Even More From Orci & Kurtzman On Linking Next Two Star Trek Movies

Another new interview with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman has emerged mostly focusing on Fringe, but straying into the next Star Trek as well. The pair talked a bit more about linking the next two films, but dismissed the idea that they could be filmed back to back. Details below.


Bob and Alex on the next two Trek films
The interview at IESB focused on Fringe and much of the talk of the next Star Trek movie covered recently reported ground about how their has only been one meeting and anything is on the table, but the discussion did pick up on the recent talk about tying the next two films together:

Q: Could it bridge to a third movie?

Orci: It was more the fact that we talked about the minute you start seeing how much Star Trek there is, and how many ideas everyone’s having, you could have enough material for more films. There is 43 years of material. That’s all that we meant by that. It has to cross your mind, but we’re not leaning one way or the other yet.

Q: How careful do you have to be not to overdo it?

Kurtzman: Well, it’s a balance. The approach for us, on the first movie, was, "How do we please fans? And, how do we please people who have no relationship to Trek?" That’s what we have to keep asking ourselves, constantly. That’s a very tricky formula because it’s hard. A lot of what makes die hard Trekkers really focused on Trek are those details that can sometimes be alienating to people who are not on the inside. So, that leads us back to, "What are the big themes and the emotional ideas?" That’s a language everybody speaks.

Q: Wouldn’t it be cost effective to do two Star Trek sequels?

Orci: Even if we conceived of stories that were connected, I don’t know that we’d be interested in shooting them, back to back. It’s not about doing them together. It’s just about what’s best for the story.

Bob and Alex’s Universes
The pair also talked about parallel universes, something they are using in Star Trek and have introduced into Fringe:

Q: What are your thoughts on parallel universes?

Kurtzman: I think they exist.

Orci: It’s the latest thinking on it, you know. Anything that can happen, does happen. That’s what Mr. Data said in Star Trek: The Next Generation. It seems to resolve a lot of the paradoxes that exist, but who knows. It’s an old idea now. It’s not a new idea.

Bob’s guide Data in "Parallels" explaining the universe(s)

For more from the pair read the full interview at IESB.

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Captain Dunsel
August 13, 2009 9:07 am

Let’s hope we live in the parallel universe where the JJ’s Trek Sequels, whatever their content, (linked? Kahn? Mudd? A thousand other choices) are as successful and enjoyable as the first was.

First? Or did someone beat me whilst I was typing? :)

August 13, 2009 9:19 am

another article which tells us nothing. It seems to just point out they might connect the next two films.

Pleasing the fans and the mainstream auidence is a hard balance.

What I like about the parallel universe is that it does not wipe out 40 years of Trek history

August 13, 2009 9:20 am

I think they need to just pick a story and go with it. Time is ticking by fast.

I'm dead Jim
August 13, 2009 9:21 am

Still nothing.


August 13, 2009 9:28 am

Since timelines, etc. are different now, why not have a story where the primitive Borg of this time pick up the red matter explosion of Nero’s ship and plan an invasion to assimilate the Federation of this time because it believes it has red matter technology. It could be years after the meeting with Nero but before TOS as it would take the Borg time to get to Federation space. Just an idea.

August 13, 2009 9:30 am

even if we had something, we wouldn’t be talking about it this far out! Just treading water in those damned interviews.

Kobayashi Maru
August 13, 2009 9:34 am

This snap back on Classic Trek is also a great opportunity to examine where are culture is heading now!
Remember, the best Trek of the 60’s addressed issues that were in the forefront of it’s time, so to be strung up by “canon” or sentimental attachment to characters like Khan or Harry Mudd, defeats the ingenious way these writers gave us our cake and let us eat it too..
The “Undiscovered Country” is the true “Final Frontier”, so let’s see where this can go, liberate the writers’ imaginations…. let them create!

August 13, 2009 9:36 am

@ boborci: How long does it usually take to develop and write a story?

August 13, 2009 9:37 am

As a fan, i just sit back and wait. It’s much too soon to speculate on anything. First, let’s all buy the dvd that is coming out and relive the great movie again. It was a fun movie, very well done with some great acting.

