Exclusive: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman Reveal How Fans Influenced Into Darkness + Talk Next Movie & more

Star Trek Into Darkness co-writers spoke exclusively with TrekMovie.com at the London premiere. The pair talked about secrecy, revealed how TrekMovie.com fan community, and gave an update on Paramount’s plans for the next Star Trek movie. All that and more in the video interview below.  (minor spoilers discussed).
 

 

Exclusive: Orci & Kurtzman Talk How Fans Influenced Into Darkness & More

TrekMovie.com spoke with Star Trek Into Darkness co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci at the white carpet premiere in London. We talked about secrecy, how fans influenced the movie, the next Trek and more.

Here are some highlights:

Kurtzman on desire for secrecy

It is so rare nowadays to walk into a movie and be genuinely surprised by what was happening. When we were kids you would wait four hours online with no idea of what was coming and there was such joy to that and it feels that that experience is gone for filmgoers these days and we wanted to preserve that.

Orci on how fan reaction (at TrekMovie.com and elsewhere) to Star Trek 2009 effected the story for Star Trek Into Darkness:

In the first movie a lot of fans said ‘Oh my gosh, Kirk became captain so fast!’ And he went from cadet to captain and even though he save the world too fast.’ And so in [Into Darkness] we take that criticism very much into heart. Literally Christopher Pike tells Kirk ‘some people think you got here too fast and maybe you weren’t ready for the chair.’ And it is actually part of the story of the movie and that was a result of fan input.

On Paramount’s plans for the next Star Trek movie.

They are firm about having a movie out by the 50th anniversary [in 2016] and we are all trying to see if we can all make it work together.

On favorite scenes translated from their script to the actual movie, Alex said his was with the Klingons, Bob said his favorite was with the Enterprise rising out of the water, noting:

I like the Enterprise rising out of the ocean…that was an idea that Alex pitched and the minute he pitched it I was like ‘It is going to piss off some fans but I love it, it is going to be great!’

 

More Star Trek Into Darkness From London

 

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Let’s hope we get a film for 50 years

Bob and Alex are true fans. THANKS!

I would call the third film…Star Trek : Generations. He he, fitting title, dont you think?

BOB ORCI

We know you’re busy promoting the new movie, but when you get a chance to answer

Other than feedback about Kirk getting the “big chair” too quickly, did the fans here at Trekmovie “inform” your writing process in any other way regarding the script?

Bob Orci !!!!! Donde estas?

When one considers the plot line of the new movie (which I won’t reveal here), the notion that they released very little information in order to preserve surprises seems somewhat ironic.

DJT. AQUI!

Man … I can’t wait for the movie. Also I hope the 50th anniversary of Star Trek will pay homage in a big way for the series that came before.

Bob Orci: any chance for a TV series from you guys?

The more homages and references the better. It makes the life of an old fan – like my self worth living!

Star Trek: Nemesis blows, is the point

Once the dust settles from the Into Darkness release, I hope there’s some movement on a new TV show – cartoon or live action.

I want to see Captain Archer and T`Pol again. I wish a sequel to “Star Trek Enterprise”…

Star Trek: Nemesis blows, is the point

I want Season 5. But, I wouldn’t mind a series that bridges Enterprise to TOS. I also wouldn’t mind watching a TV show based on ST09 and Into Darkness.

The two shows I’ve always wanted to watch was one based on the Enterprise-B, since we know so little about it, or Excelsior, because I still think that would have been a better choice than Voyager. Of course, it made sense progressing into the future after the end of TNG instead of going a generation back.

We know equally little about Enterprise-C. Still lots of periods in Star Trek history to be filled in!

Seriously, I d love a Romulan tale..A klingon/Romulan tale even better if its ok with the rest of you fans.

11. mrspock – May 5, 2013

I want to see Captain Archer and T`Pol again. I wish a sequel to “Star Trek Enterprise”…

I agree. It got canceled just when the stories were getting great!

Also, the stories originally planned for ENT S5 sounded great.

Enterprise died. Let it stay dead. New territory.

