Spiner: I’m Too Old To Play Data

Brent Spiner has a new video interview promoting his new album Dreamland (see TrekMovie review), but he also talked a bit about Trek. Next Generations Data said that he was too old to return to the role, but ‘never say never.’ The actor also talked about his future projects including his new documentary.  

 

 

VIDEO [via uinterview]

Too old for Data
Most of the interview is about Dreamland, but Spiner was asked if we will see Data again

Sean Connery said ‘never say never’ so I would never say never, but ‘probably never.’ We are getting a little old in the tooth to be doing it — at least I am. Data is a character that is about youth in a way, he is about childlike wonder and exploring humanity with childlike eyes and my eyes aren’t looking childlike anymore as well as you can see. Some of the other people could come back way easier than I could. But it is sort of like — I don’t know if you are Marx Brothers fan, but i the early day so Marx Brothers films starting with Coconuts, Harpo was otherworldly, he was like an angel from another world, a cherub. Somehow by the later films I thought he was least effective because he wasn’t young anymore and there was something about him being youthful that made it work. Grocho worked all the way to the end, but he didn’t have to have this childlike essence. So I don’t I will be doing it again. That being said, you never know.

Dreamland the movie? + new documentary
Regarding future projects, Spiner did say he wants to turn Dreamland into a film, possibly something animated or maybe a concert film, but he needs to find a director. He also talked about his new documentary, but was a bit cryptic:

I’m going to go from one end of the country to another — just going to people’s houses and talking to them. There’s a specific reason, which I’d rather not talk about, but I won’t be making fun of people, that’s not what I’m looking for. I really am just looking for ordinary people or extraordinary people or peculiar people or not peculiar people to visit. Just a variety kind of a cross-section of America and there is a theme, but I’m going to keep that to myself just at the moment because it’s so simple that I’m afraid somebody else will do it before I get out there. So I am not going to say it.

Spiner wants people to write to him about it at brentdoc@aol.com (Leave name, address, phone number)

Brent at LA Comic Book Show
Spiner will be appearing next weekend (October 12) at the Los Angeles Comicbook and Science Fiction Convention. He will be signing his Dreamland. More info at the official site.

For more on Brent, visit therealbrentspiner.com

[H/T: TrekToday]

Sort by:   newest | oldest
EM
October 2, 2008 12:40 pm

I would still like to see an older wiser Data.

Jordan
October 2, 2008 12:45 pm

Hate to admit it, but its true. Perhaps they can make him younger with digital technology in the future.

captain shroom
October 2, 2008 12:46 pm

These days all he has to provide is a voice and the rest would be CGI. He’s supposed to look artificial anyway.

Not that a ‘generations’ project is even remotely on the radar…

I'm dead Jim
October 2, 2008 12:51 pm

Never say never is right. Data (or B-4, whatever) could probably find a way to age himself on the outside so to fit in with his aging colleagues. PLEASE OH PLEASE DO IT! It would be great to have on last GREAT TNG film even if it’s made for TV. Just make it as good as the best two part episodes.

Orb of the Emissary
October 2, 2008 12:51 pm

Data did indicate during the run of TNG that he was made to simulate certain characteristics of humans. Maybe aging is one of them?

HiTrek Redneck
October 2, 2008 12:51 pm

Remember the movie ‘Bicentennial Man’? That android was similar to Data in a way. Data wants to be human, what if he found a way to age like a human. Of course this is all strictly speculating that a TNG movie will ever be made again, but the story of Data aging would be interesting. He would finally get to REALLY face mortality the way we do……

I'm dead Jim
October 2, 2008 12:53 pm

Oh, and I liked Nemesis okay but maybe we could pretend that never happened so that Data could be himself, not B-4. :-)

earthclanbootstrap
October 2, 2008 12:59 pm

I’d sorta prefer to trust his instincts on this one. It’d be like seeing Colin Baker or Tom Baker going back to play the Doctor again (Peter Davison’s clever little bit for Children In Need notwithstanding). It just wouldn’t…
look right.
And I applaud him for the grace and sense to see that.

scarfguy
October 2, 2008 1:05 pm

Oh please don’t tease me about Tom Baker getting into the TARDIS again! Doctor Who was never the same without that man. Always wished there was a way to bring him back, even The Five Doctors had to use stock footage too bad….

