Orci, Burk and Quinto Talk ‘Star Trek’

The latest issue of SciFi magazine has a very good in depth article on the new Star Trek film. In addition to covering the background and casting, the article also has many quotes from co-writer Roberto Orci, executive producer Bryan Burk and the new Mr. Spock, Zachary Quinto. Some select quotes below on their approach to the franchise, Shatner’s possible role, Nimoy’ involvement and more.

Bryan Burk on why the Abrams team got involved with Trek

…we all felt like it was an incredible world that has existed for 40 years, and like some other great franchises, be it Batman or James Bond, it needed a boost by finding a new approach to the story and the world. It was too great to let it go away or continue on its current path. Because at its core there were these great characters and the belief of a hopeful future in this incredible universe that Gene [Roddenberry] created, it felt like this was a perfect place for us to jump in for our next big undertaking.

Orci discussed, as he has done before, that the film was a ‘reintroduction’ to the franchise and that it was ‘two films in one,’ meaning that it will be geared for the hardcore fans as well as the general public. Bob even noted that the film could be called ‘Star Trek Zero.’ But he assured fans that even though they are going back to TOS, there are plenty of gaps to cover:

If you are a fan of Star Trek, there is a lot of unexplored history . With The Original Series, there was so much that could have come before it. [On TV] it felt like it had been the The Next Generation and then The Next Next Generation, so it seemed like a fresh thing to go back to the source and go back to what happened before.

Quinto talked about how he looks to Nimoy and the script and not DVDs to guide him:

…we not only have the support of Leonard Nimoy, but we also have his involvement. When I have a questions about where this character is coming from or how this character would react, I can go directly to the source.

I haven’t watched any episodes up until now. I’ve been sparingly immersing myself in what was created before, in terms of the style and aesthetic. For me, the key to this whole experience is this character. All the ansers I need to find in order to define this character are in the text of the script.

Regarding the Shat, Orci went into a bit more detail on why that is not an easy issue:

Unfortunately, Shatner’s Captain Kirk was killed in Star Trek 7, so the difficulty there is not just ignoring that or explaining it away in an unsatisfactory way merely to get him back in. That is the struggle–the rigors of canon and not phoning it in just to have a cameo. From my point of view, it’s a very long shoot, and things can change. It’s just whether we can figure it out.

For much more, pick up the latest issue of SciFi Magazine.

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It will be quite a gymnastic feat to get Kirk back in after he died. Although, didn’t the say in Star Trek VII that a mirror or essence remained in the Nexus?

Translated = They never wanted Shatner

Quinto’s not watching TOS episodes? Mistake number one!

Sounds like a good interview. But come on Zach, at least watch a FEW episodes!

(Orci) “it’s a very long shoot, and things can change. It’s just whether we can figure it out.”

So does this mean “We wrote a part for Shatner, but negotiations stalled”?

“If contracts and availability and the WGA strike all align properly, we might be able to work Shatner in”?

Or, possibly, “ZOMG weer so tired uv shatner qwestions we be under gag order stop askin us it plsthx”?

Even though it was stupid for Shatner to die in VII, I’m glad they aren’t ignoring coninuity.

That Nexus nonsense. It was referred to as an echo. The echo can’t leave the Nexus because it is not the real person and it has no will of it’s own. Like your reflection in the mirror isn’t really you.

Of course none of this matters as it’s all pretend, so they should do what they like.

As long as they get rid of the hats.

“Unfortunately, Shatner’s Captain Kirk was killed in Star Trek 7, so the difficulty there is not just ignoring that or explaining it away in an unsatisfactory way merely to get him back in. That is the struggle–the rigors of canon and not phoning it in just to have a cameo. From my point of view, it’s a very long shoot, and things can change. It’s just whether we can figure it out.” — Robert Orci

Interesting. Very interesting indeed.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Some Quinto-centric blog has posted the whole article:


#2 Voodoo


I got just the opposite from Orci’s comments. Sounds to me like they want Shatner in, but the canon of STVII kind of blows that out of the water for now.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I like what they have to say about Christoper Pine and what he brings to the part. Clearly they understand the Kirk character very well – particularly his extraordinary intelligence and the need to communicate that, which is often taken for granted.

