Looper’s Rian Johnson To Direct Star Wars Episode VIII | TrekMovie.com
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Looper’s Rian Johnson To Direct Star Wars Episode VIII June 20, 2014

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Abrams,Sci-Fi,Star Wars , trackback

BREAKING: Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director JJ Abrams is currently shooting the next Star Wars movie, but it appears he will not be shooting the one after that. Reports are coming out today that Looper director Rian Johnson is in talks to helm Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood are reporting (and the LA Times confirms) that Disney and Lucasfilm are currently in talks with Rian Johnson to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, the follow-up film to JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. Both also report that he will write Episode VIII. THR is also reporting that he is also writing the treatment for Episode IX, contradicting Deadline’s report that he is also in talks to direct Episode IX.

Tweet from Abrams from set of Star Wars: Episode VII earlier this month

At age 40, Johnson has only directed three features – 2005’s award winning indie noir Brick, 2008’s caper-comedy Brothers Bloom and 2012’s Looper, a time-travel film starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That film had only a $30m budget, but grossed over $176m.

Johnson on the set of ‘Looper’ with Gordon-Levitt

No word yet on if Abrams or his Bad Robot production company will have any involvement with either Episode VIII or IX. Disney will be releasing Episode VII in December 2015. Episode VIII is expected in 2017. As reported earlier this week, the next Star Trek film will be released in-between those two, in 2016. Abrams will be producing the Trek film, with writer Bob Orci in the director’s chair. At the very least this news means that if Abrams doesn’t take on another directing job immediately following Episode VII, he may have more time available…some of which could be devoted to the third film in his trilogy of Star Trek productions.



1. Ran - June 20, 2014

Great news. Hopefully, Johnson will fix in VIII everything JJ will break in VII.

2. KH - June 20, 2014

Oh look. An anti-Abrams crack right off the bat. *eyes glaze over*

3. Ran - June 20, 2014

It’s not an anti-Abrams, it is a pro-Johnson.

4. Dom - June 20, 2014

I got the impression from the outset that there would be different teams on all the movies. Disney knows the Marvel model has worked well on those films, with most directors (Favreau excepted) being one-off journeymen.

With a cash cow like Star Wars, the executives will want to keep overall control without one team becoming too powerful. Giving ‘auteurs’ a good deal of freedom on one movie is fine, as they can shift requirements for the next movie’s team. There’s no reason to think JJ won’t be back at some stage, but Disney need the franchise to be bigger than any one creative team if it’s to survive.

5. Harry Ballz - June 20, 2014

What a horrible choice. Looper was a piece of dogsh*t. This guy can’t direct traffic.

(and I usually love time travel movies)

Hollywood ALWAYS gets it wrong.

6. Hat Rick - June 20, 2014

Just a few musings:

I’m just wondering if the JJ Abrams sticky-note is supposed to be funny / ironic since it’s obviously a photo. In fact, the circular background is Millennium Falconesque.

There are mainstream reports about the injury that Harrison Ford sustained and, if memory serves, that was because a prop door hit him in the leg. Initially it was said that he had injured his ankle, but now it’s reported that he had broken his leg. Anyone know if the prop door was attached to the Millennium Falcon?

Second, if Mr. Abrams has more time on his hands for ST after the SW sequel is finished, would this mean that he would help Mr. Orci in his directorial duties? One could only speculate, since the former still has his producer duties to do.

Third, TrekMovie seems to be making up for lost time — new articles every day. Kudos!

7. Ahmed - June 20, 2014

If Abrams has more time after SW7 come out, then perhaps Paramount should delay ST3 to 2017 & hires Abrams to finish his Star Trek trilogy!

8. Cygnus-X1 - June 20, 2014

The door of the millennium falcon has broken Harrison Ford’s left leg:


9. Hat Rick - June 20, 2014

Thanks, Cygnus-X1, for the information about the Millennium Falcon and its unfortunate role in interfering with the production of SW7. Best wishes, naturally, to Mr. Ford.

10. Vger23 - June 20, 2014

#6- The picture with the sticky is definitely ironic, especially since it’s stuck to the circular chess board from the Falcon.

11. NuFan - June 20, 2014

Change the name to TrekWarsMovies.com and give us news on both!

12. Hat Rick - June 20, 2014

@Vger23, 10,

Thanks for that response. It looks like JJ’s sense of mischief and whimsy knows not the boundaries of SF universes.

So, if we can see an R2D2 in ST(2009), what can we expect to see in SW7? (By the way, does SW7 have a title yet?) Perhaps a Borg in an alien scene? A Constitution-class vessel in a massed fleet? The mind boggles!

Of course, there is the ultimate question: Could JJ even strong-arm a featurette in which major characters from both universes cross over? It could be a Blu-ray special, or a short. Wouldn’t that be fun? If anyone could do it, it would be the director of two major movies in the top two Star franchises in the world.

13. Marja - June 20, 2014

dayum they already have a director for EIGHT?

what the heck is wrong with Paramount … why do they drag their feet so. Glad they finally made Orci official, ’bout flippin’ time.

14. Marja - June 20, 2014

6, Rick, yep, it was the door of the Millenium Falcon.

Han should have listened to Leia. Didn’t she tell him it was a bucket of bolts?

