Damon Lindelof: Star Trek Sequel Now Being Scripted – Working To Make It Better Than ST09 [UPDATED] | TrekMovie.com
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Damon Lindelof: Star Trek Sequel Now Being Scripted – Working To Make It Better Than ST09 [UPDATED] July 22, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Lindelof,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

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)

 

Comments

1. Hugh Hoyland - July 22, 2011

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

2. Voice of Reason - July 22, 2011

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….

3. njdss4 - July 22, 2011

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″.

4. Phil - July 22, 2011

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.

5. Anthony Pascale - July 22, 2011

by the way, I got a clarification and yes this means they have finally moved on from their bit outline thing to actual scripting

6. Kirk, James T. - July 22, 2011

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!

7. Jordan - July 22, 2011

2013 for sure.

8. Ran - July 22, 2011

@ 3

Amen!

9. MJ - July 22, 2011

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.

10. Anthony Pascale - July 22, 2011

MJ

I leave it to others to post theories, speculation and conspiracies. I post facts as I know them. When it is an opinion I make that clear.

11. Aurore - July 22, 2011

“…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!!!”

:)

12. Joel - July 22, 2011

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.

13. Trekprincess - July 22, 2011

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

14. Jay - July 22, 2011

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.

15. CmdrR - July 22, 2011

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

16. Jay - July 22, 2011

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

17. CmdrR - July 22, 2011

Voltron even.

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

18. Jack - July 22, 2011

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

19. andrew - July 22, 2011

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

20. Sunfell - July 22, 2011

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.

21. MJ - July 22, 2011

@10. Thanks Anthony — much appreciated!

22. MJ - July 22, 2011

@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.

23. GG - July 22, 2011

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

24. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2011

#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.

25. Damian - July 22, 2011

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.

26. Craiger - July 22, 2011

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.

27. AnotherScott - July 22, 2011

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.”

28. Bill Peters - July 22, 2011

I say it comes out July- September 2012

29. Spock's Uncle - July 22, 2011

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.

30. VZX - July 22, 2011

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.

31. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - July 22, 2011

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

32. Christopher Roberts - July 22, 2011

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…

33. Dee - lvs moon' surface - July 22, 2011

HMMMMMM…LOL ….

:-) :-)

34. Lt. Bailey - July 22, 2011

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.

35. P Technobabble - July 22, 2011

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

36. nscates - July 22, 2011

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

37. Mel - July 22, 2011

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.

38. Anthony Pascale - July 22, 2011

35. that can be solved with some self-sealing stembolts

RE: Star Trek TV
CBS could launch a new Star trek TV show today if they wanted, but there is some kind of handshake agreement that they wont. I dont expect them to do anything until after at least 2 but probably 3 JJ movies. Of course they may never do anything.

As for animated, I think that is more likely and could be earlier – but that is just an opinion at this point

39. Thorny - July 22, 2011

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

May, 2013. Count on it.

40. Christopher Roberts - July 22, 2011

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.

41. Christopher Roberts - July 22, 2011

40. Corrections – no = know

42. Jorg Sacul - July 22, 2011

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…

43. Ruue - July 22, 2011

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

44. Christopher Roberts - July 22, 2011

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.

45. Christopher Roberts - July 22, 2011

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.

46. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - July 22, 2011

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.

47. Mirror Jordan - July 22, 2011

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

48. Trekprincess - July 22, 2011

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

49. cdp - July 22, 2011

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.

50. Craiger - July 22, 2011

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?

51. Adolescent Nightmare - July 22, 2011

45.

How could it tie in to the movies if it’s set in the prime? That’s ridiculous. Older folks need to let it go. Move on. Embrace the future. Enjoy.

52. Christopher Roberts - July 22, 2011

51. Not really but I’m not about to pitch you my idea! ;)

Younger folks need to learn they’re not the be all and end all to everything.

Two words:

Aging Society

53. Enterprise C - July 22, 2011

Sounds like a “No” to “Khan? Khan?” at the end of that interview…

54. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - July 22, 2011

As Kirk said in Trek 4.
Young Minds fresh ideas be tolerant.!

55. Another Q - July 22, 2011

I want it to be good and am willing to wait
but this process should have started
just before or directly after ’09 was
released in theaters. CBS and JJ both
knew it was a hit and should have
reacted appropriately…

56. Keachick (rose pinenut) - July 22, 2011

This is speculation, but it makes the most sense to me, and it is an aspect that gets overlooked by others here.

I do not think that the writers are holding anything up. They have had their “hands tied” and have gone on to work on other projects while they wait…

The hold up comes from Paramount and JJ Abrams himself –

On JJ Abrams’ part, he is not a great fan of 3D, because of the changes he would need to make to his directing style. I think he feels that doing a film in 3D may stifle him creatively and Paramount should surely know by now doing a 3D conversion is distrastrous – simply not an option. It is also possibly JJ Abrams is making time to learn how to use the new technology – perhaps he is doing that right now.

