Abrams: Choosing Trek XI Not About the Benjamins

At last week’s Cinequest Festival JJ Abrams did talk a bit about Star Trek XI, but didn’t reveal any details. However, he did discuss his passion for the script and the project:

If I talk about this movie, everyone else who is involved with it knows where I live and will use that and, er, kill me. I can say that when the script came in it was so well written, it was so emotional, it was fun, and big and I found myself unable to not direct it! I couldn’t give it up. I think it’s going to be great. If in my gut I felt there was nothing else to offer, I wouldn’t do it. It’s not a business decision, I would rather take no money and do something inspiring. I hope it ends up being both a really cool, original, emotional ride and comes from something that we’re familiar with.

…going on to say

The truth is, there is no sure thing, and I would argue that when you are doing something that you do really care about, and are passionate about, the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor, it will succeed.


more at Fest21.com [h/t  Trekweb]

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I’m really glad of the words that JJ has been using the past few interviews. It puts me at a relief when I see that kind of man as head of the franchise.

I hope I’ll never regret this words. :)

And yes… FIRST!

Lord Garth grows tired of rumor and inuendo. Bring on the leaked concept art, script tidbits, set construction photos, ect

At least he doesn’t say that all previous Trek is junk and he’ll come up with something totally different. I will trust this guy, unless there’s a honkin’ bad movie at the other end. Fingers crossed as well as split in a Vulcan salute. (ouch)

I watched Mi-3 the other day. It was well written and a lot of fun to watch. I think Trek is in VERY capable hands.

Also, great to hear that Mr. Abrams is “passionate” about the project. So far I respect his previous work, therefore, that comment carries a lot of weight with this Trek fan.

I agree. The guy sounds like he really cares. I have a feeling the movie is going to be pretty darn good.


“….stolen props..” (oops. Paramount? I didn’t mean that!)

Has the art director been chosen yet?If he has been you could look at some other films he’s done and get an idea of what visual direction Trek xi will take.

I still have a warm fuzzy feeling about this. Let’s hope it feels that warm in December 2008!

JJ and his gang are on the right frequency, Kenneth.

Am I going crazy, or did the title of this article change while I was reading it? (But the typo’s still there.)

I have no doubts that the franchise is in good hands.

I guess we’ll find out.

Thats the sort of thing Rick Berman used to say regarding the Insurrection and Nemesis scripts…..talk is cheap….

If JJ is so confident he should take a cut of the profit only. That is if it REALLY isn’t about the money and if the script REALLY is that fabulous.

I dont remember Rick Berman ever talking about turning away money

It seems to me that EVERY director ever interviewed about their upcoming film says the same old things…. they fell in love with the script, they are so excited to direct, they are inspired by the story, they know it will be great, wonderful. yada, yada, yada!

I don’t think any actor, producer or director ever sets out to deliberately make a lousy movie, but many movies fail, no matter how much effort and good intentions went into the film.

Even if Abrahms had told us every detail imaginable about the next Trek film- the story, cast members etc, that would only add to the speculation about this film.

Until we get to see this film on the big screen, all we can do is hope that it will be successful and a great movie. Everything else at this point is just speculation and opinion.

Mike :o

We’ll see how “hot” J.J.’s team is after Transformers tanks and kills that franchise….

I never heard Rick Berman talk about *any* Trek movie in passionate or energetic language. He always came off to me as a stiff, corporate type. I’m not saying he wasn’t genuine — he just never gave off any real energy in his interviews (at least to me).

Typical sound bites:

“It’s got much more action than the last film.”

“Some of the character interplay is quite humorous.”

“I think this time we have the best villian since Khan.”

So far, JJ is a breath of fresh air.

Ok… so he’s excited. Is this a Nicholas Meyer “we’ve got a good script” or a Rick Berman “we’ve got a good script”? I’ll let you know in ’08 when I’ve seen the movie. Right now, it’s to early to tell until we get a look at it.

Lets hope its not another “Lost in Space”! Good idea but sadly, poorly cast, bad script, wrong Jupiter 2 etc…..

So, he’s working for free then? ;)

Good luck, JJ, we’re all rooting for you.

#14: “Thats the sort of thing Rick Berman used to say regarding the Insurrection and Nemesis scripts…..talk is cheap….”

No…no it’s not, and you can’t produce a quotation to support that.

#23. Just to go to other major Trek websites and read through past articles- regarding previous movies and you will see what has been said in the past.

#14/24: Um… Sentry58, the burden of proof is on _you_, not the rest of us.

That’s how this works. ;-)

Hop to it!

Opinions are always important and should be respected.
Does anyone else tire of the cynical posts that do nothing more than attempt to make us believe that this film will tank?
Or JJ’s a hack…
Or the writers suck..
Or one of twelve variations on a pessimistic theme?

