Simon Pegg had a full day today. While making several controversial remarks regarding geek culture and then having to backtrack on those remarks hours later, he revealed some of the challenges he faces trying to bring Star Trek to a more mainstream audience.
Making Trek 3 “more inclusive”
Pegg, talking with Radio Times magazine, spoke at length about what he regards as the “infantilization” and dumbing down of our culture due to an excess of science fiction and genre films. The comments provoked quite a reaction across the internet, ultimately forcing Pegg to write a heartfelt mea culpa a few hours later.
During the interview, excerpts of which were released online today, Pegg gets around to talking about the Trek 3 script he is co-writing, and the mandate from the powers that be to make the film “more inclusive” to a wider audience. He indicates that the first script, written by Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay, and J. D. Payne was perhaps a bit too faithful to the source:
They had a script for Star Trek that wasn’t really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y.
The desire, of course, is to make Star Trek a giant multimedia franchise that can play in the same league as the Marvel films. Pegg believes that the mainstream perception of the franchise continues to hurt it at the box office:
People don’t see it being a fun, brightly coloured, Saturday night entertainment like the Avengers.
His idea, which is likely to raise a few eyebrows, is to place the Star Trek characters in a context more familiar to the average moviegoer. He suggests the way to do this is to
…make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent.
According to Pegg, Paramount doesn’t understand why Star Trek has had trouble gaining widespread acceptance, since other geek franchises have been huge hits. He uses the Avengers analogy once again:
Avengers Assemble, which is a pretty nerdy, comic-book, supposedly niche thing, made $1.5bn dollars. Star Trek Into Darkness made half a billion, which is still brilliant. But it means that, according to the studio, there’s still $1bn worth of box office that don’t go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why.
“Star Trek Beyond” confirmed?
At the end of his lengthy apology, Pegg throws in a little zinger:
I better climb aboard the old hypocropter and fly back to writing Star Trek Beyond.
This would seemingly confirm our exclusive story that Star Trek 3 will indeed be titled “Star Trek Beyond”. Of course, Pegg could always be pulling our leg(or pointed ear), but we’re going to treat this as a confirmation.
Star Trek Beyond is scheduled for release on July 8, 2016.