Pro-Abrams/Trek Paramount CEO Contract Extended + Hollywood Vet Predicts ‘Star Trek’ Blockbuster

Today it was announced that Paramount CEO Brad Grey’s contract has been extended until 2014. One of Grey’s first actions after joining Paramount in 2005 was signing JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot production company to a multi-picture deal, which included Star Trek as its first big film. Abrams and Trek are now being cited as part of the reasoning for Grey’s extension.

Hollywood vet predicts Grey’s Trek will be a ‘blockbuster’
If it weren’t for Brad Grey, there may not be a tent pole Star Trek film in production now. After the box office failure of Nemesis in 2002 and the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005, there was not a lot of appetite for Trek at the studio. Before Grey joined Paramount there was a script in development ("Star Trek The Beginning" written by Erik Jendresen), but that project was going nowhere by time Grey came on board. In 2005 Grey became impressed with how Abrams was handling Mission: Impossible: III (which was directed by Abrams and co-written with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman). During that same period Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman began talks with Paramount about their idea for bringing back Star Trek. Shortly after M:I:III’s release in 2006 Paramount announced Abrams’ new multi picture deal (including Star Trek), with Grey calling Abrams "the next Steven Spielberg."

Today former Warner Brothers chief Bob Daly, who is now consulting Paramount, cited the Abrams deal and Star Trek as key feathers in Grey’s cap, telling THR:

I think Brad’s done a very good job. The place was pretty empty when he got there, but he’s developed some franchises. Getting (producer-director) J.J. Abrams was a really big coup. I think ‘Star Trek’ is going to be a blockbuster. Brad’s Chapter 1 was getting his own team in place. In Chapter 2, he’ll have to watch costs, watch overhead and come up with a couple of hit movies a year. That’s the way it works.

For his part, Abrams is also quoted in the article, saying of Grey:

I could not ask for or imagine a better creative partnership.

What does this mean for Trek?
This may all seem like Hollywood studio politics, however any student of Trek history (and reader of the various biographies and ‘making of’ books) can tell you that having the head of the studio in your corner is very important for Star Trek. Right now Abrams and Trek have Paramount (and its parent Viacom) very excited. Hopefully Mr. Daly is right and they will still be excited after the returns come in, which means that we could be talking seriously about the next Star Trek movie before the year is out.

 

TrekMovie.com Trivia Alert:
The article linked above ("Paramount Signs JJ Abrams For Star Trek XI" on July 15, 2006), was the first ever article for TrekMovie.com. It was originally published at the beta site (stxi.blogspot.com) and then moved over to the permanent site in August 2006 (without the original comments). And in case you are wondering, this article is the 2,082nd.

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I just can’t for May to come around!

All good news for now! Let’s hope the film lives up to the hype and we see Star Trek’s franchise reborn!

*can’t wait*

May just can’t get here fast enough!

Super exited. Lets hope they screen the flick for reviewers lol.

The WIld Man of Borneo

You know, I just watched the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribbleations.” That had to be one of the best episodes in all of Star Trek. It was so perfectly done. And for some reason it makes even dislike what Abrams is doing in ths movie even more.

Another positive sign…. good

#6 Wild Man

Ok, someone will ask… might as well be me.

Why?

Way to go Paramount AND Trekmovie.com.

Keep your fingers crossed folks. When you factor in the budget and the upcoming marketing blitz, this one is gonna have to make upwards of 300 million to be considered a hit. The last trek movie to hit that mark was…?

And the sky’s the limit….

The WIld Man of Borneo

#8

I can’t really put my finger on it. I saw the documentary on the dvd about the episode and they talked about how the team that worked on it tried so hard and their best not to change anything and keep everything true to the TOS. And the end result is that the Enterprise looks beautiful, the props look great, everything made perfect sense when Sisko and Dax would talk about how the technology, the style, and fashion of the era. It was genius and they worked so hard to preserve that for the fans.

Now here comes Abrams and Co. They change everything upside and turn this movie into what seems to be like mainstream action flick. The enterprise looks hideous, the interior looks like a mix of star wars and an apple store. There is nothing in this movie that makes it a star trek movie. That’s just my opinion though.

it seems like I have been visiting Trekmovie.com Since almost the begining. i cant believe it has already been since october 2006 that i started coming on here.. i wonder how many hours i have invested in reading articles lol

I can’t wait for the movie to come out and shut all the haters up.

