Rossi and Nemecek Opine On Star Trek XI

In the latest Star Trek Magazine, regular columnists Dave Rossi and Larry Nemecek have Star Trek XI on their mind. Rossi, who has worked on Trek for 15 years including being a producer on Trek Remastered, laments on how even though he works on the Paramount lot he will be ‘on the outside looking in’ for Trek XI. But he looks on the bright side noting that he can again just be a fan. He also dismisses ‘franchise fatigue,’ noting

Star Trek fans want to like Star Trek. If the stories are good, if the characters are compelling, if there’s balanced doses of action, humor, and drama, people will watch. Not surprising then that Paramount chose to go with Star Trek: The Original Series and moreover with Mr. Abrams.

Rossi does acknowledge that the key to Trek XI will be the choice of cast for our intrepid heroes. He notes that Shatner is so tied the the role that it is a monumental task, however feels it "would be deadly to cast someone with the instructions ‘play Shatner playing Kirk.’" He also takes some lessons from TOS-R, saying

Having worked on this Remastered project, I know that the die-hard fans will ultimately pick this new movie apart regardless. It ‘s the nature of the beast. And while the nit-pickers do what they do best, I hope the rest of us will look at this with fresh eyes and a nod towards what Roddenberry was going for: not that Shatner was Kirk and Nimoy was Spock, but a story about heroes thrust into extraordinary adventures, armed only with their humanity (okay, and phasers too) as a guide.

Larry Nemecek, former editor of Star Trek Communicator and writer of Star Trek The Next Generation Companion, sees a ‘pendulum swing’ in the Trek universe and its return to TOS. In his column titled ‘What Goes Around’ Larry notes how in the 90s the TOS era seemed out of date and the TNG era was the new shiny thing, but now things have switched around…

those who had hooted at Star Trek’s original 1960s sensibility and look were instead now guffawing over the "Hyatt Regency in space" look of the comfortably plush Enterprise-D.

Nemecek is not criticizing TNG, and in fact believes that eventually the pendulum will swing back "to where counselors, carpeted walls and other concepts of ST:TNG are not only respected but viewed in all-new ways.



For more pick up Star Trek Magazine (#132  in the UK#5 in the US) on newsstands this week.


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The problem with trek’s vitality was that it tried to satisfy trekkies by casting the original actors and followed them into retirement .If the film series was designed to satisfy the movie going general public the younger actors would have been re cast.We re dealing with a sophisicated movie going general public these days who ve been through a few actors playing Bond,superman etc.I think the time couldn,t be better to introduce a re-invigorated Trek for the mainstream blockbuster superhero audience.Trek has all the right elements.this time they won’t be tied down to storylines about aging.

Hopefully first with something to say.

I can’t help but think that Lemecek is correct about the pendulum swing. The time is right for TOS. It is the most widely known because of it’s 40+ years of existance. With the right story and cast, this will revive an old friend in a fresh and fantastic way.

Additionally, the actor playing Kirk has to do it “his way”… no mimmicking, no – bad- im-pressions. I think Abrams will be sensitive to this and will nip it in the bud should it begin.

I know the nit-pick birds will be flying ’round Christmas, 2008. I hope most can watch with an open mind and let the new kids give it their best shot.

Agreed Jon
Agreed Jon.


What kept Star Trek alive for so many years before TNG was a steady stream of well thought out movies. (No, I don’t count TMP in that.) What we needed wasn’t churning out the alien of the week, it was coming up with a good story. The Wrath of Khan was a good story. The Search for Spock was a decent story. The Voyage Home was a good story. What do we need to keep Star Trek going now? A GOOD STORY!!!

Comfortably plus?…Did you mean plush?


Okay, I tend to agree, but I can honestly say I never “drank the KoolAid” and accepted TNG as the end of TOS. Even without Kirk et al I would prefer stories set in the TOS or pre-TOS era. I just prefer scenes like Pike fighting the Kalar on Rigel VII over Picard and company sitting around the meeting table.

