LeVar Burton: Fans Want To See TNG Cast One More Time

Levar Burton (TNG’s Geordi LaForge) is profiled with an interview in the new issue of the official Star Trek Magazine. The interview focuses on Burton’s current work as a director (something that he thanks former Star Trek producer Rick Berman for giving him his start in), but he does also talk about the last Star Trek film and also the next one…and his hopes for a possible TNG movie.

Excerpts from Star Trek Magazine

Nemesis worth a second look?
Burton has been critical of the last Trek film (Star Trek Nemesis) in the past, and especially the director Stuart Baird, but seems to be softening his view.

I haven’t seen it in a long time. I should take a look at it again and see what I think. I tend to dismiss it but there’s people who say they like it..


Nemesis – last call for Burton and the TNG crew?

Abrams movie begetting a TNG movie?
In the interview Burton was complimentary towards Star Trek’s new director, saying "J.J. Abrams is a really talented guy," and it appears he is holding out some hope that the new movie focusing on the TOS era, may bring back interest in another TNG era movie:

At the end of the day I’m pretty certain that a lot of the fan base would like to see the Next Generation cast do one more turn around the galaxy, and I guess the performance of this next movie will have a lot to do with whether that comes to pass. It will make people see whether there’s an appetite for Star Trek again. So I have really mixed emotions. I haven’t quite decided how I feel about this new picture. My life is going to go on and Star Trek will always be an important part of it. Whether we do another movie or not is not in my control and the most important thing to me is that I have lasting friendships and memories from the seven years I spend on the show. And that’s better than the price of Latinum.

Could this happen?
Although it is true that the TNG cast never did get a good send-off movie (like the original TOS crew did with Star Trek VI), another TNG film seems to run into some practical issues. Firstly is that success of the new movie is likely to cement the new cast as the biggest box-office Trek stars for the foreseeable future. Of course it has already been reported that the new Star Trek cast are signed up with options for two more films, and Paramount is currently courting the film makers to get them nailed down for a sequel. So if JJ Abrams Star Trek is successful it seems fairly certain the next film would continue with the new cast (and therefore presumably in the TOS era). Plus there is the issue of the TNG cast itself, especially the two biggest stars. Patrick Stewart seems less interested in putting on his space suit, and Brent Spiner has stated he is too old to play the un-aging Data (or B-4) anymore. There is always the chance of Paramount dabbling in DVD movies something that is becoming popular with other franchises but has yet to be done with Trek. But such a thing would have a significantly lower budget, making an appearance by Patrick Stewart even less likely. Bottom line is that it isn’t very likely we will see the TNG cast on the big screen again.

VOTE: More TNG?
See the current poll (right sidebar) for options on the future of TNG


Burton and wife Stephanie at 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards September 16, 2007 (WireImage)

The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine has more from Burton, as well as other good articles on the new Star Trek film, and much more. Pick it on newsstands now.
 

 

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Illogical
June 23, 2008 11:57 am

More TNG!

jmdiaz
June 23, 2008 11:58 am

Would love to see one more TNG movie….They have the talent and are much better actors than the originals….too bad their movies were not up to par…..

Always thought Q would be a great bad guy for the last movie.

http://www.lightyearmodels.com

Harry Ballz
June 23, 2008 11:58 am

It would seem that the chances for a TNG film are slim, at best!

CmdrR
June 23, 2008 11:59 am

If it’s a classy flick, I’m all for it. But, the script and the vision (pun intended) have to come first.

Please, though, no piling on of cameos in future Trek movies. It’s distracting and usually out of character.

Illogical
June 23, 2008 12:00 pm

#2… They have the talent and are much better actors than the originals….too bad their movies were not up to par…..

Really? Much better actors? Thats funny.

June 23, 2008 12:03 pm

I was thinking about this the other day…one of Picards best episodes was the one where is was tortured by the Cardassians….”THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!!!!!!”

I loved that episode. You could certainly do a Kahn thing with that…

Illogical
June 23, 2008 12:06 pm

#2 …They have the talent and are much better actors than the originals….too bad their movies were not up to par…..

Really? Better actors? thats funny.

