Orci & Kurtzman Talk Ins and Outs of Star Trek + Not Doing Transformers 3? + Nimoy In Transformers 2?

There are many aspects of Star Trek that you might think are ‘required’ for a film to still be Star Trek, and in a new interview with SciFiWire, Star Trek co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman go into some detail about what made the cut and what didn’t, and why (including Shatner). See a summary below [minor spoilers]. Plus it looks like O & K are not doing Transformers 3.


Ins and outs with Bob and Alex
In the interview with SciFiWire the writers said that everything in the film would be "organic" and nothing was just forced into the movie, but many things ended up "inevitable." They got in to specifics on some things that made into the final film, and some things that didn’t…

What’s in:

  • McCoy saying "Dammit, Jim I’m a doctor, not a BLANK"
  • Scotty doing something like "I’m giving it all I got, Cap’n"
  • Kirk cheating on Kobayashi Maru
  • Some kind of ‘insult fight’ between McCoy and Spock

What didn’t make it in:

  • Carol Marcus
  • Shatner

Regarding Shatner, Kurtzman explained:

There’s been a lot of debate about that. … We just, we really tried very hard to get him in there in a way that felt organic, but the problem was that because he died in continuity [in Star Trek: Generations], … I think it would have felt a little bit cheap, is what we all decided. And, you know, we really struggled with it, because we wrote a scene that we really loved, and, ultimately, I think it might have felt like an add-on, you know? Whereas our story, without giving away too much, Spock [played by Leonard Nimoy] is such a critical part of the story that literally the story cannot be told without him.

For more from Bob and Alex, check out the full interview at SciFiWire

No Transformers 3 for Bob & Alex? + Nimoy voicing for Transformers 2?
In a recent Tidbits we reported that Paramount had already set a date of July 1, 2011, although director Michael Bay said later he wanted in for the same weekend but for 2012. However it looks like whatever date it is, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman may not have any more giant robots in their future. In a post on the Don Murphy Forums (via Slashfilm), Bob wrote (of Transformers 3).

“Time for fresh blood! The main reason we would move on is because we risk getting stale and comfortable. If you only sing one song for too long, you miss the opportunity to sing news songs. We’ll see.

Bob also opined on Leonard Nimoy voicing a character for the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The character Galvatron was voiced by Frank Welker in the 80s animated show, but Leonard Nimoy did the voice in the animated Transformers: The Movie in 1986. On the forums Orci also said that he would "love it" if Nimoy did the voice, and he has talked to him about it, also noting:

I actually talked to him about it, given the odd coincidence that he is Michael Bay’s cousin through marriage, but fan outcry has also put Welker in the running.



newest oldest
Notify me of
ensign joe

And get orsen wells to voice unicron.. oh wait..


If they felt the Shatner scene was a “throwaway” scene, maybe they could have filmed it and shown it after the credits (ala Nick Fury in Iron Man). That way, average moviegoers probably would have already left, while us old fogies who stayed thru the credits got the little bonus. No big deal, but still, too bad it didn’t happen.


I hope Orci and Kurtzman don’t get to feeling that way about writing Star Trek movies…


“Regarding Shatner, Kurtzman explained:

There’s been a lot of debate about that. … We just, we really tried very hard to get him in there in a way that felt organic, but the problem was that because he died in continuity [in Star Trek: Generations], … I think it would have felt a little bit cheap, is what we all decided.”

Can’t see why they give a hoot about continuity and Shatner — they have ignored the rest of continuity when making this film! It probably would have worked better with Shatner in the film……


Too bad they won’t release the scene they wrote for the Shat. I would like to read it at least.


4 makes a valid point, though let’s stifle and wait to see what they have done for us



Oh, you have seen the film already?


#5 … They’re going to. Orci said so on this site.

Mike Stivic

It’s too bad that Shatner didn’t (and probably won’t) get one last chance to play Captain Kirk. It should have happened on Enterprise. It should have happened in this movie. But I understand the difficulty with the roadblock that is Generations. Actually, Paramount should have saved Kirk a long time ago, using an adaptation of the Shatner/Reeves-Stevens novel The Return and then Shatner would have been able to be in this movie too.

Actually, it’s too bad Countdown couldn’t have found a way to resolve the matter. It’s primarily fans that know the details of the time-line of the Generations events, so you’d only have to solve that problem for the fans, and could have done it in the comic books. Most casual viewers would of course know Kirk and Shatner but not have a huge memory of Generations and if it were resolved for the fans, it’d be all set. But I realize this movie was not ever meant to focus on Shatner and I regret that there was no final Kirk-Spock (Shatner-Nimoy) movie like the writers of the movie Free Enterprise wanted to write.


