Orci: ‘Star Trek’ is two movies in one

In yet another interview (this time with Latino Review) screenwriter Roberto Orci talks about how the new Trek is being made to appeal to fans of the franchise as well as those unfamiliar with it. He also draws a distinction with Tranformers which had a smaller fanbase, saying: 

‘Transformers’ is gonna get us nice and ready for the fans on ‘Star Trek.’ We’ve learned a lot, actually, from that.  Again we, we’re diligent about, with J.J. Abrams, and with Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, agreeing what we all wanted to see first.  And then this one, on ‘Star Trek,’ for example we don’t have the advantage or the luxury of the fact no one has ever seen it.  People know what ‘Star Trek’ is. We don’t have the advantage of the fact (that Transformers has) the giant robots or something.

So we are more protective of that story because the intellectual property that is, the surprises of that story are, in a way, the spectacle of it.  And so we are a little bit more worried about that getting out.  But we feel pretty confident, you know. I was a diehard fan.  Damon and I are crazy fans, J.J. and Alex are like mid-level fans and then Bryan Burk doesn’t know anything about it.  So it pleases all of us, I think, what we’re doing, and hopefully that’s going to be the litmus test that it’s going to prevail.

Orci also had this exchange on who the film is for and if it is a prequel or not:

Latino Review:  What do you want to bring to ‘Star Trek’ that say, like my kids for example, who don’t know ‘Star Trek’…
Orci:  That’s exactly what I want to bring.  I want it to be an introduction to that world and I want to take it for granted.  I don’t want it to, no colons on the ‘Star Trek, Five and a Half.’ It fits in between this and that, you know, it’s ‘Star Trek.’  If you’ve never seen ‘Star Trek’ or anything about ‘Star Trek,’ this is for you.  And if you’re a fan, you’re going to see a different movie because you’re absolutely going to see references and you’re absolutely going to see a different movie if you’re a fan.  It’s actually very interesting to us, and I can’t wait for that to come out because it literally is two movies in one.
Latino Review:  So is it more like a prequel or not?
Orci:  Sort of.

It slices, it dices!
I know the word parsers are going to go nuts on this so here is my view. Orci is saying that the film is a prequel for us fans and an introduction for others. In a technical sense the film is undeniably a prequel because it takes place before TOS and includes known characters from that universe. However, it is important for Paramount (and for the budget that the producers want) to be able to sell the movie (both internally and externally) as a film you do not need to know about Trek to enjoy. This may be hard for some Trek fans to deal with, but it is an economic reality. However as he mentions here and as I reported from my conversations with him last week there is plenty in the script for the fans…you just don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the film. Of course the same could be said of other Trek films as well, especially STII, STIV and to some extend STFC.  


Read the full interview at Latino Review

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Ahem, First.


More of the same. Nothing new.

Everything I read makes me all warm and fuzzy inside it just keeps getting better and better.


Two movies in one would be perfect if there is a good chunk for older and younger Kirk.

Remember the 4 movie posters from last year? If this film was going to be an introduction of star trek, it’s logical that characters from all the series will be starring in. And I bet that Kirk is the center of the story. Maybe we`ll see the real Kirk (old Shatner) traveling inside the nexus through time and space to see what was and what will be….think of the lost scenes from st7:generations that we only could read in the novel!! That’s what we are going to see!! The many little stories or connections between Kirk’s first adventure, meeting spock, the time on the 1701, 1701-A, his death and beyond….maybe it’s a kind of documentary style – an introduction to star trek!

huh ? 4 posters? there is only one.

and logical to assume this is a crossover movie from all series? did you read the above article?

Does a movie with Janeway, Kirk, Picard, Sisko, etc, etc sound like something that would work with a wide audience. I am sorry but what you descibe there sounds like it would be boring even to trek fans. It would certainly be box office poison

Maybe there’s some information I have overlooked, but this sounds to me more like a re-imagining of Star Trek than a real prequel. Not a total reboot, of course, but you’ve got new actors playing old roles and, potentially (if there are sequels to this film yet to come), continuing in those roles until way past the events of TOS season 1. For that reason, this whole project strikes me as a fresh start with established plot points to steer by…not unlike Batman Begins or Casino Royale.

