EXCLUSIVE – Orci: Star Trek Sequel Being Prepped Off 70-Page Outline + Abrams Giving Writers Script Input

Today, exclusively with TrekMovie.com, Star Trek sequel co-writer/producer Roberto Orci explained that while they are waiting for JJ Abrams to wrap Super 8, he is still working with the writers on the script, and their “detailed” outline has been enough for prepping the film. Plus today JJ Abrams expressed that he "hoped" he will return to direct. We also have a new poll on the sequel release date.


Orci: Still working w/ JJ –  Outline Allowing For Star Trek Sequel Prep

Yesterday we reported that Star Trek sequel producer (and possible director) JJ Abrams had confirmed that the writing team of Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof were still "working hard" on the script for the Trek film planned for June 29, 2012. News of the unfinished script over the last couple of months has spawned much talk and speculation with Trek fans. Today in the TrekMovie.com comments section, Orci responded by dismissing notions that their original draft had been rejected and explained what was really going on, saying (in part):

Just been waiting for JJ to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish the script. Once he says go, we’ll have it in no time. Meanwhile, our outline is detailed enough (70+ pages!) to do some prep :)

In an email to TrekMovie today, Orci also noted that even though the team are waiting for JJ Abrams to finish his work on Super 8, he has continued to work with the Star Trek writing team:

In the meetings we’ve had with JJ, he’s already given us amazing input and ideas, and that’s been while he’s been up to his eyeballs in Super 8.

"Star Trek" team of Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci prepping sequel while Abrams finishes "Super 8" (photo: NY Times)

Abrams: Hopes To Direct Star Trek sequel

In April Orci talked about this early "prep," so this has been going on for over a month. However, it should be noted that the early prep work is still not official pre-production. That step will require an agreed-upon script draft, a budget and (importantly) a director. Yesterday JJ Abrams noted that he expected an announcement on the Star Trek sequel "soon," presumably his decision on directing the sequel will be included in that announcement. Today HitFix’s Gregory Elwood noted on Twitter that in his Super 8 interview with Abrams from this morning (not posted yet), JJ said that he "hopes" to direct the Star Trek sequel.

POLL: When do you want Star Trek sequel?

With all that you know so far, do you want to see Abrams and Paramount stick with their plan and make the schedule work to release the Star Trek sequel on June, 29 2012? Or are you OK with them giving themselves more time (half a year or another year)?



Sort by:   newest | oldest
May 22, 2011 7:34 pm

While I wouldn’t mind it being on time, and certainly don’t want it TOO late, just want it to take as long as it does to do right.

May 22, 2011 7:35 pm

Just out of curiosity. . . How many pages of script would 70+ pages of detailed outline equal out to be???

May 22, 2011 7:42 pm

While I would like it to be on time The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled (I think) to release the Wednesday right before ST, and I’m a bit worried about how that might affect Star Trek’s box office. But I’m excited to hear that progress is being made, and I hope JJ will get to direct it.

Spock's Kidney
May 22, 2011 7:45 pm

There is no way this movie is coming out in June 2012. Let’s just hope it isn’t delayed a whole year.

May 22, 2011 7:55 pm

How about pushing back the projected release date by one month every time a fan on this site complains that it’s taking too long?

That’s how I roll.

van persie
May 22, 2011 7:56 pm

I would prefer the release to be sometime in the next 10 minutes, really.

But seriously, I’d PREFER it to be as soon as possible, but don’t think the original plan of June ’12 is realistic, not with everything so delayed.

Not to mention competition for Summer ’12 is crazy heavy, with Avengers, Batman and Spidey – all of them already in the works.

Enterprise C
May 22, 2011 7:56 pm

I want to know the name of the movie!! At least tell us that soon! Perhaps a teaser for the film before the end of the year would also be nice!