OMG! I CAN’T WAIT!

I KNOW this movie is awesome! Even before I see it! Cuz I’m open to anything anyone does!

The next Steven Spielberg? The same Spielberg that made crap like War of the Worlds and Munich?

16,
The same Spielberg that made

Jaws
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Blue Brothers
E.T.
Indiana Jones I, II, and III
Jurassic Park

Yes, THAT Spielberg.

12: “….”They change everything upside and turn this movie into what seems to be like mainstream action flick. The enterprise looks hideous, the interior looks like a mix of star wars and an apple store. There is nothing in this movie that makes it a star trek movie. That’s just my opinion though.”

I agree. It’s great to hear the ‘Tribulations’ team express how hard they tried to match the original. They went through a thinking process of how to tell a story in the TOS era and hit a home run. It was great to watch. Even TOS remastered got me back to the TV. I made sure to keep the calendar clear for Saturday afternoon—even though I have seen every episode before and knew the main characters were not going to die.

Ensign Ro- (short for Roland)

re: WILD MAN OF BORNEO…

I usually never comment on entries made by nay-sayers…however…I do agree that “Trials and Tribblations” was one of the best Trek episodes ever, but to think that the look and style of 60’s Trek could hold up in theaters today is just plain ludicrous. The ONLY people who would dish out $8.50 to see it would be old, hardcore fans. Mr. Abrams and Co. are definitely right in making changes to appeal to a larger audience. After all, this is a movie…it’s how studios make their money…soooooo, mass appeal equals $$$$$.

I for one welcome an updated (and retro) version of my favorite saga. I applaud J.J. and crew for what I’ve seen so far. Is it all up to what I would like to see? No, of course not (at least based on what little I have seen). But, it looks VERY cool…sounds like it may have a good story, great characters we know and love, and many of the things and ideals that we all love in Star Trek.

If thew movie appeals to you so little then all I can suggest is do not go see it.

OK, I’m done…sorry for the rant. I will now go back to my positive posts that I usually (if rarely) make.

Thanks again for the venue, Anthony.

I don’t agree but I will qualify my statement with…”I haven’t seen it yet”. They tend to show the “action” in the trailers… movement, sound… stuff to get the attention of people in front of the screen or tube.
Plus… Nimoy likes it and more importantly… Mrs. Nimoy likes it.

Some things change… but Trek can still be Trek despite change.

#16: Munich wasn’t crap.

“The next Steven Spielberg?”

How about waiting until Abrams produces one movie that’s as good as the average Spielberg movie from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, before calling him the next Spielberg, ay?

Since this laudation of Abrams has been brought up, I would like to say that he seems rather shallow and superficial for an artist. He seems like someone who’s had a rather easy time getting to where he is, and doesn’t consider it to be of any benefit to himself to risk anything in his art. Actually, I am hesitant to even call him an artist as he seems more of a craftsman churning out his aim-to-please work.

I don’t see any Schindler’s Lists or Saving Private Ryans on Abrams’ resume. And, I sure don’t see anything artistically meaningful. I just see a lot of cheap pop for the masses and maybe a decent Star Trek movie.

And, that’s fine. Churning out relatively mindless, soulless movies has its place. But, the reward for those kinds of movies is precisely what their maker was striving for when he made them: money.

So, let Abrams and his employers have their money. But, I, for one, am not having any of this Abrams-congratulation-hoopla before he’s earned it. And, as far as I’m concerned, all that he’s earned thus far are his paychecks.

And, I’ll be just as generous with my praise if the new Star Trek film deserves it.

21 HMS,

Agreed. Also, remember, the whiners make up an incredibly small portion of the movie-goers. This is why these “reboots” have been so bloody successful. You should have SEEN the flak that X-Men, Iron Man, and Spider Man endured. All were obscenely successful. Even the new Star Wars movies (1, 2, and 3) were all incredibly good, despite Jar Jar and Hayden.

Aside from my complaining about those who complain, I find Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto incredibly attractive and cannot wait to see them in action.

#16 – War of the Worlds and Munich were pretty damn good. Those of us familiar with the original novels upon which they were based are pretty pleased.

Based on his performance, if Abrams is involved with a film I am automatically interested.

