Orci & Kurtman: Star Trek Is Epic

Earlier this week IESB released part of their Eagle Eye interview with Star Trek co-writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (where they talked about Wrath of Khan) and today they have released the full interview where the pair give an update about the current status of Star Trek in post production and also talked about the ‘epic’ scale of the film.

Excerpts from IESB interview

IESB: So how is Star Trek coming along?

Bob: Star Trek, the effects are coming in and we’re very close to having the movie locked, maybe in a been a couple of weeks.

Alex: Yeah, maybe in about a month or so. It’s really, really exciting, just insanely exciting to be on the brink of launching that out into the world and…

Bob: I can’t believe we are going to stick it in a vault or I don’t know what’s gonna happen.

Alex: Well, there are so many effects that they will probably be finishing it right up to the last possible second.

IESB: Obviously you guys love Star Trek, you love Star Wars, on the special effects, something that has always been said about the Star Wars movies you expect to see the big space battles. Star Trek, even though you get space battles, it was never known for that, it was never about that, it was mainly about the crew. Do we see a merger of both these themes, are there any big epic battles in the new film or what are we going to be seeing?

Bob: I think the scale of this Star Trek, not only because of the technology but because of the trust that the studio put in all of us in terms of the investment, is going to be bigger than you’ve ever seen in a Star Trek movie. So, it’s going to be both. Star Trek is where you primarily think about the family, the humanity, the interactions and that is no different in the Star Trek that we are working on but it definitely is going to have an epic action quality to it that is unique..

read more from Orci and Kurtzman at IESB.


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This is just what Star Trek has needed…

I hope they’re right. Star Trek’s been missing that “epic” feel for the last couple of movies. Though I am one of the ones that actually liked Insurrection, the action centered around a little planet with 600 people on it. Not exactly epic. And Nemesis was just too poorly implemented to achieve epic status in my opinion. So, if they can pull that off, I think it’d help breathe some life into the franchise.

Cool… I can’t wait to see this film, I really hope it lives up to expectations!

Epic quality: Yes, bring it on!
Epic action … does this mean: more like Star Wars? No thanks, let Star Wars be Star Wars and let Trek be Trek. I love both for what they are. Trek went Star Wars in DS9: Way Of the Warrior. Did this do any good? I don’t think so.

Kind of depends on which Star Wars they’re are talking about. If it’s epic like the originals, great. If it’s epic like the prequels , I’ll pass.

But I have faith that they know the difference.

DS9 was brilliant in every move it did.
so to answer your question yes it was good

Okay. So they are close to locking it down. Now how about editing up a couple of trailers? PLEASE!!!

Its a ploy

7 Amen.

It hurts to think that everything is right on schedule for a Christmas release.

“Bob: Star Trek, the effects are coming in and we’re very close to having the movie locked, maybe in a been a couple of weeks.”

These transcripts are always so hard to read. Did he really say, “maybe in a been a couple of weeks.”? Really? Or are we having some issues in the translation?

blah blah blah…hyperbole….blah blah blah….TRAILER!!!!!!
Enuff talk….its all Charlie Brown speak to me now with much noise and no info!


Yeah, annoying, huh?

So, is it epic like LOTR, or is it epic as in cool-speak (“Dude, that is sooooo epic!”)

I faced similar confusion back in 1977 when I was told Star Wars was “bad”.

No Trailer?
How ’bout a nice shot of the new Enterprise?
Throw us a bone, man!

Mr. Orci – In a number of interviews lately, and particularly in reference to Transformers, you’ve talked about nostalgia for “the old Amblin days” and how you and Alex tried to bring back some of the humor from those Spielberg, Zemeckis, etc. films. Is this something you had in mind when considering the tone of Star Trek? Are there other movies to which you could compare the tone of the new Star Trek? Thanks!

Mr. Orci – at least you get to see it before we do. LOL That’s got to mean something, right? Means it is less annoying for you than for us. ;)

Fine, Bob. Release it next May. But, when it makes a trillion dollars, I think it’s only fair that you put everyone in this thread into STXII: The Federatoin Phone Book.


I know you can’t tell us what the movie is all about and I respect the secrecy involved in all aspects of the film… but, can you tll us tell the last two spoken words of dialogue on page 47 of the shooting script? Thanks!

