Update On Production, Budget and Casting

Pre-production on the new Star Trek feature film is in full force right now. Most of the Bad Robot team including director J.J. Abrams have moved onto the Paramount lot in the last month and according to sources their little golf carts can be seen speeding all over the place. Most design work is complete and construction has been on going since September on a number of Paramount stages, including 4, 8, 9, 14 and 15…all of which have seen past Trek productions. Stages 8 and 9 have the most Trek history, having been in almost constant use for Trek films and TV from 1978 (Phase II/TMP) through 2005 (ENT). The production is also still expected to use some stages on the Universal lot as well.

A word you hear a lot from those working on this film is ‘epic.’ A source tells TrekMovie.com that this film will have more sets than any other Trek film to date. That being said, the source also said that Abrams wants to do a lot of location work for the film. Apparently Abrams wants the film to "feel as real as possible" and if there is a scene in a building or a cave Abrams wants to use a real building or cave (with appropriate set dressing). The Star Trek shoot starts November 5th and will run to next March making it the longest Trek shoot since Star Trek The Motion Picture. There is still a tentative plan late in the shoot to do two weeks in Iceland (which itself will also be a Trek first). Rehearsals are slated to start next week.

Big budget…but not that big
For a long time the TrekMovie.com Star Trek 2008 Info Page had the budget stated at $100+ Million, and it was later updated to an estimate of $120 Million both of which were based on studio sources. The flux may be attributed to the fact that the film’s budget itself has been in flux (and apparently still is to an extent). Moviehole is now reporting that Paramount and Abrams have settled on a budget around $150-$160 Million. However, a source close to the finances tells TrekMovie.com that the number is "somewhere in between" our earlier $120 estimate and the Moviehole’s $150 Million. Regardless, the new Star Trek film will be the most expensive Trek film to date, coming in at twice as much as the last film Star Trek Nemesis. The most expensive previous film was actually the first (Star Trek: The Motion Picture), which cost around $110 Million in today’s dollars. Even though the new Star Trek is in a whole new ballpark for the franchise, the budget will still be less than J.J. Abrams’ first Paramount film Mission Impossible III. It is also less than this year’s Transformers which was written by Star Trek’s co-writing team of Orci and Kurtzman. But Paramount are clearly expecting Trek to be one of their two mass market tentpoles (along with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) for 2008. 

Pike and Mr. & Mrs. Kirk…no Garrovick
Last January TrekMovie.com reported that Captain Chris Pike and Kirk’s brother George Samuel Kirk would make an appearance in the new Trek film. In their story about Cho as Sulu, The Hollywood Reporter has now confirmed Pike will be in the film along with both of Kirk’s parents. It isn’t clear if Kirk’s brother is in the current draft and the confusion could be that Kirk’s father may share the same name as his brother (if the writers used the non-canon books reference for Kirk’s father’s name). According to THR Pike and Kirk’s parents have not yet been cast. The January TrekMovie.com article also stated that Capt. Garrovick (Kirk’s commander on the Farragut) would be in the film, but apparently that was from an earlier version of the script and is no longer the case. Check the updated cast page for the list of known characters and actors.

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This is starting to look like a long movie. Lots of backstory? JT Kirk’s parents…. being present at their son’s promotion to captain maybe?

Lots of location filming (Iceland) would tend to drive up the budget.

Epic! Epic! Epic !

OK listen up people…

$150 million is about the same budget as Batman Begins & Casino Royale and around $100 million more than Nemesis! ($60 million)…

plus 2005s Star Wars III was ‘only’ about $110 million and War of the Worlds $130 million

Previous Trek movie Budgets: (obviously a lot more if you convert them to todays money)
1 – 45m
2 – 11m
3 – 16m
4 – 25m
5 – 28m
6 – 30m
7 – 35m
8 – 45m
9 – 58m
10 – 60m

oh and dont forget 1999s GALAXY QUEST which was pretty much a Trek film
Budget – $45m

as for Kirks Parents – that obviously opens the door for His SHATNESS to be in the movie…RIGHT??!!?? After all as we all know Bill Shatner with a moustache played Sam Kirk in “Operation” in season 1 didnt he……now would it be THAT much of a stretch for him to play Pappy Kirk?!~?

Good news!

