Today is what feels like round 78 in the ongoing Saga of JJ Abrams and William Shatner and the new Star Trek movie. In a new MTV interview Abrams talks about William Shatner’s response to his own comments in an interview about a potential scene…is this the last word? Plus Abrams talks about the run time of the film and TrekMovie has some additional info on the post-production.
Abrams v Shatner
Last month JJ Abrams told AMC that there was a scene written for Shatner and then a few weeks later William Shatner did a videoblog about how no one ever offered him a role. Although this appeared to be a contradiction, TrekMovie noted at the time that they could both be telling the truth. Today in a new interview with MTV Abrams clarifies that he felt the scene written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman was ‘good’ but was also a ‘contrivance’ to get Shatner into the movie and that it didn’t work, and so they never offered it to Shatner directly. The ‘effort’ to get him into the film was therefore inside the Trek team:
I think he or his people interpreted as we reached out to him and tried to get him in. I meant internally. I didn’t want to present him with something we didn’t believe in. We were trying to make this thing work and it didn’t happen.
Abrams open to directing the sequel
TrekMovie has previously reported that Paramount is working on signing the Star Trek team to a sequel. Abrams was asked about the sequel and said that he would "be open to it." This is reminiscent of the early 2007 buzz where there were regular stream of conflicting stories about if Abrams would sign on to this first Star Trek as the director or would only be the producer. So now we begin round two of ‘will he wont he’ with regards to the sequel. Word from inside Paramount is they want the entire Trek team back for the follow-up film.
VIDEO: Abrams on Shatner and directing
2 hour movie
Abrams talked to MTV about the run time
It will be a two-hour movie. I’m sick of these two hours and forty-five minute movies. Seriously, it’s like I don’t have enough time to stay two hours and forty-five minutes. I’m exhausted just saying that twice. I can’t stand it.
Although Abrams decries long movies, at 2 hours, Star Trek would actually be the second longest film in the Trek franchise. The longest is the last ‘epic’ Trek film, Star Trek The Motion Picture which clocks in at 132 minutes. Star Trek IV and Generations come in just shy of two hours at 119 and 118 minutes respectively. Although long for a Trek film, two hours is actually on the low end of summer tentpoles. This year’s big May movies (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Iron Man) were 122 and 126 minutes respectively. However many other recent big summer movies run longer: Batman Begins and Star Wars Episode III were both 140 minutes, Transformers clocked in at 144 minutes, and Dark Knight was 152 minutes.
Exclusive Production Update – on track to finish in two months
Because Trekkies like to be precise, TrekMovie checked with sources to see if there was an exact run time in minutes. A source said that the target was ‘around’ two hours, but that effects shots are still being dropped in and sometimes they change the overall length. As of now approximately 75% of the visual effects are completed, including ‘almost all’ of the titles work. There is also work being done on the sound effects and dubbing. However much of the post-production is considered finished. There is only minor tweaking going on with the edit of the film and Michael Giacchino has completed scoring the film. The goal is to have the film completed "by mid December" which would be right on the original schedule when the film was to be released this Christmas.