In a new interview Star Trek co-writer and exec. producer Alex Kurtzman talks about how he and his fellow film makers approached the ‘sacred cow’ that is the Star Trek franchise and how they are trying to make the film appeal to as many people as possible, but he knows that you "can’t please everybody."
Excerpts from Paste Magazine interview
Paste: You’ve done things like Zorro and Transformers and Mission Impossible. Those are things that people felt strongly about. How do you transfer that to a modern-day film without losing the integrity, the innocence that was there when they were originally done?
Kurtzman: I guess the honest answer is that if you’re taking on something like Mission Impossible or Transformers or Star Trek, it’s not yours. And yet, you have to make it yours. You really have to find the balance. You have to stay true to what everyone loved about those beloved things. And why they worked. And why they connected with people. And that you’re not somehow going against the grain of that. And at the same time finding a way to tell those stories in a new way.
Paste: And you’re doing the biggest sacred cow, which we’re not really supposed to talk about, that’s coming up.
Kurtzman: (laughing) I can certainly talk about process on that particular sacred cow. Star Trek is obviously such a beloved, beloved thing, not just in television but the movies and even in the books. That one is particularly not ours. So, it felt like because we were such enormous fans of it as kids, for us it was getting back to the spirit of that.
Paste: Do you have to think, “Okay, how’s this going to fit today’s audience?” Or do you just go ahead and try to fit what you like today?
Kurtzman: My partner, Bob [Orci] and I, we’ve been writing together for 17 years, and we always look at the work from the place of what do we want to see as an audience member. So, hopefully, until we get out of date, our tastes will dovetail with what audiences are wanting to see. Obviously, you can’t please everybody. But, we definitely grew up on Trek, love Trek and have been studying it since we were little kids. So, as scary as it was taking the leap to inheriting that mantle I think we also felt that between us and J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, it was a team that really put that movie together. We knew that there was safety in numbers and that, in a way, each of us represented a different perspective what Trek is, and that, between the five of us, we probably had most of our bases covered.
For more from Kurtzman on Eagle Eye, Fringe and more, goto PasteMagazine.com.
Kurtzman with producer Patrick Crowley at the Eagle Eye Premiere in Hollywood (WireImage)