#5, re: Shatner as Kirk’s dad.

I think it would certainly be possible, and may be the most “organic” way of fitting Shatner into the film, but (speaking for myself) I think it would be terribly distracting. I’d much rather see a scene between people that I believed to be James Kirk and his father, not James Kirk and oh-my-god-Captain-Kirk-himself-Shatner “playing” his father as an homage.

If Shatner’s in the film, he should be JT Kirk. If not, then he shouldn’t be in it at all.

“Apparently Abrams wants the film to “feel as real as possible” and if there is a scene in a building or a cave Abrams wants to use a real building or cave…” YES! I’m loving it!

Oh, and I’d love to know what the (apparently now removed) scene with Garrovick would have been about!


I’m thinking why Iceland, which has a fiery and volcanic rock terrain, and keep coming up with the volcanic landscape of Talos IV.


I’m so tired of the Made-for-tv TNG Movies!

Im loving the word “Epic”

Exciting news!

Yay! FInally, they’re giving Star Trek what it deserves!

ok this getting all to exciting. The term “epic” IMO refers to a film in the ranks of say, 2001: A Space Oddyessy or Ben-Hur, that scale of epics.

“100 day of shooting”, “Epic”, “Location shooting”, humm
Are they going to rebuild the Bridge of the Enterprise or use one used for filming now? Sounds like they ARE planning to make several movies.

Is it too early to start ticket sales???


Did you read the

MSN article

‘Star Trek’ Phasers Set on Snooze


Thanks for the info Anthony, you guys do a hell of a job here.

So when all is said (filmed) and done, what do we call this cast or movie?

1. Star Trek Classic Trek?
2. Star Trek Classic Trek Retro?
3. Star Trek The Next Classic Generation?
4. Old Trek?
5. New Trek?

Remember New Coke and Classic Coke?

They should cast ME as Pike.
There. I’ve said it.
(And I look the part… and I can act…yoo-hoo, JJ!)

Yeah…Shat role: daddy! Why not? It’s so over the top, it’s brilliant!

I don’t like the idea of the Shat as dad. Only because Leonard Nimoy is in there as Spock, then The Shat has to be Kirk. If Nimoy wasn’t Spock in the film, then yeah, maybe Shat could be the Dad.

It is too bad he doesn’t have a son who could play a young Shat.

Oh, and this MSN article seems to be nothing but crap. I don’t know about the rest of you here but I’m excited so far from what I’ve read. There’s a lot of buzz orbiting this film and this read like an attempted buzz kill.

18. Dave – October 12, 2007
“So when all is said (filmed) and done, what do we call this cast or movie?”

‘Fake TreK’ ;)


Shatner should play an older version of Kirk. Just as Leonard Nimoy is being allowed to play the older version of Spock.

re: #18:

I’m thinking it’ll end up with another 2- or 4-character abbreviation (TMP, TWOK, TSFS, TVH, etc). So far I haven’t seen anything more direct and to the point than Anthony’s “Star Trek (2008)”.

So, “ST08” it is.


Lets just hope this flick will make a profit and more Fake errr.. Movies will be made :-)

i would love to see shatner as a daddy… :D
seriously, having shatner as kirk’s father is a brilliant idea and i hope they’ll do exactly that.
as for the name… i suggest “Star Trek: Back to the Future”.

#16. I read the MSN Hollywood Hitlist article. Here is a Quote from the article: “Give the fans and moviegoers in general something to get hyped up about, Mr. Abrams. Based on this cast, your movie is gonna need it.”

They do not seem all that impressed. The writer must have left the top off his mayo jar. Mr. Ellwood appears to be basing an opinion of the movie based on the lack of hype, and his opinion of the cast. He obviously doesn’t frequent this web site.

Paramount is putting a lot of trust and dollars into JJ’s hands. Being a “True” trek fan for 40 years, all I can say is ‘so far so good.’

440 dtST

oh and #11 (talos iv): suddenly there is a new sense to what will happen on november 13.
the screening of “the menagerie” would prepare the audience for the new film! so you might be right about talos… but that would mean the involvement of pike, wouldn’t it? as far as we know, visiting the planet was forbidden after “the cage” and this rule was only broken once. i see no way of keeping that and still tell a story with kirk’s crew on talos.

