Orci: Big Budget – Maybe Not Big Stars [UPDATED]

In addition to talking to TrekMovie.com, Roberto Orci also talked to other members of the geekosphere at the Transformers event. The Star Trek co-writer opened up on Trek a bit more to IESB saying that he and writing partner Alex Kurtzman were ready to write the film because they "been researching that [Trek] all our lives…we read the novels, we just had it down cold." Regarding which series were favorites he said that he was partial to TNG and that Kurtzman favored TOS. The co-writer and executive producer also said that they wrote the script with a ‘big’ budget in mind. However Orci said they are not yet set on having big named stars and felt that you do not need them…:

I don’t think so, because the star of the movie is Star Trek, you know,so another way to think of it is we feel confident in what the material is and what the paradigm of the movie is that we’re not trying to shove an Academy Award winner down your throat to sell it. Which doesn’t mean that we might not end up there but its not our first place to go there with that.

more excerpts from IESB, IGN and SciFi Wire below…

from IESB.net interview

Q:  What’s your feeling about all the fans going on about Kirk and Spock and just everyone not being able to accept that it’s going to be a reboot and is there any frustration on your end?

Orci:  Hmm, no, I understand it’s just like I understand everyone thinks Transformers is going to be a toy commercial and its not until they see it.  Know that its factored into our thinking that people are afraid of whatever its going to be and that whatever the criticisms are without confirming or denying anything, we are, we’re aware of them and they are part of the fabric of the story, its all I can say.

Q:  So as life long fans, I’m going back to ‘Trek’, what was it like to get the keys to the kingdom?

Orci:  Insane, I mean it like getting a Lamborghini, its crazy.  It was insane, terrifying, but safety in numbers too.  We’re doing it with J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof both the creators of Lost and we knew that if the four of us, the five of us couldn’t do it, then that was it.

Q:  How involved was Damon in the process?

Orci:  He was very involved, we read the story with him very early on and he’s a gigantic fan as well.  In fact, he said that the inspiration for "Lost" was "Trek".

Q:  And can I ask you what the tone for the "Star Trek" that you are creating, is it more, are you looking to keep it on the same tone as the previous ones or are you looking to take it to that more darker, raw aspect of the way Batman Begins went…

Orci:  No, I don’t know about darker but definitely to update the tone.

Q:  Are you guys going to be day to day involved in Trek or are you also working on other projects?

Orci:  We’re working on multiple things but we’re going to be day to day working on ‘Trek’, we’re also executive producing it.

Q: I have to ask about, you just mentioned about the script, did the experience of Transformers with the early script reviews getting up there, is that effecting the way you guys are guarding the Star Trek script?

Orci:  You bet your ass. [laughter]  You bet, especially since Star Trek is much more dependent on the story being fresh.  You know, Transformers we knew that even if it leaked you were not going to be able to imagine Transformers until you saw it.  The spectacle does buy us a little bit of leeway in terms of it you know what’s going to happen.  Trek does not have that gimmie, Trek’s been around, people have seen it, so it’s infinitely more important that the story be new when you get to it because it does matter.

Question:  So how do you guard it nowadays with the internet, with all the leaks?

Orci:  We have encryption programs, we have a trusted made man (?) flying everywhere.  He’s like the mob boss in "Casino," with the handcuff, you know it’s…


Orci is not joking about the man with the script. During the Transformers junket John Voight talked about how the man with the script came to his office and waited outside for him to read it. So for those wondering why there isn’t more news about the film, it is clear that the film makers want to keep their secrets all the way up to opening day if possible. We do expect to know some of the casting soon (as indicated above). TrekMovie.com has been reporting that Comic-Con in July will have a Star Trek event (probably including a casting announcement). We plan on being there and bringing it to you as live as possible.


Full IESB interview here 


UPDATE: some kind of Kirk?

More from SciFi Wire…Orci is quoted as saying (regarding casting): "Some kind of Kirk. … We literally haven’t cast them yet. It’s actually one of the challenges, and so we’re hoping to have something by Comic-Con [in San Diego in July], but we’ll see." Not exactly sure what the ‘some kind of’ part means yet…but hopefully we can find out soon. Regarding whether the movie will turn into a TV show Orci stated "I’m sure CBS is thinking about that,…that’s not [something] we’re thinking about. We’re just thinking about the movie. Certainly, I don’t know how they could not think about that."


