Orci: Trek XI Under A ‘Critical Eye’

Star Trek XI is mentioned (with a brief quote from Robert Orci) in a feature titled ‘Deja View: Hollywood reboots some familiar movie franchises in hopes of finding the next box office monster’ in the May 25 Issue of Entertainment Weekly. The article starts off discussing how franchises like Spider-Man, Pirates and Harry Potter dominate the box office and notes that ‘Hollywood is keener than ever on cultivating bankable brands out of old properties.’ It also points out ‘Batman and James Bond ‘reboots’ – featuring new stars and behind the scenes players – reaped big bucks.’ EW then ‘checks on the status of a few high profile reboots in the works’. These are The Incredible Hulk, Terminator 4, Star Trek, and The Mummy 4. Star Trek XI writer Roberto Orci is quoted in the blurb on Trek, full text below

Star Trek
Filming in November; in theaters Dec. 25, 2008

The Pitch Psyched by rumors that Matt Damon, Adrian Brody and Gary Sinise will play Kirk, Spock, and Bones? Hold up: The closely guarded 11th Trek movie-produced by Lost’s J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof and directed by Abrams-isn’t cast yet. But fans keep clamoring for a new spin on a brand that had became, after four decades, a tad tired. (See: dismal box office for 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis and the 2005 cancellation of TV’s Enterprise.) "There has to be a reason to reboot," says Robert Orci, who wrote the new screenplay with his Transformers co-scribe Alex Kurtzman – and is under strict orders to divulge jack squat – "You’re dealing with a preexisting expectation….so it puts you [under] a more critical eye." Tricorders out, everybody! 

Firstly do not get hung up on Orci’s usage of the word ‘reboot.’ It is fairly clear that he was replying to the EW’s premise that all the films were ‘reboots’ in the sense that they were restarting interest in those franchises and bringing in new people both behind and in front of the camera. The article is just the latest example about how Hollywood are again taking a look at Trek and taking this movie more seriously. Also we have recently reported that shooting will begin in October, but this says November. It is possible that filming has moved back a month, in our next Trek XI update we will try and clarify this.  



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1st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still have a lot of faith in the film. Here’s hoping Paramount does too.

Awesome news! Thanks for the hic-up of information!!!

Aaron R.

I think the movie can be both, very great and exciting and very boring and lame… it depends what they make out of it.

I guess the biggest problem production of Star Trek XI has is the reboot dilemma: On the one hand they want to make a new start of the franchise, even returning to tales of the original Enterprise, on the other hand there are forty years of television, cinema and fans. This is much, much more than any of the other reboots had.

For example I love the new Battlestar Galactica, but the reason this was even possible, was because the original series was 30 years old, lasted only one season (excluding the not-so-good spin-off) and wasn’t really present on the mind of nowadays average sci-fi-geek (no harm intended!). Star Trek, however, is a bit more renowned and dramatically younger (the last movie was made in 2001/2002 and the finale of Enterprise aired like what, two years ago?).

It’s a hard job they do and I don’t want to be in their position to decide whether or not certain thinks should be included in this reboot. Yet I’m really thrilled by the project and knowing that Abrams and other producers of LOST are on this team, certainly helps.

The message from that article is not very positive. It further paints a picture where Hollywood is dominated by bean counters who only want a sure thing to invest in. They’ll bank a project only if it was a hit in the past and sprice it up for today’s market. Seems like a reasonable idea, but where’s the art, the passion, the big idea?

I hate to see Star Trek sucked into this. One vision at one time in TV history brought us a really cool project. And now they are mining it for a new audience. I’m not against the project, but I hope that the powers that give JJ the green light are going to let it be pure and not just another movie that they want to have the requisite space battles, babes and ships flying about so they can sell seats and popcorn. I hope it has heart and the core of the subject matter intact.

I also read another article elsewhere that says that today’s remakes are so influenced by the current socio and political issues. Such projects as Battlestar Galactica have gone serious and dark and driven by the current world. That worked there, but does it have to be for Trek, do you think? JJ’s shows have been a bit dark. Nothing wrong with that. But does it suit TOS Trek?