Isn’t this the same thing that they tried with Enterprise? They wanted new fans with Enterprise and Enterprise failed. Just curious.

Enterprise was put together by a couple of no talent hacks.

I recommend reading a book called Enterprise: The First Adventure, by Vonda McIntyre. Solid story which shows a possible first story of how Kirk took command.


Basically a similar idea to this movie, though I’m sure a much different story.

The point is that done well, a prequel CAN work.

Enterprise was not a prequel done well.

I guess even non Trek fans know about Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise.

There have been 4 posters!! :-) Only one – the first – revealed!


FOR ME these posters are more than fakes…as presumed before!

“Eventually” the posters are fakes, BUT the idea behind might be true…

I just want to say you guys have done a great job with this site, it has really become the forefront of trek news on the web. It’s definitely helping me with my withdrawls of what 2 years now!

“And if you’re a fan, you’re going to see a different movie because you’re absolutely going to see references and you’re absolutely going to see a different movie if you’re a fan.”

What does the above mean?

Seen the Sixth Sense?

The second time you see the movie, you’re essentially watching a different movie than you were the first time. It works on both levels.

So will this.

If you really want to get a very good idea of how this movie will be then you need to start watching LOST. Its that simple. LOST = J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk = flashback 101 classes. In the nexus time has no meaning. So you can go back or forward. Also In the nexus people have an eco of themselves even when there not there. :) And then you have the Q factor. He could grant Spock one last wish. Spock standing over the grave of Kirk. Q could pop in for a good debate with Spock regarding Mankind , Death and friendship and so forth. The simplest way to get past Kirks death in Generations would be to get Spock into the nexus. My bet is anything to do with time travel is out! Again watching LOST is the key flashback 101.

Major Joe Ely Carrales, CAP – July 1, 2007
“And if you’re a fan, you’re going to see a different movie because you’re absolutely going to see references and you’re absolutely going to see a different movie if you’re a fan.”

What does the above mean?


To all naysayers. Despite all the cryptic interviews that have been given, I say we just give them time. The only visualization for this film we have seen was a teaser poster, which most fans seemed to love. Of course when we hear or think prequel we’re going to think of Enterprise, which, well, needed some work. We have a fresh crew on board this time, as in film crew, so we honestly should give them a chance. Hardcore fans don’t like their show/film messed with, but this could be different. If it weren’t for this, Star Trek would simply live on as a collection of 10 films and 5 television series. As a fan of Star Trek, let’s give them a chance. We have apparent major announcements coming this month via Comic Con and more to come as production gets going this fall. Once something more solid than another interview with the writers, who obviously don’t want to give much away, let’s not all jump to rash conclusions.

#9: “Enterprise was not a prequel done well.”

But it WAS a prequel.

#9: “Enterprise was put together by a couple of no talent hacks.”

I can’t argue with that. I’m just glad that they chose to take a “back seat” during the last season, even though it was a little late.

#8: “They wanted new fans with Enterprise and Enterprise failed.”

After four seasons. As I recall, TOS only lasted for THREE.

#18 Shadow6283

If you know something more than this site reports that factually says a reboot, I’ll let you say “I told you so”.
Otherwise, In My Opinion…you are throwing gasoline around in here again.


#17 Spud

It’s your opinion, but don’t you think that’s a little too obvious?


Star Trek: The Wrath of the Doublemint Twins might be two, two, two movies in one… but that doesn’t mean we need two Kirks.

The Makers are certainly saying all of the right things. I have the feeling of being successfully wooed.

The casting will be the next big news. And, the next test of their competence.

(By the way, I agree with Anthony about “First” having grown tiresome, especially when the first post is little more than a triumphant declaration of having been the first person to post a trite non-commentary, which is, then, followed by several, posted, failed attempts at the aforementioned greatness.)

At this point I agree with Anthony.

I think you will see updated sets/special effects and the film will deal with current topics rather than the hot button issues of the 1960,s.