UPDATE 2: For fans and non fans, story fills gaps in Starfleet history

Even more from Orci at IGN…

We’ve sworn an oath to not really divulge anything,…but if you’re a fan who’s been tracking a lot of questions about people’s histories and about the history of Starfleet, there’s various gaps in the canon that if you were to get online and sample what people would want to see, you’d see some overlap in terms of what any fan who knows Trek would see. But the flipside of it is we want to make sure that this movie is absolutely for nonfans as well. In a way it’s going to be two different movies — if you’re a fan, you’re going to see a different movie. If you’re a fan, you’re seeing the black stripes of the zebra, and if you’re not a fan you’re going to see the white stripes. That was actually an amazing challenge, to see if that was even possible, and I think, hope, pray that we did it.

On the realism

Since the white stripes of it are an introduction to a broad audience, we absolutely want to sell the reality of it. That’s again partly through some of the things you’re saying in terms of the technology. We love the technobabble, but again it comes through meeting the characters in an appropriate way such that you start to discover what the universe is by the time they’ve already won you over. That I think gets you farther to feeling it’s real than those explanations, even though we have plenty," he added with a laugh.

…on if they wrote it ‘for’ JJ Abrams

Well, Trek we didn’t know that J.J. [Abrams] was going to direct it. He was only going to produce it, so we wrote it just kind of with what we would want to see. J.J. has a very similar sensibility just in terms of how we approach material, so in a way we knew we didn’t have to try and tailor it to him. If it was something that we truly loved, we hoped that he would too, and it turned out that way. We weren’t writing it for him specifically, even though we were hoping he would direct it; we made sure there was enough stuff in there to lure him in [laughs].

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About time they start talking about the new movie. I want to be soooo excited when it comes out.

As for titles, how about “Star Trek – The NEW Motion Picture”!!!

Oh well, just a thought!!
Until Next Time,

I hope that the humor of the film is for grown-ups and not for kiddies. Ironically the TNG movies changed their humor to a kind of kiddie style, that was absolutely untypical for the TNG series: I believe that the self-ironic Shatner humor is the kind of humor that is best for star trek. And yes, “no-name stars” sounds very good.

It sounds like these guys know what they’re doing, THANK GOD!!!

Agreed, let’s hope the “no-name” stars thing sticks. That at least brings more of a blank slate to the table. And the casts have always been a strong point in Abrams/Lindelof shows, so I have confidence they’ll pick some great leads.

So, it IS a reboot?

Unknowns could also be available for a series full time if the movie does well…. Thoughts?

I want to dip my Ballz in this new Trek film. I so want to.

Wouldn’t it be glorious to have a “Rocky Balboa” type reaction to the film?

Everyone is expecting shit, and in turn everyone is pleasantly surprised by a good quality well crafted film.

Re: No7
I’d much rather every one thinking it’s going to be great and it turns out to be great

Nemesis and the final episode of Enterprise are not the end.
The enhanced Trek episodes have rekindled a flame thought extinguised.
Now it seems J.J. and co will turn it into a bonfire.
I’m looking forward to December 2008!

Nothing in there that would change my opinion.

I will love this movie even if it is shite. I will support it so that I can get more Star Trek and not less. I blame myself for the fact that Berman F’ed up. Please call the new movie “Star Trek: The Wrath of Stanky: Give the keys to the Enterprise to thx-1138.”

We, as humans, like to think we can imagine strange alien beings and cultures. However, I can’t believe any real aliens could imagine us. Unless, of course we have been visited.

I believe that it was only the “echoes” of the Original Trek that flavored the subsequent series that accounted for any success they saw. Everyone wants TOS but, not being able to get new episodes any more, will take something else that reminds them of it.

So anything that gets us back as close to Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the Big E will be successful. It’s what everyone really wants, whether they know it or not.

If we can’t have new TOS adventures with a young Shatner Kirk and young Nimoy Spock, we’ll settle for other actors if we have to.

“Some kind of Kirk. …”
What do they meen by that. This is killing me. We need more news.

re: 11. thx-1138
“Please call the new movie “Star Trek: The Wrath of Stanky: Give the keys to the Enterprise to thx-1138.”

Hey! I like your subtitle. And people thought I didn’t like anything. :)

Maybe a young CGI Kirk!? That would explain the high budget…

On “some kind of Kirk” …

Perhaps they mean the story involves a person named James T. Kirk who isn’t quite there yet in terms of how we know the character?

Much like the guy in “Casino Royale” was named James Bond, but he didn’t really match our understanding of that character until the last scene in the film?

