Alex Kurtzman To Direct ‘Welcome To People’ – Produced By Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is giving Star Trek co-writer Alex Kurtzman his big break as a feature film director. Kurtzman has been tapped to helm Welcome to People, a non-grenre drama he and Orci penned years ago. More details below.


Kurtzman to direct family drama

According to the NY Mag Vulture Blog, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks are going to put Alex Kurtzman into the director’s chair with Welcome to People. Kurtzman and his writing partner are best known for action and genre projects, but Kurtzman decided to go with an "intimate" family drama that he and Orci wrote six years ago. According to the report, the story is about: 

…a struggling twentysomething man who, after flying home to L.A. for the funeral of his estranged record-producer father, discovers that the will stipulates that he must deliver $150,000 in cash to a 30-year-old alcoholic sister he never knew existed, and her troubled 12-year-old son. Determined to keep the money to solve his own problems, he’s nonetheless fascinated by his unknown kin and makes contact with the two without revealing who he really is.

Kutzman (along with Orci) have been working with Spielberg and Dreamworks for years, including the Transformers movies, Eagle Eye, and the recently announced Locke and Key TV series. Welcome to People will not be Kurtzman’s first time as a director. In 2003 he directed an episode of Alias, JJ Abrams spy TV series.

According to the report casting for Welcome to People will "coalesce quickly", but no word yet on when it is targeted to go into production or be released. For now Kurtzman is working with Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof on the script for the Star Trek sequel, which is due by the end of the year, along with overseeing the production on Cowboys and Aliens, which is currently shooting.

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Harry Ballz
August 27, 2010 8:54 am

How many projects can these people take on (and do justice to) at once??

August 27, 2010 9:10 am


August 27, 2010 9:13 am

Sounds like an interesting premise. Probably quite timely in this day and age. As long as we don’t have alternate dimensions and MeninBlack showing up during the journey, I’d give it a look.

August 27, 2010 9:31 am

…sounds like a compelling story. Congratulations to Kurtzman. (Yeah, I do admit to indulging in the occasional chick flick – rental, of course).

Dr. Phil
August 27, 2010 9:32 am

Sounds like a typical liberal/Hollywood plot…

Call me crazy but I think the world could do with some better stories than the ones revolving around drunken losers.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
August 27, 2010 9:33 am

Sounds like a good movie. This is one i will take my Girilfrend to. Way to go Alex. Hey Bob. When are you going to Direct.

August 27, 2010 9:54 am

6. After Trek is safely in the can!

August 27, 2010 10:08 am

Well if Alex does well with this, I wonder if a Trek movie may be in his future?

Keeps it in the family, and assuming JJ directs this next one, the basic tone will be set for future productions, with the next director rising through the inside ranks.

OTOH, maybe someone from outside the team could bring something different, and keep things fresh?

Could be worth seeing.

Harry Ballz
August 27, 2010 10:23 am


Bob, I fully understand that you can share nothing about the next Trek script, but can you at least tell us whether you’re at the half-way point in writing it?

Buzz Cagney
August 27, 2010 10:48 am

Enjoy the experience, Alex, and congratulations.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
August 27, 2010 11:00 am

Hey Bob Orci. So does that mean in the future you may be directing.

August 27, 2010 11:01 am

11. Totally open to it if the right thing comes along.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
August 27, 2010 11:06 am

Bob. I say go for it and I wish you all the best of luck. Hey. Who knows. One day you may Direct a Star Trek Movie or Series.

star trackie
August 27, 2010 11:11 am

Nice. All you “Star Trek” people, from JJ to the writers to the behind-the-scenes people, sure are a talented bunch…glad you’re on the Trek team too!

August 27, 2010 11:21 am

Careful Bob and Alex. Remember, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical, but it is often true.

I'm Dead Jim!
August 27, 2010 11:23 am

@5 I swore I’d never get involved in political debates here but your words go a long way in supporting the perception of conservatives as a bunch of heartless SOBs.

And NO, I’m not a “liberal” although the label has more appeal after reading your post.

August 27, 2010 11:33 am

Sounds like a good story idea. I’m glad for these guys. It will be nice to see some non-genre work!