15. Ahmed - June 20, 2014

@ 13. Marja – June 20, 2014

“what the heck is wrong with Paramount … why do they drag their feet so. Glad they finally made Orci official, ’bout flippin’ time.”

Where you read that ? I didn’t read any official press release from Paramount confirming that yet.

16. JP - June 20, 2014

@Harry: You’re a joke mate. Have you seen The Brothers Bloom or Brick? Rian Johnson can direct his a** off. He’s outstanding. Reading your posts on this site over the past few years is nauseating.

17. Cervantes - June 20, 2014

Just bring back the regular ‘movie news’ roundup article and be done with it. I miss those, as they were a good comprehensive catch-up on everything.

By the way, I approve of different directors getting a crack at the SW chapters. If only George had only directed the fourth instalment, and left the prequels to others…

18. dswynne - June 20, 2014

I think the reason for Abrams not directing the sequel is because, if memory serves, he gave an interview where he promised his family that he would take a year off from his work, and that doing SW is what resulted in him making that promise. It could also mean that he wants to work on other projects outside of the movies; maybe some television shows, too.

19. Harry Ballz - June 20, 2014


Don’t try being clever, JP. It doesn’t suit you.

20. dmduncan - June 20, 2014

I didn’t see Looper. But I did see Brick, and a high school film noir just doesn’t work, except as a parody, which Brick was not trying to be.

However, Brick was very inventive, and I came away from the movie thinking that Rian was a directorial talent to keep an eye on.

The most interesting thing about this story is that JJ is out before what he made has even been released. I wonder what’s up there?

21. Ahmed - June 20, 2014

@20. dmduncan

“The most interesting thing about this story is that JJ is out before what he made has even been released. I wonder what’s up there?”

I guess that we will find out in the coming days or weeks. But I think that it has something to do with the fact that Abrams didn’t want to be away from his family & move to London to shoot the new SW movie.

Also the fact that Disney is not giving him the same amount of freedom & authority as it was the case with Paramount. He wanted to shoot the movie in LA & they said no, he also wanted to delay the movie to 2016 & they said no again.

22. Commodore Adams - June 20, 2014

I think JJ will do wonders for Star Wars, if not it will haunt him forever, so I think he’s taking proper precautions to make sure this comes out bad ass due to his love of Star Wars.

Im more occupied with what path the 14th Star Trek movie will take, will CBS make a new series, and will DS9 get the HD treatment.

23. c - June 20, 2014

When it comes to ST and SW Im not loyal to any director or actor playing Kirk or Spock just make them…

24. Hugh Hoyland - June 20, 2014

Since these films, unlike the OT and PT, are released 2 years apart instead of 3. I think it would be very tough for JJ to finish up production on episode 7 and launch straight into Episode 8.

But thats just speculation on my part. Maybe we’ll find out sometime what the deal is.

25. Bart - June 20, 2014

I find it laughable that anyone could be worried about JJ and Star Wars. They guy is made to do Star Wars. And what could there possible be to fear after Episodes I, II and III. It can ONLY go up from there.

26. Phil - June 20, 2014

@3. Yeah, it was anti-Abrams. Pro Abrams would have been ‘JJ fixes everything George Lucas f**ked up in episodes 1, 2, and 3, and the remastered 4, 5 and 6′. See the difference?

27. VOODOO - June 20, 2014

I’ve never seen a film as anticipated as Episode VII including the first SW prequel.

It isn’t just fanboy sites posting Star Wars stories on a daily basis, the slightest bit of Star Wars news + the mainstream media (who usually never comment on upcoming films) is all over it.

This film is going to be a monster at the box office.

28. Red Dead Ryan - June 20, 2014

I saw “Looper” several times. It’s great.

And I agree, the bit about J.J. Abrams not wanting to direct Episodes VIII and XV is weird. Oh well.

29. Matthew Briggs - June 20, 2014

Arams does like to seem to hop around. He could of had his year off whilst episode XIII and XI are being written and shot them back to back.

30. Harry Ballz - June 20, 2014

Want to see great directing?

Watch Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman.

It was directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Superb, as compared to your paint-by-numbers horsesh*t action movies.

31. Elias Javalis - June 21, 2014

That’s Nice,

Trek is what i am interested of, Not Star Wars,

But thanks for the News!

32. Dom - June 21, 2014

Actually, I wish Paramount would take a multi-production team approach to Star Trek. Rather than drag out a ‘starting the voyage’ plot line across a decade, waiting for a ‘supreme court’ to get around to it, I’d like to see a Trek movie with the ‘nu-Trek’ cast every two years that follows a light story arc and a spin-off every other year, say Bruce Greenwood’s Pike before ST09 or Tom Hardy as Jean-Luc Picard on the Stargazer.

Disney are breaking new ground with their handling of franchises with Warner following on their coattails. Paramount lost the Marvel films and seem incapable of handling what they do have. In five years, they’ve managed to get nu-Trek as far as starting the five-year mission through two films and Mission: Impossible has basically had four films in 20 years, few of which have much to do with the series on which they’re based.

Paramount are falling behind and, frankly becoming a duff studio along the lines of MGM whose troubles have for years dogged the James Bond series. Blofeld? Pish! MGM is Bond’s greatest foe!