I say let’s have our cake and eat it too. Take a Star Trek TV show a few centuries after the ‘Hobus Star’ incident from Trek 2009/Countdown. By this time things have radically changed. Romulans are gone, Federation has become closed off and militant, and a few idealists are finally making moves to bring back the light and hope that used to fill the Federation. As a result you could have a completely new look and feel for say, the 26th or 27th Century. The capacity to tell new stories that are relevant to the here and now, and avoid being shackled with continuity, AND avoid stepping on the JJ universe toes by having to conform to anything they would be doing.

There is nothing you will get out of an Excelsior TV show, or Enterprise Season 5, or the unsung Enterprises that made one off appearances. There is a reason Gene did what he did with Next Gen, setting it so many decades after TOS and TMP. It was to free himself from any major continuity issues and tell all new stories in a very fresh looking environment. Let’s do that. Not retread stale waters.

Bob, Alex, stop the pretence and just flat out ignore us completely.
You boys have been doing a great job on THAT since 2009…

Yeah! Bob is still here! You are one of us man!

18-

They don’t ignore “us.” They just ignore crappy boring fanwank ideas that wouldn’t work in a major motion picture.

Yup.

Great interview, their passion for the show really shines through. Quick question for Bob if you happen to be reading: hypothetically of course, how differently would you approach writing for a Star Trek TV series as opposed to the movies?

I’m worried about this cast now going past the third move if a) JJ does not direct, and b) it sucks.

Whomever they get to ‘sit in the chair’ needs to be on the same level as Star Wars getting JJ.

No, I will not put my two cents in as to whom. :) I hope/trust the powers that be will handle it.

@17. What if they set a new TV series on one of the unsung Enterprises in the JJverse? That neatly sidesteps the continuity issues since there’s only a couple of films plus comics to think about (even if they continue post JJ3).

As I’ve said previously on these boards:

You know what, i think there may be opportunity for Star Trek to return after JJ’s trilogy is finished (assuming it gets that far, maybe 2018?). Enterprise is still valid canon in this new alternate universe (based on the happened-before-Nero-incursion theory), but anything future-wise is new.

Assuming the alternate universe matches the general flow of the original, why not take the USS Enterprise C (or -B if -A never happened in this timeline) under Captain Rachel Garret? After recently watching Voyager, i feel another leading female captain would be a nice change and show off the egalitarian nature of the Federation. It also avoids the sensitivity of “remaking” another cherished crew (e.g TNG).

Set some 60 years after TOS (prime and alternate) and 40 before TNG (prime) it would make for an interesting foray into the “new” Federation. How things have evolved with the loss of Vulcan (maybe peace with the Romulans instead of the Klingons?), maybe the Borg arrived early?

@22

“I’m worried about this cast now going past the third move if a) JJ does not direct, and b) it sucks.”

Iron Man 3 was fine, without the original director

I would love it if we saw this crew do five or more Star Trek film but if we get a new movie every four years they will all be twenty years older by the next installment.

Is there not some way to have a team work on some story outlines for potential use even now to speed up the process.

I would love to see three years max between films and sometimes two.

@ Orci,
“In the first movie a lot of fans said … he went from cadet to captain and even though he saves the world it was too fast.’ And so in [Into Darkness] we take that criticism very much into heart.”

Really? This never occurred to the filmmakers until the fans complained? If the fans had not criticized this aspect of the film so vocally, would it have really never been addressed?

While I appreciate the nod to the fans with this comment, the idea this was not discussed in the writers room before it was committed to film with an eye toward a sequel is a little disturbing.

Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire

Hey Bob Orci. Have you and Alex started to pitch ideas to each other about the next Trek Movie and it’s 0th anniversary.

@26 Curious Cadet.

Exactly. What they should have done is something like a story arc for Kirk to the rise of the top. Just like Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader at the end of Episode 3, Kirk becomes finally Captain at the end of the trilogy. (Christ, i cannot believe that for once i used the Star Wars Prequels as a good example.)
Until then he is the subordinate to Pike but gets all the action. Just like in TNG.
BTW, if you look closely on the previous movie, you’ll see that Chekov, SUlu Spock and Scotty do all the dirty work for Kirk, while he fails all the time, but nevertheless gets all the credit in the end.

“I like the Enterprise rising out of the ocean…I was like ‘It is going to piss off some fans…..’”

You’re not wrong there….