Jared
June 23, 2008 12:07 pm

I think the more realistic hope for TNG is that if the movie is successful we will finally see a “Captain Riker Show”…I pray every night for this btw, lol…anyway one could see a Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge on that or…just lots and lots of recurring work for any TNG cast members on the show.

Admiral Stedman
June 23, 2008 12:10 pm

TNG Movies not up to par. That’s just it. I own them all, but I’ll always opt for a viewing of a TOS era film first when I have time to watch some Trek.
The films should have been handled by someone who worked in film. Not simply give Berman (a TV guy by trade) the keys to the car and see what he can pull off. I’m not Berman bashing, just saying it may have been different if he were in charge of TV and someone else controlling the features.
But everything is great in hindsight isn’t it.

That One Guy
June 23, 2008 12:12 pm

How would that work without Data? Maybe if they did something with B4….

If they do, they better have the Titan. And where the hell is Q?! He showed the show out, now he needs to show the series out, as just a class kind of a thing. That would be nice.

I’d like to see more.

Just to see Picard stroll in, and someone proclaims:

“Captain on the bridge!”

CW
June 23, 2008 12:16 pm

Jeez… unless you can guarantee that it would be a good film- unlike Nemesis and Insurrection, let it fade away and be done.

Unless, of course, in about 12 more years from now they wish to pull an Indiana Jones with TNG…

… actually, IJ & The KOTCS was a disapointment as well.

CmdrR
June 23, 2008 12:16 pm

“Captain Riker Show”… would be fine. You could have Ambassador Picard on board, and you’d have the same basic cast set-up. But, then you have the problem of B4. Yuck. Hopefully, they covered his never-before-or-after seen duel usb ports. Oh, and flicked the switch that upgrades him to ‘Data.’ Oh, and CGI’d Brent Spiner so he doesn’t look like the universe’s olded non-aging android.

Yes, I love TNG. But, you’ve got your disbelief suspension cut out for you if you want another movie with the same cast.

Gary the Gorn
June 23, 2008 12:16 pm

I saw “First Contact” on SciFi a couple of weeks ago. That is a very entertaining movie. If they do another one like that would be great. Patrick Stewart is very good in Star Trek: First Contact.

By far the best Next Gen movie.

What other series character could they bring back to make a good movie out of? I liked the Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes, Data’s nemesis in the Holodeck episode. Remember they put him in that ship in a bottle. Maybe he could come back all ticked off.

I would also like to see Next Gen go to Talis IV and visit the Buttheads.

Kirk, James T.
June 23, 2008 12:18 pm

I hope that like Star Trek V – Nemesis isn’t considered canon – I would love to see the TNG cast along with cast members from DS9 and Voyager in one last movie that just puts that era of Star Trek to rest – with perhaps one thread left for a possible sequel with new characters replacing the old.

Q would be my choice of TNG villain but i’d also like to see how DS9 copes without sisko – perhaps Q could be written in to help bring Sisko back, i’d like to see how cardassia is faring after the war and i’d also like to see these characters again – i think JJ Abrams would work well with Ronnald D. Moore – that would be a partnership worthy of stovocore!

June 23, 2008 12:19 pm

With all due respect please…

PICARD: So, this is our last mission? To collect waste material from the Cistern System of the Poopites? Aren’t we wasting millions of dollars for special effects on such a silly thing to be doing? Well, at least we don’t have that annoying android around anymo…

B4: I climbed the steps to Mt. Seleyah and guess what?! —
DATA: Old Yellow Eyes is back! Now then, being dead I got to meet Kirk in the afterlife. He is rather angry that you just dumped a bunch of rocks on him, sir. After all, he only saved the universe a few times in his life.

WORF: Damnit , Riker’s back again- taking more potshots at us with The Titan.

THAT NEW FIRST OFFICER BLOKE: Jean-Luc! Can’t we get him court-martialed for this? Geez, Jean-Luc, we already surrendered all of our sprinkled donuts and scones to him. What more does he want?

PICARD: Hmmm… (gets up, walks away) You know I think I’ll call it a franchise… let’s just look forward to something different tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

Arrrrr… again, I kid cuz I loves… never be another TNG film, but I’d see it if thar wuz…

Arrrrrrr….

Sean4000
June 23, 2008 12:21 pm

Put some more ram and a core2 quad in B4 and he’ll be as good as new.