Let’s focus on that for now and maybe next year, let’s see what everyone has to say. My two bits is that if we stay for now in this new and exciting alternate universe, we must focus on new stories with a second known story in the back, but a bit off to keep it alternate.

Let the writers focus on new adventures, we know the crew, we want to see the ship more in action and put in to danger, but it´s a big brandnew universe.
Don´t look back on the told stories in all series and movies, but give Kirk, Spock and crew new adventures that will keep everybody coming back for more.

The danger of comparing with the old series and movies can endanger the new success of the franchise, so please: no more Khan, Q, Borg, or whatever anymore. Just focus on what happened in the original series and use some elements as a second storyline, but no more than that.

New adventures, new dangers, thát is what we want to see.

August 13, 2009 9:40 am

All I want is a good story, and when I leave the theater to feel that I did not waste a couple of hours and a handful of money.

You guys did it once, and I went on that ride several times. I am confident you can do it again.

August 13, 2009 9:40 am

8. Six months for a first draft of a script from the minute you start thinking about it.

August 13, 2009 9:50 am

Bob- I read that John Hughes wrote the script for “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in a week. That blew my mind.

I suppose that your muse may vary when it comes to script writing. I know that when I’m creating and writing, even when I am on fire, it takes a lot longer than doing anything else.

It’s a tough job- and I admire folks who can do it consistently, and make a living at it.

August 13, 2009 9:56 am

I sincerely respect both writers, as they have to keep so many details in mind when writing the script. It is mindboggling. The first movie was very well done with all the small details and eastereggs, it was a lot of fun as a bonus for the fans.
Also, i think the story moved very well, it didn’t ‘hang’ around in scenes with too much dialog, but is was fastpaced from one moment to the next. Again, my compliments.
Just create new adventures, that will keep the audiences coming back for more, new generation and diehards alike.

August 13, 2009 10:04 am

“DS9 IN PRIME TIME – August 13, 2009
I think they need to just pick a story and go with it. Time is ticking by fast.”

Incorrect. Do you want a rushed, half-fleshed out product just for the sake of seeing a movie faster, or do you want a well-thought out plot, solid story line and compelling dialogue? Time is ticking by fast for what? Watch some reruns in the meantime.

Sybok's Secret Brother
August 13, 2009 10:07 am

Looking forward to these! I’m going to see XI again this weekend. They are playing it at a wonderful brew-pub here in Portland. Pizza, Beer and Trek!
Bob – come on up and I’ll buy the beer…

August 13, 2009 10:09 am

Looking forward to anything they release, but I can wait for another Star Trek movie. ^^ I’m happy with what I’ve got; I’m not dying of anticipation. xD

I can’t wait for the next season of Fringe! Can anyone tell me when the season starts up again on FOX? :3 I’ve been trying to fill the gap by watching X-Files repeats on a DVD I checked out from the library.. ^^;

Porthos X
August 13, 2009 10:13 am
#11–bob, i agree with other posters who said in order to remain true to the core ways 60s Trek operated movie stories must reflect whats going on in our time, as 60s Trek did… what would go best would be a borderline hostile alien culture has extreme politicial instability which threatens everyone and Kirk and crew must help calm things down there, and along the way must have his first battle with the Prime Directive and whether it’s relevant in a universe without the culture who inspired humanity to adopt it (the Vulcans)..that or a dissent in the ranks story where ‘a rogue, secretive faction within the Federation’ is quietly powergrabbing with plans to seize control of the Federation from within and turn it into something similar to the Mirror Universe Terran Empire (i.e. Section 31) and Kirk and crew must stop/expose them…of course the latter would have to be done with much caution so as to not spoil the optimistic view of the future…also how about real representation of the gay community in the nuTrek? maybe make Sulu gay in this timeline as a tribute to Takei? How about a McCoy romance? perhaps Emony Dax? Jadzia/Ezri’s precedent host to the Dax symbiont? it was said that she had a romance with Bones? And why not bring back Gaila in the 2nd reboot film? everyone wants her, and theres no definite thing saying she was killed in the fleet massacre at Vulcan…or introduce Carol Marcus? (though make her name Caroline… Read more »
David B
August 13, 2009 10:14 am


All I would say is try and think of the big picture, work out where you want the conclusion of this new film series to be and then work toward it in 1, 2,3 however many films it takes to get there.