Well, my theory as to why now is right for TOS, TOS was grittier and less plush like the above mentioned TNG. TOS was created and aired in the 60’s a time of war, cynicism and prejudice. TNG aired when things were looking up for the world. The Cold War was ending and we seemed to be making strives as a species. Thus the comfortable and cerebral TNG. Now we live in a time of war, cynicism and prejudice again.

As for the “don’t play Shatner playing Kirk” thing, Shatner is Kirk, so I would think that the actor would have to borrow certain mannerisms from Shat. It would just have to be done in a way that isn’t cheesy.

I think Rossi’s words are dead on. The essence of Trek doesn’t lie in nitpicking how closely one actor’s portrayal comes to Shatner’s, but Roddenberry’s desire to tell bold stories against the backdrop of a wondrous universe filled with possibilities. If Abrams and Trek XI get that right, the movie will be a success in my eyes.

I agree with many of you in that the TNG era seemed to be too “plush”. I’ve always enjoyed the more enclosed, nautical feeling of the TOS era. Plus, Trek characters don’t get any better than Kirk or Spock.

Presentation will be everything–it can’t be TNG, Voy, or Enterprise, but more TOS, but not–I hope Abrams sees this and hope for the best.

Mistake: to try to recast characters from Star Trek. Mistake: to set the movie in or around that era. No doubt that it is the most interesting of all eras and the characters are the most interesting, but that is largely because of that cast, that design, that music, and the time it was made. It’s all about the style.
This movie may even become popular or even the most popular (by some system of measurement), but it won’t be Star Trek.


Yes, if the story is good that’s enough to make it work. Not sure about TNG coming back into vogue, though, and I do like the show. But it left its “New Age” ideas by the wayside toward the end, esp. FC. Great series and very important in TV syndication, though.

TNG wasn’t Trek.It was more like an audience suppository to medicate some kind of itch for things trek.(I should have been a writer)


I don’t think Star Trek is about a cast. As with all good things, it is about the charicters. We’re never going to have the old cast in its entirety again. Kelly and Doohan are dead. But the charicters live on. Someone else can bring new life to them. It will be an acting challange, but I’m not willing to say its impossible. Star Trek is not about William Shatner. Star Trek is about Captain Kirk. (Actually, its about a lot of great charicters, but I’m just illustrating a point.)

Oh, and 17th!!!!

Captain Kirk has been done by William Shatner and only William Shatner for 40+ years. They are inseparable.
To whomever: Invent some new characters and stick them on a different ship if you want to continue with Star Trek. I don’t really care for most of the other series or their characters all that much, but would rather see that come out than some fake version of the classic.


3. Xai (let open minds reign) – April 30, 2007 – Fully agree. I look forward to seeing the TOS universe on the big screen, a new fresh look at trek will revitalise an admittedly old franchise. New actors, playing classic characters their own way, will open up all new possibilities for Trek. I love the later series, but for them to live again (which is inevitable) the heart and sole of trek needs to be recharged. Bring on the Classics, bring on the future.

18. Stanklin T. McFibberich –

Renevatio – Rebirth, the fundamentals wont change, it’s not a reboot, it’s just a new story, to inject fresh life in an old franchise. If people want Trek to continue trek itself has to change, you could see the change beggining in ST: ENTERPRISE, more character and situation driven stories than before, a sharper focus on the details, xenophobia groups etc, fleshing out the unexplored of Treks past. This movie can add to that and allow a new generation of shows and movies.

re:20. Anthony Pascale – April 30, 2007

It is not time to move on. I will decide that. Those are my opinions and even though I realize nothing will come of it, I will state them from time to time.
If you just want a bunch of Star Trek XI yes-men here, I’m not going along with it.
So it’s 28 years instead of 40 or whatever. Same idea. And of course there is the DirectTV commercial. :)
And people (the studio, you, etc.) continually use the reasoning that the non-fans are the target audience. Yeah, it’s a money thing, I completely understand. Why would we, the fans, want to support that? You want them to bastardize the thing for the mainstream?
I don’t. I’d rather have it die than turn into some unrecognizable crap.

