Orci & Kurtzman Talk Star Trek Sequel (and the one after that too)

Next weekend Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opens and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will likely have their second hit of the season. The pair are doing a lot of press, including a press conference on Friday, and of course they are getting Star Trek sequel questions. Below are excerpts on the latest from the writers on the next Trek


Bob and Alex sill debating – talked connecting next two movies
At the press conference Orci was quoted (by HitFix) stating:

We literally have not started to break story yet.  We are just getting through all this [‘Transformers’ press] and then figuring out what we are doing next. We have had one ten-minute conversation the other day, but that is it.

But apparently they did cover some ground in that 10 minute convo. Collider also talked to the pair at the event and they said Paramount wanted to make the film "as soon as possible" and they were debating the two kinds of possible plots, specifically Orci stated

exploration sci-fi plot where the unknown and nature itself is somehow an adversary or the villain model. That’s an active discussion we’re having right now. In terms of thinking about more than one movie, we want the movie to be self-contained in a way, but we’re discussing the idea of having a couple of threads where if the second movie works, you could pick up into a cohesive whole.

Specifically Orci cited the example of Spock giving his katra to McCoy in Star Trek II and how that paid off in Star Trek III

Star Trek II katra download leading to Star Trek III upload inspires Orci & Kutrzman to think long term

To Khan or not to Khan
Orci also talked to our friend Ed Gross who has an audio clip up at ComicBookMovie, who asked him specifically about Khan, with Bob noting it is "obviously tempting" to use Khan again, and noted what a great villain he is, in the same pantheon as Darth Vader. However, Bob also noted that there are risks of going back to Khan saying they are "of two minds" and asked "why take the chance?"

The Boys of Summer? – KO Envy?
With writing credits on Star Trek and Transformers 2, plus exec producer credits on this weekend’s The Proposal, Bob and Alex are having a big summer. Today on the popular industry blog Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood, there is a post called "I Feel Your Pain Over Orci & Kurtzman" Apparently the boys ability to get more work than can be listed is causing some to get a little green. From the blog:

We all know that Hollywood envies others’ success. So if Michael Bay can have a Hate Club, maybe Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci should, too. That’s because, whenever I mention their names to bigtime screenwriters and producers who can’t get anything going now, a lot of teeth-gnashing and profanity-spewing ensues.

You know you have made it, when they form the hate club.


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Klingon Warriors, we need Klingon Warriors. We are better than any Romulan.

Xindi, we need Xindi. We are better than any Klingon.

I think Khan should be left to R.I.P. Lets not “new age” the great Khan with another actor.

It doesn’t need to be done.

How about Roberto and Alex make their own great villan. Chances like that don’t come along every day.

It can be done without remaking an original.

The villain model is WAY overplayed in Star Trek. And so are the Klingons, in my humble opinion. I’d be truly excited to see an adventure plot that revolved around the exploration nature of the mission, which never got its fare shake in any of the movies to date.

I would strongly prefer a female villian that is somthing you dont see very often and would fitt in Star Trek context of female power very well. Alls for the next film i would like to see a what would have been story. Maby somthing like a political vacum caused by the disposal of Vulcans, a race that woulndnt have caused any problems in the normal timeline, but now becase of the changies that happend they do they, eg Andorians.

But in the case of Trek everybody seems to like the movies with the strong villains. Khan, the Borg Queen. That’s the mistake McG made with T4. He took the face of the enemy away. Everybody remembers the T-800, the T-1000 and the Terminatrix T-X. But in the new movie the enemy consists only of faceless machines.

On the other side, if they are able to make a movie in the style of “The Undiscovered Country”, I would be more than happy.

“The villain model is WAY overplayed in Star Trek. And so are the Klingons, in my humble opinion. I’d be truly excited to see an adventure plot that revolved around the exploration nature of the mission, which never got its fare shake in any of the movies to date.”

Agreed 100%.

Let the “mission” continue.

I am all for not having an adversary. That is probably the most overdone storyline in ST movies, even more so than time travel.

How about a nice juicy moral dilemma?

No Kahn in the next movie.
Space seed was a good episode but I don’t think it’s movie material and you couldn’t do the Revenge thing from TWOK without the 15 years of being marooned to build Kahn into the Vengeful, obsessed man he became. The power of the story would be lost and to take the story in a completely other direction would (to quote Spock) A waste of good material.

It sounds really interesting to not have a villain who is a person. Some kind of catastrophe that should be averted would be more interesting. With the standard villain-model we all know what will happen: villain will freak out and die at the end – boring.

