MTV have a great interview with Trek XI screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. In it they still play things close to the vest about plot details and casting, but do reveal quite a bit. MTV is also reporting the film is not a prequel, but a ‘reimagining of the franchise,’ quoting Orci:
We’re not going to start totally from scratch…We want it to feel like it’s updated and of the now. That’s actually the discussions we’re having now: how to keep the look of the universe yet have it not look like nothing’s new. It’s tricky.
These comments should be read in context of Abrams comments in last week’s press release that Trek XI ’embraces and respects Trek canon’ and Orci and Kurtzman’s previous comments about how they will not ‘reinvent Trek history.’ When looked at in this context TrekMovie.com does not read the Orci/Kurtzman comments to mean that Trek XI will be a ‘reboot’ along the lines of the new Battlestar Galactica. They seem mostly to be talking about the look of the Trek universe, and not necessarily the history of that universe. It is also worth noting that just a couple of days ago MTV issued an ‘open letter‘ on Star Trek XI which suggested many of the things they are reporting such as ‘Don’t do a prequel’. None of the quotes from the writers mentions words such as ‘prequel’ or ‘reboot.’ The dismissal of a prequel may just be editorializing on the part of MTV or a matter of semantics (would Kirk’s first mission on the Enterprise be a ‘prequel’?). The article also seems to contradict its own denial of the film being a prequel with this statement:
Rumors that the film would center on an early adventure of the crew or even on Kirk and Spock’s Starfleet Academy days — unlikely, though no doubt provoked by a long-dormant "Trek" movie idea — have yet to be addressed directly.
A Big Starship Adventure
As for the film itself Orci promised that it will be more of an action film, not surprising coming from the writers of The Island and the new Transformers movie. They noted that the film is being made for a broad audience, and will therefore be "the biggest one" of the franchise.
The economic models of the other [films] were very much based on the fans out there and their purchasing power. With this one we’re going for the broad audience to bring people into ‘Trek’ for the first time. on the larger economic model.
Specifically they said it will be a starship based adventure, saying:
I don’t know how you make ‘Star Trek’ without a starship…You have to trek through the stars, so you need a ship for that.
The pair also promised that the film will not totally abandon Trek tech. Kurtzman notes:
I actually love the technobabble!…I don’t think you can do ‘Trek’ without technobabble.
Wont talk casting…but hints
They wouldn’t talk casting or even confirm characters, but when pressed Kurtzman said:
I’m the hugest Matt Damon fan ever. If he became [Kirk], great.
They also played coy with the notion of Shatner and Nimoy appearing, but did say that Shatner and Nimoy did come in recently for a meeting. No details but they Kurtzman did say
It was pretty much the most stressful thing ever, but it was wonderful, they were amazing.
Confirm Chambliss as Prod. Designer and Mindel as DP
The pair confirmed the TrekMovie.com report from last year that long time collaborator Scott Chambliss will be doing the production design. In addition Daniel Mindel will again join the team as the director of photography. Mindel worked with Abrams on M:I:III.
Trek XI will just be ‘Star Trek’?
Regarding the title the pair said they hoped hoped the film will just be titled ‘Star Trek’ saying
‘Star Trek’ is the the intended title..I don’t think we want to put any colons or anything on it.
TrekMovie.com has already come out in favor of the simple ‘Star Trek’ and it was the clear winner of our poll on the subject last week. However, we are told that the final decision has not been made by the studio.
Respectful of the franchise: its about the soul
The pair talked about what giant fans they are, with Orci revealed to be the bigger fan. Even though their film essentially ends the TNG series of film, they only had praise for Next Gen and noting "we just hope they bless us." They believe that their script adheres to the Roddenberry vision, saying:
Orci: ‘Trek,’ more than anything, has always been about the human interactions," Orci said. "It’s all about the human soul.
Kurtzman: And the friendships,…and everyone being a family.Whatever the story was, we always knew what it had to feel like.