I want an Original Series CGI like Clone wars except not Clone wars. With the classic original actors (that are with us still). Kinda like the animated series except with updated animation. Thats the only way (if it were possible) we would see anything close to what was.

Now its time to move ahead and have an optimistic open mind to the new brand and new faces. The promotional blitz is going to be like nothing seen before in Trek guys so be prepared, make no mistake this movie is going to be giant, if I am wrong ill still have all the pasts Treks, they will never go away or lose there luster in my eyes.

TOG#24- I reach, my brother.

As a pure die-hard fan of The Original Series I can say there are some things about the look of this movie that, so far, I don’t care for. However, I am not the producer, the director or the studio who’s ass is on the line here. JJ Abrams does not work for me so I don’t get to call the shots.
As a fan all I get to do is go and spend my money at the box office and then bitch and moan afterwords or sing praises. Which ever.
Bearing that in mind I will go to the theater with the intention of seeing SOMEONE ELSES interpretation of Star Trek. I can enjoy it, I can hate it, or I can sort of like it. What ever.
My point is, what ever the out come of this movie, I will not be in the least bit disapointed, or upset or angry. In fact, my guess is I’ll freakin’ love the thing and that’ll be just great. Bottom line. We fans don’t own Star Trek! Paramount does and they are entitled to do whatever the hell they want to with it.

I for one an soooo glad we are getting new TOS movies, and not that pre-Enterprise crap they were thinking about. A prequel to a pre-quel series that was flopping? Why? It would have been so unlike Trek that I was getting sick thinking about it. Thankfully, they abandoned that idea like a diaper in a Kmart buggie.

Changed as it is, I think even an altered TOS-based series is preferable to anything else we could be getting.

^23 That One Guy I appreciate that modern movies are adept at “delivering the goods” to a modern audience. But Cygnus X1 is spot on when he laments the workmanlike nature of what is, essentially, pandering to the lowest common denominator. When did maximizing shareholder value become the great imperative? (I say this as an MBA and practicing corporate finance consultant.) There was a time, no so long ago, when having something to say and saying it was considered much more important than earning a living. Mind you, no one suggests earning a living is wrong! But having something worthwhile to say, whatever its popularity, was more valuable. Unfortunately, “blockbusters” have very little to say to their audiences, which is further and further removed from the Western canon, and so endless, frenetic motion and noise substitute for ideas of any substnace Does this mean Star Trek, in its literary pretension, is relegated to a small audience that grows smaller each year? Yes, it does. iTrek will no doubt be a gargantuan money-maker but as Wall Street itself demonstrated in its self-immolation (at taxpayer expense I remind you)… All the glitters is not gold. And there are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreampt of in your philosophy. Or words to that effect. I myself long for Dr Kirk’s “Permanent Things” to once again be fashionably common and cutting edge boring. (And I should point out that would be Dr Russell – , not Jackson Roy – Kirk,… Read more »

#16

WOTW = $600 worldwide box office gross
Munich = Nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Picture & Best Director

So yeah, *that* Spielberg.

Spielberg was great up until he got into his World War II phase.

Hey Anthony!

Congrats on article #2,082!!! She’s a sweet, sweet website… :-)

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

Ok. Nay Sayers. it is all about Money. They havt to make some changes to speak to the Non fans and fans in general and they are keeping with Tos Trek to keep us Hard core fans happy. it is threading a very Small needle but i believe they are doing a great job. Everything i have seen tells me this will be the best Trek Since The Wrath of Khan. This Movie will not please everyone but hey at least most Everyone will be pleased. even me. A Hard Core trek fan Since 1975.

Isn’t it a touch hasty to start picking Abrams apart based on the Spielberg comment? He didn’t make it himself, did he? No. You can’t control hyperbole courtesy of a third party.

In terms of Spielberg’s ‘artistry’, he started out in much the same way as Abrams has. His first big winner, Jaws, gave birth to the ‘blockbuster’ genre as we know it. Private Ryan & Schindler’s List weren’t until *much* later in his career. Who’s to say JJ doesn’t have one of those in his future? And who says Grey’s comparison wasn’t with reference to Spielberg’s early work? No need to label him shallow or soulless.

PS – And I’d argue that ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Empire of the Sun’ are far superior to either SPR or SL (as films).