@26. Orci’s comment about Enterprise rising from the water is a clue. Sounds great, let’s do it. Cadet to Captain was probably a similarly pitched idea. For me, at least, that’s an indicator that they don’t spend a lot of time thinking through the continuity and plausibility of a situation within the story. That may not be a bad thing, but we will need to see the movie to determine that.

RE: Cadet to Captain: Potential work arounds that were discussed here included having the time between the two movies kept deliberately indeterminate, maybe with a throw away line from Kirk griping about how long Officers Command School was or something, to indicate he actually had some training. Easy way to address the question without having to build a story around Kirk learning to be Captain as on the job training, which is also very implausible, by the way….

@28. Yeah, that’s been picked up on, that this Kirk got where he is by being at the right place at the right time. If Nero had not happened along when he did this Kirk is expelled from the Academy and back in Iowa picking corn and sleeping off benders in the county lock up. You actually don’t have to look that hard to figure it out. It’s also a testament to the filmmakers that they were able to gloss over that deficiency…

The journey of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars sucked.

He just looked like a self centered dick. Compare that to the Harry Potter Journey. When you saw the Potter character struggle with his dark side it had a lot of depth.

Hmmm, J.K Rowling isn’t a trekkie by any chance. Perhaps she could pitch in for the next Installment.

Bob –
You’ll never hear the end of the TV series questions!!!! Most fans love the occasional big-budget theatrical movie but we all know the concept is really at home on TV (Netflix, HBO, AMC … maybe CBS??).

So glad that fan input was acknowledged here. Sometimes the fans can get quarrelsome and somewhat overheated, but the interaction – with Bob Orci, especially- is deeply appreciated.

Hey, Bob, if you’re reading this, Zachary Quinto put in a request for two things in the 3rd movie: a goatee and Pon Farr. And Chris Pine wants to go ‘rogue’. Make it so!

And my request: if possible, I want a scene with Spock playing a Vulcan banjo or something.

Mr. Orci!

Third movie: Klingons! Lots of Klingons! People love to slam Star Trek III ( which I personally feel was one of the best) but that movie, thanks to Christopher Lloyd’s performance and Leonard Nimoy’s direction, defined Klingons for every iteration of Star Trek that followed and Made them very cool.

Klingons, man. Klingons.

@31
@26

It’s especially upsetting because they actually DO say in the film, that it needs AT LEAST 4 years after graduation to become Captain.
And even that is insanely fast, so i guess that saving the world got him some credit points, to join the team of those rare chosen few promising aspirants, who are from early on considered to become captain after 4 years.
But Captain even before becoming an officer? Even though the movie tells us that it is not possible, because it needs at least 4 years?
DId somebody checked the script before that? That those 2 dfferent plot-points create an continuity error (in the same movie, guys!)

The problem with a TV series is that CBS, though happy to make money from past Trek, has no interest (like Paramount does with the movies) in making more. Plus, without syndication, and the way Star Trek failed on UPN, most networks would shy away from it. I guess The CW would be an option but CBS doesn’t seem to really like Star Trek at all. It’s too bad.

Capt. of the USS Anduril

I am so damn sick of hearing people griping about Kirk going “from cadet to Captain too fast”. Good job paying attention to anything else in Trek or even in the movie. Cadet is a STATUS. It merely means that you haven’t graduated from Starfleet Academy. Saavik was a cadet but also held the rank of Lieutenant. In the 2009 film, Uhura was a Lieutenant. You can’t tell me that Kirk could be at the Academy for the same amount of time as her and NOT be at least the same rank. He was then granted what is referred to as a “battlefield commission” when Pike made him First Officer. So at most, Kirk skipped 2 ranks. At MOST.

@ 35.
@Boborci

I got already a Klingon Burnout from DS9!
Please i want Gary Mitchell for the third film.

Although a second human villain?
Ok, forget it, i don’t think it will happen.
Damn, i would have preferred Gary Mitchell for Into Darkness!

Wait, now i know!
The Gorn!!
Like in that game, that was released a few days ago. Well the game might have been disappointing for most, but the idea of that CGI Gorns might be indeed very promising.
Bob Orci, what about the Gorn in Star Trek 13?.

I think weve said it before– that the best way for there to be any new TV Trek will be for it to be like Game if Thrones: well-plotted and with serious stakes.