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 22, 2011 7:58 pm

Well. It is getting close. as much as I want the Movie to come out on time. I would have no problem it coming out a little latter. As I and many others have stated. We want a great trek Movie and a new and more real Engineering section. I have all of the confidence in the world in Bob Orici and the Court.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 22, 2011 8:01 pm

I do hope that J.J Directs the next Trek Movie. But please please please. Get us a real Engineering section and NOT! a Brewery.

May 22, 2011 8:04 pm

For those who say Abrams cannot make the June 2012 release deadline: JJ Abrams started filming SUPER 8 only last September. In that time, he shot the film, which was then scored, FX’d, edited, marketed and released in eight months.

He and his team can make it happen, if they want.

May 22, 2011 8:07 pm

While I’d definitely *prefer* it to be released on time (I feel like we’ve waited an extremely long time already as it is), if having the date pushes back a bit means a better film, I guess I’m willing to wait…

Mr. There are always possibilities
May 22, 2011 8:07 pm

Very interesting. I put ST:09 on last night and still enjoy it.

Can’t wait to see where it all comes out. I wish the new movie had come out this year, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see the Shat in it…

May 22, 2011 8:08 pm

I’d really prefer it to come our during summer – Star Trek is just a summer sort of flick! However, I’d rather them do it well then rushed.
But we know Abrams…he can pull anything together.

May 22, 2011 8:13 pm

I think moving to December 2011 is most likely – and fair. I don’t want to see it rushed, but I don’t want it to become an albatross around everyone’s neck either.

May 22, 2011 8:13 pm


Assuming the 70 pages are pages for the script;

The format is structured in a way that one page usually equates to one minute of screen time.

They have about 110mins worth of screen time.

May 22, 2011 8:18 pm

@15: Yeah, 70 pages @ 1 minute per page = 110 minutes.

When’s the next potential rapture? I need out of this place.

May 22, 2011 8:19 pm

#2 MickeyMET – Each page equals one minute

May 22, 2011 8:22 pm

My mistake, 1hrs 10mins ;)

May 22, 2011 8:24 pm


LOL maybe the crew would have aged 100yrs+ and you can reboot TNG ;)

Colonel Kernel
May 22, 2011 8:26 pm

I chose the 2013 option simply because I want them to take exactly as long as it takes to do it right.

Captain Jack Bauer
May 22, 2011 8:30 pm

#3. The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for July 20, 2012, roughly a month after Star Trek 2’s release date.

The Spider-Man reboot is the major concern, coming out 5 days after Star Trek 2. However, that movie is really hard to judge at this point. It’ll probably do well, but how well?

May 22, 2011 8:30 pm

3d plz!

May 22, 2011 8:38 pm

At least 50 more pages left to write people

May 22, 2011 8:39 pm

I would say take more time on the sequel if it would make a better result, but that did not seem to work with the first one. >;>}

May 22, 2011 8:41 pm

As long as there is no Sandman walks in alley and meets Venom and they both agree to take out the hero lol moment.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 22, 2011 8:59 pm

#26. That sounds a lot like Trek 5. lol.
I want Trek to come out on time. I want J.J to Direct. I want Bob Oci and the Writting team to give us a DAMN!!!! Great Trek Movie. I want it filmed in 3d and not converted. I want a real Engineering section and not a Beer Brewery. I want lens flares. I want great Action!!!!!. I want more Enterprise Time. I want More of Kirk,Spock and MCcoy. I want Hand Phasers that actually fire a beam and not like a bullet. I also want to see seal Team Six. (Oh wait. Maybe Maco Team Six. I Just Want Star Trek.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 22, 2011 8:59 pm

Does anyone think I am wanting to much. Lol

May 22, 2011 9:07 pm

#27 #28
“Does anyone think I am wanting to much. Lol”

That depends on HOW MANY lens flares you want…

Dr. Cheis
May 22, 2011 9:08 pm

I voted the way I did because I do not believe a delay would actually result in an improvement in quality. If parts bad and needs to be delayed, I don’t think the team has what it takes to make it good. Remember the “Generations” ending reshoot? Still not a great ending.

