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
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.
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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.