Paramount has chosen Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams’ debut film to make a bit of Hollywood history. According to the industry trades, Mission Impossible III (which Abrams directed and co-wrote) is to be the first film to be simultaneously released on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray as well as regular DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment honcho Meagan Burrows has high praise for Abrams’ film: ” ‘M:I-3’ set a new standard for action films and is setting a new standard for the home entertainment experience.”
Last month we reported highlights of a TV Guide interview with Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams. The full interview is now online at TVGuide.com. A few websites are picking up this interview as a new, but it is actually the same interview from last month (just now in web form). If you saw the earlier report, then there is no new information. Regardless, it is a good read to get a bit more insight into the man who has Star Trek’s future in his hands. The following are the highlights in easy to digest bullet points: Scifi show influences: Twilight Zone and The Prisoner Favorite: Twilight Zone (fave episode: “Where is Everybody”) Considers Lost to be ‘Scifi’…kept this secret from ABC Will be more involved in Lost Season 3 than Season 2 Describes being involved with Trek ‘surreal but wonderful’ Fan of Star Trek (Original Series) and Star Trek: The Next Generation, not so much others (DS9, VOY, ENT) Has all DVD’s of all Trek series Would only take Trek if Paramount had ‘open mind’ Still wont talk specifics yet In the middle of “breaking the story” (NOTE: at time of interview last month) Wants to start film production sooner rather than later, but not until ready STXI Story ‘honors canon’ but is ‘nothing seen before’ Respects Trek fans, has learned a lot from Lost fans Believes Trek endures because of ‘it’s characters and emotional connection’
Some Star Trek XI numbers 2…ranking of ‘TOS’ for preferred setting of STXI on new SciFi Wire poll (#1 ‘something new’) 2…ranking of ‘Matt Damon’ for the preferred new Kirk in a StarTrek.com poll (#1 ‘total unknown’) 5 (out of 5)… STXI’s level on Cinemablend ‘excite-o-meter’. 7…ranking of STXI on Cinescape top 10 movies in development Did someone mention Matt Damon? According to Moviehole, he has pulled out playing the title role in the Lance Armstrong biopic, to be replaced by Jake Gyllenhall. The reason given is ‘his busy schedule’. Matt will be filming Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum through the winter. Leaving his spring wide open…JJ Will Paramount bring back the Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest at the same time its bringing back Trek itself? Tim Allen tells the SciFi Wire that a sequel idea has been presented to Dreamworks (now part of Paramount). Never give up, never surrender Tim.
Trekkies want to know: when and where exactly is Star Trek XI going to be set? The teaser poster and the few comments from the film’s creators have led us to expect a prequel to Original Series, but that leaves a lot of room. Much of the speculation to date has focused on the rumor of a ‘Cadet Kirk’ and an Academy setting. When the Matt Damon as Kirk rumor surfaced many scratched their heads tyring to put the two rumors together (eg: a mid 30s actor playing a cadet) . Well the Trek XI Report might be able to clear that up with a little tip from a trustworthy insider who reports: Star Trek XI will feature the first voyage of Kirk as captain of the Enterprise. This report makes the Matt Damon report make a lot more sense (he is about the same age as Shatner was during the Original Series). This could also fit within Star Trek history since Kirk’s first mission on the Enterprise was never depicted on either the Original Series or in any of the 7 movies with the Kirk character.
The new Star Trek movie is still two years away but it has already has it’s very own ‘dancing baby’; in the form of a very angry Captain Kirk. Wherever people are talking about the new movie, invariably you will find a link to the ‘Shatner Is Kirk’ page at ytmnd.com (a community-based site where users upload various humorous animations and videos). Since its creation 3 weeks ago, the vid has been viewed over 65,000 times. You will often see links to the ‘Shatner Is Kirk’ page posted by those arguing against any actor (including Matt Damon) filling William Shatner’s space boots. Clearly it’s maker was sending a message that he joins in their ‘anti-recasting’ cause…or does he? The Trek XI Report talked to the man behind this internet hit, and he wants to “set the record straight”.
Trek XI Report’s campaign for IMDB accuracy pays off As reported here yesterday, the Matt Damon rumor went into overdrive after IMDB seemingly confirmed Damon would be the new Kirk. The internet feeding frenzy surrounding this got picked up by the Wall Street Journal who contacted IMDB, JJ Abrams and others involved in the story (including yours truly at the Trek Movie Report). The Amazon spokesman (IMDB’s parent company) claimed they usually get their info from studios, but when pressed he admitted that for Trek XI they were using ‘published reports’ (aka ‘rumors’). IMDB couldn’t even identify what reports they used for their Star Trek XI page, and the studio refused to confrim the cast and plot IMDB published (as Stephen Colbert would say: “Nailed!”). As a result, IMDB have downgraded Damon to ‘rumor’, removed the reference to ‘Captain’ Kirk, and removed the rumored Starfleet Academy plot summary…exactly as suggested by the TMR. Unfortunately the other errors we noted (compser, SFX, etc) haven’t been fixed…so IMDB you are still ON NOTICE.
Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett (the team behind the 1998 cult hit Free Enterprise) may be friends but they don’t see eye to eye on Star Trek XI. Their semi-autobiographical indie film about two struggling filmmakers who meet their childhood hero William Shatner (who plays himself) demonstrates that these two take their Star Trek very seriously. In the latest issue of CFQ (of which Altman is a co-Publisher) the pair square off…
The Matt Damon buzz keeps on going, just today Slashdot and Metafilter are ‘reporting’ that IMDB is ‘reporting’ that Damon will play Kirk. Astute readers of both quickly put up links to The Trek Movie.com IMDB Corrections article. To our knowledge it is still officially a rumor…if that changes, Trek XI Report readers will be the first to know. Star Trek Enteprise vet and avowed Trek fan Daniel Dae Kim tells IGN that he gave some advice to Trek XI producer JJ Abrams: "Dont blow it" and "make sure the ships are cool"…we agree. Lost co-star Jorge Garcia suggests he, Kim and Abrams’ pal Greg Grunberg can all don alien makeup for a ‘star wars style cantina scene’. Garcia as a Horta anyone?(tip to TrekWeb)
It has been 10 days since Paramount announced the first teaser poster for Star Trek XI. This was big news and has been picked up all over the world in both the geekerazzi and the mainstream media, even Christianity Today. Most of the news analysis came to the same conclusion as the Trek Movie Report, that the poster is an indication the new film will be ‘old school Trek’ from the TOS era. Now Playing Magazine puts it succinctly: “The Trek poster would seem to indicate that the new film will return to the era of the original Kirk and Spock adventures” obviously picking up on the two major clues, the insignia (only used on the Original Series) and the colors (matching Kirk and Spock’s uniforms). But of course being about Star Trek…the speculation doesn’t end there.
A few weeks ago the Insider’s Marc Malkin reported that Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams‘ wife Katie Mc Grath pulled off a last minute surprise party for JJ’s 40th Birthday. Guests (who varied from Don Rickles to Richard Lewis to the Tom Cruise himself) weren’t told where it was until just hours before it was to start. That story focused on the Tom/Katie/Suri angle so Malkin left something out, but he has sent it our way since we are all Trek XI all the time! Marc tells the Trek XI Report that in order to keep JJ from finding out about the party; he was told that he was going to a meeting with none other than William Shatner (Star Trek‘s original Kirk). Although that was just a ruse to keep Abrams from finding out about his party, it is intriguing that his people used a Shatner meeting as their choice for distractions. This is even more intriguing when one looks at the various comments being made by Shatner regarding Abrams and Star Trek XI.
Marina Sirtis (TNG’s Deanna Troi) and Levar Burton (TNG’s Geordi La Forge) attended a panel (at last September’s DragonCon) to discuss their work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In a video posted this week to YouTube (below) you can see their answers to questions about their most recent Trek films as well as Paramount’s plans for switching from the TNG cast to a TOS prequel for Star Trek XI (NOTE: since this video was shot Paramount have cancelled plans for one prequel project from Rick Berman and greenlit another prequel project produce by JJ Abrams…but both concepts are rumored to be set pre-TOS and not include the TNG casts)
Now it’s Michael Dorn’s turn to let us know how he really feels. Dorn (Lt. Worf) talked to the Houston Chronicle as part of the release of the new ‘Star Trek Fan Collective: Klingon’ set of DVDs. Regarding the possibility of Star Trek XI being a TOS prequel he says “I think that would be a mistake…you dont go backwards in Star Trek”. Like Sirtis, Dorn also takes a swipe at the Trek TV Shows made after Star Trek: The Next Generation, “I don’t think he would have done any of those shows” Dorn said, referring to the late Gene Roddenberry (creator of the Trek franchise). Presumably Dorn’s comments are limited to Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise being that Dorn was on the Paramount payroll for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for 5 years. Dorn who has the distinction of appearing in more Star Trek episodes than any other actor believes that Paramount has ‘milked the cashcow almost dry’, but would he play Lt. Worf again? “I’m smart enough to never say never”.