Star Wars 1-3 was obvious we all knew what was going to happen eventually, Star Trek doesn’t have those boundaries but I guess all this alternate goings on has to lead to some conclusion.

Will everything be corrected eventually?
Will the future now change forever?

Sci-Fi Bri
August 13, 2009 10:18 am

so, bob and alex, your movies this year [trek and transformers] might make a billion dollars this year… whats your cut, 20%?

that’d be sweet, huh?

August 13, 2009 10:21 am

If I can get Spock Prime and Kirk Prime together again I will be happy and the new crew can do whatever they want.

I am on my way to see the movie for the 8th time.

August 13, 2009 10:22 am

So I think it’s safe to say that you at least have a plot in mind. Is there any chance that Shatner is going to be apart of the movie?

You could actually end a very difficult topic right now if there is no chance. If you have no intention of using Mr. Shatner, it would be nice to get that out of the way now.

Sci-Fi Bri
August 13, 2009 10:24 am


you know that will never be out of the way…. lolz

August 13, 2009 10:34 am

#21: if there even wás any reason for bringing mr. Shatner back, than certainly not as Prime Kirk. Way, way, wáy passed station. If, for some reason, Mr. Shatner was granted a cameo, then perhaps as Kirks (Chris Pine) grandfather, giving some advice in a scene.

But really i don’t see any reason to do that. These are new times, a new universe, new cast and Prime Spock was just a (very well done) threat to tie in all Trek that was before and respect 43 years of fandom.

They (writers, studio, TPTB) should purely focus now on the new cast, the new ship and new storylines.

August 13, 2009 10:37 am

@boborci —

If you are looking for some real life inspiration for thinking about the multiverse, I have to recommend Oxford Professor, and author of The Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch.



August 13, 2009 10:45 am

#2. captain_neill wrote: “another article which tells us nothing. … What I like about the parallel universe is that it does not wipe out 40 years of Trek history”

Actually no, it tells us something very significant. For all of his emphatic insistence that MWI QM would always apply as long as he is involved with Trek, Orci might be back-peddling, or at least softening on adhering to the letter of that quantum theory. “It’s an old idea now” indeed! LOL

As for the parallel universe not wiping out 40 years of Trek history, well, it’s not canon. Nothing on-screen confirms that this new timeline has not overwritten the old one, at least from 2233 forward. But nothing confirms it has either.

However you choose to look at it, those 40 years happened, so they haven’t been wiped out and are available at Amazon.com for repeated visitations. Either way, it’s sort of a moot point because the chances an official movie or TV series returns to the Prime universe anytime soon are quite low, IMO.

August 13, 2009 10:48 am

I heard they’re going to do an adaptation of “All the Myriad Ways” by Larry Niven. Should be entertaining.

August 13, 2009 10:51 am

boborci: “Just treading water in those damned interviews.”

They ask because they care :-)

Six months seems pretty good, considering you two have others things to do as well.

August 13, 2009 10:54 am

Bob, do you belive in a new Star Trek show after the third film?
And please, no more time travel.

August 13, 2009 11:02 am

22-23, it’s always possible if they really want it, but even without it being Kirk Prime, they could establish something cool with an older JTK there. Plus, it would make for an interesting draw just to have Shatner and Nimoy together for what really would be the final time.

However, that said, I recognize the odds of them using Shatner in any capacity are small. I don’t like it, but I get it. Yet, unlike last time, they have a chance to learn from past mistakes and nip this in the bud. If they have no intent of using Shatner in this movie, a comment here would put an end to speculation right now.

I really believe that a good chunk of the backlash over the Shatner issue was the fact that the producers/writers dragged it on themselves, rather than just simply stating, “no.”

August 13, 2009 11:03 am

Hey Bob, many thanks for taking the time to drop by here.