As well as obviously have new actors playing the TOS characters,but I think they will stay with the old continuity.

If this is the case I think it’s the best way to go.

PS: Just from a fan’s perspective I hope they did indeed find a way to write Shatner + Nimoy in as they mentioned this week. We should know fairly soon.

I think they dont want to do a reboot and they wont. But the studio wants a reboot so they call it reboot even if it isn’t.

I have to wonder about this whole “it’s for the fans and it’s for newcomers as well”. Many Star Trek-films have claimed this to be the case and it never happened. Pardon me for saying but with a 40-year-franchise, it’s hard for newcomers not to be intimidated. I know a lot of people that think one has to have that knowledge in order to enjoy Star Trek.

9: Enterprise: The First Adventure
Personally, that book just reads as wrong, they knew what happened in the pilot – Pike etc. but chose to ignore it. Where was Mitchell? How did Dr MacCoy get there so early?

Too many holes…. and what is with the winged horses!

If Shatner appears as Kirk, I doubt very much that the Nexus will receive much focus in explaining why he’s not dead, especially if “new” audiences aren’t to be baffled.

There will be no Nexus, no Q, nothing that a newbie audience would go Huh? to. Simple story will prevail and if Shatner is in it, it will as likely be playing his grandad down on the farm. Has to be. No other way.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

What’s that noise?

It’s my head against the wall trying to drown out the comments of those who think they have figured out what the movie will be like from the few non-informational comments that have been dished out so far.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

There. That’s better.

What did Roddenberry always try to say? The audience IS NOT DUMB! So please, Moore and Braga were not able to present us a dangerous borg collectice because that would have been to complicated. I ask you, where is the spirit of “star trek: the motion picture”? The nexus is too complicated? Hey, please! We’re talking about STAR TREK and not about Pokemon etc.!!! With that kind of thinking Kubrick’s “2001” would never have been made.

It’s your opinion, but don’t you think that’s a little too obvious?

No I don’t. If we are to see any kind of older Kirk post Generations. It will be in the form of what if. JJ will not simple ignore Generations and Kirks death. JJ cannot afford to simply ignore the fans that will make up about 1/2 of the revenue brought in. JJ cant cheat the fans regarding Kirks death. William Shatner will only appear as Kirk IMO. So will Leonard Nimoy only appear as Spock IMO. Perhaps this is why Leonard Nimoy was singed on already. Its easer to do the flash back with Spock as he is still alive. The core of this movie will deal with a young Kirk and Spock. Two movies in one? If you build it “right” they will come.

#21. Xai – July 1, 2007
#18 Shadow6283

If you know something more than this site reports that factually says a reboot, I’ll let you say “I told you so”.

Otherwise, In My Opinion…you are throwing gasoline around in here again.

Don’t you mean antimatter?

I’m throwing something around here that, as typified by your response, is sorely lacking: Common sense, and you’d better get used to it or else you’re really going to be unnerved come 2008 when that movie finally comes out.

Star Trek: Apocalypse

J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk have been handed the rains to the Star Trek franchise. They have been given a budget that doubles all the previous movies. Its about 100 Million. They are beining asked to save it. Now if you are in there seats how do you fill the theater seats? The fans make up about 1/2 to 1/3 the revenue stream. So you need to bring in new fans and yes old ones back as well. Old school baby boomers that grew up in the 60’s. This is why they need Shatner and Nimoy. Baby boomers will come out in droves to see one last ride just from them two. Even if its a small but meaningful part. Then they will also need to target the LOST and MI3 fans as well. So 1. You need a very good story with lots of action, adventure and drama. 2. You go back to what worked best 40 years ago. 3.You respect the franchise and perhaps just do a mild reboot meaning younger actors with some of the mannerisms the original actors had. What better consultants to have for input then Shatner and Nimoy. And some small upgrades like the movies did as well. My bet is this will be the best Star Trek movie made.

#25: “There is no single definition of the word reboot.”