Look In The Mirror
May 22, 2011 9:21 pm

Here’s the problem…ST09 was an attempt to take Star Trek back to the mainstream. To a large extent it was successful. Now, unfortunately we are probably looking at a ST2013 as the follow up. Lots of that momentum is going to be gone or fading fast. I do not begrudge anyone the chance to work on other projects, but it’s obviously had an impact on the development of the new ST movie.

I would certainly never claim to know more about hollywood than the folks creating the movie, but it seems very far fetched to me that if there isn’t even a script yet.. that one will get completed, revised, signed off on, all the actors schedules cleared and all the SFX shots created in just about 12 months.

I also don’t want to disrespect anyone, but I honestly think the team has too many irons in too many fires. ST isn’t the focus of anyone as far as I can tell. Instead it’s kind of a big project for most of the members, but between creating new TV series, animated series, writing, producing and directing there are an awful lot of non Star Trek balls in the air. It’s obviously impacted production of the next movie…

Now that said.. make a good movie and all will be forgotten. Make a bad one and… well.. let’s try and stay positive…

Buzz Cagney
May 22, 2011 9:33 pm

I have to admit to some confusion now. I was under the impression that the script was all but done, but now all we have is a detailed draft of the story?

May 22, 2011 9:33 pm

I would really like this done right. A sub par movie would put the ranchise back on life support, a kick ass movie will make the franchise bulletproof for a while.

Though i would love the movie sooner than later i think it is paramount to Star treks future to just make the best film possible in the required time frame.

Michael Hall
May 22, 2011 9:38 pm


“Just been waiting for JJ to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish the script.”

doesn’t exactly sound like much of a lock.

May 22, 2011 9:41 pm


Those are fair expectations, add in a epic story and good casting for protagonists.

Maybe go for asian flare to play Klingon Kang like Tony Leung Chiu Wai from “Lust Caution” and “Infernal Affairs”


Red Dead Ryan
May 22, 2011 9:42 pm

I chose “2013”. I’d rather they push back the movie to give more time to polish the script and to work on their other projects. Maybe they should get their other movies/shows done first?

I just can’t see how they are going to meet the 2012 deadline. It takes months just to set up everything. Music, visual effects also take a lot of time.

People say that the visual effects and music can be done before the script is even handed in. How they come to this conclusion, I don’t know.
Because most visual effects artists and music composers need something to go on. Unless they plan on recycling the cgi and music from the last film. ILM would need a copy of the script as a reference to visualize what everything is going to look like, while the composer needs actual filmed scenes to write music to.

Red Dead Ryan
May 22, 2011 9:45 pm

Also, if J.J Abrams decides not to direct, they might as well just forget about it. No other director will touch Star Trek.

It’s J.J Abrams or bust.

May 22, 2011 9:46 pm

It’s amazing that people think they can’t finish it in time. A year isn’t enough to finish it? How much time do you think they need? Most movies shoot in a few months, with a few months of post-production. Sounds like they have plenty of time to me! Plus, you have to remember they have a lot of sets and pre-production work already in place from the first film.

May 22, 2011 9:51 pm


Finishing it is not the issue or question, it is the result, is it of quality or is it average/below average.

Red Dead Ryan
May 22, 2011 9:55 pm


“Star Trek” requires much more elaborate sets, make-up, costumes and visual effects. All of these things require more time and money. “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” take place in the real world. They can shoot mostly on locations, elaborate costumes are limited to a few characters and cgi is mostly background or is used to depict Spiderman swinging through the city. “Star Trek”, on the other hand, needs elaborate and time consuming make-up design to capture credible looking aliens. ILM has to spend a lot of time, manpower and computer power just to come up with ship designs and space environments. There are more complexities to a “Star Trek” movie production.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 22, 2011 9:57 pm

#29. About as many Lens flares as in Trek 09.
I do want a Great and Epic Story for Trek 09.
#37. There are plenty of great Directors who could direct Trek. Nick Myres for one.