33. Disinvited - June 21, 2014

#32. Dom – June 21, 2014

While historically what you describe holds true for Paramount, we have to be aware that in 2006 the company that controls Trek’s film franchise is not the same one as the Paramount prior. It is actually a new entity that is Paramount in name only. The Paramount with the history of being Trek’s worst “enemy” was actually just renamed CBS in that year.

nuParamount is actually green and making mistakes too but mostly of the type of pretending that it is this sage old institution responsible for all these successes in the old film library that Redstone handed over to it when it was not.

This is why the two PARAMOUNTS bang heads. Moonves not too unrealistically had expected to be the head of a Paramount Entertainment empire when an ambitious executive on the same executive tier as him made a play for wresting it from him. The two constant jockeying and bickering to earn the right to control Paramount somehow caused Redstone to come up with the “briliant” idea to create two Paramounts and set the two qualified execs at each other’s throats in an arena that he envisioned would generate more profits.

The odd thing is that Moonves’ challenger got bumped out so fast in setting this all up that it is a bit of a mystery why Redstone stayed the course in creating nuParamount instead of just rewarding Moonves’ his spoils?

Regardless, the situation as it now stands is the two heads of each organization in this arena each believes they are the true heir apparent to the one true Paramount Entertainment Empire and has as their goal to amass as much wealth and power in each’s own institution so as to be able to force the other to fold into the other via a hostile takeover thus reforming what was rightly their’s all along, and giving each the right to show the other door

34. Newdivide1701 - June 21, 2014

It appears that JJ’s greatest legacy is filtering the high IQs from the low ones.

And already the hater’s overly exaggerated egos are saying, “Yeah, we the smart ones, baby!!!” when they are NOT the ones I am referring to.

35. Dom - June 21, 2014

33. Disinvited

Yeah, I remember the shenanigans surrounding the Viacom split. A total mess. Just as the Bond films have a history of fighting a duff studio, so Trek has two owners who are butting heads.

Imagine CBS did decide to make a new Star Trek TV show: immediately, Paramount would likely launch a legal action over the impact it could have on their film franchise. When Rick Berman’s Trek shows outstayed their welcome, they effectively tanked the film series too (notwithstanding the TNG films were rubbish and disrespected the TV show they came from!)

Paramount wouldn’t like a rival Trek running that could tank nu-Trek, so the compromise would logically be to use the team behind the nu-Trek films to make the TV show. But that would lead to the two owners working together, which is highly unlikely.

So, IMHO, they need to look at how Star Wars and Marvel are being running and apply some of that nous to the Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises.

36. Red Dead Ryan - June 21, 2014

The “Star Wars” and MARVEL movies generate far more revenue worldwide, and are much more popular than Trek is at the moment.

That is why Disney can do what it does with its properties while Paramount can only manage to produce only one Trek movie every several years, and “Mission :Impossible” and “Jack Ryan” films every six-eight years on average.

Plus I get the sense Paramount is about ready to re-boot the Trek movie series after the third one with cheaper movies with new actors who are relative unknowns.

The rift with CBS isn’t helping matters either. But I doubt the two companies will ever be re-joined, so it looks like Trek will become a B- or C-list franchise for the foreseeable future while Disney expands its own “Star Wars” and MARVEL empires and aquires new film and tv franchises.

37. Dom - June 21, 2014

Hi Red Dead Ryan: ‘The “Star Wars” and MARVEL movies generate far more revenue worldwide, and are much more popular than Trek is at the moment.’

Remember though that Iron Man was a risky prospect for Marvel at the time. Iron Man was on their B-List back then and Robert Downey Jr was better know for his offscreen problems. The confident delivery of that film and the underrated The Incredible Hulk led to the two-a-year film series we now know.

Paramount had a big success with ST09, but let all the momentum die by not following it up more quickly. I agree with the possibility there’ll be a proper reboot next time. Probably not a bad thing. I have to wonder if they’ll take the Marvel/Star Wars approach then, though. I suspect that’s the way of the future.

A pity they can’t take a leaf out of the Marvel book and make a ‘One Shot’ short film to add to the film package on Blu-ray (the Agent Carter one was very good!) I’d love a short where Shatner’s Kirk emerges from the Nexus on New Vulcan and goes to find Spock.

38. Elias Javalis - June 21, 2014

Unless there is a “Secret Contract” between Par and J.J i believe so too.

But i don’t think for a Second Star Trek will become a second rate Franchise. Its a Different game, Star Trek has become one of Paramount’s biggest Summer Tentpole Movies.

Granted its not Marvel or Star Wars. Its got a new Fanbase, (count me in), the Home Video Market sells by millions of Dollars, the Fan Series are becoming more and more popular.

Its more than insuring that Star Trek is a viable Franchise!

39. I am not Herbert - June 21, 2014

Interesting SW news… (scratches head) =P

Impressive UFO Over Kentucky:



…especially the second one! ;-)

40. I am not Herbert - June 21, 2014

Disney is all about quality… =)

JJ’s “qualities” are questionable, IMHO… ;-)

41. Hat Rick - June 21, 2014

I noticed that for the first time in several days, there hasn’t been a new article posted on TrekMovie.com. Given the recent spate of new contributions, that’s not particularly concerning. However, I just wanted to remind readers how much fun it was when this site was at full blast. It covered a wide range of topics — not just Star Trek, but other SF franchises, and even real-life science.