@12 Mr. Orci – ‘annoying’ is a word and a half.

…and the adventure continues…


Star Trek is its own thing, and I didn’t particularly look to anything outside of Star Trek for inspiration, tonally or otherwise. I don’t speak for the others on the court, though. They might have different answers.

Yes! Can live without the trailer…just give me a shot of one of the Enterprises!

These guys must be serious about this “Star Trek” being that big a deal.

Aarrrggghhhh come on!!! So much talk and STILL only some lame posters and very, very short teaser!! GIVE US THE TRAILER!!!!!!!



Come on people we can will them to give us something!!!!!!!


Mr. Orci — can you tell us whether plans call for a running time of over two hours — which I prefer. I know theatres want the cattle in and out, but this is a film I intend to watch many times. No need to cram the story into a brief frame.

Long time reader, first-time poster. *ding, ding, ding*

I agree with the opinion that Star Wars should be Star Wars, and Star Trek be star trek. However, I’d relish seeing a wonderfully-crafted human story that has an epic scope and feel to it. I’ve always felt, especially in the SW prequels, that the battle scenes were cartoonish and over-the-top. I want to see strategy and tactics, not chaos and randomness.

I’m eagerly awaiting May 2009, and I’m getting the growing feeling that it’ll be worth the wait.


grow up

Bob, I’m sure that you’ve seen some of the effects by now. Do they live up to your expectations? Has ILM been able to produce work that matches what was in your mind’s eye when you wrote the script?

I never, EVER meant to put Star Trek in lower case. My apologies to all. :-)

The idea of Star Trek being on the scale of Star Wars is exciting! I think it’ll be something very surreal to see. Star Trek has always been the Queen of Sci-Fi and Star Wars the King, maybe there will be a changing of the guard!

ILM’s work in Transformers shows they finally can create hardware digitally that looks “real.” (Not so much for the SW prequels.)
Since “real” has been an operative word with JJ & Co., I think we’re in for a treat unlike any Trek ever seen.
(Now throw us a bone… a nacelle cap! Anything!!)

I’d be cautious of writers who pronounce their own work epic. I don’t think even Homer did that. Sadly, there’s no shortage of self-proclaimed geniuses in this world .

Brett… Bob’s not being immodest, he’s ‘doing Hollywood.’ It’s called promotion.

I’d love to see something epic. There are several scenes in The Dark Knight without Batman or The Joker in them. They add to the film’s scope. Let’s see a little of the below decks action, the outlands of the Federation, etc. Could be cool.

31 – Brett Campbell

I don’t think they called their work epic.. they said that the action was epic. And the epic scale of the film.

Ok. I like Epic in Star Trek. I love family and great Story in Star trek. It All sounds so wonderfull. BUT WE NEED A TRAILER!!!!!!!! Something,anything,must have a look. Ok. I feel better. Long Live The Terran Empire.

Mr. Orci, as you might recall I’ve been a bit skeptical about the new creative crew: (ie. fears that the script is being dumbed down for the mass audience).

I humbly sit corrected and beseech your forgiveness.

I’m floored by FRINGE and I haven’t watched TV in over five years. You guys are obviously the perfect visionaries for the next era of Trek. FRINGE is how I would write a TV show and how I would infuse the same dramatic intelligence into new Trek.

Anna Torv is a superb casting decision.

John Noble doubly so.

I’m sold; I’m all in; for the first time since you were greenlighted for Trek I’m aquiver with anticapation.

Just don’t let the suits give away the plot with the title like they did with Wrath of Kahn.

Even though it’s still eight months away, I’ll go ahead and thank you now for saving our beloved Trek.

FRINGE clearly demonstrates Trek is going to be AWESOME!

Like my friend and fellow writer CmdrR, I find that waiting Dec. to May is going to be excruciatingly interminable.

Dear Bob Orci,

In Star Trek 12, please include the best aliens of all time. this will lead to a crossover universe, but, i think it is worth it. after all, these are the best aliens of all time.

the Yip-Yips

-Sci-Fi Bri

Ok. For all those who Want a Star Trek Trailer GIVE ME A HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#20 – Bob Orci wrote: “Star Trek is its own thing, and I didn’t particularly look to anything outside of Star Trek for inspiration, tonally or otherwise. I don’t speak for the others on the court, though. They might have different answers.”