Man, things are speeding up. I need to get my resume and demo reel into ILM in the next couple of months. I want to do some CGI on this movie. :)

No Gary Mitchell? :-( That’s kind of disappointing. I’m very curious to see how (if?) they’ll address WNMHGB continuity issues. Very thankful we’ll see Pike, though.

And btw, 27 – that “left the top off his mayo jar” line cracked me up.


We wants em!!!

I am very exiting and pleased that Paramount is finally going to make Star Trek MOVIE with the TOS cast(at their prime) then those telemovies after TMP. The words,,epic,, and ,,more sets than any other Trek film to date,, are really encouraging indeed. As for Abrams stated that he wants XI to “feel as real as possible” gives me hopes this movie is on track and will be great success.

#3; Lots of location filming (Iceland) would tend to drive up the budget.

Actually the taxing system in Iceland for Hollywood movie producers is quite good in Iceland. Icelandic government will compensate some % of the cost shooting in Iceland back to movie producers. This was main reason why Batman Begins and Flag of our Fathers were shoot in Iceland .Besides Iceland has many exotic location who is popular with movie companies..

Hopefully they’re serious about the “epic” thing. It seems like EVERY director making a scifi movie nowadays likes to talk about their movie being epic, and they almost never are.

Shatner and Majel Barrett-Roddenberry as Kirks’s parents has my vote.

Nay no Kirk’s dad for Shatner. Save him for his cameo at the end of the film when Nimoy’s Spock returns to his time in the ‘restored’ timeline!

Kirk’s Daddy not yet cast. Wonder who’s on the short list??
Hell, it would make a great cameo. I know they’ve all said that’s not what Shatner wants… but COME ON!

Anyway, so nice to see Trek getting some studio respect.

Johnny, I’m gathering that you are an Icelandic native living in Iceland, no? If so, then it’s up to you, pal, to get us all the py stuff we are jonesing for. Now, go get yourself a job as a driver or craft services guy, bring your spy phone, snap some pics and get ’em to us, pronto.

What are the odds that the Guardian of Forever is in the movie… time travel… filming in Iceland… maybe Spock visits to see his old friends displayed by the Guardian…

Another thread hijacked. Shatner was not the subject.

NCC-73515 – October 12, 2007

oh and #11 (talos iv): suddenly there is a new sense to what will happen on November 13.
the screening of “the menagerie” would prepare the audience for the new film!

I was saying this last week. :)

but that would mean the involvement of pike, wouldn’t it? as far as we know, visiting the planet was forbidden after “the cage” and this rule was only broken once.

How about what happens to pike and how he got into that chair? :) And how Kirk takes command with his new crew. Old Spock will do a time travel or a flash back memory thing to set the stage. A story in a story.

sorry got the wrong link

there I meant this one:..:

flight recorder visual – 28.77


LOOK AT THOSE ARMS!!!..oh boy – I’m not too big am I? I dont want to scare the hell outta everyone!


Only one man could play the corpse of his own brother this convincingly.

I have a slight worry about how “epic” this film could be…

Bryan Singer used the term “epic” for Superman Returns, but all he did was rehash a 20 year old movie, and the film underperformed… Yes, I know that’s another genre, but that film was supposed to be “epic”…

I support what Abrams is doing with the franchise, but the term “epic” is used so loosely today that it could be more of a problem than anything else. To be honest, this is the first time that I’ve actually gotten worried about this film… You can’t just say it’s epic and expect people to take your word for it; you need to back it up with something.

oh shit i got *40* – WRONG….

It was supposed to be this one..

“She packed my bags….Last night …pre flight…Zero Hour……..9am….and I’m gonna be,…..HIGGGGHHHH……as a Kite by then….

Ohhhhh….i miss the earth so much……I…miss my wife!

It’s LONELY………out in sppace…

on such a…….

So, how do lesser known actors get the chance to audition for Mr. Abrams and Co? Any ideas or know about extras?

45 Aha .Now I get it.

Most design work is complete and construction has been on going since September on a number of Paramount stages, including 4, 8, 9, 14 and 15…

That’s what I’m talkin’ about! The sets, they are a buildin’!

INFILTRATE! With phone-cam! Anybody! ASAP!

Yes.Must infiltrate.