Kurtzman & Orci Compare New Star Trek To Wrath Of Khan

The thriller Eagle Eye, produced by Star Trek co-writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, hits theaters next weekend and in a new interview promoting the film, the pair were asked what past Trek film they thought their new Star Trek was most like, and when pressed they talked about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Excerpts from IESB interview when asked what film they would compare the new Trek film to:

Kurtzman: Tough question to answer, just because there are so many different things. I guess the best way for me to answer is I can tell you that the movie for me that affected me the most as a kid was Wrath of Kahn.

Orci: Agreed.

Kurtzman: And that movie stood out for me because it had an unbelievable bad guy and the stakes just never felt higher.

Orci: And every character was at their most actualized. It really had the classic delivery for every character, they are finally their full selves in that movie I think, more than any of the features.

read more at IESB.

This is not the first time that Kurtzman has brought up Wrath of Khan. Last summer we reported Kurtzman’s comments in an audio interview where he also drew a parrallel with TWOK, saying:

Kurtzman: For the Trek script a lot of it was what Trek meant to us as kids. We’ve been enormous fans of Trek since we were little kids. And what it felt like to be in the theater and watch Wrath of Khan for the first time was what we wanted people to experience … [want to recapture] that kind of an emotional ride. An incredibly great bad guy against an incredibly high-stakes story that’s just emotional. Trek for us is about family and friendship.

And although he didn’t mention Khan specifically, in our recent interview with Leonard Nimoy, TrekMovie asked if there was a theme or message in the in this new movie and the actor noted that the new Star Trek does share something with Wrath of Khan…revenge:

Leonard Nimoy: I would say if there is one major driving emotional force to it, it has to do with the concept of revenge and the damage that the desire for revenge can cause. And I have always been interested in that as a concern. I think that we have seen in our time, various political factions, various political leaders, various political peoples want to get revenge for what they feel has been an unjust attack and the cycle goes around and around and it doesn’t stop. Somebody has to say “lets quit this, we are just destroying each other.” So I think, if anything, I come way from this movie with that concept.

Wrath of Khan – Gold standard of Trek
Of course, Wrath of Khan, is often considered the best Trek film and shows up on best sci-fi film lists all the time. In a recent interview with TrekMovie, Ron Moore, co-writer of Generations and First Contact, talked about how Wrath of Khan was also an influence for he and Brannon Braga:

Ron Moore: …the gold standard was Wrath of Khan and everyone wanted to do Wrath of Khan by some other name. Even in Generations we were talking about Wrath of Khan. Wrath of Khan says ‘here is how you do a Star Trek movie.’ It’s action-adventure. You’ve got a big villain. You’ve got themes of aging and great little character moments, small moments of humor interspersed throughout. It embraces all the characters. You laugh with them, you cry with them. It ends on a bittersweet but hopeful note. It is just a great movie and it really stands up.

Can JJ Abrams and his team recreate that 1982 feeling? Only time will tell.

Trailer for TWOK

Eagle Eye, co-produced by Orci and Kurtzman, opens in theaters next weekend, here is the trailer


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

yeh ! TWOK rocks

I kindly disagree with the Khan review. Sulu and Uhura were denied any meat…and Scotty’s best scenes were edited out until the Director’s Cut came out …

So Kirk being a dumbass is at his “most actualized?”

Jerk, yes, dumbass, no.


that’s what they all say! its the new WOK!

This is one of my favorite moments in “The Wrath of Khan”. I hope they can give us some classic Trek like this…

[Discussing the effects of the Genesis torpedo]
McCoy: Dear Lord. You think we’re intelligent enough to… suppose… what if this thing were used where life already exists?
Spock: It would destroy such life in favor of its new matrix.
McCoy: “Its new matrix”? Do you have any idea what you’re saying?
Spock: I was not attempting to evaluate its moral implications, Doctor. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.
McCoy: Not anymore; now we can do both at the same time! According to myth, the Earth was created in 6 days. Now, watch out. Here comes Genesis. We’ll do it for you in 6 minutes!
Spock: Really, Dr. McCoy. You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing. Logic suggests…
McCoy: Logic? My God, the man’s talking about logic; we’re talking about universal Armageddon! You green-blooded, inhuman…

I was kind of hoping for something more along the lines of STV…

Well, I think every movie has been compared to Wrath of Khan. How about making a new movie?

All this means is that these guys felt that TWOK had more depth than the other movies…It in no way means it’s “like” the TWOK. But we had character development in TWOK that may affect how they have written the new movie. For example, we just learned about Jim’s abusive uncle. Much like we were introduced to his Carol and David Marcus. Khan was the ulitmate bad guy and by the looks of Nero, he appears to carry on that tradition. We had great phaser battles in TWOK and it is mentioned we are going to see some of if not more of this in STXI. To me, this is a good thing. I think these guys are on the right track.