For example, take a gander at a story from August 10, 2010 — a little less than four years ago:


Those were the days! Sometimes I find that I hardly recognize my own postings from articles so far back.

I believe Mr. Okuda participated significantly, as did Mr. Drexler, on this site. (I could be mistaken — it’s been almost four years!) Then of course, Bob Orci and many others.

Anyway, thanks to the TrekMovie staff for all their efforts. Hope this site continues to LL&P.

42. Cygnus-X1 - June 21, 2014

35. Dom – June 21, 2014

Paramount wouldn’t like a rival Trek running that could tank nu-Trek, so the compromise would logically be to use the team behind the nu-Trek films to make the TV show.

Oh, God, PLEASE don’t put the BR Trek people in charge of a Trek TV show! PLEEEEASE, CBS, I’m begging you!!

As for Disney milking its franchises more, let’s not forget that the Marvel movies are pretty lame on the whole. They’re just popcorn-munching action movies that you forget as soon as you walk out of the theater. At least, I do. My friends and I generally watch those movies under the influence of two drugs—one of which is legal in every State, and one of which is legal only in a couple of States at present—in order to enhance the experience, as there’s never any danger of us missing any deeper levels to the stories due to our mental faculties being somewhat impaired and retarded by the drugs.

The first Iron Man I enjoyed watching at home, but that’s the high-water mark. Granted, they’re comic-book movies, and the source material was mostly pulp anyway. So, these movies being big-dumb-action movies are not some travesty or affront to the comics. But, that sort of treatment is not appropriate for Trek. To do that to Trek is a travesty and affront to its original spirit, values and sensibilities.

So, I’ll take quality over quantity in Trek, please. There’s already a plethora of Trek to watch in the meantime (I’m currently re-watching DS9), and we’ve got the fan films becoming increasingly more sophisticated, enjoyable and frequently released. I’d rather wait 5 years for one GREAT Trek movie than get a BR Trek movie every year.

43. Captain Conrad - June 21, 2014

Wait, did I get redirected to WarsMovie.com!?!

Just kidding. I appreciate the updates. As a fan of both universes, it’s nice to be able to get updates on both from one site.

44. Elias Javalis - June 21, 2014

Agreed Cygnus :)

Not all Marvels are totally Crap – most of them yes – Xmen is good though.

But yes, they are utterly forgettable. That’s why they keep using Great Actors like Robert Redford and R.D. Junior cause they re just Special Effects!

45. AJ - June 22, 2014

I just watched Looper last week, and thought “Is that IT?”

Very little imagination or innovation. Oooh, time travel and Bruce Willis sleeping through another role for a cool mil. The kid did a decent job pretending to blow things up..

Why has JJ already been kicked off the job? I guess it’ll be his turn now to do a “serious” film.

The best “Star Wars” film was directed by the guy who did “Robocop 2,” Irwin Kershner, so I guess anyone can have a shot.

46. Paul - June 22, 2014

AJ, Kirshner made Robocop 2 after Star Wars.

47. Dom - June 22, 2014

Hi Cygnus.

I think the problem is that Star Trek fans tend to see Star Trek as something special among franchises, something that requires different treatment from all the others. Truth is, much as I love Star Trek, that it’s a middling performing franchise that doesn’t perform particularly well outside of America.

And really, is there any more ‘depth’ to the average Star Trek movie than Iron Man 3, DC’s The Dark Knight, Fox’s The Wolverine, or Sony’s Spider-Man films? Not really. Star Trek’s origins prior to the TV show lie with pulp golden age science fiction and the populist entertainment of William Shakespeare (given Star Trek is effectively ‘Forbidden Planet: The Series!’)

Star Trek has a lot of drawbacks when it comes to engaging with the global public.

Star Trek and, especially, Rick Berman’s shows also all have a tendency towards self-righteousness. Even while TOS was about learning, sometimes the allegorical mask would slip and it would preach. TNG and its bedfellows basically threw the writer/producers’ opinions in our faces. When the allegory slips, inevitably half your viewership will be alienated because they’ll beg to differ. As Roberto Orci said a while back, it’s the discussion of views that’s important, which is why the Kirk, Spock, McCoy (warrior, priest, doctor) archetypes were so perfect.

Star Trek can take itself too seriously, with writers and producers thinking it’s about changing the world rather the ‘backsides on seats’ entertainment. Unfortunately a section of the fans follow suit.

And in the case of Star Wars, Trek fans tend to look down at Wars fans as a bit dim, when, actually, a lot of Star Wars is more literate and intelligent than Star Trek. Star Wars is immersed in Campbell’s theories, classic literature, and cinema. Even the cartoons are full of references to classical literature. Trek fans don’t want a well-made cartoon series, though, because they think cartoons are for stupid people. I’d love an animated Trek show,

Effectively, because Trek is not even a distant second to Star Wars and a number of other franchises, the old excuse of ‘those films are rubbish and the plebs who watch them are stupid’ gets used. Basically, a lot of Trek fans are being pretentious.