As a computer guy, I really appreciated the “off site backup” in Nemesis.

jmdiaz
June 23, 2008 12:22 pm

#7:

Yes the TNG cast were much more talented in the acting area than the TOS cast was.

The TNG movies suffered because of horrid producers (berman and braga) rather than acting and talent.

Again…too bad the TNG films were mishandled.

ensign joe
June 23, 2008 12:23 pm

I think you’d be looking at a tie-in at best.. but you know.. I’m kindof getting tired of all the rehash.. can I get something original for a change?

June 23, 2008 12:24 pm

I would to see the cast of TNG go at it one more time… of course, I’ll want to see them one more time after that… and again after that… and so on and so forth. There can never be enough TNG for me. :)

A movie featuring true crossovers between the TOS crew and the TNG crew would be great. Maybe the next movie can feature cast members from Star Trek XI mingling with those from TNG. I would definitely go for that, so long as it was done well, with a great, believable story.

I’m also still waiting for the ENT/TOS/TNG crossover, and the TNG/DS9/VOY crossover. Yeah, like either of those will ever happen. :/

Roger
June 23, 2008 12:28 pm

Oh, GODS no, no more TNG movies. First Contact was the best of the lot–and sadly, that’s not saying much. I could’ve done without the Borg Queen (though Alice Krige acted her part very well), a drunken Zefram Cochrane, that stupid Borg plot (why didn’t they just send thirty Borg cubes and call it an assimilation?), and drunken Troi (though it was better than mindraped Troi).

THX-1138 The Fandom Menace
June 23, 2008 12:29 pm

One of the big problems with TNG movies was the reliance of having to have a “bad guy”. Even the Borg had to have a head bad guy, the Queen, to be the antagonist. Why not go on an adventure and face the unknown? What about a universe threatening anomoly? Why not write a compelling story that doesn’t involve wrecking the ship and killing off the iconic characters?

And #6–You mean like Madeline Kahn?

OR Coast Trekkie
June 23, 2008 12:30 pm

You can’t count anything out for the highest rated first-run syndicated show in history. TNG has a pretty good, solid fanbase. I think there’s enough demand that if this new movie is successful, we’ll get one more TNG film. Q was a great villian, and wold work very well for a movie plot. You cna even incorporate DS9 into the movie.

I’m not going to hold my breath for it, but I don’t think you can count out the possibilities. After all, TOS got another movie after ST:V.

Richard
June 23, 2008 12:34 pm

Why doesn’t Paramount follow Universal’s example with “American Pie” and “Bring It On,” and do lower-budget TNG movies (with just part of the cast, if necessary) direct-to-DVD?

T2
June 23, 2008 12:35 pm

definately would like a post-nemesis movie…keep moving forward. maybe it could take place in that TNG “All Good Things”/VOY “Endgame” era. By the time this potential movie would get going, enough time would’ve gone by to enter this era of Trek…late 24th Century. If it’s a TNG movie, we’d need their sail into the sunset…in The Undiscovered Country, the TOS cast got their send off, TNG deserves at least as much…if you can’t get everybody back, bring some DS9 or VOY into it. I grew up with TNG and would love to see just one more, irregardless of anything else…however meaningless, it’s just me…I’ll always be like that because it was my show growing up.

El_Nastro
June 23, 2008 12:38 pm

If this new Trek is as good as I suspect it’s going to be, I just don’t see anyone clamoring for another TNG film. TNG was always a bit milquetoast – The actors performed well, but the characters were too nice, too clean cut, too well-adjusted, and too unoffensive to be anything but nauseating. Now they’re also too old.

Nope, the politically-correct adventures of the crew of the USS Regency-Hotel-Lobby-prise’s time is past, and I don’t mind one bit.

The Underpants Monster
June 23, 2008 12:39 pm

I would really, really love to see the TNG cast again, even if just to get the taste of Nemesis out of my mouth.

I think, though, that an “event” TV miniseries would be a better format than a theatrical movie. TNG was my favorite of the series, but I think it was really more at home with the small, intimate stories that fit better on the small screen.

The Underpants Monster
June 23, 2008 12:39 pm

Oh, and get Frakes to direct.