What a bunch of whining babies. Did you whine this much over the reboot of BSG? Or Dark Knight? Those turned out to be damn good stories, and told well. If this movie sucks, I will shout it from the rooftops, but I have to wait to see it first. Besides- Kirk is dead. He died saving a planet of backwater peasants from a dying star. He always knew he was going to die alone. Get over it.


Everything that happened, happened.
Everything that is filmed canon is respected by Orci & Kurtzman.

Including “Generations”.

Re: #4
*sigh* They’ve said time and time again that Trek canon was very important to them. It’s grossly unfair to say they didn’t pay attention to it until you’ve seen the film.

The Spirit of Truth

I agree with #7…

I you are intent upon not enjoying this film for what it is…A Star Trek film… Please, do not ruin it for the rest of us by putting it down every second.

The Spirit of Truth

I also agree with 11 and 12…


To me, the main roadblock with including Shatner was very simple – age. He looks nothing like he did during Generations, and if you’re bringing him back from the dead why did he age 14 years in the meantime? It would have the potential to look like that awful Enterprise finale, where we’re supposed to believe that Jonathan Frakes is playing Riker from Season 6, yet he looks like Riker from Season 18. Nimoy’s Spock is supposed to be in advanced age, so that fits.

I do understand those that want to see him in the role one last time, however. I still think it would have been distracting or contrived, no matter how you did it, but I understand it.


Hi Josh!


Tsk tsk tsk… you tried really HARD to think of a way to fit His Shatness into your story… but COULDN’T? Just because he’s dead??

For pennance, you must rent: The Red Tent.

minor spoiler alert: THEY’RE ALL DEAD!

minor spoiler to the spoiler: you find that out in the first two minutes.


lol Season 18…

stop FIRST comments

I wish Carol Marcus could have made it in, although I suppose there is room in the sequel.


so true!


…looking forward to reading the scene they wrote for him. Even though it didn’t happen, it’ll be fun to imagine.


ooops…. only SOME are dead. My bad. It’s still a good movie.


#9 “Actually, it’s too bad Countdown couldn’t have found a way to resolve the matter.”

Exactly. Most fans are embracing that as part of canon (including me), so why not? Countdown could have brought back Kirk instead of Data.

The audience JJ is going for now, especially the young ones, never even saw Generations. Most people would’ve just been happy to see the man they recognize as “the original Kirk” in this story about a young Kirk. Seeing Shat & Nimoy together one last time would’ve been magic for any Trek fan.


For all I care, let them repeat the same lame excuses regarding Shatner over and over again – maybe it makes them feel better. Nevertheless, poppycock remains poppycock.


I would like to see Carol Marcus in the sequel…

Because there will be a sequel.

Spectrum of the Spock

will Kirk still hook up with Miramanee???

to #4 (I hear violins in the background)

Thorsten said it right … Kirk died on film. Continuity, canon (note: correct spelling of the word) is being preserved by not including KIrk in this tale.

Sure, I would have loved to see the pairing of Nimoy and Shatner again, I mean let’s face it, both gentlemen are now 78 and we probably will never see the likes of this bromance again.

So tell me if you all are such experts how would you have included Kirk, a dead man, in this film? This is a TREK film, not “Star Trek: Zombies of the Stratosphere (oops, that was has already been done, hasn’t it?)”

If you (#4) and all the other naysayers are so bent on hating the film even before it debuts on May 8, please feel free to do so, but please don’t feel like you have to rain on everyone else’s umbrella. It’s really getting tiresome.

I'm dead Jim

What #27 said!

#4 & #24 — yes, rinse and repeat….and just when it had died down. He’s not in it, we get it and I know I’ve moved on but I can do without this again.

Jay El Jay

If Nimoy’s Spock is going back in time blah blah blah then wouldnt this affect the outcome of Kirk???

I was really hoping for a Shat cameo at the end of this movie, you know what I mean, Nimoy comes back to the future and meets and old friend…

Shat: *Standing in a darkened room* Hello Spock

Nimoy: Computer, Lights! *Lights come on to reveal an older Kirk standing with a smile on his face*

Shat: We did it…

Nimoy: We did my old friend… we did

*Music kicks in and the camera cuts to young spock and kirk on the bridge of the Enterprise, they exchange a look of friendship, the camera pans out to reveal the whole crew*

Uhura: Captain, we are recieving word from Starfleet command, we are to report back to be debriefed

Sulu: Course sir?