Yours is a wonderful idea, Nelson, and in a perfect world, we’d get Trek XI with “the art, the passion, the big idea.” Please remember, however, that very few movies are made with those ideals in mind. 99.99 percent of films these days are made for one reason only; to make money for the studio producing them. If the story happens to work well, so much the better. If a film should actually be touted as “art,” well that’s more icing on the cake, but those things are not the major goal of a movie studio. Getting butts in the seats and acquiring as much cross-promotional revenue as possible, those are first and foremost.

The good thing is that the Trek franchise has shown that you CAN have “art, passion, and big ideas” and still be successful critically and with the movie-going audience. I believe the franchise is in good hands presently. I’m also glad to hear that the people making this movie understand the scrutiny they are under. Hopefully, that will help keep them from really screwing things up.

Perhaps we could go even further back to the late 70’s to observe the notion of squeezing Trek for money.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Paramount look at the success of Star Wars and say, “hey.. do we have anything like that?” I mean, come on! Paramount almost forgot about what they had!

Count me among those hopeful yet confident in Abrams and company!!

Can Trek pull off dark? Absolutely – A new series could follow the Earth Romulan war and get away with been almost as black as night, even Rodenberry acknowledged that there would be dark times in the future.

The fact that Trek is still talked about 40 years after it started say something about the idea – it is flexible. This movie could be both light “The Voyage Home” and or dark “WOK or The Undiscovered Country.” Or it could be both if there is a follow up planned. Even TOS reflected the worlds “mood”, the sixties were full of people looking to bright shining future, whiile the later part of the Nineties and the early part of the 21st century are darker and people are not as sure about our future, I hope the movie reflects this and at the same time I hope it gives us a wake up call, some what like Voyage Home did.

Like #8 Tim said, Trek is flexible. An open universe. I tire of people thinking that XI could be bad or “the end”. Optimism is not a bad thing, people.

Wow, didn’t expect to read so many thoughts and viewpoints in response to my post. All good points. I am hopeful and open minded and look forward to seeing what happens.

I agree that commerce and art can co-exist in a positive way!

#8 > “Can Trek pull off dark? Absolutely …”


I see the future…….

The hard core Trekkies will hate it.
The casual movie watcher, even if they like it won’t be enough to support a sequel…
Star Trek will go silent for a long time and then they will try again…

Not enough time has passed for anyone to miss it yet and there are not enough fans to keep it going right now, this is very sad……..

Darth “System model 101” Ballz

#10 “I agree that commerce and art can co-exist in a positive way!”
Hollywood has always been described as where Commerce meets Art, too bad Art left town twenty years ago! For the most part, Hollywood cranks out pure unadulterated horseshit these days…the beancounters have beaten the creative souls into submission. What a shame that such a promising medium has reduced itself to producing such drivel. It’s a case of all flash and NO substance, all effects and NO story, all sizzle and NO steak! Face it, resistance is futile, you will become one with the BORED!!!!!

#11- That is a great trailer!

#11- That is a great trailer!

#11- That is a great trailer!

I think people have been mis-interpreting what everyone has been saying about this film, you guys that take it so seriously, go back and evaluate carefully, there is a very distinct clue about the plotline for the film.

It isn’t Star Trek : the reboot, but rather Star Trek: the robot.

It’s clear. The film deals with a robot, or automaton. Synthetic being, probably manufactured, but definately not “born” in what we consider the conventional knockin’ boots way.

This is important.

Robots are typicall evil, just as trouble typically comes from space. Think about it, the long history of films. Anytime there is a robot, or something set in space, or pertaining to space, there is trouble. It’s double jeopardy if you have a robot that COMES from space dammit.
Alright, that is our working premise.

So clearly this film is about a robotic space being.
Since the 3 laws of robotics negate the second premise, that trouble comes from space, something evidently overrides our robotic friend enabling the fulfilling of trouble infact coming from outer space.

It makes it worse naturally if in this film our protagonists actually venture OUT to outer space. That’s kinda knocking out the middle man.