I certainly hope so. Your view is the opposite of Nick Meyer’s approach in Star Trek II, to give an example. In my opinion, It would only serve to strengthen the story you were telling if you or your collaborators looked to other outside sources of inspiration, be it other classic films or literature. Star Trek always seemed to be at its most dramatically uninteresting when its writers and directors practiced a sort of Trek-Only tunnel vision.

Mr. Orci, thanks for answering (in #20). It’s interesting, because I wonder if someone took a TOS script and updated it with the current ILM effects and JJ Abrams’ “real”-feeling direction, would modern audiences relate to it? Many of the “court” have said they think that TOS told stories that were relatable to today’s society, and I’m excited to see what this new team has come up with.

I mean, how much does the way you tell a Star Trek story have to change if the performances and technical aspects are state-of-the-art?

May can’t get here quick enough.
Although a new trailer would be greatly appreciated by all. *hint-hint*

I’ve noticed that Messrs. Orci and Kurtzman keep saying that the film is all about the characters and their journey, while at the same time saying that it’s a massive action spectacle. I am very interested to see if they have struck a balance between these two ideas.

Arrrrrr… Epic, he says? Like love’s labour lost?

KIRK: Spock… Spock… if you go traveling through time, won’t you upset the natuarl balance of the universe… where shall I go? What shall I do?

SPOCK: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

or mayhaps more o’ a heart o’ darkness epic…

SPOCK: Could we, uh… talk to Captain Kirk?

YOEMAN: Hey, man, you don’t talk to the Captain. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense.

KIRK: I’ve seen hortas… hortas that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that… but you have no right to judge me. The horta… (gasping) … the horta…

‘course tha’ Muppet Movie wuz also epic… just like Mr. Yellowskin Simpson’s mini-van that he drove ta’ Ithaca in…


Re: #6 Can someone explain DS9 to me? It’s not that I am closed off to enjoying it, but I just don’t see how it was the best series out there. It always seemed so damned depressing to me, and the Dominion was a big yawn. Can someone convince me to rediscover this series? For example, I rediscovered Voyager after hating it for years, and I absolutely love it, and I think the writing is much better than TNG. What am I missing?

43: I recently gone through this my self. The trick is to start DS9 at the beginning of Season 3, 4 at the latest. 95% of the best eps. were produced Seasons 3 -> 7.

Everyone here has spent months trying to out-analyze each other as to what XI is about.

We have a fan on the inside, R. Orci, who not only co-wrote the darned thing, but is chuffed to be in on the project, and wants to write something he himself would happily watch.

I think Mr. Orci will care about our feedback regardless of the box-office. Nick Meyer’s look ‘outside’ of Trek is just one of the contributions to Trek’s richness for which we’re all grateful. Trek is a different egg these days than it was in 1982, and Roberto Orci is into it. Wonderful, IMHO.

Mr Orci can you even indicate as to when we are going to get to see a trailer. I did here a rumour that one was going to be put with your Eagle Eye movie.

Mr. Orci I think you guys have done a great job on Fringe and I am looking foward to trek. I am just wondering will we see Andorians?

Excellent. This is the news I have wanted to hear. (I was, now, going to quote Kruge; but I thought better of it). It is about time that someone beautified Star Trek. With a budget reportedly around the $150 million mark, I expect great things. I am relieved, also, to hear that Trek’s essence will be respected. I never really doubted this; but I can be a paranoid fan…..

Remember the old Chinese proverb: ‘If you want to attract the first-time viewer and causal fan, you need have great special effects..great action sequences’.

I am hoping the “epic” does mean a feel of realism and scale. TMP gave us that…the flybys and orbital stations (notwithstanding the less than steller effects of Kirk and Scotty in the Pod and some Starfleet-SF Mattes) and that was missing in the other movies….just as in Star Wars, it was almost like the effects became less believable in the prequels….I think if they hit the mark on that aspect alone, the movie will have more of an epic feeling then what we have been accustomed to….If you review the trailer of the construction, the scale and realism of the Enterprise is massive and actual….I really think this is going to translate well and I trust our Fanboys to write a great story.