Damon Lindelof: Star Trek Sequel Now Being Scripted – Working To Make It Better Than ST09 [UPDATED]

Star Trek sequel co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof was at San Diego Comic Con on Thursday to host the Fox panel and to talk about his 2012 Summer movie Prometheus, the sort-of prequel to Alien currently being filmed by Ridley Scott. While in the press room Damon also gave an update on the status of the Trek sequel. A summary of his statements below. [UPDATE: TrekMovie adds more detail on status]

 

Damon Lindelof: Star Trek being written

Here is what Damon Lindelof had to say about the Star Trek sequel:

Damon to Screen Junkies:

Q: Are you putting pen to paper for Star Trek 2 yet?
DL: Fingers to keyboard.

Q: But are actual script pages getting written?
DL: It is definitely starting, continuing.

Damon to CinemaBlend:

(on status of script)
J.J. [Abrams]’s finally done with Super 8 and we finally have all the lions of Voltron back in the same room together trying to form the giant robot…Our process doesn’t really define “the script is completed” because sometimes, even when we start shooting, the script is never completed and I think that’s what makes it so cool.

(on if J.J. Abrams will direct)
He has not officially announced that yet but we are hoping that he does.

Damon to I Am Rogue:

[The script] is coming. I think it has been enormously challenging. We have set a high bar for ourselves. We want it to be awesome and better than the first one. JJ has been off doing Super 8. Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] have their own empire to run. I have finally finished Lost. So this is the first time that we are all are ready to get together and do it like we did it on the first one and I think that collaboration is starting to bear real fruit.

Here is the I Am Rogue video, mostly about Prometheus, with Trek segment at end.

UPDATE: Yes this means they have moved from outline to scripting

And for those who have been following this whole process closely, TrekMovie has confirmed that the writing team of Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof have moved on from their famous 80+ Page "detailed outline" to actual scripting for the Star Trek sequel.

Of course the fact that the scripting process is still going makes the notion of the Star Trek sequel actually meeting its release date of June 29, 2012 seem extremely remote. In the past producer (and likely director) JJ Abrams has spoken about the film being 6 months behind and that he won’t rush it. All insiders believe the film’s release will be delayed, however Paramount has yet to make any announcement updating their Summer 2012 schedule and Star Trek sequel plans. TrekMovie sources indicate that such an announcement is likely not to come before August.


Moderator Damon Lindelof (L) and actress Charlize Theron (R) attend the 20th Century Fox panel at 2011 Comic-Con International Day 1 at San Diego Convention Center on July 21, 2011 in San Diego, California. (WireImage)

 

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First and this is good! High expectations guys! Im buying into it for sure.

Of course the fact that the scripting process is still going makes the notion of the Star Trek sequel actually meeting its release date of June 29, 2012 seem extremely remote. In the past producer (and likely director) JJ Abrams has spoken about the film being 6 months behind and that he won’t rush it. All insiders believe the film’s release will be delayed, however Paramount has yet to make any announcement updating their Summer 2012 schedule and Star Trek sequel plans

You don’t say….

As much as I cringe to say it, I hope they take all the time they need to make it “Better Than Star Trek 2009”.

I cringe now when I hear the answer to this question posed to one of the writers, “we are starting, continuing…”. Maybe it’s a Freudian slip, but all that’s saying to me if you are starting, you have nothing.

Such a shame but as long as they are all now working on it just as they did with the first movie, the second should be good – the only thing I will say is that Abrams should commit to direct and be honest and open and say no it’s gonna be out in 2012 but not in the summer. I feel that if they keep us waiting, the fans may come back but the all important general public may just loose interest. without a bigger marketing campaign by Paramount – which wouldn’t be a bad idea to be honest!

2013 for sure.

@ 3

Amen!

This does seem to support Anthony’s theory that JJ has been the primary holdup rather than the writing team. In putting the pieces together here, now I can see why Orci has been avoiding commenting on the schedule/script process in any of his posts — he doesn’t want to have to be put in the difficult position of saying his boss is the hold-up.

“…however Paramount has yet to make any announcement updating their Summer 2012 schedule and Star Trek sequel plans.”

Oh, really? How….”surprising”.

