spock’s wieder aufgetaucht ist. Übrigens muss es sich bei dieser Liebesaffäre keinesfalls um ein Produkt des Pon Farr handeln, denn der neue Spock wird wesentlich emotionaler sein und damit wohl an Nimoy’s Darstellung aus dem ersten Pilotfilm The Cage anknüpfen. Trek ist also in aller Munde und wir haben dahingehend wohl noch spannende Zeiten vor uns… [...]

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