But we also need William Shatner as resurrected old Prime Kirk in the movie :)


LIKE Heath Ledger JOKER

I so much want to see cardassians.. they are the best enemey ever seen in any movie or tv show!

I don’t like what they’ve done with Trek, but I don’t mind the job they’ve done with Transformers, until I see what “Revenge” will be like that is, hopefully there is a better story than the first as well. If you guys do a “Trans 3” You need to do two things, Unicron!!, and Dinobots!! or the Deal’s off.

Dear #13;
FIne. You don’t like their “Trek”.
Now that you know what their vision is, then don’t go to see the next two movies. This way, I can enjoy them in peace and not have some idiot sit there and critique it.
Because that’s annoying. That and Cell Phones ruin a movie viewing experience.

No Khan! please.

Let’s explore some for awhile… although it would be tempting to do a story that would force the writers to resolve the alternate timeline issue… perhaps the fabric of the universe is unraveling because of the damage inflicted by Nero’s incursion? just a thought.

As to a villain in TREK 2.2, let’s have a lesbian psychopathic drag Borg Queen…. that’d be truly different… and a good example of where no man has gone before. –smirk–

I jest (sorry, just I couldn’t resist– but probably should have– sorry Anthony)!!!

BUT on a serious note… I really am looking forward to Transformers 2!

New story – new villians – with a few klingons for seasoning.
Dont retread old stories please!

Unfortunately, it is singularly difficult to combine epic adventure/action with a moral dilemma, and expect a summer tentpole blockbuster to be successful. Most people go to see these films for the ‘go-bang!’ escapist experience, not to think.

An amusing idea would be to have the feds go to war based on BS justifications (ala the US war in Iraq), and Kirk would take on the role of conscientious objector and side with the Klingons. Of course, this wouldn’t be amusing to some, and it would hit too close at home for others.

Drama requires adversarial relationships, either in the person of an antagonist, or in the template of tragedy. Reading the blurbish comment from the writers, it would seem that they are thinking along these terms of using a environmental “unknown or natural” pretext as the bringer of conflict, which could set up for a nice tragedy…which could then be the ‘hook’ for ST2013’s plot.

Pure exploration films are sadly overlooked. Case in point: this is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon-landing…and do you see any films coming out commemorating that profound achievement of exploration? In the history of humankind’s exploration, the Apollo effort certainly is one of the ‘blockbuster of blockbusters’. As the 12th century Crusaders looked upon the Hagia Sophia and asked themselves “how the f**k did they do that, because we certainly can’t”, the 60s space program is as equally out of the reach of the 20oughts.

To put Apollo 11 into a Trek film idea: The E is sent to the Small Magellenic Cloud on an exercise of pure exploration, with only enough dilithium to get there. 500 light years away, they realize that they have enough fuel to maintain warp for 501 light years, so they have to pick a system that had dilithium. They chose a system and barely make it, with about 20 secs of warp power left. The environment is so hospitable that survival is impossible with current technology. Over a five year period, they have to *invent* the technology to survive long enough to obtain the dilithium they need to return to Alpha Quadrant. (end of Apollo 11 fictional analogy). (Begin fiction here) Successfully refueled, on the return trip they encounter a hitherto unknown spatial anomaly or ‘physics’ which makes their return unlikely. In order to make it, they have to create a temporal wormhole that they will fly the E through, one that will hopefully convert the E into a 27th century Starfleet vessel, so they can survive the anomaly and return home. Once they get back in Alpha, they are met by Klingons, who have a conniption in reaction to the ‘Enterprise-M’ type starship (ala Kelvin/Iowa reacting to Narada). So the gang has to decide whether to destroy the ship (and the collected data of their exploration) in order to preserve something or other, or fight the Klingons using advanced weaponry. What to do?

And that’s when Q (William Shatner in a comic cameo role) shows up to throw a wrench in their return trip…

Okay, that’s a bit lame, but it illustrates a point. Who cares about the work that goes into exploration when the fun stuff (blowing things up) juices the adrenaline more. I expect the writers to come up with a script a 100x better than the one I just suggested, and it would be nice if they could strike a balance between drama and action without using a TOS veteran as the espouser/expositor of the MacGuffins.

Uh-oh, I’m doing what millions of Trek fans have done: create my own wannabe episode. Laugh on, the Trek continues!