“How many scripts do you see , Aurore?”
“Four! Stop it , stop it! How can you go on?Four!Four!!!”

:)

Finally some sequel news! It seems like weeks since we’ve heard anything. After JJ finished his press junkets for Super 8, it’s been pretty quiet.

With Superman moving from December 2012 to June 2013, it does leave an opening, even with the behemoth that will be the Hobbit.

Finally but shouldn’t they have finished the actual script ages ago honestly pre production for the next Star Trek sequel would be better

Finally finished Super 8??????? That was over a month ago!

Finally finished Lost????? What is he talking about?

Some pretty weak answers if you ask me. No real information here at all. Just more of the same. “We’re working on it.”

Oh, so we’re suppose to be happy that they are FINALLY writing the actual script?!!!????! That was suppose to be finished in February!!!

Horrible.

Great, now they’re working on Volton instead of Trek.
Keep typin’, guys.

Still waiting that “Big announcement” JJ promised us forever ago.

Voltron even.

Which would be a cool movie, if they did the other one, not the lions one.

Well, at least these comments aren’t lousy with the word blame, for once. Although the should haves and their varients are starting.

Wait, they are making another Star Trek movie? Really?

I am willing to wait for a quality story. I would rather wait for a good, well crafted movie than see something rushed to screen half-baked. That was what happened with ST:TNG, and it took nearly 25 years and a directors edit to make that right.

Take your time, guys. Do it right. Get it done. I’ll come see it.

@10. Thanks Anthony — much appreciated!

@12 “With Superman moving from December 2012 to June 2013, it does leave an opening, even with the behemoth that will be the Hobbit.”

Wow, this really opens things ups and makes November 30th the ideal release date for the sequel.

Sam old story I’ve been hearing for over a year now.

#22.

Unless some other big movie fills the slot. Anyway, I still think that the “Star Trek” sequel will come out in summer 2013. Sixteen or seventeen months to complete the film for fall of 2012 is cutting it a bit too close. They could do it, but they’d really have to rush the film and skip on the merchandising. They wouldn’t have enough time to properly market it internationally, a problem the first film suffered from. A summer 2013 release would give them more time to work on not only the film, but merchandising and marketing. The more time to build the hype, the better, instead of just having the film land at theatres with only month’s notice.

I am by no means a movie-making expert, just a fan. But it just seems like the scripting for the next movie is taking forever and a day. Maybe I’m just anxious to see Star Trek on screen again. I don’t want to see anyone rush a poor quality product out there, but it just seems there is a lack of any sort of pressure to move it forward. Sometimes a deadline can help focus the mind.

Anthony is it still Paramount/CBS’s plan not to do another Trek TV series until after the Trek movies are complete? If so, Paramount plans on a Trek movie trilogy right? Or would they maybe start on a new Trek TV series after the sequel? Thanks.

Funny that “working to make it better than ST09” should be a headline or in any way a newsworthy quote. I mean, have you ever seen anyone say, about any movie, “well, quite honestly, no, we don’t think we can make it any better than the last one, and we’re not even going to try.”

I say it comes out July- September 2012

What the team ought to do is plan/script/shoot the next two films (trilogies are still in vogue) and then develop a 9 to 12 episode-per-season series for HBO or Showtime. Premium channels are the only place to do this kind of high quality, expensive TV, and it would allow greater freedom for the writers/directors/producers. Even go to AMC as “Mad Men” did. We need a serious, well produced, well crafted, well funded Trek TV project, not a SyFy serialized low-budget affair.

It should be a continuation of the Abrams films, as a series, even if they have to again recast TOS characters (Pine, Urban, Quinto etc are probably “too big” for series work now). That’s the way to go, and were I in charge of “Trek” that’s where I’d take it next.

May 2013 sounds like a great release date. It has to go up against Iron Man 3, but so what. Trek ’09 went up against Wolverine and did fine.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire

I am good with a later opening. As Long as the Movie is Top of the line and meets all of our hopes. So come on guys. Get to cracken. Oh and Anthony and AJ. Play nice now. Lol

My tip to the screenwriters…

Have a bunch of Star Trek (all series) episodes on in the background while typing away.

I won’t bore you with a list.

