EXCLUSIVE: Report From Berlin Star Trek News Conference w/ Q&A & Video

TrekMovie continues with our stop by stop coverage of the Star Trek world tour. On Thursday JJ Abrams and his team were in Berlin Germany for a gala premiere of Star Trek (see previous report). Before that event they held a press conference. Today we bring you inside that with a full report below, including images, quotes and video.


Star Trek team talks to German press
On Thursday the Star Trek crew arrived in Berlin coming from Paris the day before to hold a premiere at the Sony Center at the Potsdamer Platz. J.J. Abrams, John Cho, Zoe Zaldana. Zach Quinto, Bryan Burk, Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg checked in at the Hotel De Rome at the very heart of the city, close to the boulevard Unter den Linden. Thursday afternoon Paramount held a press conference at the hotel with the Trek crew on a panel. They would only allow camera phone pictures inside the event, so here is a panorama stitched together from smaller photos

Star Trek team in Berlin (click to enlarge)

Some excerpts here…

Question: You are all Action figures now. Are you happy with the results?

Simon Pegg: I play with myself a lot.

Zoe Zaldana: Guten Tag, Wie gehts? At the first take you criticize everything about your physical appearance, the second time you love it. My doll has pretty skinny legs, but it’s okay…


Is Star Trek just a job or does it mean more to you?

John Cho: This job has special significance for me. When I emigrated to the US from South Korea as a child there were not a lot of Asian American actors on TV but George Takei and Trek were a real exception, very positive and spectacular. It was extremely meaningful for me to watch it as a boy and to follow in his footsteps now.

Zachary Quinto: It was a great pleasure and honor for me to work directly with Leonard, even if Spocks’ character is magnetic and complex in it’s own right it was an incredible experience to meet the man who brought him to life and get the torch passed from him to me.

Chris Pine: When TOS came out in the sixties the world and the USA were divided, and on the Enterprise people from lots of different countries and planets worked together, a very positive vision for humanity.

Karl Urban: I loved and watched TOS as a boy. The vision Gene Roddenberry created in the sixties, with a society that moved beyond internal conflict and went on to explore space, had a lot of appeal to me. For me it was a great honor to take on such an iconic role that was so wonderfully developed by Mr. Kelley.

Simon Pegg: It was no job for me. Because I did not get paid. I paid a small amount of money to J.J. for playing Scotty. Just kidding. It was a complete labor of love.


Question: JJ, a lot of movies are done in front of a green screen these days, you went for a more realistic look…

Abrams: I knew that the movie would have tons of special effects and I wanted to shoot as much as possible on sets. So we found locations as much as we could and tried to shoot as much as we could in real spaces. The goal was to make people believe that this ship is flying with real characters on board. So we stayed away as much as possible from the green screen.

Urban: For me the hangar at Starfleet academy was the most amazing location we were at. It was a huge airship hangar in Los Angeles, the most gigantic space I have ever been. It added a real scope to Star Trek that was not done before.


Question: How was it to meet Leonard Nimoy for the first time?

Quinto: It was incredible. We first met at ComiCon in an elevator. We went to a panel in front of 6,000 people to announce that we will make the movie. My first experience with Star Trek. Before the doors opened he looked at me and said:" You have no idea what you in form kid!"
After this we became friends. He is a great, inspiring artist.


Question: How did you prepared to become James T. Kirk?

Pine: I watched the remastered first season of TOS pretty intently on DVD. Halfway through it I found myself obsessing about how to create the perfect William Shatner impersonation. Then I talked with J.J. about what kind of balance to strike between bringing something new to the part and paying homage to what Mr. Shatner has done. I never tried to imitate the things that Mr. Shatner did so well.


Urban sprechen sie Deutsch? – Takes on Cho in German
At one point in the conference, Karl Urban started talking German, having some fun with John Cho…
Urban: Es tut mir leid, aber mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut. John Cho spricht kein deutsch. Du bist ein Dummkopf, John.
Cho: Danke, Karl.
Urban: Du stinkst, aber ich liebe Dich!

which translates to…
Urban: Sorry, but my German is not so great. John Cho doesn’t speak german at all. You are stupid, John.
Cho: Thanks, Karl.
Urban: You smell bad, but I love you!

VIDEO from Berlin conference and ‘blue carpet’
Here are some additional brief video clips from Berlin of some comments from the Star Trek team at the press conference and the blue carpet, courtesy of AP.

And here is more video from yesterday’s Blue Carpet (noise levels were not great and so there is no audio, but instead music from Star Trek).

UPDATE: and one more from the premiere (by Sundown Entertainment)

More TrekMovie Star Trek World Tour coverage
TrekMovie has been covering each stop on the world gala tour for JJ Abrams and his Star Trek team, with our own team on the spot when possible. Here is a summary of articles so far:

Today’s Stop: Madrid – next up London
The Star Trek European tour keeps on going. After Berlin, the team headed to Madrid, Spain for a press event today. TrekMovie will have more on that event coming up soon. And on Monday TrekMovie will have another exclusive report from the London premiere and press conference. 


