Abrams Taking Advice From Futurists – May Work On Trek Game

JJ Abrams is a bit of a nerd and has a thing for technology. In a new interview with Wired, JJ Abrams talks about his influences and his views on technology. Of course he also talks about Star Trek XI. On the subject of why he chose to direct :

When I read the script I couldn’t imagine — I’d feel like an idiot if I let someone else (direct) it. It’s clearly a fun, emotional and wild adventure. And I thought, if I have a chance to do it, how could I not take it? That was why I signed up. This is going to be an incredibly fun movie. I can’t believe that they’re letting us do this.

Abrams also says that he (like Roddenberry before him) is taking in input from the scientific community

it’s been amazing. I mean not just the Trekkers. I get the use of brilliant minds and futurists and people who are thinking these things through. We’d be crazy not to take advantage of the information coming to us.

Beyond the film, Abrams also seems to want to solve the issue of Trek gaming generally sucking:

That’s something I would love to help make happen, because I love good games. Typically, games based on existing IP falter because they’re relying on the title and the name recognition instead of relying on game-play and story and content. So I feel like the ideal . . . is when form and function come together. We definitely have the form, and the function needs to be better.

It will be interesting to see what Abrams can do with Trek games. The new game license holder Bethesda has not been that impressive, and TrekMovie.com has learned that they do not have the license for Trek XI. Whoever ends up with the license (and it may still be Bethesda), lets hope they put some real effort into it. Abrams is right, but will he really do something about it?

Abrams also expanded on his well known love for the Twilight Zone and why Rod Serling is one of his greatest influences:

Rod Serling, for me, is the inspiration for a number of reasons but, fundamentally, he understood that amazing combination of pure pulp and deep character. And the respect he had for character and the audience was enormous. He would write about things that mattered to him in allegory and tell tales about aliens and monsters, but they were almost always about subjects that mattered to him — whether it was the terror of the Russians, whether it was the mystery and fear and hunger for space travel, whether it was racism or politics, or whatever it was he was always grappling with.

Sterling would also take characters that were underdogs and heartbreaking and funny and a little odd. He’d paint these portraits of these people that you would want to watch anywhere. He just happened to put them in (a story about a) fight over a UFO that landed nearby or the struggle over the wife who is a tyrant who won’t let Burgess Meredith read (when) the atom bomb goes off. . . . He’d take these characters that you’d want to watch anywhere and put them in these ultimate, extreme, crazy, often supernatural, paranormal situations that would take the audience with him so that the relatable characters were in extraordinary situations. That’s my favorite thing.


Read the full interview for more on Abrams views on technology, influences as well as the Dark Tower project 

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Will this new movie(s?) predict future real technology much like TOS and TNG? Very interesting.

And let’s get the movie off the ground before developing another Trek game.., please.

Well to hear it from some people, the future is already now and they can clone Deforest Kelly and Jimmy Doohan, and de-age the Shat and Nimoy.

I sometimes wish in vain people as a general rule, were as intelligent as their technological creations.

You talk about all intellect no wisdom.

I too, am a HUGE Rod Serling fan. Abrams respect for Serling and his work, completely puts me at ease about how the film will turn out.


Oh great, he’s a fan of the old Twilight Zone episodes! Even as a child I found these shows to be one dimensional, plodding and irritating in the extreme! Mr. Serling would take 30 minutes to make an allegorical point that any viewer could guess in the first few minutes of the show. You’d labour through the entire episode for a punchline that anybody could see coming a MILE away! Amazingly over-rated, even for it’s day. Let’s hope Mr. Abrams imagination is a LITTLE more engaging than that!!

#5 Michael…so why did you keep watching?

NEE-NEE, nee-nee, NEE-NEE….

I GREW UP and abandoned my childish habits, what’s YOUR excuse?

Somebody needs a hug.

Speaking of CRAP, have any of you googled the outline for Abram’s proposed Superman movie script that got sewered a few years ago? I just read it and what a stinking pile of steaming doggy-doo it is; I HATE IT when these “flavour of the moment” Hollywood wunderkids try to screw with established doctrine. God, this does NOT bode well if he brings the same acid-induced spin to reinventing the Trek universe! “Is there no one on this planet who can entertain us?”

Still waiting for that hug, I see.

#9 “Somebody needs a hug”.
I LOVE IT, I laughed out loud! Well said, EvilDrPuma!

Like I said Michael, don’t worry about this film, worry about the sequel, that’s what’s causing me concern.

Josh T., I’m curious. That’s the second time you’ve alluded to concern over the sequel. What, in particular, is bothering you my friend?

I usually have a good radar for shit, all of my internal suspicions about this film are feeling pretty good actually, and I think some magic is going to happen and surprise quite a few doubters..