#19

I would have to agree. I basically started with TOS when it first came in syndication, and watched the episodes over and over and over again. I have also enjoyed all the subsequent series (even though a few episodes and setups made me cringe). I have to realize that what was great in the 60s, 70, and even early 80s will not continue forever. Us early TOS fans will get older and die out, and basically Star Trek will be a series of trivia questions in 20-30 years if not updated somewhat. TNG and the later series do not bring the same loyalty from fans that TOS had so strong and so long. I want my kids to have Star Trek that they can identify with, but still basically true to the original. My family and I are pumped for May. Just four months to go!

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

It is Fantastic that the Heads of Paramount is in full Support of Trek. this is the Best thing that could have happened to the Franchase and since Gene Passed Away and the last ones in charge did not know what to do Random Chance played in Treks faver. ( In Plaine non vulcan Englise we were lucky)I think J.J and Bob Orici and Alex kurtzman are great Writers and Directors and Producers and I truly Believe Gene Roddenberry would be very pleased to see what and how they are doing with the franchise. Majel Barrett Roddenberry loved it and she even lent her voice one more time and Nimoy Himself even came out of Retirement to Be Spock One more time for all of Us fans. Now if 2 of the Biggest Stars of Trek who where there when it all started back in the Mid Sixtys give there Seal of Approval to this Movie then im all in and Thank the Supreame Court and Brad Grey for Bringing back The greatest Scifi Show Of all Time. Star Trek.

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

Wow. 4 Months to the Day we will See Star Trek.

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

Oh.Im glad they did not name the Move Star Trek 11 or give it a tittle. I love that they are simply calling it. Star Trek

Saving Private Ryan is hardly an artsy movie. It probably has more action sequences in it than his Indiana Jones movies

I’m still bitter about Nemesis being the last TNG film, Enterprise getting cancelled, and Star Trek: The Experience closing. BUT the effort, talent, and money put into this movie ALMOST make it better! Let this be a jumpstart to more movies and series.

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

#42. Morn Speaks. I Completly Agree with you. May This Movie bring more Books and More Movies and Help Reopen the Experence in Las Vegas.

Everyone thinking of passing up the new movie because you don’t like the new ship or are offended by Kirk driving a car better realize that this is make or break for Trek. If this bombs, there won’t be ANY Trek except the fanwank novels and video games for at least 10 years.

No one is going to give it a do-over. This is our only chance.

If you have issues, and want to work to make the NEXT movie better, then fine. If people keep dumping on THIS movie or stay home, there probably won’t BE a next movie or TV show or anything.

If you want to live, and get even better, you need to support this movie AT THE BOX OFFICE. Not on DVD, not on OnDemand, not by illegally downloading it, not by watching it on cable. We get one shot- the BOX OFFICE.

I meant “if you want STAR TREK to live…” in the last paragraph above.. I left out the “Star Trek”!

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

Hey J.J and Bob And Alex. On the Next Movie can you make it About the Terran Empire. Oh ok then How About a Little cross over. Oh ok. Bob and Alex and J.J and Anthony. Your Agonisers please!.

Gosh this is so exciting!!! Can you guys believe this? This is actually happening…woot!

Holy crud… it IS 4 months to the day!

“Before Grey joined Paramount there was a script in development (“Star Trek The Beginning” written by Erik Jendresen), but that never had high level support and was going nowhere by time Grey came on board.”

Exactly so.

Good to hear that they’re so confident about the new movie. :)

32. Enterprise –
“Spielberg was great up until he got into his World War II phase.”

Okay, Enterprise, I know you love to instigate but I gotta take exception with that comment (big surprise?). Spielberg has remained consistantly excellent as a director. “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” are not just great ‘WW2 movies’, they are great films and, yes, art. Private Ryan had some incredible action sequences but they were *never* simply action-for-action’s-sake-alone. And one of his more recent efforts, “War of the Worlds”, is one of the better sci-fi films in recent memory — certainly in terms of a ‘remake’ if you want to look at it that way (like that awful “Day The Earth Stood Still”) it actually surpasses and delivers. Personally I find his later films even better than many of his earlier ones. Go watch “Munich”, too.

If a studio head — let alone the studio head Star Trek reports to — compares Abrams to Spielberg (and I agree he’s onto something here), that’s high praise indeed. Sure, you could argur that like Martin Scorcese there’ve been a few head-scratchers there (“Hook”?) but all in all he’s still innovating and still making great films.

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