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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Star Trek Makeup Designer Burman Talks Oscar, Gorns, and Sequel Klingons Hopes June 30, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Interview,ST09 Creative,Star Trek (2009 film),Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Makeup designer Barney Burman brought glory to Star Trek by winning the franchise’s first Academy Award earlier this year. Last week Burman also won a Saturn award and before the event TrekMovie had a chance to talked to Burman about his Oscar, and what he wants to do in the Star Sequel.


Burman on Oscar, Klingons, Gorns oh my




Barney Burman with his Saturn

Photo courtesy of Albert L. Ortega


POLL: The Klingon forehead debate.

If the Klingons are in the Star Trek sequel, should they look like they did on the original series, or should we see more going on in the forehead department?




Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
June 30, 2010 11:27 pm

He’s a very forward thinker and certainly thinks outside the box when it comes to aliens. I like his idea of there being variations of the gorn.

Spot's Kittens
June 30, 2010 11:27 pm

No ridges !!!

June 30, 2010 11:30 pm

While I understand the creative drive to reinterpret etc. – if I was a makeup designer, I probably couldn’t resist doing my own take on Klingons either – as a fan concerned about the cohesiveness of my favorite universe, I can’t help but feel ambivalent/nervous about redesigned Klingons. In some sense I don’t like fragmenting canon too much …

June 30, 2010 11:32 pm

To paraphrase the old Ruffles commercial…. ‘Klingons have ridges!’

I’d love to see the Gorn as the protagonist in the next film (notice I did NOT say villain)!

For the next film, I belong in the camp that wants a thoughtful adventure that doesn’t require death, destruction and war. How about an honest to goodness adventure/drama that embodies the best qualities of the original series?

Captain Rickover
July 1, 2010 1:35 am
Well, I thought the Gorn in the cut scene of the new movie lost his snout on Rura Penthe…. Ridges: Yes, Klingons should have ridges (as a TNG-fan I have to say this)! That was Roddenberry’s true take on the klingons and so they should have ridges. On the other hand, ENT explains very clever why klingons during the TOS-era had no ridges. Consider the fact, that the new movie still taking place in the same multiverse and share the same past as the Prime-Universe until 2234, klingons should have no ridges. The best solution would be to show three… Read more »
July 1, 2010 3:02 am

Ridged forehead + CGI eyes. No more human eyes for such a predatory species, please!

I'm Dead Jim!
July 1, 2010 4:57 am

Klingons must NOT look like humans with dirty faces and facial hair, please!

July 1, 2010 6:34 am

I hope that there won’t be Klingons in the next movie.
But the GORN would be great! :-)

July 1, 2010 7:28 am

Please don’t sweat the ridges. ENT’s explanation was annoying, to say the least. In VI, they simply had some of the characters with more subtle ridges. That’s fine.
So, have a free hand in showing us what Klingons look like. Just make them intelligent. They fly starships after all.

July 1, 2010 7:41 am

ENT’s explanation was fun, engaging and clever, to say the least.

July 1, 2010 10:39 am
I just hope they don’t make the next movie a big, all-out Klingon movie. Frankly, after all the Klingon stuff on TNG and DS9, I’m still kind of burnt out on Klingons. But if they do go that way, I’d personally prefer the more thoughtful, cunning, intelligent Klingons that we saw in Undiscovered Country (complete with smaller forehead ridges, as it humanized them and made them more relatable as characters; they seemed less ‘beastly’). Judging from the deleted scenes of Trek 2009 (with Victor Garber as the interrogator Klingon), it seemed that they were going to go that direction anyway.… Read more »
July 1, 2010 11:18 am

I did Klingon drawings based on Romulan concepts for the first film a while back. I hope they’re a good indicator of what Burman will come up with.

And I’m all for a Gorn ally, though I feel the design from the cut scene was too anthromorphic, they should do better if they decide to have one.

July 1, 2010 11:39 am

The Klingon Helmets from the deleted movie scene might indicate where they will go with the Klingon’s. I disliked the Enterprise explanation, but rather liked the Romulan, Reman theory of a subcategory or moon oriented race.

I am not Herbert
July 1, 2010 11:59 am

RIDGES!!! …like in the opening scene of TMP: best Klingons EVER!!

July 1, 2010 3:46 pm

I’m all for the creative interpretation of Klingons, but i really hope they stick to the base look and feel. I really liked what I saw in the deleted scenes, but there has to be ridges — it’s canon!

The change in the Romulans from TOS to TNG is a good example of creative tinkering while still maintaining the feel of the race. I wouldn’t want to see Enterprise’s storyline about the ridges voided out for no good reason.

Breaking the canon too much completely nulls out the point the first film’s time travel plot.

The Gorn Identity
July 1, 2010 6:00 pm

I must agree with those who want to see the Gorn in the STAR TREK sequel. My people deserve to be spotlighted!!

Star Trek 12 : Klingon Rising
July 1, 2010 6:49 pm

I say stay true to Roddenberrys version which IMO are TOS movie versions. And please no long haired barbarians crap. These guys are advanced space travelers with a different agenda than the Federation not cavemen!

July 1, 2010 10:29 pm
Yeah. You can’t start changing Klingons too much. I have enough trouble explaining to non-trekkers why Romulans aren’t “Spock’s people”… my last saving grace last time it happened was pointing out the ridges on the forehead that TNG added. Take those away… and that conversation never would have resolved itself. 1: “These are Spock?” 2: “No, Spock is a guy. He’s Vulcan. He is from a race that’s very logical. These are aliens called Romulans. They are similar to Vulcans, have Vulcan ears, like Spock’s ears, but when they were building their culture, they went for emotion instead of logic.… Read more »
July 1, 2010 10:47 pm

Burman is smart about diversity within a species. Look at dogs: Short or long snouts, come in all sizes, colors, etc.

Red Dead Ryan
July 2, 2010 10:54 am




Agreed! That’s kind of why I think we will see a variety of Klingons in the sequel. Some smooth-headed, some with lots of ridges, some with only a few ridges, etc.

July 2, 2010 1:27 pm


But if this universe shares same history as the prime universe then the Klingons must have smooth heads. Enterprise has put that into canon. But it could be that some have ridges and some are smooth heads like in recent comics.

July 2, 2010 2:52 pm

Are some of my comments being deleted even if they are additional and different?

Something wrong with me stating that Michael Westmore is still my fav make up artist?

July 5, 2010 4:39 am
I liked “Affliction”/”Divergence”, and I thought the explanation was worthwhile. I reckon they could’ve gotten away with the whole “The makeup has evolved and that’s it” explanation if they hadn’t drawn attention to the fact the Klingons were ridgeless in “Trials and Tribble-ations”. That episode established that Klingons of the 23rd century really DID look different in-universe, so it needed to be explained. As “Enterprise” establishes that not all the Klingons were turned ridgeless but only some, I reckon the Klingons in the new movie should be a mix of ridged and ridgeless. The ridged ones should be only at… Read more »
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