MORN SPEAKS
October 2, 2008 1:07 pm

I agree, but I think the overall cast deserves one last very good movie deserving of their final curtain. Just like the original cast did with Star Trek V.

Paul Murphy
October 2, 2008 1:15 pm

In the TNG episode Inheritance, data met a woman who claims to be Soong’s lover therefore his “mother,” but he realizes that she, too, is an android, however she ages and doesn’t even know shes an android so theres always a way to effectively continue Data’s story.

Jorg Sacul
October 2, 2008 1:20 pm

10. *cough* uh, Star Trek VI :-)

GO
October 2, 2008 1:23 pm

#10 – not sure “deserving” has anything to do with anything.

The original cast didn’t “deserve” positive reviews on Star Trek V, they justly “earned” it.

TNG messed up with not one, but two final films. Pretty much end of story.

Thank God for First Contact on DVD.

GO
October 2, 2008 1:23 pm

12. *cough* *choke* *cough* *cough* right you are…

October 2, 2008 1:24 pm

Nemesis was a little anti-climactic, not the sort of ending fans needed, but I still maintain it was a solid Trek film and one of the most emotional of the series, as it dealt with the concept of family more than about who blows up the biggest ship. And besides, we do have the final TNG episode, which as I recall was pretty fantastic. You know, sometimes the heroes should just ride off into the sunset in their prime. We don’t always need to see them shuffling through ‘one last adventure’, teetering into senility. There was something fitting about the final scene in Nemesis, where Picard is seen walking down the corrider of the Enterprise, and the shot of the E being refitted. We knew then that the story would continue, but it wasn’t necassary to see how it might ultimately end. Somewhere out there, Picard was still captain of the Enterprise, and that’s the way it should be. It’s about keeping the legend intact, and not needing to know what happens after the sunset.

Energize
October 2, 2008 1:36 pm

Why not? Can’t Data age? In All Good Things Data dyed his hair grey.

AJ
October 2, 2008 1:41 pm

15:

Scott: Yes, the last scenes of Nemesis were OK, and the cut scenes would have made the end even better.

But the entire film suffers from lack of purpose. It takes Trek canon minutiae (Remus) and weaves an implausible takeover of Romulus, and the manufacture of the most destructive ship in the quadrant by a bunch of 2nd class miners. It then attempts to manufacture a revenge fantasy for Shinzon against Picard, who has never met him or wronged him, but is simply plonked into the relationship by the writers.

The Romulan film we all wanted was taken from us, and the idea of a 2nd Data “brother” was awful and tired, due to lack of imagination. The dune buggy didn’t help, either.

I think Spiner’s Data is a wonderful character, and it would be great if he could be somehow brought back, even via CGI. Before that, a commercial case needs to be made by TPTB to resurrect the 24th century.

October 2, 2008 1:51 pm

AJ, yes Nemesis was a flawed script, but I still think it was salvaged by some great, emotional performances and direction. As a comparison, Star Trek V also had a flawed script, but the direction was also bad and virtually no real acting involved anywhere.
I agree, Data could be brought back as partially CGI. I read that the new Terminator film has a CGI’d Arnold over the face of another actor portraying a terminator. X-Men 3 had a nearly convincing CGI treatment of a young Professor X and Magneto. Both actors had CGI treatment to their faces in that scene. The technology is getting better all the time. I think it likely we’ll see many of our old, favorite actors CGI’d into new films someday. I can’t wait for that, because I want to see Christopher Reeve as Superman again!

Toddk
October 2, 2008 1:53 pm

I would hate to rub salt in it for data fans but if you compare data from farpoint and data from nemesis, the changes are very apparent. the same thing goes for sirtis and frakes. Its one of the things that made the finale of enterprise kind of awkward.

maybe filmation could make a TNG saturday morning series with the TNG cast (whether the TNG cast would like to participate remains to be seen)

I agree that “all good things” makes up for a final TNG ending.