I am sure I don’t have to point out the consistent offenders. If you are one of them…. what information do you have that the movie will be bad? Nothing’s filmed, nothing released and yet the same harping continues.

As long as Abrams doesnt start spouting “I am pleased” then we’ll be just fine n’ dandy.

Star Track XI:
Federation Kirk and the temple of Gloom

That article was inspiring. I’m slightly more optimistic now than I was before I read it. I’d be even more optimistic if I’d seen any of Abrams’ work that I really loved – not that Alias is bad, but it doesn’t compell me to tune in.

But, so far, so good.

Am I a bad person for saying Matt Damon isn’t right to play Kirk? I’d rather have George Clooney than Matt Damon.
But I’ll repeat myself: actor Jesse Lee Soffer (who plays Will Munson on CBS’ soap As the World Turns) would make a great young Shatner…but probably too young for this film if it’s set just prior to “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
The Shatner nose is very distinctive. The hairline is less of a challenge. Even Kiefer Sutherland looks more like Shatner than Matt Damon, except Sutherland’s ears are wrong.
I give up. Shatner has no equal.
I pity the fool who casts this role. I pity the fool.

Time has made it come to pass — I remember the rumors prior to the first movie (and prior to Phase II, this was ’76) that Paramount did not consider the TV actors big enough for a movie and they’d recast with “movie” stars … back then it was Redford as Kirk … today it’s happening because it’s 40-plus years on and any Kirk & Spock Star Trek story would involve a reboot and recasting.

When Enterprise was a flop I knew the next time the studio would approach Trek it would be about Kirk and Spock, because even with TNG and the rest, Star Trek in pop culture is Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise. As fans, you must have also noticed in the past couple of years that most of the merchandising is original series-oriented (and since that is my passion way beyond any sequel, I am delighted, I just wish it had been 35+ years ago.)

I have liked what Abrams has mentioned about returning to Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic spirit, exactly what soured me on Berman-Trek, it got too dark for me … so I have my fingers crossed. I hope the story lives up to that. I came to love Star Trek because it was about aspiring to be better than we are; these were future humans who had matured beyond the petty frictions and misplaced greed of today.

I don’t know if the producers have read the Star Trek bible from the original series. It’s not necessary that they do but it would give them some great insight directly from Roddenberry — things like this tip to steer clear of technobabble (paraphrasing): “Joe Friday doesn’t stop to explain how his .38 works before he fires it.” And GR’s larger point, which was Star Trek is good drama — don’t be distracted by the science fiction setting but exploit the freedom it offers to make social commentary.

I hope the production design respects Matt Jeffries, Wah Chang, Bill Theiss and the rest. There are many reasons why the show has held up for 40+ years even though they did not anticipate anything like that. I certainly did not expect I would still love it as much as I do.

I think this will have alot of ships,aliens & action sequences that can be made into video games toys/action figures and happy meals and create more money for Paramount stockholders.Trek’s potential for X merchandising needs to be exploited.(I mean fully realized).

If you think the pessimism here is bad you should see the IMDB board. I’ve noticed that all of the bashers of this movie always have one of three arguments, “prequels suck”, “don’t recast” or “Abrams is a hack”. They never provide any info to back it up though. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but it seems like the bashers are the only ones that try to shove their opinions down your throat as facts without a good argument, then take it as a personal attack when you disagree. It’s really getting tiring, and I’ll bet that most of them are either under 16 or socially retarded.

#32. Sith


The pessimism here is probably due to the fact that 3 out of the last 4 Trek movies have been….lets say – pretty average!

#34 “3 out of the last 4 Trek movies have been….lets say-pretty average!”
Boy, you’re being kind! Maybe compared to a regular film they’ve been average, but us Trekkers have come to want and expect so much more! Face it, the mythology of Star Trek is a superbly crafted tapestry of story possibility and, simply put, the producers of Trek have really f@*ked with it! They should be ashamed of themselves for having squandered a “one time” opportunity to have effectively utilized the original cast from TOS through the ’80’s and 90’s in a new film every two years! We could, and should, have had a dozen EPIC films in our library by this point in time! Then, and only then, would the torch be passed to a next generation! That would have made sense and not hurt nearly so much as what transpired!

#35. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Thanks Don, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way.

More ships.

And no TOS-Miranda.

When this film is a blockbuster , commercial and fan hit, I would give my pension to be able to call up Rick Berman and tell him how genuinely “pleased” I am, I think I’ll convey the point with my wallet actually.

Why don’t we have every Trek fan in the world call up Berman’s local pizzeria (on the same night) and have them deliver to his house a Large Special with the anchovies spelling out the message, “Good riddance!”