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Why do ALL the German press reports use “The Future has Begun” as the movie title?

Wasn’t John Cho originally a teacher?

I guess that says alot about America’s school system that his coworkers see him as having limited intelligence.

That music has actually more a Batman (Danny Elfman) feel to it.

Pine joins the large group of people who have obsessed over TOS DVDs.

Only he has better reasons.

Du bist ein dummkopf, LOL. I’ve heard that one waaaay too many times…. Usually from my twin brother, arggh.

“…Spocks’ character is magnetic…

Quinto must mean ‘paramagnetic.’


It’s a literal translation of ‘Die Zukunft Hat Begonnen’ – the tagline as it appears on the German Trek poster.

‘Die Zukunft Beginnt’ would be closer to ‘The Future Begins’.

@ 1

It is the official tagline. It is also on the film poster.

But they use “Die Zukunft hat begonnen” as the movie title, not as a tagline.

That is the Problem…

Look at this, obviously some of those designers put the tagline beneath Star Trek so that it appears as the Subtitle as “Star Trek: Die Zukunft hat begonnen”

Because every German movie gets a movie title. Probably they are just used it and want to differ Star Trek Xi from all the former Star Trek productions in this way.

It’s a little strange…
On the one hand nowaday’s marketing in Germany tries to use as many “cool” English words as possible,
On the other hand they still use German movie titles for almost every movie, as if they expect the people’s English to be too bad for translating the original English title.

sorry, typo, not every German movie gets a movie title, but every movie gets a German movie title :D

Is anyone finding Quinto trying to be a bit above it all? He’s the only one out of them all that seems to feel the need to talk like an old school theatre actor with the way they take it, and themselves, so seriously. He lacks expressed joy. Boring. He is trying to act like an actor and he’s using some outdated mold. I lived in LA for almost a decade and worked in TV. I would almost never date actors. They try too hard to be and feel important. While the casting of him as Spock is dead on and perfect, I find him bothersome. It’s like when he talks I’ve met him before… and I have in the form of many other actors and wannabe actors that struck this same tired tone.

Just sayin’

(but again I think he nails it as Spock)

Hi there from Argentina…

promotion does not seem to be too big over here… as a matter of fact I only saw a TV report on the midnight news about half a month ago…

some cinemas are not announcing it at all on their web sites, some are announcing it as “Star Trek 11”, which from my point of view at least, is a disaster… Star Trek movies haven´t even made it to the cinema here lately, so why tie this one with the others by calling it “11”!? It just escapes me… People are gonna be expecting “just another Star Trek”… Well, i´m not the marketing genius here, so, surely somebody knows something I don´t hahaha!!!

The more I learn about this film the more I like it!

Come on Zoe, Like you’re not already from Heaven, Riiight.

@ 11

They use definitely Star Trek as the main title. Look here:


“Star Trek” is very big on the German poster. “Die Zukunft hat begonnen” is really only a tagline or perhaps an addition of the main title. The posters of the USA, UK, Italy, Spain, perhaps also the Japanese one (I don’t understand it) and probably some posters from other countries, too use the same tagline. In the German poster the tagline is even UNDER “Star Trek” and not above it as in the US poster.

then read the german press reports if you don’t believe me ;)

“Question: How did you prepared to become James T. Kirk?

Pine: I watched the remastered first season of TOS pretty intently on DVD. Halfway through it I found myself obsessing about how to create the perfect William Shatner impersonation. Then I talked with J.J. about what kind of balance to strike between bringing something new to the part and paying homage to what Mr. Shatner has done. I never tried to imitate the things that Mr. Shatner did so well.”

Question: How did you prepared to become the Alternate James T. Kirk?

Pine: I watched the remastered first season of prime TOS pretty intently on DVD. Halfway through it I found myself obsessing about how to create the perfect “prime” William Shatner impersonation. Then I talked with J.J. about what kind of balance to strike between bringing something alternate to the part and paying alternate homage to what Mr. prime Shatner has done in the prime universe. I never tried to imitate the prime things that Mr. Shatner did so well.

Alden on #2.

It also goes to show that your intelligence is also limited. Karl Urban is from New Zealand, and never attended American schools. The “joke” was merely jest, and I’m sure they weren’t being serious in saying John Cho is a dummy.

By the way, who translated that? The translation above wasn’t really all that accurate, though it does get the basic point accross I guess.

@ 20

I have and have also SEEN reports about the premiere on German TV. They are using Star Trek as the title!

Look here:


Not one article headline use “Die Zukunft hat begonnen”.

Thanks for all the transcripts and videos, Thorsten. That Sundown Entertainment one was especially well done.