May 22, 2011 10:01 pm

Get Kenneth Branagh to Direct Star Trek 2009 Sequel.

I thought Thor was fantastic and Kenneth is pretty good with Shakespeare stuff.

I love JJ but would be nice to see a different style for the sequel.

May 22, 2011 10:03 pm
I would be okay with waiting extra time if it meant a better film. That being said, do any of us who are not in the film business really know how much time it can take? Keep in mind that they’ve already started pre-production. They already have a principle cast and most of the major sets are already built so that would save a lot of time that it took for the last movie, so I think all this “they can’t possibly finish it in time” stuff will prove moot in the end and they will deliver the quality movie that we all want. I will say, though, that this waiting is killing me! Star Trek is always at its best when its a weekly series and I hope that after the next one or two movies that they consider doing a new series. We NEED a new Trek series not just as Trek fans, but as a sci-fi community as a whole. With Stargate gone, there’s no real space-based drama on the network, and I have a feeling that anything that would be attempted that’s not related to Trek or Stargate or BSG or anything with a name attached to it would not work. Not only that, but a new Star Trek series that would carry with it the popularity of the recent film would most likely help to re-invigorate sci-fi on TV, as it seems to not be doing so hot right now. I miss my weekly Trek… Read more »
Jim Nightshade
May 22, 2011 10:10 pm

Aww Cmon as others have said a lot of the virtual effex stuff already consieved and ready to make new, (except for the virtual engine room brewery) and yes it would be easy to shoot direct and post product the movie..I have faith….plus I would not want it to be any later than early dec 2012 after all on dec 21 the world will end and so after that no more movies or theatres sigh ahahah

May 22, 2011 10:24 pm

38. A little over a year between filming start and hitting the theater seems to be average. It was 13 months for such recent movies as Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, Inception, Source Code and the upcoming Captain America.

Star Trek will have eleven months if they hit the ground running in August. That’s about the same as “Clash of the Titans.”

Last Airbender, Thor, Green Lantern, and next year’s Spider-Man, and Batman films will all be about 15 months between filming and theater.

On the bright side, the upcoming “Super 8” only started filming last October and hits theaters in three weeks… only 8 or 9 months. “X-Men First Class” was about ten months between start of filming and hitting theaters.

May 22, 2011 10:30 pm

I voted on Winter. I like my sushi in a hurry, not my Star Trek. I want it to be even better than the first. Take your time…but hurry.

May 22, 2011 10:31 pm

@42. somethoughts

Only if you want the climax of the film to occur in the last 25 seconds of the film lol!

May 22, 2011 10:41 pm

Yep. We don’t know what the heck we’re talking about. They’ve lost the momentum and it’s too late? There’s no way a quality movie can be ready 13 months from now if the script’s not done yet? They should clearly take their time and do it properly so we’ll like it? Bah! We just don’t know, either way.

Man, there were plenty of pronouncements here in 2008 that the filmmakers weren’t releasing endless spoilers, photos and video clips 6 months in advance because they knew the damned thing was going to bomb.

Note that the Batman movie will come out nearly 4 years after the last one. I don’t think anyone’s predicting failure because they took too long. You make a decent flick, it’ll do well.

May 22, 2011 11:06 pm

Well, they have all the sets and props from the last Trek flick (presumably), and at 70 pages, I assume that all the “big” elements (other ships, locations, etc) are all included. There’s probably a slew of concept art done already so the visual look should be locked down by the time the script is done.

If I had to guess, the last forty-fifty pages would be character moments, nailing the dialogue, making sure everything flows and so on. At 70 pages I figure most of the beats should be there and just need the “right” fleshing out, making sure all the characters have stuff to do, tying in all the subplots organically, that sort of thing.

Joseph Sidney
May 22, 2011 11:09 pm

As long as JJ directs again, it can be delayed