Here’s the fundamental dilemma. Once that magic happens, all of the creative ingrediants in front of, and behind the camera, will have contributed to the greater whole, and what typically happens in Hollywood?

Matt Damon drops out, Abrams commits to shooting something else, different writers, etc etc.

Don’t fear this film, fear the inevitable sequel.

I think Paramount would be wise to lock in every single solitary aspect of this film to a 3 picture deal.

Actually make it contractually mandatory.

I agree with your instincts, but tell me, with Paramount putting so much on the line, don’t you think it’s a given that they will “hammer out” a solid three picture deal with all parties involved?

The first film we can get past. My concern with the two subsequent sequels is that they better not include Shatner and Nimoy at that point. There’s something both disturbing and unsettling about picturing Mr. Spock making his way around on a walker!

I don’t know Michael, it seems historically given other films, all of the lesser beef units will be contractually obligated to a multi-picture deal, but usually star-power prevents commitments or obligations on the part of the Abrams or Damons of the industry I daresay,they seem to only “option” films, and I doubt Paramount would have the brass ones to commit to a trilogy being filmed simultaneously.

I think this is goodbye to Nimoy and the Shat.

If we are DAMN lucky, maybe we will get Star Trek II: The Wrath of Affleck and Damon will HAVE to come back!


Followed of course by Star Trek III: Good Ben Hunting

So how about Sinise as McCoy, Liotta as Pike and two talented unknowns for Kirk and Spock? A well known supporting cast with two eager newcomers willing to settle in for the “long haul” as the leads?

You know people dog all over Matt Damon for some reason but, I like ole Damon, when you truly stop and think about it, he has all of the necessary Kirk attributes and mannerisms just naturally, the self-confident little self-assured smirk, the experience behind the eyes despite the boyish face, and it helps he has some strong similarities physically to the Shatman.

I thought when I first read that name associated with Kirk it was actually inspired casting.
Unless some super-unknown is discovered, I actually can’t envision anyone else playing a younger Captain Kirk, and I’ve given it some considerable thought.

Spock is who I struggle with. That’s going to be some damn hard casting there.

God, every time I hear Ben Affleck’s name mentioned I shudder. He and Tom Cruise are tied for the title of WORST ACTOR on the planet!!

And I thought Obi-Wan Kenobi would be impossible but, Ewan McGregor owned that role.

I think EVERYTHING depends on when exactly this story takes place, that’s going to determine the casting in many ways.

Like that Elroy Scottish guy that keeps coming up, there is no way, Scotty is 10 years Kirks senior. I guess if Kirk is going to be 12 in this film maybe.

I agree with you about Matt Damon. It took a while to get my head around it, but yes, I can see him assuming the Shatmeister’s throne! He’s a good actor and he has the physicality for the role.

I know I’m going to have people ripping my head off and crapping down my neck for this, but I found both the new Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies to be insipid and boring! I’ll go hide now!

but Obi-Wan Kenobi still owned though, despite the greater films surrounding him. He kicked much to do about ass.

I could see the guy that played Jesus in the Passion as Spock I guess, I hope Nimoy gives some pointers for whoever plays Spock, it is fundamental for ANY actor playing a Vulcan to not play them as lacking emotion, that is sociopathic, but rather SUPRESSING emotion, there is a big difference. One of the great things about Spock when you watch TOS, is that on many occasions he looks like he is on the verge of losing it completely and knocking someones face in or burtsing out laughing, or crying, those things should all be there, just supressed, right below the surface.
No one got that memo I don’t think on TNG, DS9, etc, Vulcans were so stiff and uninteresting. Spock is interesting. Generations of supressed emotions in his peoples blood.

Maybe Spock needed a hug?

Whoa, I’ve been watching all the new trailers for Spiderman 3 and it rocks, baby!! I’d give my left nut if Abrams can bring that kind of pace and excitement to the Star Trek film!

It’s going to be like old days again, Star Trek and Indiana Jones coming out the same year, a couple years after Star Wars.
History repeats itself.

Great, we have Shatner, Nimoy and Ford coming out of the Retirement Home to show the new kids on the block how it’s done! Old school that is!

I hope one of two things:

Shatner and Nimoy price themselves out of the movie.


Shatner and Nimoy reap huge financial rewards from this.

Can anyone say “Lego: Start Trek Game”?

Serling was one of the greatest writers of his generation. His death was a tragic loss. I’ve been working my way through the old Twilight Zones and am very impressed. While some have dated, others remain utterly timeless, both beautiful and heartbreaking.

If aspects of The Twilight Zone slip into Star Trek, it will be richer for it.

” He’d take these characters that you’d want to watch anywhere and put them in these ultimate, extreme, crazy, often supernatural, paranormal situations that would take the audience with him so that the relatable characters were in extraordinary situations. That’s my favorite thing.”