MONGO
October 2, 2008 2:03 pm

Mongo think Data mans right. Sometimes story end. Maybe in 20-30 year we all complain about new actors in TNG reboot.

Mongo always think should have made movie with Q. Make it lighter than all serious TNG movies. Even TOS knew to put a lighter touch in Trek IV.

Newman
October 2, 2008 2:04 pm

Think Mr. Spiner would come to Canada to talk to me???

No, he probably wouldn’t…

mikeEhunt
October 2, 2008 2:05 pm

lets forget Nemesis what an utterly disappointing POS

October 2, 2008 2:17 pm

Direct it and not be in it?? No way! I love the Dreamland CD and he certainly needs to be in the film and or stage produciton. I’m sure there are plenty of qualified directors out there…and he can be the creative consultant.

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 2:20 pm

I think the best ending for the TOS-era crew would have been the end of TVH—when Kirk and company went to warp aboard the Enterprise-A. It was understood that they would once again explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no man had gone before. I didn’t personally need a follow-up to that.

The mistake, IMO, was milking it dry with that cast afterward, with stories that ranged from bad (STV: Shatner’s Great Trek Turd Of ’89) to decent (TUC) to downright awful (with Shatner’s participation in GEN).

For fans of TNG (which I admittedly am not), I think you should be careful what you wish for.

Beyond that, JJ Abrams is asking (or is going to ask) mainstream audiences to put aside their preconceived notions about Trek, in an attempt to make this massive budget Star Trek film a success and infuse new blood into the fanbase. IMO, casting aside the TNG-era for the forseeable future seems wise, with that objective in mind.

I think that, by the time anyone in power wishes (if at all) to greenlight another TNG-era project, it will not be with the cast with which you are familiar.

Mike T.
October 2, 2008 2:27 pm

I agree with #19, a animated series would be the way to go for probably all of the Berman era Trek shows since all of the actors are getting up there in age.
Nearly all of the TNG actors have voiced animated shows/movies (Stewart did TMNT) and they could read their lines anywhere on the planet if they can’t make it to a studio.

As for Data returning, when Riker shows up on Romulus for the peace talks discussed at the end of Nemisis, a Romulan officer could present him with something they found drifting in the wreckage of Shinzon’s ship, Data’s badly damaged head. When they repair his head it could look like the aged Brent Spiner.

Ian
October 2, 2008 2:31 pm

@ #5

How about Data wants to experience what it’s like to be perceived as older and has a makeover at Starfleet Medical and Starfleet Science supervised by Dr. Crusher? He would still have the positronic capacity and memory of the Data we know, but would look older. Kinda far fetched maybe?

October 2, 2008 2:40 pm

Why not have that part of B-4’s “hidden programming”? The capability to age?

I also like #25’s suggestion re/the wreckage; sounds like the opening teaser of an episode. Would be a fun TITAN novel.

Energize
October 2, 2008 2:41 pm

Maybe Data creates an aging chip so he can age along with his fellow companions if he wishes?

Ler
October 2, 2008 2:50 pm

Going off #25s suggestion, not only has the damage made him look older now, but the Thalaron radiation has caused his systems to begin to deteriorate, giving him a future lifespan of a few more decades or however long.

Izbot
October 2, 2008 2:53 pm

“Spiner: I’m Too Old To Play Data”

Ya think? Shoulda said that before making Nemesis.

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 2:54 pm

#30—lol.

October 2, 2008 2:57 pm

brent could pull it off, his skin is just sagging, nothing a few stitches and botox couldnt fix… good as new!

thats the downside of playing a famous artificial character…

someone else could portray soong’s robot, couldnt they?

brent was smashing as arik soong, in the ‘enterprise’ series… that installment was really getting good, too bad the young’ns couldnt recognise a real trek series when they saw it…

how did ‘top model’ outlive ‘enterprise’?

i guess we get the tv we deserve…

JeFF
October 2, 2008 3:01 pm

Recast Data in a younger body… duh.

…and bring back the rest.

classictrek
October 2, 2008 3:06 pm

you feel old when you here that ‘the next generation’ are too old to play their parts!!