Here’s my pitch, Anthony, feel free to delete if you don’t want it here: The movie opens with the Enterprise as part of a Federation convoy (3-4 ships) taking Vulcans to their new colony. Suddenly, an ambush! A Romulan fleet squadron (one large ship and two smaller ones) attacks! A battle ensues. A Federation “aircraft carrier”, USS Intrepid, much larger than Enterprise is dramatically destroyed. It was commanded by Admiral Pike, killed in front of Kirk’s very eyes. For Kirk, it is like losing his father a second time. The Romulans are victorious. The Enterprise and the surviving Federation ships are at their mercy. Only the impending arrival of Federation reinforcements stops the impending slaughter. The Romulans vessels kidnap some Vulcan elders (including Sarek), and warp away, all except for a small Romulan scoutship which was itself damaged in the attack. Federation reinforcements arrive and quickly warp off in pursuit, all except for crippled Enterprise. This is the Hunt for Red October. The loss of USS Intrepid was traumatic for Starfleet, equal to the loss of HMS Hood to the Royal Navy. The Neutral Zone is the North Atlantic. Every Starfleet vessel is hunting for the cloaked Romulan vessel, the flagship/Red October/Bismarck of the enemy fleet. A transmission from Admiral Nogura provides some exposition. The Romulan Commander is a legend, he has the reputation of a Romulan Marco Ramius or Captain Picard. He is cold, calculating and competent, like the Romulans in TNG “The Defector” or TOS “Balance of Terror.” A consummate professional, he is driven by a sense of duty. Once upon a time, he singlehandedly tied down the Federation fleet in the Laurentian System. While performing its own repairs, Enterprise dispatches an away team to the heavily damaged Romulan vessel. The ship is a wreak. McCoy gets to say, “He’s dead, Jim.” Onboard, the away team finds Saavik! She was one of the captured Vulcan prisoners. She has never met Spock. If she looks closer to the crew’s age . . . well, we were never told what her age was in Wrath of Khan, and Vulcans have long lifespans. Immediately, there is sexual tension between her and Spock, centering around the fact that Saavik is a Vulcan female. To love a human is not logical, not when the survival of the Vulcan race is at stake. Drama follows between Spock and Uhura. With Saavik’s help and information from the Romulan ship, the crew discovers what they were after: a weapon of infinite power created by an ancient race of “Space Atlanteans.” Their empire existed before Surak, and stretched over all of is now both Federation and Romulan space. Like the Greeks with incomplete knowledge of the Atlantis, the Vulcan elders captured by the Romulans have information vital to finding the secret location of the ancient Space Atlantean capital. While the rest of the fleet is on a wild goose chase, believing this Ramius is trying to escape across the Neutral Zone, the Enterprise becomes USS Dallas. Saavik reveals that he is actually headed for an uninhabited planet in Federation space that holds another clue about the Atlanteans. The Enterprise arrives at its destination, but the Romulans are waiting. Kirk is beaten again! Turns out that Saavik is (in this alternate timeline) a half Vulcan/half Romulan double agent, and has led them into a trap! Her “rescue” from the derelict Romulan ship was staged so that she could steal some information from the Enterprise computers about the location of the ancient weapon. The second encounter was staged to provide her a means of escape. She kidnaps Spock when she is beamed aboard the Romulan vessel. But Kirk and Spock already knew that Saavik was a double agent, and allowed her to escape. Uhura speaks all 3 dialects of Romulan. This isn’t revealed to the audience until after the battle takes place, but there are clues littered earlier in the movie. The Enterprise was only playing dead. And even though the Romulan ship is cloaked, Spock is broadcasting a hidden signal that allows the Enterprise to track them. Spock is now a hostage aboard the Romulan ship. The sexual chemistry between Saavik and Spock continues (think TOS “The Enterprise Incident”). In this alternate timeline, Saavik is like Juliet when she had Jack locked in a shark tank at the beginning of season 3 of LOST. Nice one minute, will beat the crap out of you the next. The Romulans go the capital of Space Atlantis, a remote planet in the heart of the Neutral Zone. Spock, Sarek, Saavik and the Romulan Commander and some Romulan redshirts go down to the planet in a shuttle. It’s one of those planets where sensors and transporters don’t work. The Enterprise arrives while they are on the surface. This time the Enterprise does… Read more »

You hit the nail on the head there my friend! That’s exactly what the writers should be looking at doing.

Star Trek 2 needs no villain!

If it absolutely has to have a villain, said villain should be Q!