For Paramount, they were looking to see how successful (or not) their other big budget 3D movies are. Clearly, Transformers 3 has been a big hit and the other big 3D movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2), has actually broken all box office records worldwide. So, the pressure will be on to make the Star Trek sequel in 3D. I think that is obvious.

Making it in 3D will affect post-production timetables and ultimately the eventual release date. If we want to see a good Star Trek movie sooner, then do it in 2D. However, unfortunately, I do not see that happening. What we can hope for and expect is a good Star Trek in 3D with a later release date.

57. Cygnus-X1 - July 22, 2011

Looking eagerly forward to Summer 2037.

58. VZX - July 22, 2011

Doing an animated Star Trek show right now should be a no-brainer.

59. Keachick (rose pinenut) - July 22, 2011

#24 – “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.”

Why is there a need for merchandising? I think, for me and quite possibly a lot of other people, this merchandising lark is a real turn-off because it is such obvious *cheap* commercialism and a little childish in many ways. I can understand merchandise (toys, models etc) for movies like Transformers or Star Wars movies because it is the younger age, by and large, that those movies cater to. (Although many adults can watch and enjoy as well).

However, with Star Trek, I have always felt that it was attempting to cater to an older age group, mostly adults, who had, all but, put away their toys and things. I just want to see a good movie, with a well-produced 2 disc DVD set with background info, bloopers, outtakes, deleted scenes etc, going on sale later, so that I can watch the good movie anytime I want. I don’t have the space or the money for all that other superfluous stuff, unless, of course, my daughter wanted a good model of the Enterprise hanging from the bedroom ceiling, then maybe, if I could find one, that is… (she wants a Dalek at the moment…)

I agree about the international marketing. I only found out about the last Star Trek movie about two weeks before it hit cinema screens – first, in a local TV Guide where there was a photo of the entire new cast and some of the Bad Robot team and two short transcribed interviews with Leonard Nimoy and Chris Pine. I had never heard of Chris Pine. Then the television advertising campaign showing trailer scenes from the new movie occurred on a daily basis about a week before the release date (7 May) and for a while afterwards.

I am not sure how international marketing can be improved, bearing in mind that what might attract an American audience may not have the same affect on foreign audiences.

This time round, it might be easier, as leading up to the release date of a new movie like the next Star Trek, it is likely that one of the channels will play Star Trek 09 again, followed by trailers of the new movie.

60. Harry Ballz - July 22, 2011

Hey, that picture up above of Damon Lindelof and Charlize Theron…..the way he’s staring at her…..are his glasses fogging up?

Good thing nobody asked him to stand up at that very moment!

61. Red Dead Ryan - July 22, 2011

#59.

Merchandising is a smart way to appeal to kids and non-fans alike, if done properly of course. “Star Trek” is immersive, and is should be interactive as well. And its not limited to toys and action figures. Video games, comics, novels and making-of books allow for additional ways into the Trek universe apart from one hour episodes and two-hour movies. You might not see the importance of merchandising, but a of fans on this site do. A lot of us were annoyed that there wasn’t a full fledged video game to go alongside the last movie. And no making-of book either. These things can heighten anticipation of a movie, and allow for additional ways into the Trek universe.

There’s nothing wrong with merchandising “Star Trek” as long as it isn’t a cheap cash in on a bad product.

62. MJ - July 22, 2011

@61. This idea that they need and extra time to do merchandising for the next movie is is joke considering that in my mind they have completely squandered the period between the two movies so far to keep the momentum of Trek 09 in the public’s minds…in fact, they have now lost the momentum. However, if as RDR infers, the concept is “procrastination marketing”, where they decide in year 3 following the first movie that, “oh now we meed to start with new products and publicity,” then whoever as Paramount who is in charge of this needs to go back to college and retake marketing 101, and this is perhaps the worst sf film franchise marketing strategy in the history of motion pictures.

63. chrisfawkes.com - July 23, 2011

Films to look to for nailing it are The Dark Knight and X Men First Class.

In the latter i really like how you could see magneto’s justification. How Xavier’s line “they are just men following orders” though intended for good is what pushed Magneto over the line. The dialogue and character development throughout he entire film was pure gold.

I know a lot of reviewers compared it to Trek but now it’s time to return the favor, they nailed a lot of things that few films have and i hope Trek finds itself better for the example.

64. Aurore - July 23, 2011

60. Mr. Ballz .

“Hey, that picture up above of Damon Lindelof and Charlize Theron…..the way he’s staring at her…..are his glasses fogging up?”

Who could blame him ?
She’s both beautiful and extremely talented.
I found her truly amazing in The Devil’s Advocate. (I had never heard of her before).

65. A. - July 23, 2011

I can’t wait!

66. captain_neill - July 23, 2011

I just hope they make a good script and satisfy the fan base who love Trek so much.

67. trekker 5 - July 23, 2011

#64,Aurore,well my friend,it seems as if your so looked for *announcement* is still to come,I have to say,I was starting to give up! :)

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