@ 23
The translation is correct (i am german!!)

at some news-sites they realy use “Die Zukunft hat begonnen” as movie title like “The wrath of Khan”!

“Für die Geschichte «Die Zukunft hat begonnen» schickte US-Regisseur Jeffrey Jacob Abrams”

“der neue Star-Trek-Film „Die Zukunft hat begonnen“, der am Donnerstagabend”

“zur Deutschland-Premiere von „Die Zukunft hat begonnen“ angereist”

“Deutschlandpremiere von “Star Trek – Die Zukunft hat begonnen” nur für die Fotografen”

am Besten ja im ZDF: “‘Star Trek: Die Suche hat begonnen’ zeigt…”

the last video is done extremely well

@ 27

They use this tagline/subtitle to differentiate it from the other Star Trek films. Star Trek is still in each article the main movie title. In the article where you get for example your first sentence from and which is posted word for word on many news sites, you can find also those sentences:

Deutschlandpremiere von «Star Trek» in Berlin (The headline of the article!!!)

«Star Trek» ist der elfte Kinofilm, dessen Figuren auf den Ideen des amerikanischen Drehbuchautors und Produzenten Gene Roddenberry basieren.

«Star Trek» startet am 7. Mai in den Kinos.

the link to that one was sent by me :D



Dont lose your faith in our country :) See ya at the premiere


hey, brother, that´s exactly what I was saying: I´ve seen too few announcements (that´s one of them) and I do not like the “11” thing… but hey, at least we´ll be having Trek in cinemas!!!

And from the looks of it it´s going to rock!!

#22—-We all get it. You don’t like things being “altered”. Come to think of it, I think that might be some kind of syndrome…

A little off-topic but TV spot #7 just showed up on Spike TV during Star Wars Episode I (yes, yes, I know). Like I said, very quick shots, not a whole lot. Mostly, it was a mash-up of the previous trailers and TV spots with some minor additions (a quick, wider shot of the whole crew on the bridge that was depicted in the early promo photos (they’re definitely looking at Spock) and what seemed to be more of Kirk on the Narada). Ends with Nero’s “Fire Everything”.

Ok, just had to share! I just got tickets on fandango for Star Trek at the Bridgeport Mall IMAX (Portland, Ore) Sat. May 9 at 4:05pm! Yay!! (Yeah, I know, but can’t go on Friday, spouse has to work).

Yes, Germans obviously like to bring in their own approach, too…;)

How about:
“I never tried to imitate the prime things – I mean the things that made Kirk the cult hero we know and love – that Mr. Shatner did so well.” :)

I have a variation of the same syndrome – I’d have loved to have only ONE thing altered and apparantly that didn’t happen.

Oh, I love my “syndrome” – makes each day a challenge…:))

– You are all Action figures now. Are you happy with the results? –
– Simon Pegg: I play with myself a lot. –


Urban’s little german joke was nice – makes him even more sympathic than before. I think he’s perfect for McCoy. :)


He is… and his second name is Heinz!

Zoe Zaldana is just perfectly beautiful ! :) ,, mmmMm!
so sexy
just.. mmmm

Ok, can someone tell me why it’s a blue carpet and not a red one?

I’ve promised my date at the London premiere we’re going onto the red carpet..and yeah, its blue but still…


Blue Nacelles… Blue Carpet


The “blue carpet” worked very good. It made an eerie light in Sony Centre in Berlin and it was science blue – yikes.

I loved to walk over this beautiful looooong carpet through an huge delta into the movie theatre. All the huge Trek promotional items in black, off-white, blue, dark lilac worked perfectly with this colour.

Besides, Zoe was in red – she would have been lost on a red carpet.

Here are some Photos from the Premiere in Berlin

Why does JJ keep saying that “he wasn’t a huge Trek fan, he has become one.”

That just bugs me… You have to be a huge fan to take this project on otherwise the movie would suck and does not look like it will.

This is my fathers Trek and will always be. It they wanted keep it the same then they would not have made several different series. Like TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT.

Variations and different interpretations are welcome and I am really looking forward to this movie…..

@45 Sometimes it is better to have a Non-Fan making a Movie… so that it still be a movie and not just a giant fangasm!

ProSieben has finally a TV Spot for Star Trek (saw it right now!)! Don’t know if it has been found on Youtube in the english version :D

Somebody titled IMDb’s gallery with pictures from Berlin as the London premiere. Gave me a fright thinking it’d gone ahead 4 days early! I’m looking forward to going there.

Very nice

I just found this german spot on youtube:

#45—“You have to be a huge fan to take this project on…”

Neither Harve Bennett nor Nick Meyer were fans prior to “taking on” STII: TWOK. And *that* film—still today—sets the standard for not only Trek films, but B-movies in general.

@45: Two words: Nicholas Meyer.

Sometimes it pays off to bring in someone with no preconceptions of how things “should” be.