And it could also take something from The Wire, in that each season could have a different, deliberate focus

This would also free the producers to use any (and maybe many or all) timelines or universes. And the “era” wouldn’t matter so much because the show would then focus on human (in the expanded sense) problems… Not ticking time bomb plots….that Tick so quickly… It would also give a chance for the novelistic development of Starfleet’s ethical dilemmas.

Trelane and Talosians for part 3

Grand Adventure Allegory Sci Fi with surprise ending like sixth sense and shutter island, coupled with t2 ground breaking visuals.

Directed by Sam Raimi or Nolan.

Personally, I’d also like to see Trek in a Mad Men style, with science fictional ideas but still have the Rodenberry. What is it really like to live amongst a whole crew of such super intelligent and responsible humans?? What are their flaws? What happens when the Federation misses a pitch? Also, how DoFederation planets compete against one another? Do countries on one planet make deals with counties on other planets against the wishes of their planet? How does all that stuff work?

Yes… And exploring!!

@31. Phil,
“If Nero had not happened along when he did this Kirk is expelled from the Academy and back in Iowa picking corn and sleeping off benders in the county lock up.”

That doesn’t seem likely. Considering Pike’s interest in Kirk, redoubled in the latest movie, most likely Pike would have lobied “Tyler Perry’s Admiral Richard Barnett” and taken him under his wing to put him aboard the Enterprise anyway, forcing him down Spock’s throat. And who knows over time Spock would have learned to respect Kirk and the same relationship they ultimately had in the Prime Universe would have developed (say a bonding over the destined death of Pike). It would have been far more realistic and accomplished the same thing.

If anyone in London want two premium seat tickets to the IMAX Star Trek screening at Waterloo next week check out
http://bit.ly/11LMwqA

MIrror Universe John Harrison

Personally, for the third movie they need to get away from terrorist themes and having things explode above San Francisco. My suggestion? A concept that will open up the entire franchise to anything. A return to Talos IV. The Talosians with their power of mind control can make the characters believe they are anywhere. A perfect set up for the 50th anniversary. Going back to where it all started, with the ability to show anything from any time from any location to any characters.

Mirror Universe John Harrison

Personally, for the third movie they need to get away from terrorist themes and having things explode above San Francisco. My suggestion? A concept that will open up the entire franchise to anything. A return to Talos IV. The Talosians with their power of mind control can make the characters believe they are anywhere. A perfect set up for the 50th anniversary. Going back to where it all started, with the ability to show anything from any time from any location to any characters…from any universe…..

@38. Capt. of the USS Anduril,
“I am so damn sick of hearing people griping about Kirk going “from cadet to Captain too fast”. Good job paying attention to anything else in Trek or even in the movie. ”

Hyperbole much?

Have you read ANY other posts by ANYBODY else on this website?

Let’s see, Bob Orci himself brought this up, and is the centerpiece of this article as an example for how they listened to the fans. Somehow, discussing it further seems quite appropriate, and given the considerable debates elsewhere over the brewery as engineering set, lack of focus on McCoy, Carol Marcus being objectified in her underwear, the Enterprise underwater, Uhura only being portrayed as Spock’s girlfriend, et al, I’d say yeah, the fans are paying attention to considerably more than the hard to swallow promotion of Kirk.

Personally, for the third movie they need to get away from terrorist themes and having things explode above San Francisco. My suggestion? A concept that will open up the entire franchise to anything. A return to Talos IV. The Talosians with their power of mind control can make the characters believe they are anywhere. A perfect set up for the 50th anniversary. Going back to where it all started, with the ability to show anything from any time from any location to any characters….from any universe….the Talosians can be trans-dimensional creatures aware of alternate universes like Guinan was

If my employee saved my company and lives of others dam right I promote him!

Personally, for the third movie they need to get away from terrorist themes and having things explode above San Francisco. My suggestion? A concept that will open up the entire franchise to anything. A return to Talos IV. The Talosians with their power of mind control can make the characters believe they are anywhere. A perfect set up for the 50th anniversary. Going back to where it all started, with the ability to show anything from any time from any location to any characters….from any universe..the Talosians can be trans-dimensional creatures aware of alternate universes like Guinan.

The third movie can end revealing the JJ verse was one big illusion the Talosians imprinted upon Prime Spock. Prime Spock will have been living a vast illusion all the time while on Talos IV. Even Shatner can be brought back with this concept.

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