And yes…I will continue to watch the originals.

Well said Anthony.

Everything you said is true.

On the other hand I agree with Stanklin to a point.

I think the happy medium is to bring Shatner + Nimoy back for one more go around.

That would satisfy the old fans (Myself,Stanklin,Still Kirok, all the BBK supporters…etc) + introduce a recast version of TOS.

Anthony: Do you think Shat + Nimoy will be in ST XI as Kirk + Spock? Clearly Abrams is not having these meetings with Shatner + Nimoy because he cares about their input on the characters.

I think he wants them to appear in the film. What is your opinion?


Dang…It was 24th. :)

“On the other hand I agree with Stanklin to a point.”
Well, that’s something. :)

Personally, I hope those guys (Shatner and Nimoy) have the sense to stay out of it.

9. Yes, a new actor playing Kirk could play Shatner as Kirk to a point as long as it’s not cheezy. Sounds logical to me. To repeat myself, I don’t see Matt Damon in the role. Hope it’s an unknown actor such as Jesse Lee Soffer (Will Munson on the CBS soap “As the World Turns”…check him out!). Anthony…whattaya think of this casting recommendation?
As for reinventing original series Trek in this new movie to capture this larger mainstream audience, I think at this point in the time space continuum that hard core Trekkers and Trekkies ARE the largest common denominator audience anyway!! So, don’t change things too much!!
Having Shatner and Nimoy on board as older Kirk and Spock bookends at a minimum would be wonderful.

#26 “Having Shatner and Nimoy on board as older Kirk and Spock bookends”.
If they wait much longer to start filming this thing, then Shatner and Nimoy will have passed away, been stuffed, and end up appearing in the film AS bookends! Cripes, let’s get on with the show!! Move it people!

I say we just give it a chance. Theres four spinoffs, so the whole spinoff thing has been done to death. If Shatner and Nimoy want in, fine, let ’em in. If they don’t, fine too. I don’t know if this movie will follow the odd-even pattern or not. It may fall flat on its face. It may be the worst piece of Star Dreck ever. But it may be pretty freakin awesome. Shooting it down because they want to, no, NEED to recast the charicters is dumb. Its all about whether the story is good, the charicters are well written, etc.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy’s faces will always come to my mind when I think of Kirk and Spock. But I think the charicters are a lot more durable than the actors at this point. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov will be around for decades to come. The TOS cast has already lost two members.


#18 and 22 – S T McF: I’m with you. And if Shatner plays Kirk in any form in XI, it will be 40+ years.

Yikes. Star Trek is a topic that can devide so easily! You have those that back and support Enterprise, those that opposed it, those that fight for a return to TOS and those that fight it. I admitt I loved Enterprise, Loved DS9 and TNG and alos I love TOS, all have their strengths and weaknesses. This new movie will be no different I will have strengths and weaknesses.
To kep trek alive a relevent it needs to reach the youth of today, a younger kirk and spock might just do that. As I said in other posts let’s just look to the future and see what Abrams and his team come up with.

Stanklin will continue to make his opinion known from time to time…

…over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

If a Stanklin gripes in a forest, but no one is around to hear it, does he still make a sound?


31. Anthony Pascale – April 30, 2007 – Well said. Trek does not belong to any one generation of fans, nor does Trek mean only TOS. Trek is one of only a few franchises to evolve meaningfuly into something of a living entity. It has become part of society and culture, and to let it die to satisfy one generation of fans is wrong, it is there for all to enjoy, and to call keeping it alive bastardisation is wrong as well. Besides the great action and SFX’s it touches social nerves highlights things wrong with our own culture, Facism, Homophobia, Racism despotism. It also encourages to question things, makes us want to see what is among the stars. To deny future generations the experience of New Trek, to satisfy those who oppose change is wrong.

I loved Shatner as Kirk but I think Shatner is not a good actor. If they cast a good actor I think he can pull it off. I prefere an unknown face so no one identifies the actor with an other roll.