Okay, maybe if you ask me kindly. ;)

“Balance of Terror” going through a repeated loop would be good for starters…

Dee - lvs moon' surface

HMMMMMM…LOL ….

:-) :-)

I don’t know…. I have a very bad feeling about this. Its seems that there is still plenty of misdirection about this film. That may be on purpose for all I know but it just does not make much sense.

I thought they locked them selves in a hotel room some where to work on a script. Now it turns out that was only an “outline” they worked on. Now they are writing a script for however long it takes. I doubt we get a movie in 2012 at all.

Anthony, do you have a good mechanic on hand? I’m sure someone is gonna blow a gasket over this…

@32 – I think it’s more their time-management skills in question than their script writing skills, at least to my mind.

My guess is summer or winter 2013. Winter 2012 is too soon. They will never be ready then. It takes too much time to make the movie and promote it properly. I mean they don’t even have a director yet. Abrams hasn’t announced his participation yet.

Well, at least we’re reading about progress again, and not just more sidestepping and excuses.

May, 2013. Count on it.

36. I didn’t mean to suggest that it was. They obviously no more about script structure than I’ll ever know – setting up story elements with several pay-offs throughout the film. I think their characterisation of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest, Starfleet officiers etc could use all the help it can get. Familar alien races if they’ve picked one out to be the main antagonist.

When was the last time we saw a villain who admired Kirk, or who wasn’t on the same side but respected the skill he was up against? Somebody that cease fires for a moment, and make that seem completely reasonable. The Romulan Commander, being advised of his duty by a demoted Centurion, to bring the attack to an even glorious end. But apparenly giving generous time before closing in for the kill. General Chang cheerfully making a game of it, spouting Shakespeare in between gleeful blowing chunks out of the Enterprise.

There’s a lot to be learned from just having lots of Star Trek at your fingertips, and a DVD player handy, to spot something and bring back elements not seen all that often.

“Balance of Terror” is an episode as much about Kirk’s decision making process, and even his inner doubts. Some kid who lucked out getting the Captaincy is sure going to feel that, more than the more experienced guy in his mid-30’s, who rose through the ranks slowly.

40. Corrections – no = know

I don’t think I’ve heard a definitive “date” that this movie’s action will take place in– if it’s still pre-five year mission, the story is wide open. If it is first year, there are certain places that Kirk and the Enterprise should still be at, but then again, with the altered timeline, some of those bets are off.

It all boils down to story. The play’s the thing…

Agree with #14
I am getting tired of their vague comments.
Its was no and is no priority for these guys.
Thats the simple impression i got.
Very sad…Star Trek deserves better

40. LOL! Another correction – officier = officer

I guess what I’m saying is, whatever stage they’re at – taking a story idea and translating it into a hundred scenes or more – if you’ve got a good handle on what’s been done before, you can pick and choose. Take something familar, maybe switch it around or think along the same lines. Groove along to same rhythm Star Trek is playing in the background. Getting the dialogue right certain characters might come out with. When something sounds too far out of line, a reason connected to this new universe as to why that is.

38. Just an opinion maybe… but they should do a cartoon. To me that should be set in the Prime Universe, with some ties to a storyline in the next film.

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire

I say at least give an Animated Trek and or remaster the Orignal Animated series. Ok. Both then.
Anthony. As Scotty said. Everyones entitled to there opnions.

The wait will be horrible, but Paramount would be wise to push the date back to Summer 2013. Too much competition next winter…

It’s up to Paramount to decide if they will move the Star Trek sequel to 2013

It sound to me like there taking there time in order to put out the best star trek movie possible and that’s fine with me as long as the move lives up to expectations. There really is no hurry anyway its not like the world will end in 2012 or anything.

Thanks Anthony. I guess if its after the 2nd JJ Trek Movie a new Trek series wont be until Fall of 2014. If its the 3rd JJ Trek Movie it wouldn’t be until 2018 for a live action series. Or like you said if they went the animated route like the Star Wars series I guess it could be earlier? Sounds like Frakes was was right about Paramount not wanting to oversaturate Trek again. Unless the next JJ Trek movie does even better than the first JJ Trek Movie then Paramount might want to do a new Trek series after this next movie?

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