Orci & Kurtzman: Chances Of Khan In Star Trek Sequel 50/50

There is yet another Transformers interview with Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman that delves into Star Trek territory, but this one they actual gave some odds on if Khan Noonien Singh will show up in the Star Trek sequel, along with talking about how fans (like those here at TrekMovie) are informing their decisions.


More from Bob and Alex on the great debate over the Star Trek sequel
excerpt from Movie Moron interview

Movie-Moron: You’ve mentioned that the fan talkbacks are informing future Star Trek films. Are there any specific suggestions that you’re going to consider? Any big Red Lights of where NOT to go with the franchise?

Roberto Orci: As you can imagine every kind of opinion has been expressed in relation to the movie, so there have been both red lights, green lights, yellow lights, the gamut. What they have done is very quickly identified the fork in the road, which is to do a completely original story or to harmonize with canon the way we did in the first movie, where some of the events overlapped with the original universe and were the same even if time travel hadn’t happened and some of the harmonies were reversed, like Spock with Uhura instead of Kirk. They very quickly have fallen into those two camps. And that’s interesting cause that’s the debate we’re having with ourselves. So we’re literally getting to read this ongoing debate online and it’s very helpful.

Movie-Moron: Seems like it’s a lot of people fleshing out all the possibilities.

Roberto Orci: And just the merits of one philosophy over another more than any specific ideas. It’s more about what’s philosophically right to do. Very fascinating.


Movie-Moron: Arguably the most iconic Star Trek villain: Khan. What is the chance you’re going to bring him back?

Roberto Orci: What do you think Alex? 50/50? Is that a boring answer?

Alex Kurtzman: That’s a good answer.

Roberto Orci: 50/50. Let’s flip a coin right now on the phone. If I said 10/90 I wouldn’t tell you which direction we were leaning in anyway.

Much more from Alex and Bob, including why Nero never went to Romulus, at Movie-Moron.com.

A new Space Seed?
Most in the mainstream media think of the 1982 film The Wrath of Khan, when the name Khan comes up, but if Bob and Alex are sticking to their timelines (even their alternate timelines), then any movie with Khan would involve a retelling of the TOS episode "The Space Seed" when Khan was first encountered by the USS Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk. It was Kirk’s solution in that episode, exiling Khan on Ceti Alpha V, that prompted Khan’s revenge (and wrath).

Remastered trailer for “Space Seed”

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This time they can actually show Khan meeting Chekov!

Maybe Khan will be bald. We’ve been having bald villains for four movies in a row now.

Please, NO Khan in the sequel! He’s too iconic and shouldn’t be messed with.

If you want a good villain for Kirk to face off against, use Captain Garth of Izar. Remember, he tried to force his crew to wipe out a civilization. We could see exploration, conflict, Kirk facing a superior intellect/experience (Garth was a hero, remember), etc…

Make it a mix of Apocalypse Now (taking out the crazy commander)

But please, no Khan. Why go again where Trek has so ably gone before?

Please, no.

If you’re going to revisit TOS episodes, I again recommend an amalgamation of “Errand of Mercy” and “A Private Little War.”

Bob and Alex, since you say you are listening… look, just make a bang up movie.. go with the great story, and stay true to the characters…. a rehash of an old story is fine, as long as it’s good.. Khan, Mudd, Kor, Koloth, Tribbles, whatever… it’s got to be good…

I think everyone trusts you now… to carry forward, and bring our heros to life again, and again , and again….

My vote is for a tribble/Organian Peace Treaty/Kor/Koloth/huge war thing that shows us the funny ( with the tribbles) part of our show and the best bad guys in the universe, the Klingons…

OMG I remember those days, I was a little kid. I still like watching the oldies though. However, I am not as old as Shatner, he is old enough to be my dad. LOL

no khan please.
be original.
long live trek.

Give us Klingons, a lot of Klingons, not Khan.

I have to say, the best way to go would probably involve a combination of new and old like the current movie. Like having the klingons in it but doing a totally new story and a new take on the klingons that we haven’t seen before, for example.

# 4 – Or, merging “The Doomsday Machine” and “Miri”.

Please, no Khan. Leave him be. Don’t diminish the greatness of TWOK and Space Seed. There’s no reason for it. Do something original. Please.

I understand the desire to “harmonize with canon” but things are so different in this new incarnation. Just move onward, outward and upwards.

3. Paul B.

I like the idea of Garth of Izar. He’s not too well-known but interesting enough that K&O could have a lot of play with him. In fact, the fact that he’s not too well-known, and that there’s very little character history attached to him as opposed to Khan, could allow them to take the character in a lot of different and interesting directions.