“Orci: And every character was at their most actualized. It really had the classic delivery for every character, they are finally their full selves in that movie I think, more than any of the features.”

I completely agree with what Bob said. Every character was their full selves. This movie really brought each character to where they should be… with the exception of Sulu, whose time was TUC as Captain.

#6 That is possibly the best McCoy/Spock interaction ever written. Right on!

PS- Forgive my typing errors in my last post.

oh please. Can we get away from TWOK? Stop trying to recreate it.

I think Trek IV is a bit better than TWOK, personally.

Sounds like Ron Moore was describing Nemesis instead of STII. Amazing how much better II was over Nemesis considering the budget they had for Nemesis.

TWOK is great, no doubt about it. But the desire to live up to it by repeating it has sometimes haunted and narrowed the franchise. What’s the next great Trek movie, not the next TWOK, is the right question.

Yeah, I’m really sick of the Trek movies trying to emulate The Wrath of Khan. Star Trek is about a variety of different styles and approaches. For goodnes sake, look at Star Trek 4 and The Motion Picture probably deviated from the Khan recreating most….and yes, I greatly enjoy the motion picture.

One of the he reasons I love the Trek series and movies is that each film has a different idea, but it’s still the Trek characters.

First Contact was an excellent Star Trek film, still it was not a Khan-ripoff. In other words, they don’t have to make antother Khan to make a good Star Trek film.

It’s Star Trek 5 for me, you just can’t beat Kirk, Spock and McCoy sitting around a campfire discussing life . . . .
. . . . and singing . . .

Not to worried about the bad guy being a “being” but rather the complexities of life as one gets older and wiser . . . .

Everybody wants to be the next WOK.

I hope they can come close.

“Young minds fresh ideas.”

I have to strongly disagree with that sentiment. The supporting characters have little to do in this film though they do more than the first.

ST3 better utilizes all of the crew and each has his/her special moment that further demonstrates why they are the best crew in the fleet. And lastly, they show how they’ve grown to become not just crew but family as each has sacrificed their respective careers to get to Spock and the Genesis planet going against orders. Can you do much better than that?

I’d rather be the next me. Leave the past in the past and build upon it. TWOK is in the 80’s for a reason. Look at first contact that was a good movie…

I grok twok.

I has gots some free advice for the OrcSter and Dr Kurtzweil and that is be very careful getting into a vehicle that gots Shia LeBoof™ behind the wheel, aiiiiiight?



Wasn’t the last Star Trek movie supposed to be “The Wrath of Kahn”?

Wrath of Khan my butt! We already know this movie will contain elaborate space battles, so it’ll most likely resemble a Star Wars flick more than anything else. This is how they’ll reach out to “new” fans by trying to fill up the void left by Star Wars.

This move failed miserably when they moved the Next Generation to the big screen. Remember the darker uniforms, grungy new Enterprise, constant gun and space battles.

Let’s hope JJ has a better grip and balance with this. I, for one, will believe it when I see it.

I love The Wrath of Kahn. But I think the essense of the original Star Trek is realized to its full potential in The Search for Spock. You’ve got a lot of great character moments in there, for all the cast. And there are a lot of emotional swings along the way.

People tend to lump The Search for Spock into the odd number curse, and I don’t think that’s fair. It’s really a good movie. There are a couple plot points that can be scrutinized and debated, but the writing and portrayals of the entire crew was top notch.

The Voyage Home has the same feel, for sure, but it really is a Kirk/Spock/Gillian movie. Doctor McCoy is really a nonentity in the movie, and that’s the only thing about the movie that doesn’t work for me. It’s missing the triad of Kirk/Spock/McCoy as the thrust of the movie.

Sure, Spock is not physically present during TSFS, but his presense is still there, even though Leonard Nimoy is not. The whole movie is dripping with Spock’s presence. Spock is in their thoughts (literally, in McCoy’s case). So we do have the triad of Kirk, Spock and McCoy throughout the movie in a different sort of way.

If I am feeling like watching a Star Trek movie, I tend to grab STIII off the shelf first. The ending lacks the action punch of Wrath of Kahn, but this time it ends on the emotional punch of the return of Spock. It is NOT an inferior movie by any stretch of the imagination. Other than maybe First Contact, it blows the rest of the TNG movies away.

I’m sure part of the reason they’re referencing TWOK is A)it is considered the Gold Standard of Star Trek movies, and B)it is the Star Trek movie most non-Trek fans are familiar with and enjoy.

since ST7 any star trek movie was about a villain fighting against our star trek crew…lack of ideas? It was ST4 and ST6 that had the best trek feeling.