Humour is difficult in Star Trek. It takes good acting and writing to be funny without pulling the audience out of the show or film. The original cast were brilliantly funny and mostly hit the right note. There were moments in STV and STVI, though, that were just embarrassing. Because of its weird pretensions, humour in TNG-ENT was mostly excruciating, like watching a a very dull stoic classmate making pratfalls and messing up the punchlines. The only two who could really be funny in those shows were Patrick Stewart (a stalwart of another, much more successful film series) and Brent Spiner.

End of the day, from my point of view, Star Trek needs to be energetically marketed. If we’re not going to get a TV show any time soon, then I’d like to see more frequent films from more creators. If one team doesn’t entirely hit the nail on the head one year, another team might well the next.

At the end of the day, it’s about what it’s worth waiting for. Was STID worth four years’ wait? Not to me, I’m afraid. Had it it shown up a year or two after the first film, then fine. After a four-year wait, I had bigger expectations that could probably reasonably be met, even though I still enjoyed the film.

I thoroughly enjoy the Marvel films with their six-monthly delivery schedule. Most ordinary people who went to see STID, who aren’t heavily invested uber-fans, are probably the same sort of people who tend to see Marvel films. I can pretty much guarantee, even if they enjoyed any of the last several years’ Trek films, the films had no more impact on them than Captain America: The First Avenger or Thor.

We’re in the era of Netflix and Amazon Prime now. Cinema is no longer the ‘gold standard’ for the visual medium. It’s not a demerit if Star Trek and Mission: Impossible follow the direction of these other franchises: it’s common sense survival.

At the end of the day, maybe the Trek intelligentsia might think I’m a stupid person, but I never really had much time for academics anyway! ;)

48. Hat Rick - June 22, 2014

@Dom, 47,

Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts. I agree with some of your opinions, and disagree with many others.

I, too, like both franchises, but I would like to highlight some of the flaws in the SW universe as they’ve been presented in the movies in a manner similar to the way you’ve presented them regarding Trek. I do this (briefly), because I think the criticisms of SW as somewhat juvenile are more accurate than it may seem. I agree, first of all, that SW is an embodiment of the Hero’s Journey, a mythos that has animated storytelling since the dawn of literature because of its power and truth. The original SW (1977), in particular, did this in an operatic and moving style, and established the fundamental premise for much of the entire series. However, I would argue that SW, particularly as it has developed, appeals to more simplistic ideas of good and evil in part because of this premise. Empires fall because Goliath fell to David — “The End.” Even more importantly, SW falls back on mysticism and fantasy, which is inherently more susceptible to oversimplification for the sake of effect. “A wizard did it” — literally. It doesn’t take much for such a genre to fall into obscurantism, on one hand, and pure child-like wish-fulfillment, on the other.

I point to this as only one reason that SW strikes many as less sophisticated than ST. It’s not a matter of pretension, in other words. It’s rooted in a difference in appreciation for the values of literature as commentary on the human condition. ST fans are no more pretentious than SW fans, and so I would respectfully disagree with your conclusions on that score. Granted — some ST productions are indeed pretentious from a certain standpoint, but the ST universe, I would say, presents a different and less black-and-white view of good and evil, and therefore requires a more adult appreciation for its premise.

This is where you and I would find agreement. ST is not as appealing to the masses, particularly globally, in part because of its premises. Precisely why, and the reasoning behind this, is where you and I would differ.

I would also offer that your observation that ST is more demanding of a common cultural background than SW has more than a tinge of truth to it.

I wish I had the time to elaborate on some of these points and many others. This is again, just a sketch of a part of my response to your thoughtful posting. I thought it deserved at least such a reply, and in fact more. As you would agree, these things are often a matter of opinion in any event.

49. I am not Herbert - June 22, 2014

“Original” Star Trek should be licensed to Netflix… make it so!! PLEASE!!!

50. Commodore Adams - June 22, 2014

I just think of the stand alone films as well. Ep VII in 2015, Star Wars stand alone 2016, Ep VIII 2017. This along with 2016 Star Trek its fantastic for sci fi fans in general, I’m going to love it. But speaking strictly as a Trek fan, I think of all this competition is going to hurt trek a bit, especially if you have three Star Wars films spanning three years.

I love both franchises but I adore Star Trek. What can be more fascinating that the (theoretical) future of us on Earth.

I also have a concern with the 2016 Star Trek movie spearheaded by two mormons and a person with an insatiable interest in conspiracy theories. Granted The Undiscovered Country was fantastic because of its conspiracy story, I still think its the strongest, richest Star Trek movie to date (TWOK is overrated). As with anything, I believe in giving it a chance, letting the work speak for itself, and judging it like any critic once the task is complete. I hope there are no religious influences or conspiracy influences and is rather influenced by its past, of boldly going where no one has gone before, for peaceful scientific exploration.

51. Cygnus-X1 - June 22, 2014

47. Dom – June 22, 2014

And really, is there any more ‘depth’ to the average Star Trek movie than Iron Man 3, DC’s The Dark Knight, Fox’s The Wolverine, or Sony’s Spider-Man films?


Though, it depends on what you mean by “average.”

Eliminate the BR Trek movies from the equation, and the answer is unequivocally YES.

Whether and to what degree you’re put off by the “preachiness” of TOS and TNG is your own personal taste. And I never compare Trek to Star Wars or deride Star Wars fans. I was a Star Wars fan before the second trilogy came out. And I was also a Trek fan during that time. I see no competition or mutual exclusion between the two franchises. They’ve always been very different and had very different styles and aims.

