UPDATE: Yesterday first word came out that Paramount were moving the release for the new Star Trek to May 8th 2009. Today a Paramount spokesman explains that the film will still be completed by this year but they feel it can stack up against traditional summer blockbusters. In addition Paramount have updated the official movie websites, but for now are only saying “May 2009” for the release.
From the AP Article (at CNN Money):
Studio spokesman Michael Vollman said the switch was a business move, not because of any problems with the film caused by the Writers Guild of America strike that just ended.
“Star Trek” will be finished by fall in time for its original release date, but studio executives decided to hold it until next summer, the film could pull in more money, he said.
“`Star Trek’ is in fantastic shape,” said Paramount spokesman Michael Vollman. “This is all about box-office potential. Summer is where you see the `Star Wars’ and the `Spider-Mans’ and the `Shreks’ and the `Transformers.’ `Star Trek’ is in that league.”
The movie had been in production without its screenwriters on hand for revisions during the strike, which began Nov. 5. The guild reached a deal with producers last week, and writers voted Tuesday to end the walkout.
The strike had left a few holes in 2009’s summer blockbuster schedule, leaving the May 8 date up for grabs, Vollman said.
So as frustrating as the move to Summer is, the word from Paramount is a big vote of confidence in the film that is being made right now. Vollman’s comments tie back to something that Star Trek co-writer and executive producer Roberto Orci said in his first big interview with TrekMovie.com back in October. Here is that excerpt
TrekMovie.com: So you really think that, in terms of mass appeal, Trek could be as big as Star Wars or your recent Transformers film?
Roberto Orci: Transformers is a great example because it was a franchise that was existing and had a strong fan base, but that was a niche market let’s say. Because of that our approach was to re-invigorate it. We don’t think that there is anything inherently flawed at all with the soul that Star Trek has laid down. And we feel that if we can tap back into that soul, then it can actually be those things. Not only do we want to please the fans, and we are confident that we will have a movie that fans see in a certain way where their knowledge of canon is not wasted and is part of their enjoyment of the movie, but simultaneously the story has been developed so that it is also an introduction for someone who is not a fan or even someone who knows nothing about Trek or thinks it is dead. We think that it can be that because we think that the bones of the house are right and all it needs is some redecorating.
Back in the 70s Paramount first thought that Trek could be their ‘Star Wars’ and they turned the Star Trek Phase II TV project into the big budget (for the day) Star Trek The Motion Picture. Although TMP is still the biggest Trek film (in terms of ticket sales), it fell short of ‘Star Wars big’ and since then Paramount have treated Trek films as ‘medium sized’ and usually put them out in the fall/winter. It remains to be seen if Trek really can move into Star Wars and Transformers territory, but it is nice to see Paramount feeling like Trek can be in the big leagues again.
Official sites updated
More fallout from Paramount’s change of the release date for Star Trek. All of the various official sites for each market have had the release dates updated and Paramount isn’t officially saying yet which day in May Trek will land.
The main official site (for US & Canada) now shows. “MAY 2009” where just yesterday it said “CHRISTMAS 2008.” All the international sites (UK, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico/Latin America, and France) now just say “2009.” The only exception is and Germany which has no date at all). But don’t panic my German friends, I am sure they will get around to putting a “2009” there soon enough. It should be noted that the trailers have not been updated with new dates yet and some of the sites also have the original HTML ‘title tags’ saying “Boxing Day 2008,” etc. It is assumed that will all be sorted out shortly.
How firm is May 8th?
Stories in both the Hollywood Reporter and Variety yesterday cited May 8th as the specific date for the new Star Trek, however right now Paramount are only officially confirming “May 2009.” This indicates that although the May 8th date is the most likely, there may be some wiggle room. Paramount was the first studio to announce a post-strike schedule shakeup. It is likely that Paramount are waiting to see what other studios do now that they have reshuffled. Maybe Fox will move their X-Men: Wolverine movie from the first weekend in May to later in the summer (giving themselves more time and to ensure Star Trek doesn’t trounce their second weekend). In that case Paramount would likely slip Trek into May 1.
One should also not worry too much about the international dates only saying 2009. The original plan for Trek was to open domestically on 12.25.08 and then in most English speaking markets the next day with the rest of the world some time in early 2009. So it is likely that the international markets will still be closely aligned with the domestic. In fact summer movies tend to bunch global releases even closer together so there may even be a shorter gap between between various releases than the original plan. But for now it is just ‘2009.’
So in other words…stay tuned.
UPDATE 2: Fox Takes Christmas
Fox to Paramount: “no backsies.” Variety is reporting that Fox has swooped in to take the vacancy left by Trek but moving their Jennifer Aniston-Owen Wilson comedy Marley and Me up a week. They also shuffled around a couple other comedies to move into newly opened slots. So far the Wolverine movie remains in the May 1 slot, a week before Star Trek.
TrekMovie.com Countdown Widget Updated
We have updated our countdown widget (bottom of the right column). For now it is using May 8th because you need a specific date and so that will have to do. It currently reads 449 days to go. You can ‘grab’ the widget and put it on your personal site or blog. When you click on the countdown it takes you right back here to TrekMovie.com.
Indiana Jones Trailer
This has nothing to do with Star Trek, but today Paramount released the trailer for their big May movie for this year…check it out.