When Sean Connery stoped playing Bond people also said thats not possible Conery is Bond. And now we have so many actors playing Bond and its an accepted fact that the Bond acters change. People even discuse in advance: Who is going to be the next Bond.

Maybe some time in the future people will say: Who is the next kirk or: I liked the 4th Kirk better than the 7th. Or even: Shatner wasen’t the best Kirk. Of course then somone would say: But he’s the original.

So enough hypothetical dialogs. I’m looking forward to Star Trek XI.

34. Florian – April 30, 2007 – Ok lets start it. Who do you think will be the next Kirk?

One question – do we have to find the next Janeway?

#31 Anthony Pascale “people need to stop being afraid of Trek appealing to the mainstream”
Bravo! In the months of me coming to visit this site, that is one of the most impassioned pleas I’ve heard for starting in again with “new blood”. Anything to revitalize and perpetuate the Trek legend, eh? C’mon Stanky, give it a chance! If Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes can be improved on(which it was)…, hey,… you never know…..

I will always love Shatner and Nimoy the best, but it’s either recast or there will never be any further TOS. I choose to have more TOS, if it’s done well. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Well, sure…if you’re going to beat him over the head with Emerson! Jeez, talk about killing a fly with an elephant gun!

Star Trek was always meant to be mainstream. It was created to get big viewing figures so companies would buy advertising space in the breaks and pay bigger money because more people from more demographics would watch it! At its peak, also TNG got big viewing figures.

It’s a bizarre thing that when a show/film series gets a vocal hardcore following, they drive away the mainstream. In the UK, Doctor Who fans got vocal enough in the 1980s that the content of the show was altered by the then-producer leading to ‘cult’ status and death. The 2000s relaunch is only a mainstream success because it’s shockingly dumbed down and aimed at the OK magazine and Heat magazine readership and their progeny.

Firefly fans (Browncoats) are so vocal that they fooled Universal into buying the movie rights. The fans were so OTT, though, that they helped put the mainstream audience off seeing Serenity in the cinema, because it was given a cult image.

Star Trek has lingered in the cult ghetto, because down the years, the shows and films gradually ceased to be Star Trek shows and films: they became shows and films ***about*** Star Trek. They were intended to give the fans a happy by digging into the minutiae of the Trek, but actually alienated even the fans because when you get into the tiny details, the contradictions and errors previously glossed over become screamingly obvious.

A TOS film, with iconic characters painted in broad strokes, telling a bold story, will work wonderfully because it will be a Star Trek film and not a film requiring Trek 101 to understand it!

Stanky we are in the same boat as far as being TOSesque’ in preference and tastes, but the difference is I see the character of James T. Kirk being even above the almighty Shat. We WANT these characters to be the archetypes that they are, and transcend the generations to become the mythical pop cultural icons that we all know they are.

By all accounts, this film isn’t replacing the Shat as Kirk, but rather inserting a new unexplored chapter in the LIFE of this mythic character.

It would hardly be convient or appropriate to include the Shat in your film if you want audiences to distance themselves from Shat as Kirk, it’s going to constantly be there in our faces, by the fact the Shat is even in the film.
So whatever new actor that is brought to the table will serve the purpose of filling in a gap in the life and chronicles of Kirk.

These characters are transcending the era they were created, as well as he society and culture, they are becoming one with the contemporary pop culture lexicon. and will take their places hopefully along some of the most enduring fictional characters of both book and screen.

Recasting the role of Kirk isn’t a disservice to William Shatner, on the contrary, it is the ultimate compliment, the man has created a character that will surpass his own lifetime.

By being stringently opposed to any new iteration of TOS, in essence any future for that most noble of crews is damned for all eternity to DVDs and 40 year old adventures.

On the contrary, I think there should be all new incarnations of anything and everything pertaining to TOS.