June 23, 2008 12:42 pm

… so is LeVar suggesting a new movie…

Star Trek : ReGenerations?

Where the TNG crew goes through the Nexus to help the new Pine, Quito etc crew?

*charges Phaser at maximum intensity and aims at own head**

Newman
June 23, 2008 12:48 pm

I’d love to see another TNG movie. The fans want it, but I don’t think that neither JJ nor the studio feel that TNG can attract new followers to the franchise.

It’s just not going to happen.

June 23, 2008 12:53 pm

No they don’t.

June 23, 2008 12:53 pm

Yes please please please. I would love to get a new TNG movie.

Although i have a problem with the phrasing of the pole question to the right. A new TNG movie should be made…..but….It does not need to be a SEQUEL to the new film. I’m afraid making it a “sequel” might confuse the masses.

Anyway, yes…a new tng film would be great. We get the Titan and Captain and Mrs Riker (or mr troi). Geordi could be on either starship…either the Titan or the Enterprise. Worf is PIcard’s new #1 and Data, can in fact return once the B4 robot processes all of the information. (who’s to say that the B4 android isnt programmed to “age”…thus Brent Spiner can reprise the role with no worries)

and hopefully we get Q as a villain/friend….we all know it’s a great love/hate relationship.

oh my wouldnt it be fun?!

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
June 23, 2008 12:57 pm

No ,…..they don’t. Tried to watch 5 minutes of Insurrection they other day. That’s quite enough for me thank you. I would watch a remastered episodes project though. Other than the stock ship effects by ILM most of the outerspace ship effects are horrible.

June 23, 2008 12:57 pm

also…i dont know why anyone would want a direct to DVD trek film.

either do it big or dont do it at all. I dont want a cheap, low budget Trek film direct on DVD. The FX suffer and the acting talent suffers and the script suffers. The whole thing woudnt be worth it at all and probably cheapen the franchise.

John from Cincinnati
June 23, 2008 1:01 pm

I would love to see another TNG movie, with the same feel and soul of First Contact, but not necessarily including the Borg. That movie really caprtured the best of the TNG crew and their comraderie.

JeFF
June 23, 2008 1:04 pm
I hate to say this, because I’d *LOVE* to see another TNG movie, but I’m not sure it’s realistic. I highly doubt Patrick Stewart would sign back on for another movie, and there’s even less of a chance that he’d sign on for another TV show. Brent Spiner’s Data is dead. The sooner people grasp that, the better. If they were to bring back the very essence of Data, they should recast him. No disrespect to Brent Spiner at all, but come on people, he’s too old looking to play an ageless android. The best case scenario we could hope for would be for a TNG-era show with Riker and Troi, and then a mix of characters from that era (in other words, actors/actresses from TNG era shows that are not currently enjoying immense success and are willing/available to do TV or even direct-to DVD). I am quite sure that Frakes and Sirtis would be up to this. Wheaton would be ideal, as would Burton, as they both seem willing to be involved in anything new Trek. McFadden seems MIA, so she’d probably be up for it too. Dorn would probably be unwilling to go through even more years of that makeup, but maybe as recurring? That covers TNG. I’d LOVE to see more of Nana Visitor (she was awesome, AWESOME in BSG). Sid Alexander and Colm Meaney, while wonderful actors, are enjoying bigger and better things, so again, I’m not sure they’d be into it. The Voyager cast could… Read more »
No More STTNG Movies!!!
June 23, 2008 1:16 pm

PLEEEEEEASE, no more STTNG movies!!! They had their shot and screwed it right up! Violated their own cannon and lots more! I have no problem with TNG series, but we need to be moving away from that era! It just did not work on the big screen! Burton, just move on and get over it!

Sam
June 23, 2008 1:17 pm

I’d like to see a DS9 movie

Closettrekker
June 23, 2008 1:21 pm

Another TNG movie? No thanks. I never paid to see any of them, and I wouldn’t pay to see a new one. Everyone has their own opinion, but I always found the TNG-era in general to be rather dull, sterile, and far less romantic than the 23rd Century, and the characters have never been the icons that their predecessors were.

