According to sources in today’s Frettabladid, there are very good chances that the new Star Trek movie will be (in part) filmed in Iceland. Two production companies, Pegasus & Saga Film are still batting over the film, and now Paramount Pictures have sent over plans for the budget and the two companies are looking it over. Both parties are optimistic that a deal will be made and the new Star Trek will be coming to the small island nation.The article also states that director J.J. Abrams is coming to Iceland to look at the locations Paramount scouts looked over in June. (previous story).Read More
J.J. Abrams best friend Greg Grunberg is giving William Shatner a run for his money on being the best blabber about Star Trek XI. IGN caught up with the Heroes star and he told them that he doesn’t have the script yet, but that Abrams "was finishing it last week". On the subject of the day regarding if Abrams will direct or not, Grunberg noted how the answer keeps changing: One week he tells me he’s not sure. One week, he told me, ‘No. I’m definitely just producing.’ And then just last week he was like, ‘Man, I’m really excited to do it.’ I said, ‘Are you doing it?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ I mean, honestly, it’s like he’s still really up in the air. But he’s really happy with the script. I know that. Really, really happy.
TrekMovie.com has already reported that February is the point where Trek XI could move from ‘development’ to getting a green light (or not) and going into pre-production. In the last few weeks we have been getting various reports from sources around the studio that things are progressing and preperations are already being made to start some preliminary work the coming weeks. Now comes this from today’s Hollywood Reporter: Over at Paramount Pictures, for example, there is now a question whether J.J. Abrams will direct "Star Trek XI." …Although Paramount is hopeful that Abrams will captain the Starship Enterprise, sources said the director likely will make his decision later this week.
Greg Grunberg (the only semi-confirmed cast member for Star Trek XI) has decided what kind of alien he would like to play in his best friend’s new Trek feature. "I’d love to be a Vulcan, it’d be great. That would be incredible," Grunberg tells Rotten Tomatoes. This may be due to his repeated concerns about sitting in a make-up chair for too long, assuming ears are easy to do. More interestingly Grunberg reveals that the script for Trek XI is almost complete, saying: He [JJ Abrams] is finalizing the script right now so I just talked to him today and he said, ‘I’ll send it to you as soon as it’s done’ so hopefully it’ll be very soon.
On Monday we ran a story from iF Magazine seemingly quoting Trek XI producer Damon Lindelof revealing an ‘official’ release date of July 2, 2008 for Star Trek XI. This was surprising as our Paramount sources have been telling us (off the record) that the date had moved from the summer to a winter release. We have reconfirmed that it still appears to be winter, but that officially Paramount are still not being more specific than ‘2008’. We contacted iF Magazine and apparently the release date in their article was not actually from Lindelof; they have now removed the date. So it was a false alarm, not the first related to Trek XI (remember the Tom Cruise thing) and we do not expect it to be the last.
Damon Lindelof (pictured with Abrams winning Emmys for Lost) is Star Trek XI’s ‘other producer’. We don’t hear much from Damon who is still busy working on Lost day to day, but iF magazine caught up with him and got him to talk a little Trek XI. Although Lindelof gave the usual company line, he did repeat Abrams comments about a wide audience and a focus on character…and he may have inadvertently announced a release date. "We’re not giving out any information about Trek at all,…J.J. and I are producing it and Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci are writing it.Paramount has announced a release date of [July 2] 2008. That’s all that’s official."
In a new article, IESB is reporting that they have ‘new’ rumors about Star Trek XI. Apparently they are hearing the some of the same things that TrekMovie.com is hearing (and published over a week ago in our latest Trek XI Update). Specifically that a draft is complete, Abrams has held auditions, the film includes Scotty & Pike, and the story jumps around in time. Hopefully IESB’s ‘close source to the film’ wasn’t just reporting what he read on TrekMovie.com, but is actually confirming our report. If you missed it, make sure to read our latest Trek XI Update for even more details on Star Trek XI.
EW.com got a moment to talk Star Trek with JJ Abrams after his panel at the New York Times’ 6th Annual Arts & Leisure Weekend. Abrams confirmed TrekMovie.com’s earlier report that there is a draft of the script complete and that it will be ‘trimmed soon’. As usual JJA would not reveal any plot details but did address the contentious issue of who Trek XI is directed at. Abrams made it clear that they have a wide aim: On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying…For people who’ve never seen it or know it vaguely, I think they will enjoy it equally, because the movie does not require you to know anything about Star Trek. I would actually prefer [that] people don’t know the series, because I feel like they will come to it with an open mind.’