Re the brand new versus familiar story elements debate: has any thought been given to an approach with an opening featuring the end of the previous adventure (a la James Bond, Indiana Jones) which could feature familiar elements before launching into a brand new story? I can’t help but think a retold ending of a familiar story, e.g. The Doomsday Machine, Ultimate Computer, would make one hell of an opening to the next film.

No Khan
August 13, 2009 11:06 am

Kirk Prime is still in Nexus like Guinen. So all they need to do is have him wish to return to a time when he was young & he can interact with the new crew.

August 13, 2009 11:11 am

31–that’s true. And I believe that IF they wanted to use Kirk prime, they could. Interestingly enough, the rules of the nexus would actually help in explaining an age difference (if Kirk exits at a time before his birth). But if they ever wanted Kirk Prime in the movie, they NEVER would use the nexus, even if it is the perfect tool.

Of course, with our luck, they would do what New Voyages did and just have a temporary aging thing for the Pine Kirk.

Generations really hurt this franchise.

August 13, 2009 11:19 am

I seriously doubt they are giving ANY consideration to using Shatner.

However, thanks to Damon Lindelof’s increased involvement there could very easily be a significant and effective flashback element to the film (a la LOST) which might incorporate Shatner as Kirk (which also presumes Nimoy’s return as well since he is the only one who has those memories), or as Kirk’s relative.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

John from Cincinnati
August 13, 2009 11:22 am

I was going to bring up the nexus too. The nexus is still pretty mysterious on how it works. Guinan said an echo of everyone in the nexus remains there. Who is to say the nexus can’t cross dimensional planes and visit different parallel universes?

BobOrci – Wouldn’t Prime Spock feel responsible for the destruction of Vulcan and the death of this mother for failing his mission on Romulus?

August 13, 2009 11:22 am

Hey folks–

Here is a bit of information; Kirk Prime is in the nexus in the Prime Universe. These movies are in the AU. Who’s to say that kirk dies on Veridian II anymore? Maybe Spock can utilize the Guardian of Forever and visit James T. in the future as he would appear had he not died? Maybe they bring him back to the past to help with a dilemna thatonly the future Kirk can solve.

Having said that, I don’t really care if Shatner is in any more Trek movies. i’m just throwing some discussion fodder out there. Sorry if someone already brought this up.

Pork And Beans
August 13, 2009 11:23 am

Lets just hope it’s better than JJ’s first effort at a Star Trek movie (imho!) :-)

August 13, 2009 11:24 am

And please disregard the numerous typos above. It was an all out Typonian attack.

Kobayashi Maru
August 13, 2009 11:24 am

Why are people still stuck on restoring “Kirk Prime” (sic) to the franchise?
Kirk is back! He’s in his prime . and his future, albeit alternate timeline/universe, is an open book! There are more adventures garunteed, so let’s take a rest, relax, and allow a little surprise…

August 13, 2009 11:32 am

#35. THX-1138 wrote: “Who’s to say that kirk dies on Veridian II anymore? Maybe Spock can utilize the Guardian of Forever and visit James T. in the future … Maybe they bring him back to the past …”

NOT IF ORCI is still sticking to his MWI QM story. None of those things are possible in the Alternate Universe since they don’t conform to the latest greatest scientific theories regarding time travel.

For that matter, neither does the Nexus. So for all practical purposes, it doesn’t exist in the Alternate Universe, at least as we’ve been led to understand it.

August 13, 2009 11:32 am

Thanks for stepping by and answering here and there.

Please use Trek XI Universe with NEW stories and have some small nods here and there to previous Star Trek (like Archer’s Beagle, Tribbles, why Bones is called Bones etc)

and just because you can – ANDORIANS…

I’m looking forward to it, no matter what.

Tanner Waterbury
August 13, 2009 11:37 am

@ 24 I dont know, that seems to be some fairly heavy reading, you think you two (Bob and Alex) are up to that task of reading that stuff?

August 13, 2009 11:41 am

@ 24

Sure. Why not? David Deutsch even checks his email. I got a response from him on a completely random question related to theology and the multiverse.