But if it is your opinion that the best of Trek is no deeper than Iron Man 3, then we just aren’t going to see eye to eye.

52. Commodore Adams - June 22, 2014

I was slightly intoxicated when making my second post, hence the obvious contradiction to the former. Its what happens when those true feelings are extracted by spiritous liquors with all their deleterious effects intact. I wish Orci the best at directing, but I am cautiously optimistic. After 7 years, and their third movie, and they are finally “boldly going”…hmm Ill wait for proof, I’m becoming more disappointed at the current state and direction of the franchise, even if it has more fans (not trekkies/ers)

WORF – You sent for me?

DANILO – We’re brewing poteen, but we need a way to heat it without this
bloody ship firing bloody lightning bolts at us.

WORF – You can obtain spiritous liquors from the food dispensers.

DANILO (suspicious) – It’s not that synthehol bilge O’Brien offered me, is it?

WORF – No, if you wish it can be real alcohol.

DANILO – Good.

WORF (warningly) – With all of the deleterious effects intact.

DANILO – As it should be.

53. Commodore Adams - June 23, 2014

@ 33. Disinvited – June 21, 2014

That was incredibly insightful, I already knew some of that. I’ve never liked Sumner Redstone, something eerily menacing and vile about him. I knew of the CBS, Viacom, Paramount split/renaming (what it did to Enterprise) but I didn’t know of the other skullfuckery.

All about money money money, greedy motherfu*kers contorting while exploiting franchises like Star Trek beloved to fans who must endure what is done to something we hold so dear. Ever since Gene lost Star Trek bit by bit, its been viewed by executives as something to exploit rather than cherish.

When you give something the true love it deserves, wonderful things happen.

54. Commodore Adams - June 23, 2014

@ 33. Disinvited – June 21, 2014

Since you seem to be well versed in this subject, might you enlighten me by going into more detail about the Paramount, CBS, Vicaom split. A few years ago I tried to read up on it but it was just so damn convoluted.

You’re saying the old Paramount (owned by Gulf+Western then Viacom) is now named CBS. Would that be the CBS (which CBS Digital belongs to) which holds the right to all Star Trek television and the remastering of TOS and TNG?

While the current Paramount (in name and logo only) holds the rights to the motion pictures? Hence the butting of the heads?

What about the CBS Corporation that existed prior to this debacle, when Paramount was still Gulf+Western? What that CBS just absorbed?

And the new Viacom, is it a completely new entity to the Viacom that owned the old Paramount? Or just a rebranding?

It is said that for the first time ever, Star Trek is now owned by two companies. Is that the case or are they technically both owned by Viacom with Redstone as the puppet master?

Its funny, I look and just have to laugh.. its ultimately CBS’s -> Paramounts, -> Viacom’s and Redstone’s greed (plus the high volume of sales) that will guarantee that DS9 and Voyager are given the blu-ray restoration treatment. But greed will also cut corners like the lacklustre Enterprise blu-ray transfers. I am extremely disappointed with the visual quality of Enterprise on blu-ray. A fellow Trek friend of mine who is nowhere near the audio/videophile I am said “Enterprise does not look much better than the standard def DVD’s.”

In a way this fiasco has been and will be a detriment and benefit to Star Trek fans. We’ll get shitty movies, exploiting Star Trek for the new age, the new generation willing to empty their wallets, yet the benefit of the restoration and preservation of the classic Trek’s all because its a financial benefit to Viacom.

55. TUP - June 23, 2014

The thing is, there is an established style and editing to Star Wars. So in a way its like a guest director on a TV series. You have rules you have to abide by. Hopefully, Abrams establishes that these films look like they belong in the series.

56. Picard, Jean-Luc - June 23, 2014

Bad Robot is going to buy Star Trek….


No reason why they can’t (if they can afford it). Seems as though right now Star Trek needs a creatively driven owner anyway as it’s going nowhere with CBS and Paramount.

CBS and Paramount can bicker among themselves about who owns what and who gets to make what Trek whilst Bad Robot swoops in and delivers us a second golden era of Star Trek on both the big, small, hand held and imaginary screens.

Lets get this right as well:

VIACOM split in two:

CBS became it’s own entity and Paramount remained owned by VIACOM

Unfortunately the breakup was quite bitter and unfortunately for Star Trek, Star Trek was split with them both.

Paramount got the movies, CBS the TV series.

The intellectual rights to Star Trek remain with CBS who lease the Star Trek intellectual rights to Paramount for them to make movies.

Paramount also distribute all of the CBS owned DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s

The only way I can see Star Trek really ramping it up and giving us not just a movie every so often, is for it to become either it’s own entity between Paramount and CBS OR being sold to Bad Robot (or another interested party) willing to see the potential returns a $2 billion dollar franchise would bring them in the long run.

57. Cygnus-X1 - June 23, 2014

Sumner Redstone still controls both Paramount and CBS.

58. Disinvited - June 23, 2014

#56. Picard, Jean-Luc – June 23, 2014

It’s a convoluted business mess and I lay no claim to having seen the contracts, et al, to give a definitive breakdown.