August 27, 2010 12:05 pm

Congratulations to Alex. I would imagine directing your own screenplay has a particular appeal, keeping true to the original vision and all that. Hopefully that pesky co-writer Orci won’t cause any trouble on set. I kid!

August 27, 2010 12:22 pm

Kinda off topic, but did anybody see Futurama last night? J.J. Abram’s face – or at least the skin from it – made an appearance. Kinda expected to see something posted on Trekmovie about it.

Too bad the rating are slipping on that show, I really enjoy it.

August 27, 2010 1:13 pm

Congrats to Alex on this! It’s a great opportunity!

August 27, 2010 1:15 pm

@ #5 and #16: Maybe its because I’m not American that I have trouble understanding, but why do people always trot out Liberal/Republican stereotypes in online arguments? Or at all for that matter? Do people in your country align themselves so closely with their political affiliations that they no longer think outside of their strictly defined box?

Back on topic, good luck to you Alex! Nice to see you spreading your wings outside of genre. It’ll do nothing but add to your writers toolbox. All the best!

August 27, 2010 1:18 pm

Congratulations and good luck, Alex. The film sounds great. Familial conflict can yield great drama and humor. Saw “The Kids are Alright” last week about a lesbian couple and their children coming to grips with the kids’ biological father. It was an excellent mix of drama and comedy. One of the best films of they year.

August 27, 2010 1:21 pm

What an interesting opportunity!
Congratulations, and the best of luck, :-).

August 27, 2010 2:17 pm
@21: Unfortunately, yes, this is often the case. I would say a majority of Americans, roughly 70%, are so aligned with their political affiliation that they do not make personal political choices but rather just go with whatever their party leaders are saying at any given time. This is partially because the political parties have purposefully focused on making it a “with us or against us” mentality in Washington, DC. The sad part is that the majority of Americans, if they took the time to think about it, would probably recognize that they are not either 100% conservative or 100% liberal, but are an amalgam, and if we broke up the “boys club” mentality of the 2-party system of the US, we’d have much better representation and less gridlock when the president is from one party and the legislative branch is held by another (and conversely, less chance of one party sweeping into both and then botching the country up with radical agendas, and NO that is not an attack on the Obama administration, its a fact of the last 200 yrs of this country). I’d say take a tip from European nations, get a multi-party political system going so that I can vote for someone who much more closely represents my view as opposed to picking the lesser of two evils (a dem or a republican). For disclosure sake, I’m a Libertarian, basically means fiscally conservative and socially liberal, so I feel especially hard hit by the fact that… Read more »
August 27, 2010 2:18 pm

O’ ‘course I am very interested in seein’ an Orci/Kurtzman movie that be just a story and no action nor special effects.

19. I saw me that Futurama show last eve. Think it’d bring Kurtzman luck ta’ wear JJ’s face whilst directin’?

I understand that whilst yer’ hot in tha’ entertainment business ye’ should get as many projects goin’ as ye’ can, but how can these blokes concentrate on one at a time ta’ it’s full due? Terence Malick can take hisself 20 years between projects… and make his best work.

Maybe they can merge all tha’ projects inta’ one- a super 8 monster wrangled by an alien cowboy whilst Kirk gets it on wit’ tha’ new Alias lass in Hawaii.


August 27, 2010 2:27 pm

I’m with post #1, how many projects can the Court have going on?

I’m happy to see that Orci and Kurtzman are doing so well in Hollywood and getting all the work. It’s tough for all the struggling screenwriters out there who are trying to break in, so strike while you can!

But I can’t see good working coming out when your mind is so fragmented.

Good luck with the director’s chair. And I hope the other projects turn out well.

Hugh Hoyland
August 27, 2010 2:37 pm

#11 Boborci

If you ever did, what type of camera would you lean towards, the standard 35mm film or the UHD type one’s that seem to be the wave of the future?

Hugh Hoyland
August 27, 2010 2:49 pm

Also who would be your favorite directors, maybe ones that you would like to model your style after, or do you want to have your own style?

August 27, 2010 3:23 pm

Was a time when John Milius’ name was all over everything. Was a time when Lawrence Kasdan’s name was all over everything. I think Bob and Alex are experiencing the same kind of success. They’re such a tight knit duo it seems wrong to refer to them as individual writing talents.

