Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have a lot of things going on right now with their new show Fringe, the new movie Eagle Eye (opening next weekend), the next Transformers movie and a little thing called Trek. The pair talk about all of it in a new interview with Crave, and regarding Trek, they make some interesting comments about canon.
Excerpts from Crave Interview
Crave Online: When you write a Star Trek script, how awesome is it to see J.J. built the set?
Alex Kurtzman: It’s insane. It’s just insanity. The fact that somehow we’ve inherited that mantle is insane. It’s such a responsibility. We take it so seriously and between all of us, Bob and me and Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk and J.J., there are different degrees of fandom and different degrees of knowledge and different perspectives on what Trek is. It’s a really good mix of people because I think it will ultimately allow us to stay very true to canon and also bring something new.
Crave Online: Are you tempted to write in dramatic pauses for Kirk?
Alex Kurtzman: [Laughs] No, because the tricky part about it, and this is actually hard I think on all the actors, is the actors who played those parts in the original series and established those characters, are legendary. Everybody knows those actors and everybody knows those characters. So you have to be consistent with that if you are going to cast new people in those roles and yet, you have to bring something new to the mix. So the actors were walking this very tricky line of not giving a cartoony performance that’s really mimicking the original actors, and bringing their own thing to the table.
Crave Online: J.J. was marveling at how you established Kirk and Spock’s bond
Alex Kurtzman: It’s the most gratifying thing I think for us about the movie is watching that.
Crave Online: How did you conceive of it and how was it never explored before?
Alex Kurtzman: We did a lot of reading of the books. I think we consider the books canon to a large degree so it’s very important to us to stay consistent. But there is a bit of a hole and there’s actually different mythologies about their history so it’s a matter of staying consistent but also figuring out how you can play around a little bit anchored by the rules
Much much more from the pair on Trek, Transformers 2 and Fringe at Crave.
Unlike Star Wars, the Star Trek books have never been considered part of the official canon, but this is not the first time the subject of how the books relate to the film has been brought up. In an interview with TrekMovie last year (before filming started), Orci talked about how important the books are to him. Here is the exchange
TrekMovie.com: In another interview you mentioned Trek books. So have you read many of them?
Roberto Orci: Tons of them. I have them all in my room.
TrekMovie.com: Is that because Paramount sent you all of them?
Roberto Orci: No no no, these are things I have read for pleasure. Some of them I have read many times, never imagining I would be a part of it. When I found myself being paid to re-read those books – you don’t get luckier than that. That is a blessing.
TrekMovie.com: So what are a couple of your favorites?
Roberto Orci: My favorite one is "Prime Directive" and I would say "Spock’s World" is my other favorite. I saw your interview with Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens and I think they are great. I have read "Prime Directive" three or four times and I think it is one of the best Star Trek stories ever…period. Here is an interesting tidbit. In casting we have to give sides out to actors [scenes from scripts]. But since we are being so secretive we don’t want to give real scenes from the movie so a lot of the scenes we have been using are from their books.
TrekMovie.com: Of course the books are not officially part of Star Trek canon, but as fans of the books are you guys going to grab any elements and give them little mentions in the film…essentially canonizing them?
Roberto Orci: We are actually still pouring through and we are going to do stuff like that for sure. Because it would be an homage to my and Damon [Lindelof]’s view of Star Trek.
There is actually already evidence influence of the novels on the film. Jennifer Morrison is playing James T. Kirk’s mother and her name ‘Winona Kirk’ was established only in Trek novels.
Kurtzman and Orci at at the TV Guide Fall Preview parties – Fox at the Paley Center on September 5th (WireImage)