However, I can explain my take on the split as follows from following Paramount doings as a Trek fan:

Ever since Les became part of CBS in 1995, he’s made no secret of the fact that he has ambitions to be regarded as a major movie mogul and he saw the path to that goal as Paramount, especially given that he desired the prestige of helming a studio with a history and legacy so as to give his mogulacy an “heir” of Hollywood Royal ascendancy.


”As the animosity between the former corporate cousins Les Moonves and Tom Freston escalates, a showdown looms between the pair over a lucrative movie deal between pay-TV channel Showtime and the Paramount Pictures movie studio.

The relationship – strained since each exec took the helm of his own public company when Viacom split earlier this year – has turned even chillier recently, according to numerous associates of both men. Part of the rivalry stems from a widespread belief on the Viacom side that Moonves, chief of CBS, constantly takes potshots at Viacom boss Freston.

People close to Viacom say the situation is “bizarre,” especially given that both companies share the same chairman and controlling shareholder, Sumner Redstone.

These people chalk up Moonves’ motivation to his competitive nature as well as the actor-turned-mogul’s well-known desire to run Paramount – which was put under Freston’s control in 2004.

“It’s a little surprising because it’s gotten a little edgy,” said one media executive who is close to both Freston and Moonves. He described the recent level of tension as “DEFCON 3.” ” — Tim Arango, August 29, 2006 | 4:00am, NEW YORK POST

Yes, there’s a VIACOM split, but the focus of all the bickering leading to Redstone’s “solution” has been old Paramount and its legacy.

Moonves’ CBS inherited the largest part of “old” Paramount’s debt and almost all of its pension obligation. Plus Redstone’s “solution” wasn’t going to fly unless he appeased Moonves’ need to “inherit” old Paramount by packaging it as thus in some way. Moonves’ planned all along to reopen movie production on his side of the aisle and made sure he had the resources to do so ASAP:


“CBS boss Les Moonves, a one-time actor who has long been enamored of the movie business, said yesterday he is planning on opening up his own film shop.

While it has long been speculated within media circles that Moonves had designs on movie-making – and The Post reported on his ambitions earlier this year – until yesterday CBS had been coy about such plans. ” — Tim Arango, June 22, 2006 | 4:00am, NEW YORK POST

59. Disinvited - June 23, 2014

I had a response citing these two articles that went into moderation:



I post the links so that you can read the articles while we wait.

60. TUP - June 24, 2014

Why doesnt CBS cancel its lease to Paramount and take full control of Trek?

61. Disinvited - June 24, 2014

#60. TUP – June 24, 2014

Because it isn’t all about Trek, it’s about Paramount. Plus, Les is known not to be happy with science-fiction and STAR TREK in particular because he “doesn’t understand it” and he doesn’t know how to make money off of things he doesn’t understand.

According to this NY TIMES reporting:


”Gail Berman, then [2005] the president of Paramount, convinced Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, to allow her one more chance at a “Trek” film; he gave her 18 months to get the cameras rolling or lose the property. (Under the arrangement CBS retained the “Star Trek” merchandising rights.)” — “New Team Retrofits the Old Starship”, By DAVE ITZKOFF, NY TIMES, Published: April 23, 2009

Moonves was only interested in making money from a new Trek as a motion picture licensed franchise. If the new Paramount hadn’t stepped up, it seems clear he was ready in 18 mos to go elsewhere with the movie license.

Granted Les did immediately rebuild CBS’ motion picture making ability but he still isn’t prepared to back a blockbuster budget movie property out of that wing, yet.

I suppose:


”CBS, like all networks, does extensive research on all its pilots. David Poltrack, the network’s longtime head of research, has created a testing facility called Television City at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. ”What you can do there is find any demographic group imaginable,” Moonves explained to me in one of our earlier meetings. ”Let’s say we’re looking for black men, age 18 to 24, from Omaha, Neb. In Vegas, we can find 30 in 24 hours. This allows us to really get specific. Let’s say I’m thinking of a pilot for the slot after our comedy ‘Two and a Half Men.’ I can recruit people who like ‘Two and a Half Men’ and see if they’ll stick around to watch this new show.” ” — “Giving Them What They Want”, NY TIMES, Published: September 4, 2005

fans could make certain to be available for any CBS research when in the vicinity of the MGM in Vegas?

62. TUP - June 24, 2014

Well one can hope then, that if approached, CBC would be willing to license Trek for a TV series. Obviously thats the root of the Netflix chatter.

Frankly, I think Trek would work perfectly as a Premium TV property with a 10-13 episode season. Quality production, quality leads, quality story-telling and the opportunity to be creative without the restraints of network television (though I doubt Trek would ever be R-rated).

63. ziplock9000 - June 24, 2014

Who cares.. It’s not trek news

64. Disinvited - June 24, 2014

#63. ziplock9000 – June 24, 2014

History has shown, especially since JJ hammered it home by jumping ship, that STAR WARS news impacts Trek as far back as 1977.

It can’t be ignored on a Trek movie site, especially given that it can reasonably be argued that Trek movies would not exit without STAR WARS.

65. Gary Neumann - June 25, 2014

Please erase this topic from Trekmovie.com

66. Dom - June 27, 2014

51. Cygnus-X1: ”YES!!!! Though, it depends on what you mean by “average.” Eliminate the BR Trek movies from the equation, and the answer is unequivocally YES.’