The only thing that has me excited about a new Star Trek movie is the fact that it is centered around the characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

No holodecks, no families aboard, no ship’s counselors, Klingons in Starfleet, artificial officers, or children on the bridge…

For those who still wish to see TNG in movie format, I think straight-to-dvd is a good idea. I think TNG fans would buy those dvd’s, and if they didn’t have Patrick Stewart, they could always be set aboard another vessel under Riker’s command. I never thought TNG was feature film worthy. Even First Contact was just okay, and if it were straight-to-dvd, I wouldn’t know the difference.

NCC-73515
June 23, 2008 1:26 pm

The Titan could bring Spock (Nimoy) to his timeship. We know that XI will start in the TNG time, so it would only be fair to show some part of TNG in the beginning!

No More STTNG Movies!!!
June 23, 2008 1:26 pm

#38. Closettrekker

Couldn’t agree more! Well said!

Thomas Jensen
June 23, 2008 1:27 pm

I don’t see how the success of the new Star Trek movie would necessarily imply that a mass audience would be up for the Next Generation characters.

I’d think that if the movie is a hit, they would follow-up with another movie with the original characters. People would want more from those characters, not some other trek show.

The two are mutually exclusive, some people like the original characters, some the other casts, but all star trek’s aren’t the same thing.

I don’t think that there is room for two major productions of Star Trek. That was tried on television and I don’t believe Paramount will do that again with big screen trek. It wouldn’t make any sense.

I certainly understand why Mr. Burton would want it to be so, but it isn’t even nearly reasonable to expect that to happen for the foreseeable future.

Denise de Arman
June 23, 2008 1:28 pm

jmdiaz#2- OMG! Surely you jest concerning your statement that the TNG actors were “better” than Nimoy, Kelley, Shatner, Doohan, Nichols, etc. Upon what acting school-of-thought do you base this almost laughable statement?

JARED WYNN
June 23, 2008 1:30 pm

tng is done, finished. tos is the king of the hill and capt. kirk is supreme

Closettrekker
June 23, 2008 1:34 pm

#41—He’s reaching, as the actors in STXI are signed for at least two more films. It doesn’t make any sense that they would regress into doing more TNG movies.

#42—I got a kick out of that too.

#44—Always was and always will be.

T.'.
June 23, 2008 1:36 pm

I think that the best option would be to see if the new film does well, and for the new powers at be (JJ, ‘the supreme court’) to come up with something for a new series.

Some suggestions:

0. Don’t be afraid to piss people off. Embrace controversy, as TOS did on occasion.
1. Put it on Sci-Fi, where it fracking belongs
2. Do something new in the late 24th century
3. Serialize!!!
4. Listen to RDM about keeping true to yet showing the limits of Roddenberry’s “vision”
5. Avoid fanwankery
6. Get some serious actors in there, as Marvel is doing with its franchises
7. Explore aspects of the ST universe we haven’t seen (as I understand they are doing with ST XI)

Sisko's Shrimp Gumbo
June 23, 2008 1:37 pm

Reading Rainbow in Space!

a328367
June 23, 2008 1:38 pm

I would like to see a more legitmate TNG sendoff movie eventually. Just to tie up the loose ends from Nemesis. I don’t think Spiner needs screen time in it though. His character could just be mentioned in the script as being somewhere else, such as a deep space mission – who says he has to follow Picard everywhere like a lost puppy. That way his character could be brought back from the Nemisis disaster – err…movie, without having Spiner’s age be an issue. I agree, Trek movies should not be focused on a main villian/character. Leave that to the James Bond franchise. A Trek movie should be focused on a space adventure.

Captain Otter
June 23, 2008 1:39 pm

Yeah, I’ll pass. TNG has their run. It was great and all, but that cast and their show handlers killed the Trek movie franchise.

When JJ raises theatrical Trek from the dead, why on earth would Paramount move backwards in terms of cast and crew?

Your moment in the sun has come and gone, Mr. Burton. Enjoy the memories and, if the itch needs scratching, find a new project. But you cannot go home again.

I suppose, though, if they get really stubborn, there is always the fan film.

Harry Ballz
June 23, 2008 1:40 pm

Denise, you and I are usually on the same page, but……….comparing the two leads of the respective series, are you saying William Shatner is a more talented actor than Patrick Stewart?

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