26: What are you typing about? The next generation moved to darker uniforms, a grungy new Enterprise, and gun & space battles in ‘First Contact,’ a fun, well-constructed film. JJ and crew could do far worse than to emulate that film on some level.

In the end, all of those things are garnish. It’s the story and the script that’ll determine if this movie warps or sputters.

Search is an awesome movie and more true to Trek than Trek V.

Blah, Blah, Blah…. GIMME THE TRAILER ALREADY!!!!!!


I always get nervous when they start comparing films to TWOK…

Is that Burgess Meredith narrating the TWOK trailer?

Nemesis was compared to TWOK – shudder

I’m just extremely excited that we’re getting a new movie featuring the TOS crew for the first time since 1991.

Anyway, nothing wrong with K&O stating they want the movie to compare with TWOK. You’ve gotta aim for the best, and most fans agree that The Wrath of Khan is just that.

Eagle Eye is not released this weekend, but on September 26th.

#35 Nemesis was indeed compared to TWOK, and shamelessly copied it. As did at least one derivative DC comics arc I remember.

It’s good to acknowledge TWOK and aim to emulate its strengths, but just running to where lightning struck gets typical results. It sounds like Kurtzman & Orci understand that, or else we’d be hearing about the Deuteronomy Device.

Well, Nemesis was similar to TWOK… huge battle between ships, an enemy seeking vengeance (Khan was… what was the other guys reason to be pissed off?), the Mutara Nebula (green gaseous thing in Nemesis that also screwed up the sensors on the ship), death of a main crew member (or destruction, in Data’s case), musical talent of a crew member showcased (Data singing…. Scotty on bagpipes!).

Enough with the TWOK! It is a classic… you can never re-create it (well, I’m sure Rob Zombie will try!)

Good grief, people, get a grip. They were asked what movie influenced them, and they finally came up with TWOK. What would you want them to say? Trek V: In Search of Shatner’s Ego?

Its this long delay that causes people to dissect every word, nuance, and suggestion of those associated with the movie that borders on silliness.

There was nothing “grungy” about the Enterprise -E, or any of the Enterprises.

I’m so excited for this movie! TWOK was one of my favorites, but I like TVH and TUC better.

And now I just remembered…I’m supposed to be doing science homework…

I always liked WOK, but yet, it stil felt like cheap budget (aside from some great sfx) and not very epic…

Trek 2 was the best. 4 and 6 were also great. The Motion Picture the directers edition was wonderfull as well. But if they had to pick you can’t go wrong with trek 2. I hope they don’t emulate it. I hope they take it in a different direction and move forward. make the next Trek better and have trek 2 compare to trek 11. May not be possible but I hope they at least go for it. KHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Careful of those analagous references to TWOK, Roberto, lest the Canonites begin to refer to you as ‘Lord Garth’. :-)

There’s no question that TWOK was the most effective – and memorable – of the films, but it was also more space opera than science fiction. For a re-launch or re-boot or whatever it is that we’re calling this next film, I would prefer a story that’s more traditional science fiction, which was core to many of ST’s best stories. From what little we know so far about the new film’s storyline, it sounds more like space opera to me.

I can’t see how the bad guy (Nero?) is going to be as big a villan as Khan.

Unless there is a “Star Trek XI Webisode” released before the Premiere!

Also, WOK kind sucked in that Kirk and Khan never had the oportunity to trade punches. IMHO, It was a terrible mistake for Khan not to fight Kirk in the Genesis cave. I would have had Khan beam down and take the torpedo himself. Now that would have been really good!

I can’t get excited about the upteenth attempt to emulate a twenty-six year old low-budget film as if that’s aiming for the bleachers. Sorry.

Here’s an example of the next 8 months of news blurbs regarding the new Star Trek movie:

BREAKING NEWS: The producers have said the new movie will deal with the origins of the original crew.

SPOILER ALERT: The uniforms will resemble the original series with a few minor tweaks.

NEWS: The new movie will be epic in scope and the spirit will be like TWOK.

..and we will be hearing the same thing over and over and over again.

Sorry, but this isn’t news. Give us something new to talk about, huh boys?


What I always liked about TWOK was how it dealt with issues of aging and mortality, and what I’m hoping to see from the forthcoming movie is a story that deals with issues of youth and vitality. The Kobayashi Maru scenario was used as a touchstone throughout TWOK to illustrate how Kirk has spent his life cheating his way out of life and death situations, and apparently we’re going to see the scenario in this movie also.

If this film is the origin story that depicts how Kirk, Spock et al met then I hope that the Kobayashi Maru will again be used in a way that is integral to the plot. In other words, I’d like to see a conceptual opposite to TWOK, which also compliments it. If this movie is along these lines, and from what I’ve heard it sounds like it may well be, then I’ll be happy. :-)