There have been some reports that Trek Remastered may be released on HD DVD as early as this year. Last we heard they wouldn’t be finished with all the episodes until next year. TrekMovie is looking into this and will report back when we get it all sorted out. Of course HD versions of TOS-R are showing up on XBox Live already if you cannot wait. Babylon 5’s Claudia Christian claims that William Shatner made some unwanted advances on her when she was a guest star on T.J. Hooker. In an interview with retroCRUSH the actress says the Shat tried to ‘shove his tongue’ down her throat. She also says she wished she punched him in his corset.
For Star Trek XI news, 2006 was both exciting and frustrating. In April and May we first learned about the project and got some public statements from producer JJ Abrams and his cohorts, then the cone of silence descended and it became almost impossible to learn anything about the film. This is actually quite normal for a film this far out. Paramount know that Trek is an important franchise and that there is really no upside to talking a lot about a film at this very early stage. For 2007, some of that will change…and it promises to be a big year for Trek XI. This article is to summarize where we are now (Much of the following has been reported before, but some is new)
Looks like Paramount don’t need to change their teaser posters with the prominent ‘2008’ emblazoned on them. Although TrekMovie.com didn’t buy into it, last week Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s comments made many question Trek XI’s 2008 target. Dauman had stated that Star Trek XI was for ’08 or 09′ release, however Abrams confirms in today’s Variety that 2008 is indeed the target for Trek XI. From the article: "He (Abrams) said work is on track to release the new "Star Trek" pic, which Abrams is overseeing for Par, in 2008." TrekMovie.com can also confirm that sources inside the studio seem very confident that Trek XI will be released in 2008, however (as we mentioned in a recent article) winter is looking more likely than summer. When TrekMovie.com interviewed Abrams last month he did mention that he would prefer winter because that would give him more time, so it is possible he has convinced Paramount to give him the additional time. For more see the Variety article
TrekMovie.com has learned that J.J. Abrams and Paramount have added Stratton Leopold to the growing list of Executive Producers for Star Trek XI. Leopold has a career that dates back to the 70s and worked with Abrams on Mission Impossible III. His other recent Paramount projects include The Sum of All Fears and Paycheck. Like with MI:III, Leopold will also function as the Unit Production Manager, who has the primary task of overseeing the budget. Leopold was not available for comment, but a studio source indicates he is expected to start working in January and his first task will be to help put together the budget. Budgeting is the last step before the official green light and usually requires a finalized script. TrekMovie.com has learned that the script is still not complete but apparently the first draft has been finished. Production is still believed to be going ahead in 2007 with a 2008 release, but it is possible that it will not be in Summer.
In the recent story about comments from Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman we noted that Variety had stated that JJ Abrams was ‘slated to direct’ Star Trek XI. This of course would be newsworthy if it were true because just recently Abrams told TrekMovie he had not yet decided and would not decide until the script was complete. Some other sites have taken the Variety article as confirmation from Dauman that Abrams has made that decision, but it appears that this is a bit premature. TrekMovie has a transcript of Dauman’s comments to the CSFB conference and he made no mention of Abrams at all. The ‘Abrams directing’ line was added by Variety, something which they have done before and to which Abrams has noted they were wrong on. TrekMovie has also checked with a source inside Paramount who attributes it to ‘lazy journalism’. Although everyone assumes Abrams will be the director, it is still officially undecided.