No Khan this time. Show the sleeper ship floating alone in uncharted space going into the end credits

Then Javiar Bardim can start taking massive amounts of the Hugh Jackman, Batman begins Bale, Cast of 300, and many other action stars in hollywood today, steroids and HGH so in Star Trek III (2011-2012) he can be properly bulked up and have that veiny red steroid neck when he gets beat up with a lead pipe by Pine in the water reclamation plant

Khan in the next movie?
No no no no no no no no no no
NO ONE could come close to Ricardo Montalban’s performance. Any attempt to do so would do the original injustice, and will evoke the Wrath of Fans.

Of course #3 and 12 have exceptional taste as well

I don’t think Khan can be done any better. They started out great with a fresh story idea. That is what Star Trek needs now. To quote a primary timeline captain: “Young minds, fresh ideas, be tolerant.” :)

New stories please!

My vote, if the writers are reading this, is for no Khan. Not only has it been done, but you pretty much JUST DID the same thing with the current film. I’d encourage you to find a story to tell that doesn’t hinge on a revenge-seeking, personal-vendetta crazed antagonist, and rather explores some of the many, many other themes in Trek.

Ok. I”ll be *that* guy.

“Space Seed”…not “The Space Seed”.

I’m sure I’ve posted this elsewhere, but add me to the “NO KHAN” list. It’s been done (and quite well) and I’d really like to see something new.

I vote no for Khan as well.

Really break out on to your own now. Expand as writers.

Please no Khan!!! No revisits PERIOD!!!
This movie was WILDLY SUCCESSFUL because while it was sprinkled with elements from previous ST episodes/movies — it was a BOLD and FRESH STORY with a FRESH APPROACH!!!! It won over NEW fans, old fans and most importantly OLD SCHOOL fans. Keep it fresh PLEASE!!! Perhaps a new take on the “Mirror Universe” (an invasion from the “mirror universe” — “re-introducing” say Gary Mitchell, Janice Rand (Sienna Miller playing her :-)) . There is so much TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL with the new timeline, do not need to do any reduxe’s!!!

#17—“My vote, if the writers are reading this, is for no Khan. Not only has it been done, but you pretty much JUST DID the same thing with the current film.I’d encourage you to find a story to tell that doesn’t hinge on a revenge-seeking, personal-vendetta crazed antagonist, and rather explores some of the many, many other themes in Trek.”

As pointed out above, a new Khan story would have nothing to do with personal quests for revenge. We’re talking about “Space Seed”, not TWOK.

A new story would have to hinge upon either the Enterprise or another vessel encountering the sleeper ship “Botany Bay”, as the Prime crew did in 2267. I’m not sure where any revenge angle would come into play.

a great movie would involve the doomsday machine..

#10 — Huh? No thanks.

I’ve been one to say “as long as it’s a good story, go with it,” but this time… I’m gonna have to say no to Khan. For one, it’s a “don’t mess with perfection” kind of a thing. Secondly, this would be the third Trek movie in a row where you have the main villain bent on revenge. Shinzon, Nero, then Khan. It just seems…. old.

However, I do like the idea of going with Captain Garth. It would be along the same lines of Human vs. Human, and leaving well-enough alone.

We have a great new stage set, it’s time to actually do something with it. Bob, go with your gut. And…. if need be, bring back Khan, but ONLY if you feel you can do it successfully. We were all on pins and needles waiting to see what would happen with this one, and we trust you now.

Just do what feels right.

I’d love to see the new crew take on Khan. Bring it on! (I know whatever these guys do, it will rock!)

Why would anyone want to re-visit Khan? The end of the new Star Trek movie brilliantly sets up a new Star Trek universe where anything is possible. The promise of all new adventures with our favorite space explorers is so exciting, and the first thing people are talking about is re-visiting a 42 year old episode and a 27 year old movie? Star Trek is now a blank canvas. I hope the filmmakers truly appreciate the position they are in and go onto create new original adventures and stop looking to the past to regurgitate old ideas.

#24—Again, why revenge?

That’s TWOK…not “Space Seed”.

Khan’s motivation in “Space Seed” is not revenge. It is the attainment of power and the fulfillment of what he considers to be his proper place as a product of genetic engineering.

#22 – Nevertheless, in the minds of that great non-Trekker audience so coveted (with good reason) by the writers, Khan=Montalban=TWOK.

“Space Seed” was truly a “bottle” show, i.e. it took place, for the most part, on board the Enterprise. There’s not enough meat in there to flesh out a two-hour epic movie.

If Khan is in the film, he could be an interesting piece of a larger whole.

Please, DON’T DO KHAN! It has been done and has been well done. Do something original, which I believe was the whole point of the “sideboot” to begin with.

Reducing themselves to remaking/reimagining old episodes after only one film will DESTROY this franchise.

#28—I don’t think that really makes any difference. What matters is the story they tell.

Revenge wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

I say this, not actually being a proponent of Khan in the sequel. But I certainly wouldn’t roll my eyes at the prospect either. The potential for an exciting problem and resolution is certainly there.

And it is not as if the concepts of “genetic engineering” and irresponsible science are somehow irrelevant today.