Yeah, well…..to be blunt…..if they wanted to co-ordinate an off-site forum of , say, the top ten “experts” who frequent this board then, maybe……just maybe TPTB could share the storyline of the film with that group and RECOMMENDATIONS could be made to help “massage” the outcome of this epic…………..remember, kiddies, you don’t have to WORK in Hollywood in order to have fresh, insightful ideas………….we’ll even work for scale.

Hey, I’ll be glad to sign an ironclad non-disclosure contract if I can be of some help! Anthony has my address…….. :)

Well, I’ve been hanging around here since the beginning and haven’t seen a plot idea yet that would be worth incorporating into the film…including mine. :lol:

Kicking back and not stressing about Dec. 2008. Looking forward to a great story, NO SPECULATION, and a great movie. But…still intrigued to see the Enterprise and the look of other ships.


I was surprised that Quinto had not watched a single episode of TOS? You would think that someone would compile a list of key episodes that he could work into his schedule.

“””Unfortunately, Shatner’s Captain Kirk was killed in Star Trek 7, so the difficulty there is not just ignoring that or explaining it away in an unsatisfactory way merely to get him back in. That is the struggle–the rigors of canon and not phoning it in just to have a cameo. From my point of view, it’s a very long shoot, and things can change. It’s just whether we can figure it out.”””

Kirks’s death was so poorly portrayed and forgettable by most non-shatner fans that a hokey bring back would go mostly unoticed by most general moviegoers. I only say this because I’ve burried that part from Generations so deep in my mind it’s hard to recall it anymore. Kirk’s resurrection is something that needs to be addressed on film and TV before Shatner’s Death. It’s coming and we all know it.

I think he’s indicated in the past that he’s seen some of “Star Trek.” But there’s no reason for him to delve into it as research – as he says, he’s drawing the character from the script and from his consultations with Nimoy.

Nothing that happens to the Spock character in TOS matters much here – because Quinto is playing the character before that series begins. “The Cage” might be of passing interest – if Quinto was playing against Jeffrey Hunter instead of Bruce Greenwood as Pike. :lol:

#9 Dennis Bailey

Thank you so much for posting the full article.

All I’ve got to say is wow. Just… WOW! I think these guys really, really get it, especially Orci. It’s my Xmas ’08 wish that their vision and love for this franchise translates on the big screen.

And on a side note, entirely too much *squeeing* on that site. Ick!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

The key is what ever the “punchline” is to this movie and where they want to take the franchise…..give me the climax (pardon the expression) to the flick and I can tell you WHERE the Shat could be worked in, if at all……….

Dennis, you’re too modest…….if you were PRIVY to the entire script, you could come up with four different (insert Shatner) options before breakfast!

I think people would enjoy life a lot better if they don’t fret about this movie, and they go watch it when it comes out and just try to have a good time.

This is entertainment, who really cares if cannon is strictly followed at this point. Batman Begins didn’t jive with the earlier movies, and truthfully so what. Just enjoy the movie for the story it tells, and throw the preconcieved notions out the window.

Short of cloning, you’ll never get actors who look and sound like the original characters, so don’t get hung up on those details. To expect the sets to look like cardboard cutouts made from the 1960s to be in a $100 million movie in 2008 is also not logical reasoning.

If it’s not your Star Trek, that’s fine. The world is beginning to pass us older folks behind. Just go into a store and look around. There are a lot of people walking around younger than us. This movie isn’t being made or us, it’s being made for the next generation of fans.

You’re welcome to either enjoy the new movie or not. But to sit there and expect the producers to make the movie exactly to our own expectations is just not reasonable. Let them make their movie. If it fails, well then we’ll go back to not having any more Star Trek movies. Which we don’t have any now, so we’d be no worse off.

This is a chance to get the franchise back off the ground. Let’s be positive and help it be reborn. Or you can sit there and mope and let it fail. It’s your choice, but I for one want to see more Star Trek. So I will overlook canon issues in favor of them telling A GOOD STORY. That’s all that really matters.