Typically, beings and such inhabit outer space. So if we have a robot that is evil, in outer space, there will probably be some trouble.

Any questions?

Its a reboot, I don’t know how much more clearer they could make it.

Besides Harve Bennett tried to make a legitimate prequel and was shot down, what does that tell you?

I don’t think the article talks about reboots in their “canonic” sense, because Terminator 4 and the Mummy 4 don’t really fit the bill.

They need to deal with casting. Again, we have a right to know if Shatner and/or Nimoy are in the movie.

#14,15,16 Gary Seven

I see a pattern forming… ;)

#18 Trektacular

Where are you Stanky? I need you to clear this up!

For what it’s worth, this movie is coming whether I like it or not. So as a huge fan of the original TOS SERIES, I await some REAL news regarding casting and design choices with interest, and only hope that I am not sorely disappointed in either category. I will try to evade news on the storyline ( if I can ) so that there will be some surprises left to me ( along with the music soundtrack ), and just hope that the huge promise of a TOS era Trek is achieved. As far as mood, I hope it will be bright and vibrant and optimistic,having our heroes overcome some DARK ( without being gloomy or angst-ridden ) premise, and finishing with a triumphant, jovial crew style ending, sending us home happily afterwards. Time will tell.

#20 – “I don’t think the article talks about reboots in their ‘canonic’ sense, because Terminator 4 and the Mummy 4 don’t really fit the bill. ”

Precisely. In this case, the article is clearly talking about reboots more in the computer sense, a restart of the same system, not changing everything. As Big E observes, and as far as I’ve heard directly, both the Terminator and Mummy projects are also set in the same continuity is their predecessors. And considering that Trek is, in a sense, going back to the beginning, with a story about the original characters, that makes sense.

Ergo, as Anthony said, let’s not get too crazy here. Context is key. ;)


JJ Abrahms + Star Trek = Lost in Space!

I just rewatched MI:3 over the weekend and was again impressed by what I saw. Dark, yes, but with good doses of wit, heart and stellar action sequences. If Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman can breath humanity into the paper thin characters of Ethan Hunt and the IMF team, it bodes well for what they can do with some of the most iconic and richly drawn characters of popular entertainment history.

Re: 21 —

StillKirok, there’s been plenty of information about how Shatner and Nimoy haven’t been contacted (at least not yet), so for now the answer is no, they’re not in the movie.

I don’t see how you feel you have the “right” to demand more than that. That’s the overblown sense of fan entitlement, methinks.

re:23 Cervantes
“Where are you Stanky? I need you to clear this up!”

I’ll do my best.
Here’s what we really know about the movie.
Basically, nothing important.

…except that which I will not go into… (for the benefit of those who don’t like any kind of rain on their parade. :) )

There was a “The Mummy 3”?? Why??
Reboot it, baby. Let’s boldly get our booty in gear for a reboot.

I have this issue of EW, and it’s not an article about reboots, it’s about Hollywood banking on their big name franchises. In fact, not one of the movies mentioned is a reboot.

Terminator and the Mummy are strictly sequels, while The Incredible Hulk is a continuation of the first Ang Lee movie, just with different actors and a newer design (sound familiar?). It is not an origin story, since the first movie already took care of that.

Trek, as we already know from Abrams’ comments, is not a reboot, but will respect canon.

So like the poster above said, EW meant the word reboot as in restarting the same system, not starting over.

I trust we are in good hands. If they star shooting in November I hope you all realize that soon, very soon there is going to be an enormous flood of information, casting, design, set photos ect, that is going to send some of us to cardiologists

Some of you read far too much between the lines.

#21… casting… they’ll get to it and Anthony will tell us first, no doubt.

#18 Reboot… dam we need a better word. Did you even read what Anthony said in the artcle? “Firstly do not get hung up on Orci’s usage of the word ‘reboot.’ It is fairly clear that he was replying to the EW’s premise that all the films were ‘reboots’ in the sense that they were restarting interest in those franchises and bringing in new people both behind and in front of the camera.”