Deutsch is probably a Trek fan too.

August 13, 2009 11:45 am

RE: 42
@ 41 (oops )

Also, David Deutsch seems to recommend The Labyrinth of Time: Introducing the Universe by Michael Lockwood.

There is a lot of Trek lore to explore, but why not also get inspiration from the latest science writing available? =)

August 13, 2009 11:46 am

“I really believe that a good chunk of the backlash over the Shatner issue was the fact that the producers/writers dragged it on themselves, rather than just simply stating, ‘no.'”

I have to say I found this very amusing. The way I remember it, the conversation went more like this:

FANS: Is William Shatner going to be in the movie?


(Long pause.)

FANS: We couldn’t have heard that right. We’ll give you another chance. Is Shatner going to be in the movie?

ABRAMS & CO. : Sorry, but no. He’s not.

(Intense, religiously-fanatic slow burn.)


ABRAMS & CO. : Well, we thought about it, but we really couldn’t think of a way to —


ABRAMS & CO. : Um, if you’d just let us finish…


ABRAMS & CO. : No, look, we think if you just wait till we finish the movie and then go SEE it…

FANS: THIS IS A DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Repeat continuously for 12 months.)

ABRAMS & CO. : Sigh…

August 13, 2009 11:48 am

So on Tuesday I squeezed in between one not so small man on one side and a screaming crying kid on the other side on my transatlantic flight from the UK to Canada. I did not expect it to be a pleasant journey.

That all changed when the flight attendant told me the in-flight movie was going to be Star Trek!!!! What a great flight!!!!!

August 13, 2009 12:02 pm

35–You have an interesting point. A lot depends on the nexus. Would time travelling back and preventing someone from entering the nexus in the first place, make it so they NEVER entered the nexus? Generations is unclear, since that’s exactly what happened to Picard. In fact, it’s arguable that changing history so that someone doesn’t enter the nexus has no effect on the timeline of the person who entered the nexus. After all, history WAS changed so that Picard never entered the nexus.

38–because this movie changed WAAAAY to much to satisfy the desire to undo Generations. They wiped the good AND the bad.

44–your memory isn’t very good.

It was more like:

Shatner–I’m not in the movie.

Fans: Darn

Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman: We’re desperately trying to get him in the movie.

Fans: Awesome–there’s hope!

Shatner: I’m not in the movie.

Fans: Darn

Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman: We’re desperately trying to get him in the movie.

Fans: Awesome–there’s hope!

Shatner: I’m not in the movie.

Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman: What do you want? Generations happened. We couldn’t do it despite making a movie that involves time travel and changing history. We can kill characters that didn’t die and destroy planets that weren’t destroyed, but we can’t get Shatner in the movie despite again, we’re using time travel.

Fans: Darn

August 13, 2009 12:12 pm

I still say Shatner was in the movie.

August 13, 2009 12:24 pm

#8 boborci

Take as much time as you need. We’ll wait.

August 13, 2009 12:37 pm

Are people seriously bringing up the Nexus? Most everyone disliked Generations (even TNG fans) and whined about it killing off Kirk, yet now I see it frequently referenced as some kind of get out of jail free card to bring old Kirk back. Let us never reference that movie again (after all, by the time Nemesis came around it seemed the writers had forgotten it *cough* Data’s character development *cough*).

Besides, we’re in a new universe now. Who says Kirk dies on Veridian III in the first place? Old Spock may well have planted a subtle hint in Kirk’s brain during their mind meld that will cause him to avoid that launch ceremony for the Enterprise-B. Besides, Bob & Alex have confirmed that the Starfleet of their universe doesn’t hire starship captains as incompetent as Harriman, so even if Kirk *is* on the Ent-B it may not turn out the same way.

August 13, 2009 12:51 pm

Shatner isn’t Kirk anymore, he is too….chubby…and doesn’t even look like he did when he was Kirk…period! However Kirk is in the film, amazingly well played by Pine…so I think everyone should leave it at that!

Take you’re time guys, as long as its good no-one minds waiting!