#18: “Nothing that happens to the Spock character in TOS matters much here – because Quinto is playing the character before that series begins.”
Agreed. It makes perfect sense that Quinto would avoid seeing TOS eppies to prevent Nimoy’s performances and the Spock character experiences from coloring his performance in a prequel, key word being “prequel.” Besides, he’s got the original well, so to speak, to drink from. Lucky him!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I’m convinced that some of the most creative minds in Hollywood are working on this project, and I have confidence that they will pull through and make a movie that doesn’t suck, like so many naysayers are worried (and sometimes “hoping”, it seems) they will make. And I agree with Jupiter1701 in that a good story is one of the primary goals, not matching nose contours or set design to the tee, although I clearly advocate something that is unmistakable as the things we’ve come to know (i.e., an Enterprise sans wings). Canon is important too, of course, and I think they will stay in line with it–but that doesn’t guarantee a good movie. Nemesis was in line with canon, and look what that got us…

Anyway, excellent article. Hear, hear!

Dennis, great link to that article. Thanks. It looks like Shatner is not in the movie because of fear of upsetting the fans who enforce canon law.

While I think Picard is the more realistic captain, it is a shame that ad hoc decisions take a life of their own. It would be cool to see Shatner play one last time.

So come on guys, lighten up on the canon thingie. You’re making me think I’m stuck in the middle of a fight about Vatican II!

I understand Quinto not wanting to watch the episodes, because he’s probably concerned he will start thinking in terms of what would Nimoy look or talk like at this juncture? Then again, Nimoy is a good person to ask because he is likely one of the few Trek actors who did watch the show and knows all the tidbits. Actors say they don’t watch their work, though. It’s more important for the writers to have watched the show.

As for Orci’s comments, I know he’s trying to be diplomatic. But like I said many moons ago, right at the start, when the possibility of having Shatner or Nimoy……..The we couldn’t figure out a way of writing Shatner back in because of Generations argument is not going to cut it! I said it then, I’ll say it now. That’s not a valid argument in my book. This is fiction, it’s “pretend” as someone said. The audience is not going to bash you if your story doesn’t fit every canon point in the past. And Yes Bob, for God’s sake Phone the flipping explaination of Kirk’s return in if it means getting Shatner back!!! We’re not going to hold that against you.

What he should have said, and frankly, so should Abrams, was that we wrote a script which centered on Spock, not Kirk. Writing an entire other subplot about the return of Kirk would have detracted from the main story about Spock. I wouldn’t be happy, but at least that is forthcoming. To say, yeah we wrote this script about Spock, and not Kirk, and then everybody started talking about Shatner, and now we’re trying to write Shatner in, but there’s probably no room for him, and blah blah blah blah. Keep everyone hanging for months and months. What would they have done if Nimoy turned them down? Didn’t they see Unification and Generations? Having one TOS actor alone is boring.

#23: “So come on guys, lighten up on the canon thingie. You’re making me think I’m stuck in the middle of a fight about Vatican II!”
But, Picard for President, it’s what Trekkies *do*! It’s been going on for 40 years; why stop now? }:-)

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Man, that article does a body good. The reverence they show for the original series tells me that really understand TOS, it’s characters and how it worked. They “get it”. More importantly, if they get that, they have to know and understand where the spin-offs went wrong.

And more music to my ears…the door is STILL open for Shatner. Don’t argue with me, argue with the writer’s and producers.

I feel good about this movie. Here’s hoping the looong winter of Trek’s discontent is almost over.

#26 Star Trackie: “I feel good about this movie. Here’s hoping the looong winter of Trek’s discontent is almost over.”
And that it’s perpetually 80 degrees and sunny for the next five years that Abrams and Co. have control of Trek!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

^25 The Vulcanista

Lol! My pop was Roman Catholic, mom Protestant Episcopalian. I know waaay more about canon than I should!!!

Hmmm… come to think about it, Vatican II, Trek and Your Correspondent are all ~40 years. Coincidence? I think not!

(Somewhere in there is a joke, you know, like, “If you stacked a million economists end to end they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion” but for Trekkers.)

26. Greg2600…

“What he should have said, and frankly, so should Abrams, was that we wrote a script which centered on Spock, not Kirk.”

Unless, of course, that’s not the case. This movie could well have a lot of Kirk in it, but its the pre-Enterprise and early-Enterprise Kirk, not a 70-ish Kirk (who is dead, remember.) They didn’t set out to write a movie about undoing Kirk’s death in “Generations”. If that’s the movie you want, fine. But that’s not this movie. Move on.

Star Trek XII: The Search For Kirk

Hmmm… hasn’t watched a single episode of TOS? Funny… that’s just what the production designer said to me when I interviewed with him… Might be a clue what we’re in for next year.