Why not a new animated series? Why not a new film? Why not a new TV series? All centered around Captain James Tiberius Kirk and the indomitable crew of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise.
Keep the essence of the show the same, fill it with the legendary characters, situations, races, ideas, and let it bloom mightily.

To hell with a 5 year mission, make it a 50 year mission. These characters deserve it.


As true as that is Dom, you have to remember, the mainstream of 2007 isn’t the mainstream of 1966. People today are far more dumb and lacking in attention..

What captivated imaginations then, sadly, would only serve to bore and irk young minds today.

Face it, without TNG we wouldn’t even be talking about Star Trek XI right now.

When ST XI would be made for the die-hard fans (as on this site), nitpicking about the nacelle caps, it will fail instantly. You cannot survive on nostalgia. Todays audience doesn’t want a TOS look in the movie.

That’s were TNG succeeded: appeal to a wide audience. Everybody seems to forget that during it’s final seasons it was the most watched series on television! They managed to please both the fans AND a much wider audience. That’s what Trek XI needs.

#23: I think the happy medium is to bring Shatner + Nimoy back for one more go around.

I honestly believe that we will not see Shatner or Nimoy in the new film. The inclusion of these (admittedly great) actors will be a massive distraction for the audience from the new actors, while also requiring working the plot to include them. To include them would immediately have the audience comparing the old actors to the new ones, distracting the audience from the story and having them focus on the technical production aspects of the film instead – that can kill a film just as fast as poor editing or writing. The ultimate aim of a good film is to immerse the audience into the story and stop them thinking about the background production, at least until they leave the cinema.

I don’t think any producer would make substantial changes to a film just to satisfy what ultimately would be a wish to see the old actors from the hard-core fanbase, especially when the film is to appeal to a wider audience.

And why would it be bad to recast new actors anyway? The only way Trek will survive is by evolving to include new audiences and ideas. If not, I fear, the franchise will slowly go under as the fan-base it lives off decreases in size too.

The only way this movie will work if its a re imagining of TOS, otherwise its going to look dopey.

I wil be first in line to see and hopefully enjoy this movie. But I can’t escape the fact that Bill, Leonard and DeForest, and their personalities and how they play off each other is WHY I love Star Trek. Sure, I love the ships and original stories, but that’s alll gravy. The real joy is watching these guys act, that, along with great dialog, is what provides the little moments that bring me back again and again.

But I will see it, and am completely open to a new cast tackling the roles and I wish them sucess, but it won’t be easy.

42 um .Don’t you mean without TOS ,we wouldn’t even be talking about TNG?

I agree with Anthony about creating a new generation of Trek fans. That’s why I introduced TOS on DVD to my kids a couple years ago, and they’re hooked. I get asked nearly every night whether they can watch TOS after dinner. It’s fun to watch the appeal blossom all over again on multiple levels. And I suspect they may have a harder time adapting to a recast Capt. Kirk than I will.

re: 31 Anthony Pascale
“I want Trek to again be able to compete in the global market place as a contemporary vital franchise. I want it to feel modern in its sensibilities and production techniques.”

THAT is the equation!!

Production techniques as in shaky cameras, no lighting, and rap music blaring over dialogue? That seems to be the norm.
Modern sensibilities? Those two words do not go together.

But these do.
Powderrrrrred ToooaasttMaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!

Listen to your own opening, for crying out loud. “To Boldly Go…”
I love TNG for many episodes. But, the first season was a guide of “To Blandly Go…” Is it really an adventure when you bring your mommy along? (In the form of a ship’s counselor.) One of the feelings that came through on TOS and the better TOS-era movies was that of traveling in a ship that was both awesome and woefully inadequate in a dangerous universe. We are going to the stars. We are gonna get our butts handed to us by foes natural and alien. We are going to keep going… Boldly. (Or if they really do recast Shatner as Kirk… baldly.)

Jon is right as usual(ly)!!!!

Next Gen era of Trek was a mighty flash in the pan, but a flash in the pan none the less. If it made you happy and it entertained you then God bless. But this site is about Star Trek!!! No prefix or suffix need apply.