If Abrahm’s can do this with Trek, and I have every reason to believe he can, he will have taken a HUGE step towards making his movie feel like the original Trek. It’s aout characters you truly enjoy watching being dropped into the wid, imaginative and dangerous situations that the exist out in the awe inspiring, unexplored unknown. How do they react? How do they save the day? If Abrahm’s recognizes this and creates this movie and uses Trek’s original recipe, before it got watered down, and adds a bit of Serling into the mix, this will be one fun ride.

Has big Star Trek fan Christian Slater said anything about Star Trek 11?
Who could he play ?

If Abrams can make a movie that appeals to Serling/”Twilight Zone” fans, he’ll have accomplished something worthwhile. People who don’t like Serling should not have influence over any science fiction drama.

I agree with most here about the influence of Rod Serling on J.J. Abrams.
This can only be a positive. Sure, some of his episodes were predictable, but some weren’t. I always remember the one where Dennis Hopper played the loser wanting attention and heard advice from a dark corner throughout the episode only to find that the person in the dark corner was… That was a fantastic episode. Not sure how any of it could be applied to Star Trek but Abrams appreciation for it can only be a positive!

Speaking of Rod Serling, does anybody remember the man doing
this eerily Trek-like intro? Click here to experience Serling ownage:

Wouldn’t it be nice, on a production design note, if they had RED BRIDGE RAILINGS on the revamped Enterprise as a quiet salute to old time fans?

43 – Sorry Michael, but I think the bright red railing screams Sixties aesthetics. Might as well have the carpet be shag, while you’re at it.

Even though I don’t want to see the movie as it has been announced, I could maybe be swayed if there was a red bridge railing and red door to the bridge.

I guess the question of bridge railing colour is enough to have some see RED over it! Heh, heh,…er,…sorry!

44 – I feel revolted. If you hate the idea of the movie so much, why would something as superficial as a red bridge railing and red door sway you?

I think it’s funny, the way people here have been threatening not to see the movie in order to pressure Paramount to make something or other happen in the new film.

At first it was, “Make the movie about bringing Kirk back from the Nexus, or else!” Then it was, “Okay, just bookend the movie with bringing Kirk back, or I won’t go!” Then, “There must be a cameo by Shatner, or I boycott!” Followed by, “C’mon…make it look like TOS!” And now, at long last, it’s devolved to, “Just give me a red door…pleeaasse!”

Ah Stanky, we know you’re going to see the movie anyway. Probably on opening night, even. Paramount’s got you by the balls, boyo, and don’t think they don’t know it.

Gee, with that attitude, you probably won’t even allow us one of McCoy’s, “he’s dead, Jim!”. If I promise to eat my vegetables can I see it, puhlease???

Get that gaming license out of Bethesda’s hands, in to someone who isn’t creatively bankrupt.

47 – Yes, you _may_ see the film, Michael. Goodness knows, everybody here is going to see it–whether that’s in the hopes it’s actually good, or just to be able to bash the movie in minute and excruciating detail for days and months afterward, it’s still a given.

Which is why Paramount doesn’t need to cave on nuthin’. :)

46: I’m not threatening anything. I don’t presume to have any power over Paramount. I am not trying in any way to tell them what to do. I am not suggesting a boycott.
I have merely stated that I don’t like the idea of the movie and nothing that has been announced about it makes we want to see it.
I do not want to see the series characters played by anyone else.
Why? Because Star Trek set in that era is about those sixties actors playing those roles on those sixties sets in that sixties style.
I have never advocated cameos by Shatner or anyone else. . . Wouldn’t want to see that either… Or bookends. I either hope they choose not to participate, but if they do, I hope they reap huge financial rewards.
The Nexus does not exist for me as I ignore the movie in which it was featured.
As far as the bridge railing goes, if you *have* to have one, how could you not want a red one? And a red door? I did not start the promotion of this idea, but it is one of the few things I’ve read that does make good sense about the movie.
I exist here basically waiting for news on Remastered and I’m sorry if I ‘intrude’ on topics about the movie that I don’t like, but considering some of the ridiculous ideas people in favor of the movie have, I don’t see that it’s any big deal. Like those people, I have an opinion, and if you want to think it, too, is ridiculous, that’s fine with me.

and #28 Michael…I agree with you on that topic…but I am not pressuring anyone else to share that opinion. :)

So everyone go on speculating on casting and advocating the casting of certain actors and go on stating things about wanting it rebooted, reimagined or completely made unrecognizable or made for the masses, or made for your niche group or whatever. Your misguided opinions are nearly as valid as mine. :)

In regards to the Twilight Zone comments above, I love the Twilight Zone as hosted by Rod Serling. Excellent stuff.

And I love Trekmovie.com. :)