Roberto still saying “maybe” to Shatner even now after all this time after the fans have long given up? If this is a tease ending in disappointment it was really in bad taste team Abrams! If it aint, well played on your part. Either way, maybe has become the most tiresome answer ever since we know the strike is in place.

Anyway wake me up on the next Quinto has tingles trying on a Vulcan robe, another hot actress seen on the Trek lot, Shatner says he’s not heard anything, and Roberto Orci says “maybe” again and again.

Speaking of “canon”. Braga said the events of First Contact created a brand new timeline.

#31 – Great. >:>{

If this new Trek concept generates any interest in Kirk, it might lead to some sort of reunion for some of the original cast members (outside of convention appearances) in a blockbuster film. It’s still possible for the Mirror Universe Kirk to appear in a transporter malfunction, leading to all manner of adreniline-soaked, “high octane” antics as a result. The movie poster could show Spock giving Mirror Kirk a mind meld, thus bringing back the possibility of a sequel, after it proves impossible to return the Mirror guy to his own anti-universe…

I am not as sanguine as others regarding how Quinto has not watched ANY episodes of Star Trek. I understand not wanting to be creatively stifled by watching it too much, but not at all? That is very disconcerting to me. Listening to Leonard Nimoy at age 76 in 2007 talk about how to play Spock is great, but it is NOT the same as watching the Spock character demonstsrated on screen over many episodes. I can only imagine Quinto’s ignorance in not seeing ANY episodes. I agree with Daren Doc- what are we in for? I don’t need a clone of Nimoy’s Spock circa 1966, but this seems more like flying blind. Too many remakes are soooo inferior to the original. Anybody see the new “Planet of the Apes?” I’m usually not so worried or controlling about the new movie- “Young minds, fresh ideas” are ok with me. I’m no Stanky F….but still….

Not watching any episodes?!!!!!!!!This could be BAD.

Sorry, I think it’s Stanky McF…

#31- “Hmmm… hasn’t watched a single episode of TOS? Funny… that’s just what the production designer said to me when I interviewed with him… Might be a clue what we’re in for next year. ”

Gotta admit, this scares me a little. I just hope the producers and their possitive attitude came into play when the sets and designs were approved. I’d hate to see them rubber stamp a TNG looking set because it’s convenient and “modern”, Star Trek has a singature look for the 23rd century, I hope they don’t lose sight of that.

Folks, Quinto’s merely pointing out he hasn’t been actively watching episodes of TOS since he was cast as younger Spock.

He’s said elsewhere he grew up watching TOS… so it’s not like he’s not already familiar with it.

So on his part, it’s wise to stick with that “general sensibility” and fine tune it for this pre-TOS epic we’ll be seeing.

Agree furiously though that seeing Cage (NOT Menagerie) would be wise. I’d even suggest him watching Yesteryear, but only the parts with younger young Spock. :D

Honestly, I think it’s a good thing that Quinto isn’t pouring over old episodes. This isn’t TOS with better effects – it’s a new thing, and the actors have to figure it out for themselves. Otherwise, we wind up with a bunch of wooden performances.

All we should worry about is if the writers have poured over TOS – which they have. A lot. If the writers know TOS, it’ll come through in the script, and if Quinto is as good a character actor as we all think he is, he’ll get that from the script itself.

Remember, actors work off a script – not tapes of the last guy who had the role.

I have to say I’m not happy about this reboot concept, however I am really happy for L Nimoy. He’s having the time of his life right now and rightfully so!!
Zac Quintos calling him on the phone prob everyday going over scenes, Nimoys basically telling him how to act out the scenes. I’m confident out of all the roles in this film Zac’s “Spock” will be the Best. Now if Pine can pull off a good Kirk we might have a winner. I think Pine has a harder time with this role. Bruce Greenwood I really think is going to
kick ass as Pike! Man this is looking good and I can’t believe I just typed that!
Mr Ballz I’m with you 100% I would love to co-produce this next Star Trek film with you and 10 of the best posters on this site but that’s not how it works in Hellywood. By now all the sets, wardrobes, plotline have all been worked out and finalised…. We’ll have to hope Mr Mission Impossible gets it right… They should just call this film. Star Trek.Mission Impossible… :)
Trektackular, I thought you didn’t like Kirk?
All you posters that beg and wine for shatner to get a cameo, “get a life”…….

Ah, I see people have found the half-empty glass… I was wondering when the generally positive tone of the thread would change.