That’s a lie. Check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reboot_(continuity)

It states: “Reboot, in serial fiction, means to discard all previous continuity in the series and start anew. Effectively, all previously-known history is declared by the writer to be null and void and the series starts over from the beginning.”

I think that’s a pretty clear definition.

#20, you cannot possibly judge Enterprise as more successful than TOS because of # seasons. Enterprise survived because of the lousy network, combined with the ridiculous belief that fans will keep coming back despite the poor quality. It was the Star Trek name that kept the show on the air for so long. On a real network, it wouldn’t have survived half a season.

Enterprise had a fraction of the audience TOS had.

As for Shatner playing a granddad of Kirk, that’s just a stupid idea. It’s so stupid, I would expect it from Berman or Braga. It’s not something I would expect out of this team.


I still think Enterprise (and TNG and DS9) is better than TOS. There’s not really any amount of convincing that will make me change my mind. Sorry.

The question, will TOS be TNGised while its represented in our time? Is the TNGisation a must we can’t get away from?


Star Trek 6 wasn’t released THAT long ago. Unless the 90’s is considered a long long time ago.

When he said two movies in one, I took it as a movie for Star Trek fans and not fans also.

It’ll be a reboot in terms of ‘slightly’ updating the uniforms, ships, sets, SFX, actors etc (therefore in a similar way to TMP being a reboot of TOS and TWOK being a reboot of TMP)

and they probably won’t deviate too much from what they were…(Abrams teaser poster)

other than that its a prequel to TOS

Theres plenty to use – both TOS and Star Trek II had heaps of backstory they can use (USS Farragut, Pike, Gary Mitchell, Kirks family from Operation Omlette, the Kobiashi Maru, Carol Marus, Sarek etc etc…theres so much)

I think that it”l draw on Wrath quite a lot too as they KNOW its fucking EVERYONEs fave film and the only trek film that can be realistically be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Star Wars (originals), Blade Runner , Alien etc

so i think thats what that writer meant when he said its gonna be like Wrath in the other article – not a crummy obvious recreation (like Nemesis) but a prequel to it – drawing on the backstory hinted at in that wonderful film….

I have a suspicion that Abrams and Co WONT use Shatner as Kirk as that would require flash fowards taking into account silly Generations ..nexus…Kirk falling off a bridge etc ..or an X3 cgi make over to set it pre Generations etc blah blah blah …yeah right they are sure to go to any of that trouble…

i think Shats will be Kirks pops

And Nimoy? – maybe a cameo as…Sarek?…a vulcan elder?….or maybe he WILL be Spock in old age (yeah post TNG even) – recountuing the story of how it (‘It’ being TOS) all began to the audience like some wise old Vulcan…..

Yes i like the sound of that….that way Nimoy would be Spock again and Shats Kirks pops – everyones appy!


I thought that’s what they said it was. A fan sees the movie differently than a non-fan sees the movie.

Imagine if this new film is released and its so amazingly brilliant and it becomes so critically revered that it actually breaks out of the trek niche and movie goers love it (as do the trek fans) and it ends up doing about 400 million worldwide…

That would get along with the information we got from the last interview but maybe also it has a deaper meaning…

IMHO Shatner and Nimoy would not take part in any kind of major reboot that simply wipes out all of the work and story line put in to the first six movies and even parts of Generations. IMO when Nimoy says it has to be meaningful. He’s not just referring to a big pay day now folks. This is not just another Priceline commercial having fun. Nimoy has a good reputation. Shatner as much as I love him he would sell his tush to the devil for the right price. IMHO Shatner would love to undo his death Generations. IMO He knows that it was a big mistake and has had 13 years to think about it. IMO the reboot comes in the form of the younger crew. Kirks first mission with Spock. A movie in a movie. Flashback LOST style.

#43: “It’ll be a reboot in terms of ’slightly’ updating the uniforms, ships, sets, SFX, actors etc.”

That’s not a reboot. That’s “tweeking the aesthetics”. If they don’t ignore the established STORY, then it is not a reboot.

(See Post #37)

ok its a tweek then

Here a tweek, there a tweek, everywhere a tweek tweek!!!