Just a thought …

I’m sure it’s going to be a Kirk biography or a trek through the internal chronology of all the produced stuff to introduce the core of star trek to a whole new audience. I guess that’s what the producers are planning to do…

Yeah, you’re right (like River Phoenix as young Indinana Jones). But a young CGI Kirk with Shatners face would be nice…

#13: “I believe that it was only the “echoes” of the Original Trek that flavored the subsequent series that accounted for any success they saw. Everyone wants TOS but, not being able to get new episodes any more, will take something else that reminds them of it.”

Nope. Many, many people watched TNG who’d never bothered with TOS at all; in fact, they were the majority of the TNG audience.

^13. diabolik – June 18, 2007

Gosh your “echos” insight is exactly it. I had a very strange feeling watching Encounter at Farpoint. Actually, I had the same feeling at Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

They were very much the same, reflective of Roddenberry’s vision of a sort of future Utopian society. Yes, there were Trek elements to it — a flying saucer with two cigars glued to the sides… a hint, the merest splash of the original Courage theme… some of the proper nouns were the same, Kirk, Spock, phasers, Enterprise, transporter, tordedoes, the rank titles…

But other than that, they were different paradigms altogether. Perhaps TNG and ST:TMP relate to Star Trek the way Law & Order or CSI relate to Hill Street Blues or even Dragnet for that matter. They are all sci-fi yarns, they take place in roughly the same time period, star more-or-less the “usual suspects” (e.g., a detective, his captain, a sidekick, a bad guy, a mystery, a confession, drama, guns, police cruisers, legal-babble, radios…).

But I really want this movie to be plain, old STAR TREK, “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before!” Go-go boots, miniskirts, real men and all. Heck, all that stuff is cool once again so GO FOR IT!

What I remember most about “Encounter at Farpoint” was commercials seemingly every 6 minutes, and that same “eh” feeling I had with ST:TMP.

I’m hugely excited for this project. I feel that this may be the first time Trek is really given the cash and treated with respect. Even the best Trek films were often budget-conscious attempts to milk the ol’ cash cow. TWOK was made on an incredible shoe-string. Although I must agree on the star factor – let’s make stars, not cast them. There’s plenty of good actors out there that don’t require a $20MM paycheck.

And if you think it’s hot now, with the right trailer the buzz on this film will be off the scale. Theatre ushers will be equipped with pooper-scoopers for the previews.

I still like “Star Trek: The Bombing Of Lexington”.
With all due respect to Stanky.

On another note, If it were up to me, (and it’s not, decidedly) I kind of like the bookend idea with Shatner and Nimoy. Totally disregard that Kirk was ALLEGEDLY bumped off in Generations, and have he and Spock reminiscing (maybe at a wake for Scotty or Bones, or both) about the first time they all had come together or met at the Academy. You could tie in the old with the new, casting-wise, and perhaps have a good place to launch a new series of adventures.

Oh yeah, DO NOT change the design of the Enterprise under any circumstances. I can live with new actors playing the roles, that’s just a fact of life. People get older. But the E doesn’t. She justs gets better lighting. I am probably going to go against the grain here, but I say dig out Greg Jein’s “Tribbleations” model from DS9. I just think that I, for one prefer the way the models appear on film. Maybe that was my problem with the Enterprise E in the movies.

This is really scraping from the bottom of the barrel if this site is getting news from IESB. Its like getting Internet news from Wikipedia and the National Enquirer.

If they were going to go with a recast I would think unknowns would have to be the way to go Its not going to make anyone happy though. Thoise days have come and gone after TNG. .Much like the Star Wars Prequels nobody knew who these people were and its the faith of just has Star Trek to carry the film because people are too fanboy-ishly stupid to see anything else. Much of the movie will be spent on special effects given in the past they kept saying it will be more of action flick and nothing else. This interview confim’s my fears of something intelligent for once. I’ve seen his past work on Action flicks before and …its just a little muddy with room for improvement. for story and character content. Just something these little boys lack.

Probably the smartest interview from Orci unless it was scripted

naturally the performance of the actors will be bitched about out no matter what.

The success of TNG had little to do with the old remnants of TOS that were still around. In fact, there were so many people there at the beginning who were insulted that TNG was being made at all without the original cast that the biggest diehards (fools) refused to watch it and wanted it to fail. No, TNG succeeded on its own merits because it was a damn good show. Anyone who says otherwise is possibly among the same group that was advocating a boycott in the first place.

That said, I’m all for this new movie and a fresh start, assuming they don’t sautee it in feces sauce. As much as I love TNG and would love to see them get a couple more movies, I also love the original series and I hope that this effort brings back the magic that was in the original series and the first six movies.

