Assuming that Paramount sticks with their planned release date, we are now exactly 2 years away from the next Star Trek movie which will be released on June 29th 2012. The sequel to JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek film is still in the development phase, but things should begin to heat up soon. Today we take a look at what know (and what we don’t).
The story of the Star Trek sequel is just beginning
We have heard from writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman that they have the beginnings of a story for the Star Trek sequel. The team are going to start working with Damon Lindelof who has finished his work on Lost and has just got back from vacation. In fact this morning Lindelof tweeted "Vacation officially over. Ready to boldly go."
What do we know about the sequel?
The creative team:
The entire ‘Supreme Court’ is back as producers. For the Star Trek sequel JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, and Roberto Orci will all have ‘producer’ credits (unlike the first film where only Lindelof and Abrams were credited as producers, while the rest of the team were ‘executive producers’). Although many expect JJ Abrams will again also direct, he has said he will not decide until the script is done (and assuming that his schedule permits).
For the 2009 Star Trek movie Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were the only credited writers, however Damon Lindelof also did some work with the pair on the story and afterwards Bob and Alex went off to write the screenplay. For the sequel Lindelof was slated to work on the story with Bob and Alex, but it now that Lindelof is done with Lost, it looks like the three will work together on both the story and the screenplay.
As for the rest of the crew, although they have not signed up, it is expected that most will be the same as the 2009 film.
Burk, Lindelof, Abrams, Kurtzman & Orci – the gang’s all back for the "Star Trek" sequel (NY Times)
All of the main crew will be back for the sequel, and all have options for one additional film as well. So the sequel will at least include Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Simon Pegg as Scotty.
Additional cast from the first film could also end up reprising their roles, but are not givens. These include the likes of Ben Cross as Sarek and Bruce Greenwood as Pike. However, it is very unlikely Leonard Nimoy will be reprising his role as Spock Prime. And don’t expect Eric Bana (Nero) or Clifton Collins Jr. (Ayel) back either.
It is likely we will also see a number of new characters plus some familiar characters from Trek’s past. The writers had previously noted that some characters (like Christine Chapel) were considered for the first film, but they wanted to only include characters who had a good reason to show up and not just be a cameo (although Chapel is referred to in Star Trek 2009). Of course, the question of William Shatner reprising his role as an older Kirk or Kirk Prime (or even another character) will again become a hot topic. JJ Abrams has said not including Shatner was the hardest decision he made the first time around.
There is also the possibility of an international star coming on board. JJ Abrams has said this is one way they may look to boost global box office, as Star Trek 2009 under-performed in most non-English speaking markets.
Trek’s new crew: Yelchin, Pine, Pegg, Urban, Cho and Saldana (+ Quinto not-pictured) all will be back for the "Star Trek" sequel (Paramount)
We know nothing. We don’t even know if the title will have a colon in it. The story is just starting to be hashed out so details are still well within the Abrams team’s notorious cone of silence. But there has been some discussion about general concepts.
Abrams and the writers have talked about wanting to create a richer story that delves deeper into the characters and also one that also possibly has some allegorical nature. And now that the origin story is out of the way, it is also expected that any possible villain will also be more fleshed out.
The biggest question now is the mix between original story and new characters vs. bringing back story elements and characters seen in classic Star Trek. There has been a lot of buzz in the media about a possible return of Khan. And we know that Khan was something that the team have considered, as at one point they discussed including a ‘post credits’ shot of the Botany Bay in Star Trek 2009, but didn’t do it as they felt it would force their hand on the decision. Most fans seem less interested in a new Khan, but many would like to see the new universe’s take on the Klingons.
One thing we can be pretty sure we will not see is more time travel. Although time travel was integral to their first film, the writers have also stated that time travel in their universe is not simply a matter of whipping around a sun. Of course that does not mean that the story will follow a traditional linear style (especially when you look at the styles of Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof).
Ricardo Montalban (Khan) and William Shatner (Kirk) in original series episode "The Space Seed" – might we see a new Khan? (CBS)
Over the next few months the writers will be banging away at their story and script. That is expected to be completed by the end of the year, at which time the film will get the official green light (in Hollywood a film isn’t ‘real’ until there is a script). Then the film goes into pre-production until shooting starts around the Summer of 2011.
Of course we should also expect to see lots of rumors, and some may end up being true. These will be both plot rumors as well as casting rumors. TrekMovie will continue to try to cut through the rumors and report what can be verified.
As for the marketing of the Star Trek sequel, that is likely not going to start until 2011. We do know that there will be no panel at Comic Con 2010.
So stay tuned to TrekMovie.com, as the next two years should be a lot of fun.
POLL: What are your expectations?
There is a tradition of second films in a genre series being seen to be as good if not better than the first, including such films as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Aliens, Superman 2, and The Empire Strikes Back. But sometimes film end up not being so great, such as this summer’s Iron Man 2 (which most consider to be not as good as the first), and you also have films like Matrix Reloaded, Jaws 2 and of course Teen Wolf Too. So what are your current expectations?