Kirk: Take us home Mr Sulu…

*Music and credits*

“So tell me if you all are such experts how would you have included Kirk, a dead man, in this film?”

Given that things ARE changed, a very simple fix could be that because of Nero’s meddling, Kirk didn’t die in Generations so he’s now an old man. Simple cameo at end when Spock returns to his timeline and finds his old pal alive. Old Shatner fans happy; new fans wouldn’t storm out of the theatre sceaming “THEY RUINED THE FILM!!” either. [I think a lot of non trek fans find it odder that Shatner isn’t it in when they hear Nimoy is….at least that’s the comments I’ve gotten.]

The Chad

#15, I couldn’t agree more. In my opinion, Shatner never should have been in Generations in the first place. I always saw ST6 as the original crew send-off, and given that they signed their names in the credits, I think it was intended to be. But that send off wasn’t good enough for old Shat, so he signed up for Generations and at the time wanted THAT to be his farewell death scene send-off. So now 14 years later he (and the fans) want yet ANOTHER send-off? How many send-offs do there need to be for people to be satisfied? Spock is a Vulcan and Vulcan’s live a longer life-span. It serves the story and makes sense. Shat dug his grave (pun intended) and needs to lay in it.

Correction, Anthony:
Frank Welker did the voice of Megatron in the animated series and movie.
In the movie, Megatron is killed and then reborn as Galvatron via Unicron. Galvatron was voiced by Leonard Nimoy.


I’m glad the Shat was given the shaft. It’s time for him to realize that he didn’t single-handedly invent Star Trek and usher in the computer age and the 21st century. Whether his exaggerated ego is pretend or real, he needs to see that Trek, even TOS-era Trek, can live without him. Plus, he doesn’t even really look like Kirk anymore. And how would you get him into the timeline? Kirk does not need to live forever; anything that puts him alive in the TNG era beyond what happened in Generations is ridiculous (and even that was ridiculous)…he is not immortal nor would he want to be. Barring TNG-era resurrection, the only way to get him in would be to stop over in TOS/movie-era and pick him up and then take him back further, which would also be ridiculous…as if it’s not already bad enough that we are rehashing a time travel threat to the origins of the Federation. How many times have they done that now?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the movie, but give all this Shatner crap a rest. Kirk is in the movie and that’s all you should need. Shatner stopped acting and looking like Kirk a long a time ago.


Liz, I don’t know if Spock will be able to return to the Prime timeline…

I’d take Nimoy’s Galvatron over Welker’s any day!

The Chad

#33, Frank Welker also did the voice of Galvatron in the series after the movie. I believe that’s what Anthony was referring to.

#15 You are right it’s been about 14 years since “Generations” when Kirk died. I would think in the new movie Old Spock has changed the past some how and it has stopped the death of Kirk in “Generations”and Kirk lives on. But we wouldn’t know this until Old Spock returns home to his time in the future after “Nemesis”. Shatner would be the right age to play Kirk at that time after “Nemesis”in the new Star Trek movie. But I have bad feeling Old Spock gets killed in this movie so no Shatner in this movie.

Rocket Scientist

Yet to those who take the view that this isn’t “the real crew”, but rather some alternate timeline doppelgangers…this older fellow wouldn’t be the “real Kirk” to them either! He would equally be the product of timeline change.

And equally as impossible to embrace as “the real thing”.


I think the most one can hope for is that there is something in this movie that hints that Shatner could be in the second movie as a result of the timeline alteration erasing Kirk’s death.

Something, for instance, a la, Spock doing the Katra transfer on McCoy at the end of WOK. Preferably not that broad a hint.

By the way, that hint of Spock’s return would not have been so broad if it weren’t for the casket shot at the end.

Maybe an end of mission recap on the bridge where one of the crew asks if the timeline is restored as it was, Spock explains that it is not, and his comments drift to a silence and a pause to allow the audience to catch the meaning.

2. TonyD – March 25, 2009

Good idea! the Nick Fury scene at the end was there for the fans, and it was fantastic. A Shat scene at the end would be unreal!



If Kirk’s death in Generations is avoided by a timeline alteration, that would allow Shatner to play him 14 years after Generations. That doesn’t mean he would be alive x number of years later in the post-Nemesis era, unless we’re doing one of those Leonard McCoy 150 years old floating wheelchair stories.

Star TRackie

Generations happened in another timeline..his death is irrelevant. In the original timeline, even if things change by the altered timeline, SPock is ancient, so Kirk would no doubt already be dead of old age.

The question is how do you bring in Shatner/Kirk within the contraints of the new timeline. I would guess, by either a memory of Spock prime or tape or hologram that lets Spock play for the younger Kirk, showing him a glimpse of his future. 78 year old Shatner can easily pass for a 60 year old Kirk, so the problem was probably either ego, $$ or both.