And for those who hate Generations for the way they dealt with Kirk, I heartily agree. The movie was sub-par because it concerned itself way too much with the passing of the torch and the meeting of the captains rather than exploring the TNG cast beyond the series finale.

Star Trek has always worked well with relatively unknowns in the roles, eg: “Unknown Shakespearean Actor” Patrick Stewart. And on the success of subsequent spin offs, TNG, was one of the highest viewed shows in SYNDICATION, then Paramount Launched UPN, and put all the pressure on Trek, it should b e noted the UPN only reached 60percent of the viewing public, thus cutting out a large part of the demographic, this also impacted ratings of the later series, inc. Enterprise.

The long and short of the matter is that this movie is the last chance for Trek to continue to exist (in new movies, eps.) if it fails, Trek is dead, if it takes flight, well, here come a couple of more Movies and series (lets see the USS Titan!). As for the budget, let’s hope it’s not too big as the bigger the budget the bigger the more net profit Paramount will expect, I personaly doubt it will gross 500 mil, more likely 200mil, so lets hope the budget will be around 80 – 90 mil.

Thanks THX, the bombing of Lexington make take place…..LOL

#13 Diabolik, your “echos and flavor” leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
I can watch and enjoy the best episodes from any of the five series and appreciate that it has a source material, a bedrock called “Star Trek”, but each series was not just another half twist on the original format. Their success was not based solely on the bedrock, but that and what was built atop it. You won’t agree, but that’s your problem.
Star Trek before the sister series were concieved was a single show with a rich back story. Star Trek now is a rich universe of people, places and events that shape an imaginative future time. This movie just recalls a part of that now-enormous story.
I look forward to this new start with an old friend. It’s time to begin the next 40 years….

Ahead full, Mr. Sulu
Engage, Mr. Data
Warp six, old man
Let’s go, Mr. Paris
Steady as she goes, Travis


White stripes and black stripes… a perfect and completely new way of seeing the franchise’s oldest problem.

Voyager and Enterprise both struggled with being “accessible” at the cost of the fans… or were so technobabble-ridden as to cut out outsiders. To weave both together in a functional manner would be nearly impossible… but, if they did it right, it’s richly rewarding.

I’m also pleased that my most quiet reboot fears have finally been put to rest. This man knows his canon. Hooray.

#26: TNG was not “one of” the highest rated syndicated show. It was *the* highest-rated syndicated show.

I would say these comments pretty much confirm that it isn’t a reboot. The black and white stripes analogy wouldn’t work if Trek XI is a completely different zebra than the rest of the franchise.

It sounds like J.J. and all of the related producers know what Star Trek is about. That makes it almost certain that this movie will be better than, say, Nemesis, the worst of all ten. The director of that didn’t know jack about anything.

I’m still hoping for a post-VOY era series to come out if this movie is successful. I like the pre-TOS era, but not enough to have another series in it. Not enough happens, and it’s simply too hard to make up new and compelling bad guys without screwing with history. TO THE FUTURE.


I don’t think they do conifirm that it’s a reboot. I’m hopeful that it is not. He mentions that they are taking into account what the fans want and know Trek canon quite well. He mentions filling in gaps that fans want to see. That doesn’t sound like a complete reboot to me.

Certain things will need an update. Sets will need to be modified to look more high-tech (definately costructed from better materials). Costumes need to be made from a better material. Every woman will not look they just stepped out of a dance club in the 1960’s. A slightly updated look doesn’t necessarily mean a reboot. Aliens in Trek had been updated many times. Klingons (not just the forehead, the make-up has evolved quite a bit from TMP), Romulans and Borg have all changed in their look.

I like the fact that he mentions unknowns possibly being cast.

If it is a complete reboot, maybe “Some kind of Kirk” means, like Starbuck from the Battlestar reboot. Jane Cleopatra Kirk ;P

More non-information information to get people all worked up over nothing.

The “fill in the blanks” thing makes me think that the movie will adhere to canon a lot more then what people think…

All you fans that are waiting for a scenes like Gary Mitchell steering a blond lab tech Kirk”s way are going to be in for a hell of a disappointment!!! It’s going to be a reboot.

So maybe I missed it, but has it ever been clearly stated whether the movie exists within the same universe as all the other live action portrayals? If not, why not? Why hasn’t something so basic been pegged down?

Some kind of Kirk = George Kirk? His father?