I’ll repeat myself for the heck of it…

Would love to see: A plot loosely based on a Horatio Hornblower episode called “The Wrong War,” in which the young officer (who was an inspiration for Roddenberry’s Kirk) gets stuck in a bad alliance with the French, only to see the whole thing blow up because of the nasty policies (guillotines for everyone!) of said French. It would be great to see the basis for Kirk’s long admiration/hatred of the Klingons. It would also be great to see a truly 3D Klingon.. NOT Krug! More like Kor.

Klingons please

#11, 19: but, but, but I don’t think the Joke (or Batman, for that matter) belong in a “Star Trek” movie. I mean look at the “X-Men/Star Trek” crossover.. what a piece of Star Wreck that was!

um, I realize you were probably using a TDK as a metaphor… okay, this not being able to sleep until all hours of the morning is really getting old (I never seem to be able to sleep before 6-7 a.m. anymore–ugh!)

I vote for the “exploration sci-fi plot where the unknown and nature itself is somehow an adversary.” This type of plot has never really been done in one of the films. Both V’Ger and the Whale Probe were constructed by some race, and all the other movies used the “villain model” (Khan, Kruge, Sybok/”God”, Chang, Soran, Borg Queen, Ru’Afo, Shinzon). I’d say we’re way overdue for an adversary that is NATURE itself. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have living people as secondary villains. :)

Anything has to be better then what was put on the screen this time? It can’t get any worse can it?

I think if we suggest here or elsewhere, they’ll go out of their way to not do it that way, therefore, I’m willing to wait to see what they come up with. That is of course, unless they ask me directly :)

I think the sequel needs to be bigger and lead into a third installment – people might get bored especially a mainstream audience if it’s just a stand alone movie.

If you look at it the only stand alone movie in many a franchise is the first one: Iron Man and Pirates of the Caribbean are two examples of this.

I think the next one needs to have big ideas, cool ideas and Klingons, no Khan yet. A story that involves a lot of current day issues; terrorism, disease.

I really want to see how the destruction of Vulcan effects the federation and it’s enemy’s such as the Romulans as word spreads of how Vulcan came to be no more.

I want to see a big ass prelude to all out war and maybe have more than just the Enterprise – I liked how in the 1st film the Enterprise wasn’t the only ship sent to deal with the Vulcan emergency so I’d like to see something like that again.

either way i want to see Hot Toys have a license to make 12 inch figures. :P

At first i dont want to see any Borgs or Xindi in the next Movie. I would prefer a villian but not a tipical one maby another Captan with some new unexpected motives. Maybe a klassical first contact with a new unknown species or empire, which goes horible wrong

and also – Star Trek II needs to be The Dark Knight of Star Trek.

maybe one of Kirk’s friend’s like Garry Mitchell could make an appearance as someone who goes off the rails suggestive of the first TV pilot WNMHGB

Exploration, wonder, creative situations which expand our thinking and our horizons- That’s what makes Star Trek special and better than almost all other science fiction movies. A recycled villian story, such as Khan? How uninspiring and pedestrian. Mr. Orci and Mr. Kurtzman, please give us a story that at least attempts to convey the themes pertaining to why we became Star Trek fans in the first place.

Better to reach for the stars, even if you don’t do it perfectly, than “settle for an ordinary life.” Please at least try to give us “somethin’ special.”

Javier Bardem for Khan!

In other (and well-written) words:

“I dare you to do better.”

I think a wonderful villain for the sequel would be a ‘Panty Brat’ queen, who presides over a planet of genetically-engineered ‘Panty Brats’; that would be awesome…

How about no villain this time?

And no Khan, please. If ST needs to reiterate stories, *THAT* means ST is in fact DEAD.

Or maybe comandore Decker.?
But i would dislicke a story of a huge war with a huge enemy and somthing like that. People are getting tiered of this huge epical scale adventures. This can be seen in the second james bond a quantum of solace or the third spider man.
I would prefer a personal conflict, like Kirk and Uhura are stranded on a planet or somthing else and Spock as Captain of the Enterprise must decide if he wants to triy to safe or to sacrifice them in order tho avoid a konflikt, you know The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few.
iIprefer a strong personal conflict!

Paramount shud team up with Fox and do Star Trek v A L I E N S

That would be higly unlogical!

I’d love to sit in on the genesis of the new movie.


Around some brewskies and pizza. No better combination.

#14. Gummy

Oh I’m NOT going to watch anymore of their Star Trek Movies.
that way “I” don’t have to sit there with an Entire Theater Full of Idiots that would enjoy anymore Trek movies like this one.

Because it sucked.