You see, I disagree there. Are TSFS or TVH, for example, really any deeper than Iron Man or Captain America if you strip away your knowledge of and fondness the TV shows and the history of those characters? They’re fun in their relatively cheap way (and the big issue with Trek films has long been Paramount doing them on the cheap!) I don’t think any Trek films have the depth of the television episodes.

TMP is big and pretentious and no more than a pretty looking remake of episodes such as The Changeling and The Immunity Syndrome. I like it, it did good box office, but audiences didn’t warm to it. Khan is glorious, in part because Nick Meyer blended his love of classical literature with the Star Trek concept. The other TOS Treks vary from good to mediocre, but rely on the fondness we bring with us from the TV series and the subculture (books, comics and so on.) The TNG films are pretty offensive to both the established characters and the idea of good writing. They aren’t particularly good films and definitely aren’t particularly good TNG Trek. More than anything, the TOS and TNG films don’t really stand alone independent of the TV show and an audience’s knowledge of it. I’d argue that the BR films manage that better, albeit not perfectly, given the presence of an older Spock and Khan returning.

‘Whether and to what degree you’re put off by the “preachiness” of TOS and TNG is your own personal taste.’

Exactly. But mainstream audiences who pay to visit the cinema aren’t the same viewers of a TV show on UPN, paid for by advertising and sponsorship. People in Europe don’t like being preached at by a bunch of Americans, even if they’ve hired a Yorkshireman to speak the lines, so Trek won’t necessarily get embraced by international audiences: no matter how many people they hire from other countries, people regard a lot of the views expressed in Trek as US American! And the attitude is ‘Who do they think ***they*** are?’

‘And I never compare Trek to Star Wars or deride Star Wars fans. I was a Star Wars fan before the second trilogy came out. And I was also a Trek fan during that time. I see no competition or mutual exclusion between the two franchises. They’ve always been very different and had very different styles and aims.’

I never said you personally did, but there is an attitude I’ve long noticed. For me, the TOS films were part of that glorious period in the 80s where blockbuster films were an event, rather than a weekly event. With ILM’s involvement in Trek films, among other aspects, I still consider the TOS films to be closer to Star Wars than to subsequent Trek sequel series.

‘But if it is your opinion that the best of Trek is no deeper than Iron Man 3, then we just aren’t going to see eye to eye.’

Since I clearly never said, that, you’re being a bit unfair. As I say, the TV shows can manage depth and can build a fanbase. A lot of people who pay to see a film in the cinema do so without having any interest in watching the TV show. Of the films, probably only TWOK actually stands for me as ‘the best of Trek.’ The original TV show had many finer hours than the movies, as did the follow up TV shows.

67. Dom - June 27, 2014

And please don’t delete this topic. One of the best aspects of TrekMovie has always been its awareness of a bigger world out there rather than pandering to myopic geeks!! ;)

68. Disinvited - June 27, 2014

#64. Disinvited – June 24, 2014

What a typo that dropped “s”; make that:

It can’t be ignored on a Trek movie site, especially given that it can reasonably be argued that Trek movies would not exist without STAR WARS.

69. Disinvited - June 27, 2014

#66. Dom – June 27, 2014

“TMP is big and pretentious and no more than a pretty looking remake of episodes such as The Changeling and The Immunity Syndrome. I like it, it did good box office, but audiences didn’t warm to it.” — Dom – June 27, 2014

According to Willaim Shatner, David Gerrold, and STARLOG MAGAZINE, TMP cleared $175 million worldwide; if audiences didn’t warm to it, who did?

Now if you meant audiences didn’t warm to it in its burgeoning aftermarket on the smaller home video screen for which it was never crafted, that I’d have to accede. But this film in 70mm release was a showpiece in theaters like the Cinerama Dome which were the equivalent of the “real” Imax theaters in their day.

I recall Director Wise in his comments on his Director’s Cut DVD saying the theatrical release was never designed with the smaller home screen in mind and he never felt it got a fair exhibition in shrunken form. He intimated that in his “cut” DVD he aimed for the smaller home screen which was this version’s target market.

70. Cygnus-X1 - June 27, 2014

66. Dom – June 27, 2014

Are TSFS or TVH, for example, really any deeper than Iron Man or Captain America if you strip away your knowledge of and fondness the TV shows and the history of those characters?

I haven’t seen Captain America, so I don’t know.

Are STIII and STIV deeper than Iron Man? Yes, I think so.

For starters, those Trek movies each have a very strong, meaningful theme that the entire story is built around. What was the theme of Iron Man 3? If it had one, it was buried beneath excessive, boring action and ridiculousness—like Iron Man’s magical suit flying from Tennessee all the way to NYC in 2 minutes to save the day.

STIII and STIV each had a point to make, a thoughtful, meaningful message that drove those movies. What point did Iron Man 3 have to make? Did you walk out of the theater thinking about it at all? I didn’t.

I won’t put much into defending the TNG movies. I agree with you there.

71. Cygnus-X1 - June 27, 2014

P.S. And you picked the weakest examples in that STIV was a comedy and STIII was a sequel and largely a denoument of the issues raised and themes presented in TWOK. TWOK and STIII should really be regarded as one piece for our purposes here.

72. Cygnus-X1 - June 27, 2014


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