Al-erto Orc-mann feels better.

Although, Bo-lex Kurtz-i has a much more cinematic ring to it.

August 27, 2010 6:18 pm

#5, I’m sure there are plenty of conservative drunk losers in this country too.

August 27, 2010 10:10 pm

Good for him! I wish him much success. I can understand his desire to go into a more ‘human scale’ story after all of the fighting robots and Star Trek stuff!
; )

As much as I enjoy sci fi (which is very much), occasionally I need something more ‘real’ every now and then (a good drama, comedy, or even a good western).
Variety for both filmmakers and film viewers can lead to wonderful surprises!

August 28, 2010 1:50 am

This has got to be Spielberg’s masterplan to undermine Paramount.
Was there not news a couple of years ago that Spielberg and Paramount were on the outs?

August 28, 2010 2:00 am

Contingency, 2 words:
Nicolas Meyer

August 28, 2010 3:26 am

Republicans stop being so stupid! Democrats stop behaving so immature, you need to set an example.

August 28, 2010 5:23 am

I doubt Bob and Alex were thinking “politics” when they wrote the script. Seriously, the things some people bring up is astonishing…

The plot sounds interesting and I love the title. Best of luck to Alex with his big-screen directorial debut.

Bob, do you and Alex ever get any sleep?

August 28, 2010 7:45 am


We alternate. Hot bunking.

August 28, 2010 9:45 am

#35 Must be like the sheepdogs, eh? “Hello Alex.” punch “Hello Bob.” punch “Hello JJ.” punch “Hello Damon.”

Even if the sheep is big enough to have an onboard brewery, I hope to see a more-crowded, fully- or over-staffed Enterprise (since so many sheeps were destroyed?) and see hot bunking on the 1701. Definitely more of the “I relieve you” type second shift or third shift onboard.

(Pun intended on “Sheep Ahoy”, for the non-usual suspects who think I’m doing an ‘accent’ or something. Play it again, Ralph and Sam.)

August 28, 2010 10:36 am

36. 37.

lol. I’ll bet when the sleep shifts are over, the alarm clock is a big, heavy pillow over the head and the cry, “NOW GET UP AND GET SOME WORK DONE!!”

August 28, 2010 11:00 am

Mr. Spielberg, when are you going to produce (or direct) the film ‘When Worlds Collidte,’ as you announced you would do in the fall of 2005?

August 28, 2010 11:03 am

Perhaps Bob and Alex could take on the project (WWC) for Mr. Spielberg?

Anthony Pascale
August 28, 2010 11:22 am

Hotbunking Bob?

What do Mrs Bob and Mrs Alex think of that?

Harry Ballz
August 28, 2010 1:52 pm


Is that like spelunking where you go to your man cave for some much needed rest?

August 28, 2010 8:16 pm

41 it’s a submarine term.

Harry Ballz
August 29, 2010 3:17 pm


hopefully not like the old line, “hey, let’s go out to the lake and watch the submarine races”

August 29, 2010 4:49 pm


“it’s a submarine term.”

So is “torpedo tube,” but I wouldn’t bring it up while sharing a room with another man. ;)

August 29, 2010 4:54 pm

Hotbunking is … to loosely quote the greatest sub movie Das Boot…
One crewman getitng out of his bunk goes on shift and his oppsite number coming off watch climbs into his stinking pit.

August 30, 2010 7:42 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a writers’ room somewhere for the Court that had a cot in it. Hotcotting, mayhaps?

Harry Ballz
August 30, 2010 8:06 am

Hot Pocket?

August 30, 2010 8:13 am

Alex is an excellent spokesperson.

NY Times article today on Hawaii Five-0 is even on Drudge today! Great job again, Alex.

Funny, how the Times didn’t bother to mention Trek among references to his other works!

September 1, 2010 3:02 pm

While Spielberg’s at it why does he not get orci and Kurtzmen to do Indiana Jones V, i mean could it be worse than the script to Indy IV, possibly considering the transformers films and some of the bad dialogue from trek. Though a decent script itself.