The most interesting period-to me post-ENT & pre-TOS is the Romulan War, that would also fit very well with an action film. On a starship in space.

(All opinion and hopes, no proof)

#34. They did that in the My Brother’s Keeper Novels!

Forget what he’s saying. It’s a reboot, for God’s sake. What else would it be in order to bring in the kind of movie-going demographic that delivers box office gold to stuff like Spiderman and Pirates of the Carribbean? While it may indeed be accessible to fans, I guarantee you it ain’t being made for ’em, no matter what he says. Ultimately, it ain’t his decision anyway, but JJ Abrams’.

Reboot. That’s exactly what it needs, going back to its roots and starting all over. Wipe the slate clean, I say and explore all the possibilities while cherishing what made it so uniquely iconoclastic. Now does that mean making it so blatantly unfamiliar that it borders on sacrilege and riots break out in the streets? No, but just imagining from a whole new perspective so that even non-fans can get into it.

As far as all of this “backstory” and “canon” stuff, that’s up to TPTB to decide, not public sentiment. The only “canon” and “backstory” Abrams & Co. need concern themselves with is what occured between the years 2200-2299. It ain’t about A, B, C, or bloody D. They can either stand or fall on their own.

Well good to see this Orci guy adn the other writer (whats his name?) wrote the story and not that moron Abrams (who knows nothing about Trek) these 2 writers state they’ve seen the other series and thats a comforting fact to know!

I’ve always thought they will hire unknowns for the main cast – unknowns with slight resembalence to Shatner and Nimoy (similar to what happened with Superman Returns – Routh was a little like Reeve)..I could never buy Damon wanting to do it – he’s too big a star.

and pepper big stars for smallish roles (e.g. Capt Pike etc) after all isnt there quite a few A list actors who are big Trek fans? (e.g. Hanks) – I bet they would love to be in a decent Trek film.

Although i’m in favour of Jim Cavizel for Pike – for the jesus/hunter connection

Is this a reboot then or what !?
I thought JJ. Abrams said that the new film would “embrace canon” (i.e. not screw up established continuity).
Surely it can’t be a reboot which also respects the established timeline can it ?

In answer to everyone’s questions:

Is it a reboot? Only the insiders know, and they aren’t telling..
What will be the title? Only the insiders know, and they aren’t telling..
Will it embrace canon? Only the insiders know, and they aren’t telling..
Who will be in it? If anyone, only the insiders know, and they aren’t telling..
Any other question you can think of: Only the insiders know, and they aren’t telling..

There. Now just wait for real information and quit guessing.


No reboot here, just a re-make. You can forget everything after 1968, it’s simply a remake of Star Trek. The question is, will it be an Addam’s Family or Mchale’s Navy? Only time will tell.

“Q: What’s your feeling about all the fans going on about Kirk and Spock and just everyone not being able to accept that it’s going to be a REBOOT and is there any frustration on your end?”

^ the guy interviewing Roberto Orci here seems to think it IS a reboot, and Roberto Orci isn’t denying it , but then on the other hand we have J.J saying “don’t worry fans – it embraces canon” and that they will be “very respectful” to the franchise – very confusing, extremely frustrating !!!

I want a PREQUEL about the early days of Kirk and Spock – no remake, no reboot, no “re-imagining” dammit !!


Destroying the carefully maintained 40 year continuity of the franchise would be a disaster people !!

I imagine it’ll be a combo of the two (prequel in regard to the story, events etc…..reboot of the ships, uniforms, technology…so sorta like what TMP, then TWOK was to TOS – only this time with diff actors of course)

As Ron Moore said, it’s not about cntinuity. Start frsh Abrams, it’s the best way to keep this thing alive.

45. snake – June 19, 2007
“I imagine it’ll be a combo of the two (prequel in regard to the story, events etc…..reboot of the ships, uniforms, technology…so sorta like what TMP, then TWOK was to TOS – only this time with diff actors of course) ”

That would be the best outcome.


Or the WORST outcome depending on your point of view… ;)

Myself, I’d rather they DIDN’T do a wholesale dramatic “overhaul” of the original TOS series ship, uniforms, technology… if they plan a TOS era Movie, as those designs were already fantastic.

Stanky is right, this is just non-news of any substance so far again.

thats a point – what if its set in the ‘lost years’ inbetween TOS and the TMP or even TMP and TWOK?

nah – cant see it – it’ll be pre TOS

Good news about not looking for big-name stars, so for the love of Pete, would you guys *please* at least *audition* the great BEN BROWDER for Kirk?