And in terms of the 23rd century “signature look”–that’s not signature. That’s the 1960s. I will not be too impressed if it feels like “Gidget in Space.” (But given the confidence that the production team has earned in me, I’m sure they’d even do that well.)

As a related aside to the look of the future, I’ve noticed that when I watch TNG episodes, the production design was generally divorced from the contemporary trends of the time the episodes were filmed. I watch the reruns on TV, and I forget that TNG was filmed in the late 80s-early 90s because the clothes and what not weren’t a reflection of that time period. I watch TOS, and I think Gidget. Anyway, I’m optimistic about and welcome any updating they do (within reason, of course).

How to bring Shat as KIRK back for those who think it’s impossible. It’s SCI FI. Anything can happen.

They bring in the Mirror Universe Kirk.
Have the transporter rematerialize him from organic matter based on a saved transporter signature.
The Q saved a copy.
Trelane saved a copy.
He didn’t die after “It was fun. Oh my.” It could be a lot of things:
-Future men/Aliens/Section 31 comes back to save Kirk, asks Picard to stay quiet. He’s whisked off somewhere. There’s nothing under those rocks.
-Based on Shat’s book, the Borg could revitalize him and use him.
-The Organians save him and makes him one of their own. A LOT of advanced aliens owe Kirk big time. It could be anyone.

He is taken from the Enterprise B by beings unknown before it explodes and a clone is sent to replace him.

His brain is saved and is transplanted into another body. Hate “Spock’s Brain” all you like, but it’s canon. A good writer can make that credible. “Spock is revived and is a baby growing fast in a planet created by a bomb that creates life.” as a plot is ridiculous until someone talented like Nick Mayer got a hold of it.

The Kirk that comes out of the Nexus to help Picard isn’t Kirk, but a solidified echo of himself. Kirk is STILL in the Nexus.

The Kirk that Picard encounters chopping wood is 10 years older than the Kirk who was whisked away by the Nexus on the Enterprise B. He has no memory of what happened during his last 10 years. Could be he was off with Spock on some other adventure yet to be told.

I got a chest full of these ideas. Trek writers let me know if there’s anything in there you can use. I’ve got more if you like.

I agree, he doesnt need to watch the episodes. The guy has Leonard Nimoy, the man who created the character standing right next to him, guiding him.
Its like reading a textbook about surgery instead of working hands on with the leading surgeon in the field.

Come on people- think about it.

(happy that Quinot and Nimoy are working together! :) )

re: 3. Harry Ballz – December 13, 2007
Quinto’s not watching TOS episodes? Mistake number one!

One of many.

Sounds worse all the time.

All they have to do to bring Kirk (Shatner) back into the story is by bringing him back from another alternate universe. In that alternate universe things aren’t going so good. Spock gows back to the Guarding of Forever and brings back Kirk. This is just a thought I’ve had floating around in my head for the past few weeks.

I doubt Nimoy would have been keen on Quinto if he didn’t think he would do Spock justice. I think Nimoy is rather protective of Spock as he truly gave birth to the character and had *much* input on how the character evolved (and continued to do so through the movies and TNG).

However, if this movie screws up the Spock character through the actors’ performances, I’ll end up thinking much less of Nimoy. =/ Unless there’s a news release that he’s beginning to suffer from some sort of disease that diminishes cognitive abilities.

Nimoy has sort of put himself in a precarious position die-hard-fandom-wise by his endorsement of Quinto. (Personally, I’ll be much more interested in the stories that come out *after* filming is wrapped up and the movie is released.)

Characters can still shine even with a shoddy script/plot – look at Star Trek V! :D

(And it just irritates me that “Spock’s Brain” was fine for canon, but great episodes like “Yesteryear” and “Beyond the Farthest Star” aren’t for whatever reasons Roddenberry had.)

. . .

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Nimoy say he finally “got” the Spock character when filming “The Corbomite Manuever.”

Can’t the new Spock watch at least this episode?!?


Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Great Bird himself did indeed canonize “Yesteryear.”

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

#42 ,, possible yes do we need to see this No!
#24, Have you seen
shatner lately. Holly Starfleet he’s huge and bloated. Your gonna want that in this high tech upgrade of a film. Hate to break it too ya Hellywood is too concerned with image and looks to give shat a cameo… For once I thankfully agree with the vanity overdose in this town.