Yes Gary seven or in other well written words

“to boldly go where no one has gone before”

No Villain would be a very serious problem… now that the Movie was THAT spectacular and even Non-Fans are liking it etc. you can’t turn 180° and say “Sorry… this time no action, just lame and boring “What is out there” Bla bla”

That would kill Star Trek again…

42- Agreed
One of these stubborn trekkies understands that Hollywood is unable to please everyone. It’s a miracle that Star Trek was so popular with both trekkies and non-fans, and some originally haters that I know. They can’t do a: “Lets go explore the edges of our universe and fight a one million year old space cloud that is Zeus and Abraham Lincoln, and Paul McCartney (who’s actually dead, those lunatics were right)! Come on kids it’ll be ‘exciting’.”

Because that would suck, be boring, make no money, be boring to make, be boring to act, be boring to write, be boring to see posters of, be boring to hear about, be boring to hear a list of what would be boring about it…

Get it.

I think one of the main characters should betray the crew and it’s captian only to be revealed at the end that he or she was doing something heroic! ;)

My main argument against reviving Khan is that Nero already was a poor man’s Khan. Stir-crazy villain with a hint of inner nobility, who, in the very end, goes to his death willingly? Check. Madness caused by natural disaster which led to death of wife? Check. Plotting revenge against Federation/ members of Enterprise crew because they didn’t prevent losses of life by said disaster? Check. Unhealthy habit of inserting psychotrophic insects into his victims’ body orifices? Check. Larger than life? Khan: yes. Nero: close, but not really. So, please no Khan.

I like the idea of Nature as opponent (“Apollo 13” is one of my favorite films.). The problem (and the challenge) is that it can’t be phasered, can’t be punched, can’t be bullied or convinced by a rousing speech to give up and/or self-destruct. You have to endure natural conditions, adapt to them, find a way to “outthink” Nature. But Star Trek is an adventure-drama, so it needs, IMO, inter-personal conflict, too. On board the Enterprise we need to explore the relationsships further. The core crew needs to learn to work together (they had a good start in ST09). The rest of the crew would have to learn to respect Kirk as captain – they could even come close to mutiny until this happens! (Why not an opponent who is a former member of “Ensign Cupcake’s” gang – not as a “villain”, but someone who just doesn’t trust Kirk to do the job, and not entirely without reason? This could add a nice “Lower Decks” perspective to the story.)

Additionally, there could be a (seemingly) minor villain trying to constantly sabotage the efforts of the crew: a “Mudd” character (space pirate/ smuggler) or some Klingon or Cardassian renegades (“renegades” being the official version) – because without an outsider to do battle with the internal conflicts among the crew could become to much of a soap opera.

And when these conflicts are solved, then the real threat behind them should be revealed – a conspiracy, some major power trying to start a war or a major, Borg Queen-level, villain! And this should be the story of the last part of the trilogy – a confrontation on a scale the Enterprise couldn’t have handled without their experiences during Film #2.

@ 4. I agree. I really think they even said that they wanted to explore the unexplored in the next movie. So who knows…

I agree with 4. Eric et al. regarding exploration as a possible plot. Again, Star Trek IV is a good example of how it can be done in an engaging way, by focusing on the characters’ reactions to the situation and the related interplay.

One other option is to explore the intra-galactic politics of this alternate timeline given the aftermath of the events of this first movie. What is Vulcan’s role in the UFP now? It went from first friend of Earth to reluctant mentor figure in the ways of the galaxy to a society that found rebirth in its Surakian ways to ally in the Earth-Romulan War to founding member of the UFP to its current state.

The Romulans of this time probably still haven’t ventured back into Federation space, and who knows what the other empires are up to now?

A third option would be to have a rogue villain like a Harry Mudd or a Q or a Trelane. Someone who simply has good chemistry with the actors and characters but conflicts with the crew’s mission.

That you’re even considering option one is an excellent departure from past films.

Please DO NOT let these guys write the next movie. Like the current one it will be all style and absolutely not substance. They wouldn’t know a serious intelligent sci-fi plot if it bit them. I am sick of reviewers saying this is the best Trek movie ever. It’s not! it may look better than TMP, it may even be more entertaining than Voyage home, and as exciting as Wrath of Kahn. But it’s plot is nowhere as good or as intelligent as any of these. Why does this not seem to matter to anyone?
Abrams has made a Trek film for Star Wars fans. Fine JJ, go make Star Wars for Lucas, but leave our Trek alone!

how about…..The Deadly Years 2.0….cue Shater, Nimoy, Takei, etc….

It needs to be exploring strange new worlds, that is Trek! Villains and space battles are Star Wars and tired old hat.