In speech to investors, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman named Star Trek in his list of key components of Paramount’s future. Apparently JJ Abrams really sold the new cheif of Viacom on Trek when he spoke to him last month (story). Specifically on Trek the executive said "we’re revitalizing it in a new and interesting way." This shows how Trek has again moved to the front burner for Viacom and Paramount. Also of note is how the article states a Trek XI release date as ‘2008 or 2009’. It also claimed that Abrams would be directing the film. Abrams recently told TrekMovie that he still was not sure if he would direct and that they will start shooting in Spring 2007 to meet a Summer 2008 release date. TrekMovie will try and clarify these two issues, but it is good to see that Trek has support all the way to the top.Full story in Variety UPDATE: Abrams still not Confirmed To Direct
Apparently last week’s TrekMovie.com interview with Trek XI producer JJ Abrams is causing a bit of a stir. Both IGN and Cinematical have taken the interview to mean that Star Trek XI is ‘falling behind’ or running into ‘scheduling problems’. This is based on our discussion with Abrams about how the script is still in progress even though in August writer Roberto Orci said they planned on finishing the first draft by the end of October. This analysis takes things out of context and ignores other comments from the team. From the interview it was clear that Abrams wasn’t aware Orci’s ‘end of October’ estimate, and he didn’t seem to be worried that the script is still in progress. A source inside Paramount tells TrekMovie.com that the first draft should be in around Thanksgiving. Furthermore Abrams confirmed that they plan to start shooting in the Spring, which is actually an accelerated schedule based on Orci’s original estimation of a Summer start to shooting. The Paramount insider said that if things continue to progress there is nothing preventing Trek XI from being a Summer 2008 release, but cautioned that of course things can change. So it appears that IGN and Cinematical are just being a bit overly nervous about Trek XI’s progress.
JJ Abrams was in Beverly Hills Wednesday to present an Atrios Award to his longtime casting director April Webster. TrekMovie.com was there and got a moment to talk a little Trek XI. Abrams confirmed our earlier story on the film’s current status and Spring 2007 production start. He also explained why he hasn’t yet committed to direct and talked a bit about why he thinks Kirk and Spock continue to endure…see the (shaky) video. video removed full transcript for the TrekMovie.com Abrams ‘mini interview’ below…
TV Guide has an interview with JJ Abrams that focuses on M:I:3, which is released this week on DVD. However, they do throw in a couple of Trek questions TVGuide.com: Changing topics, where do you stand on the Star Trek feature? Is there any framework in place, a setting, characters…? Abrams: The framework is firmly in place, the script is being written now, and we are incredibly enthusiastic about it.
With so much reporting on other things, thought we should update you all on that other little Trek project Although Trek XI is still just in ‘development‘ there already is quite a lot of activity going on. According to studio insiders the assumption is that Trek XI will get a greenlight and will be one of Paramount’s tentpoles for Summer 2008. Apparently the first draft of the script is due shortly and the Abrams team are already seeing actors for the major parts. Although no names are available, TrekMovie is told that "many A and B listers have been in and out of Abrams offices" (which are actually still on the Disney lot). One Paramount source tells TrekMovie that it is possible there will be a casting announcement even before the script gets final approval and the film gets the greenlight (which should be sometime in December/January). "Although it hasn’t been greenlit yet, it is as close as you get around here," said the source. Still unclear how many TOS roles are being recast, but another source indicates that the treatment included the characters of McCoy and Scotty in addition to Kirk and Spock. The ‘Kirk’s first Mission’ plotline (which TrekMovie first reported in August) still seems to be the prevailing assumption amongst those TrekMovie has spoken to, but still nothing firm so it is still in the realm of ‘rumor’.
Recently some video popped up of Garrett Wang (VOY: Ens. Kim)talking at a con about the future of Trek and long-time Trek producer Rick Berman‘s place within it. Wang said of Berman "his contract is almost up and Paramount is waiting for that contract to end before they proceed with the next Star Trek television creation, because they don’t want him there anymore". Marina Sirtis (TNG: Cmdr. Troi) is also on the video and appears to be agreeing with Wang’s assessment. This meme is something that has been seen around fandom and is something that TrekMovie.com has heard from a few Trek insiders, but more as a ‘rumor’. When TrekMovie.com contacted a studio source who is working on Trek XI about this, the source said it is not true and and made it very clear that Rick Berman does not (and will not ever) have anything to do with Star Trek XI. TrekMovie.com has also confirmed with CBS that Rick Berman has nothing to do with Star Trek Remastered. It is true however that Rick Berman’s contract ends later this year.
In Hollywood, movies don’t truly get started until there is a script. Our studio sources have been telling us that only the ‘story’ (or ‘treatment’) for Star Trek XI has been completed. Now, according to Trek XI executive producer and co-writer Roberto Orci, it seems that Halloween is the target for the first draft of a script with filming starting as early as next summer. Orci revealed the schedule in response to an online query about the Trek XI time frame this Wednesday, saying: Just started writing it. First draft by end of October, second by x-mas and hopefully shooting in summer or fall. If all goes REALLY well.