Im not a N Gen fan (im TOS only) but i think Star Trek 10 should have been their farewell movie instead of doing Nemesis. It would have drawn more people in the theatres if they knew this was their final movie and would have brought about closure. Would have made more sense then for the New movie (trek 11) to go back to the beginning.

#24 clossettreker
I understand that you dont rate Trek 5 but i personally think it has some classic trek moments. I actually liked the movie but admittedly it could have been better.

I loved TUC and the final swansong for the original crew. I wish they had called it a day then and that shatner and co didnt appear in trek 7. i think that was a big mistake.

cheers
Greg
UK

ThePhaige
October 2, 2008 3:11 pm

No emotion = emotion chip
No aging = aging chip

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 3:12 pm

#32—“how did ‘top model’ outlive ‘enterprise’?”

Well, for one thing, it was on the UPN.

Guaging what the seems to me to be the ‘majority’ opinion (although my conclusion is certainly not scientific) among people who post here about it, by the time ENT developed into something they could sink their teeth into, not enough people were left watching.

I didn’t see it until after it was cancelled and I bought the DVD set. I like it (and I didn’t really like much of the rest of Berman-era Trek), and I agree about Spiner in the augment episodes…

October 2, 2008 3:35 pm

#27 said it.

There’s nothing to say that B4 wasnt designed and built to show signs of aging.

And i like the idea of #35. An aging chip creates instant age-ability. But that might a little tough, and obvious feeling to shoe-horn into a script.

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 3:46 pm

#34—“…admittedly it could have been better.”

I’ll resist the temptation to, once again, list the reasons why I would like to forget it and get my money back. Instead, I’ll just say that I think the notion that “it could have been better” is a significant understatement, IMO.

But if you enjoyed it, good for you.

“I wish they had called it a day then and that shatner and co didnt appear in trek 7. i think that was a big mistake.”

All things being equal, I couldn’t agree more.

Phil
October 2, 2008 3:54 pm

CGI Data….yeah, that worked real well with Jar Jar…

TOS-TNG Luva
October 2, 2008 4:03 pm

Berman basically got sloppy with the tail end of VOY and entire ENT. No bail out for him. :)

R0gueD3m3nt0r
October 2, 2008 4:10 pm

im just glad he’s not whining about “not being in the next film” like shatner is.

and he’s not having post character death denial like shatner too haha

love ya mr. spiner!

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 4:14 pm

#41—I have to agree with you there.

Sean4000
October 2, 2008 4:14 pm

25:

Darn good idea! I like it a lot.

+1

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 4:18 pm

#43—Yeah, his solution is definitely better than Shatner’s reassembling DNA idea!

Snowblind
October 2, 2008 4:26 pm

Jar Jar was just a terrible character, it wouldn’t have made any difference if he were an actual actor.

Closettrekker
October 2, 2008 4:28 pm

Me’sa terrible character?

The Last Maquis
October 2, 2008 4:32 pm

20. MONGO

Yeah, why didn’t They put Q in any of those movies?

He was They’re Real Nemesis. I’m still waiting for the Wrath of Daimon Bok movie. Nemesis was Awesome. Berman sucked.

Chain of Command
October 2, 2008 4:40 pm

I read a post earlier about the last TNG episode, “All Good Things” being a great farewell. I suppose it could be considered that, but am I one of the only people who never really liked it? I mean, it’s good, but pretty lame compared to episodes like “The best of both worlds”. That was TNG’s best hour (Well, two hours). Even better than First Contact IMO

October 2, 2008 4:43 pm

Just bring in John DeLancie as Q to wave his magic hand and make Data human and old. Spiner’s nearly 60 if I’m not mistaken isn’t he?

One of the things I was ALWAYS disappointed with in the TNG movies was no Q. It started as a really clunky character in the “Farpoint” pilot, but he and the writers really nailed that character especially in the end.

Oregon Trek Geek
October 2, 2008 4:43 pm

#25 has an awesome idea(s) on all counts.

Also, a CGI Data, if done well, could be really cool.

I still hope for more on-screen TNG. The small screen would be fine too. I still like the idea of an anthology series, one 2-hr movie per month or so, with the various series casts trading off. One month, voyager, next month TNG, then DS9, etc. And occasionally some crossover stuff.

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