They should have done it, in no way could it have hurt, not with Nimoy in the picture as well. Darn shame, it would have been the icing on an already delicous cake.


#38 – Never mind. Brain freeze. Time travel hurts my head.

If Kirk’s death in Generations is avoided by a timeline alteration, that would allow Shatner to play him 14 years after Generations. That doesn’t mean he would be alive x number of years later in the post-Nemesis era, unless we’re doing one of those Leonard McCoy 150 years old floating wheelchair stories.


Okay, I’ve f’ed this up twice now, let me see if I can make my point coherently.

The question is how is the timeline altered, specifically, as related to Kirk and the Nexus? If it alters, say, the launching of the Enterprise B, then Kirk presumably lives to old age in the post Undiscovered Country era and dies naturally.

If, however, it alters the timeline by impacting at a point after the events on Enterprise B, then presumably Kirk could survive Veridian III and be alive at Shatner’s current age as Spock returns from his mission to the past.


#27 – So tell me if you all are such experts how would you have included Kirk, a dead man, in this film? This is a TREK film, not “Star Trek: Zombies of the Stratosphere (oops, that was has already been done, hasn’t it?)”

I’m not really bothered that Shatner isn’t in the film; but since you asked, I honestly don’t think it would have been that hard. As to one possible way to do it…

We already know that there’s a scene in the movie where old Spock meets young Kirk; the writers could have used that to throw a lifeline, maybe in the form of a note, padd or tricorder that Spock leaves inside Kirk’s jacket or duffel bag. Later on you might have a quick scene of young Kirk reading said message and glancing thoughtfully at it. Then, insert a quick scene (preferably after the end credits so as to make it as minimally intrusive as possible to the main story) of Spock and Kirk, both alive and well in the far future, maybe with Kirk referencing said message. The casual moviegoer might or might not pick up on that (and probably wouldn’t care either way) while the old stalwarts would have gotten their wish.

I came up with that after about 5 minutes of idle thinking. Its not particularly original and owes more than a bit to Back to the Future, but I’m sure the writers could have come up with something even better, assuming of course they could have gotten Shatner to go along with it.

Again, I don’t really mind that Shatner isn’t in this one at all and I very much doubt he would have agreed to just a quick cameo, but I don’t buy all this talk of how hard it would have been to write in a quick scene given established canon.


10. Dubsaque – March 25, 2009

What a bunch of whining babies. Did you whine this much over the reboot of BSG? Or Dark Knight?
Think about it before you post.
The Classic BSG TV show did not have 40 years of history like Star Trek. The Classic BSG TV show did not have three seasons, six movies, four spin-off TV shows and four spin-off movies like Star Trek.

The 1989 Batman movie only really had one sequel (Batman: Returns). Then it was rebooted with Batman: Forever.
The Dark Knight was just one more reboot.

Also The James Bond Movies seems to have been reboot many times before RC.

If Trek-Fans are whining babies because They are standing up for 40 years of Star Trek history, then what are you, Dubsaque? seeing you are so really to bend over for JJ and bad robot.


TonyD, do you watch Lost?
Damon Lindelof turns the time travel donkey wheels in both,
the Lostverse and the Trekverse…

If it’s assumed that, by the time of Trek’s present, humans live to be upwards of 120 years old (like McCoy in “Encounter at Farpoint”), then Kirk still probably would have died sometime around 2340. That’s about 30 years prior to the TNG episode “The Neutral Zone”. And if we assume “Generations” happened about seven years after that, we’re talking 2378 – and unless Kirk lived to be 158 years old (and it’s doubtful even McCoy could help him live that long) it’s unlikely he’d be still alive during Spock Prime’s decision to travel back to TOS’s past. Even if he didn’t die on Veridian III or be presumed dead at the maiden voyage of USS Enterprise-B.

Either way, he’s still dead, Jim.

screaming satellite

i think we’ll see Shatner via old or manipulated footage like they did with Brando in Superman Returns…like a hologram of shatner as kirk in his 50s or 60s from a previous trek film or even something like TJ Hooker or Airplane II …(obviously not any younger as Pines young kirk now)

i think so..maybe old spock or nero will show or look at a hologram or a recording of old kirk (or even a photo – like connery in Crystal Skull)…or even a recording of his voice from a previous film. …its not like theyd have to tell shatner as it dosnt work like that with old footage – they would just have to pay for the footage (actually they wouldnt even have to if its from a previous star trek as its all paramount)