Please don’t read more into that what is stated… it’s easier on everyone’s nerves and you don’t look foolish later.

May I suggest the term “jump start”?
As in: Paramount is trying to jump start the ST franchise (rekindle public interest) in the same way someone jump starts a car who’s battery has run out.

I’m keeping an open mind on this. I will see it when it comes out and judge it for myself.

There’s no way to know what they’re going to do with this…it may well change enough that some fans will consider it a reboot.

Paranoid, anal and pendantic? Trek fans?? Never!!! ;)

See, here’s the problem right here:
“But fans keep clamoring for a new spin on a brand that had became, after four decades, a tad tired. (See: dismal box office for 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis and the 2005 cancellation of TV’s Enterprise.) ”
I remember Spiner saying this- that Nemesis failed because Trek had grown stale. That only show syou how out of tough Hollywood is- and how insulting to the intelligence of its fans as well. His statement suggests that fans will eat up whatever tripe is placed in front of them. Not the case. Nemesis and Enterprise both tanked because they both sucked. No franchise will lose audiences if it doesn’t turn out crap for its consumers.

How about a movie about the crew of NCC-1701B




/Squad 51!

Series that have been turned into movies or new series with new cast:
(not a continuation, such as the Star Trek movies with the original cast)

Brady Bunch (spoof) somewhat works due to its attempt to recreate the look and feel right down to the music…
Dukes of Hazzard…bad
Beverly Hillbillies…bad
Car 54…bad
Addams Family…so-so
The Munsters…beyond horrible
Lost in Space…bad

and no doubt a bunch more…

can’t think of one instance where it truly works…

the first mission impossible reboot worked ok

Twilight Zone-The Movie…good
Lost in Space…good
Wild, Wild West…bad
The Untouchables…good
The Fugitive…good
Charlie’s Angels…good

#41 Stanky: With the exception of maybe “The Addams Family” and maybe “The Munsters” depending on your mood, all the original shows in your list were pretty much crap. How they got greenlit as films is beyond me, other than the utter dearth of original thinking in Hollywood studios, or the misguided belief that remaking them with a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink, aren’t we campy” attitude would somehow make them successful.

It will be hard to recapture the original magic, but they’ve got a lot more to work with here than “The Beverly Hillbillies” ever did.

Now I’m off to pitch my “Gilligan’s Island” reboot. Closeup on the Skipper: “I just can’t quit you Gilligan…”

“It’s goonnna be bad, bad, bAD! I tell you…”

Gee…I can I peek into that crystal ball that some of you have?

Quit raining on the parade until some information of real substance comes down the funnel..

Like maybe…… a cast, a storyline, etc…….K?

45. Xai – May 22, 2007

Maybe a similar crystal ball to the one that tells you it will be wonderful.

#46 –

Shush, Stanky. All Xai is saying is give the movie a chance.

Try it. You might like it. Just like the way Mikey wound up liking Chex.

Don’t be the pouty kid sitting in the corner with his arms folded across his chest, because he doesn’t want to eat anything that’s not loaded with saccharine or covered in cheese.

This new low-carb Trek might be just what you need.

re: 47

Don’t be shushing me! :)

I know what he is saying. I know what I am saying.

46. Stanky McFibberich – May 22, 2007,
Dear Stanky,
Sleeper Agent is correct on the “give the movie a chance” comment. XI may tank, but let’s wait for it to actually be filmed before pronouncing it good or bad.

And that’s my response to anyone here, not just you.


re: 49 Xai

I know what you are saying. I don’t mind if people want to give it a chance, though I’m not personally inclined to give it a chance. I’m sure I will go see it out of curiosity, but I won’t be waiting in any lines to do it.

There is very little information known about it, but the part I need to know is almost certain…that someone other than William Shatner will be playing Captain Kirk. As I have said before, I do not advocate Mr. Shatner being in the movie at all, but I am vehemently against anyone else playing Kirk. The same would be true of Spock. Each to his own, but I cannot get excited about it.

It matters not what I nor anyone else thinks. What will be will be.