NO KHAN!!!!!!!!! I do think that there should be some use of story elements of the original series, but doing another Khan movie is over kill, especially when there is so much to pool from. A nice mix of new and old is key. How about something involving Kurzon Dax for folks who want to see Klingons? We never got to see him in this period. I still want to see something about Talos IV. It’d be the perfect homage. Pike didn’t go there in this new timeline. They could come at it from a completely different angle.

Garth of Izar would be cool. I agree with the above poster that he’s a character that is known … yet could be fleshed out with a great deal more flare than we were given in the TOS episode … where he’s already interned.

We could see what drove him mad… learned the chameleon-like power… the reasoning behind his downfall… and update it with our new cast set within that story (where they hadn’t been before). Some interesting concepts and character studies that would be dramatically interesting to set in the new ST universe. ie. starship captain vs. starship captain with principles and prime directives in the mix… plus for the first time another federation Captain would be the nemesis and what does that mean to the young Captain Kirk… and what does he learn about being a Captain from it. Throw in a Klingon for good measure and really turn the 3rd act into a mind F*** for all of the new fans that aren’t as well versed in TOS lore.

… I could go on… but I’m not paid the big bucks to write these things for you guys… but if you need any help… just get a hold of me. lol

I really don’t think Orci and Kurtzman were really attempting to suggest that there was a fifty percent chance of Khan being in the next movie. I think that statement was made tongues firmly in cheek; if anything, it means they haven’t decided a single thing about the plot of the next movie.

So would Khan still be “from the year 1996?” Maybe he was just born in 1996, was a child soldier in Al Qaida and is in Guantanamo right now as a 13-year-old? So, yeah, some canon would need a changin’ Maybe he’s a Jonas brother. Prince. World Domination. It all fits.

What about Janice Lester? I’d like to see Pine sashaying through the corridors in Jimmy Choos.

Well, I for one would like to see some familiar faces that we never really explored all that much in Star Trek. The Gorn for example. Or the Tholians.

Anything is possible as long as it works. I don’t mind rehashes, but no more “transwarp beaming”!!!!!!

I say go with the best story you can come, be it Khan or otherwise.


Okay, I can see what you mean. If they go the Space Seed route, anything is possible, and it wouldn’t be based on revenge. But I’d still rather leave it alone.

Personally, I’d like to see a continuation of the current storyline.

God, no. Please somebody, tell me this is a hoax.

Let’s get it straight. TWOK is a good movie. Not the best movie ever made, but a good Trek movie that was a blast when it came out. It’s good for all kinds of reasons- the script, direction etc, and Montalban’s performance hit the right spot, for that movie, at that time. But there is nothing special at all about the Khan character.

Significantly, the creators of TWOK pulled a trick on us. In those days before most people had VCRs let alone DVDs or the internet with which to watch every episode endlessly, most of us had only seen the episodes one or two times. Some would stick in our memories- “the one with the tribbles” or “the one with the big doomsday windsock” but we didn’t have that in depth knowledge we have now. So when the movie creators wanted to pretend that Khan was an arch-nemesis from Kirk’s past, we could swallow that, because we couldn’t really remember the episode. But it was a trick. Khan was just a one episode baddie of the week, and the episode frankly isn’t that great.

So, that worked for that movie. Montalban chewed scenery spectacularly, and it’s pretty good. Though I wonder how many of us now if we put it on fast forward through the talkie bits to get to the battle in the nebula, which is the movie highlight?

The point is, Khan isn’t actually any kind of arch-nemesis. He was made into one for that movie, and it worked. He drove the plot nicely along. But he isn’t part of Kirk’s life- he appeared and was dumped overboard in fifty minutes, and forgotten- and there is no reason to bring the character back. He’s just a baddie of the week who made it into the big time in one movie.

We’ve seen Khan. Back in 1982, he was great. Let’s for god’s sake leave him there where he belongs and have something new for the next movie. If, as is likely, we’re only going to get three movies (with this A1 cast at least), let’s not waste one doing a remake of past “glories”. What a waste that would be.

And, anyway, Prime Spock will have warned them where Khan is and who he is, and no way could he be a threat again. That goes for most of the threats from TOS, come to that.

Please, for all that’s holy, no.

Those writers are clever, why not find a way to make a story about “Exploration” and make it compelling as opposed to the old good guy vs bad guy routine.

Honestly, Nero’s motivation, for me, was not that different from what we’ve seen before, and often too. It felt very “standard bad guy.” I wanted to know more about him and would so even having read to prequel comic.

My only complaint about the new movie (oh yeah, and the amazing similarity of a far future starship looking amazingly like the Budweiser brewery in Van Nuys CA.)

Go for something that would make Gene Roddenberry proud, exploration of space, on the surface, and the human condition, in the subtext.

“I dare you to do better” and make that kind of idea sell tickets.

I want to see those two dudes with half white half black faces. Now THEY were interesting.


Garth of Izar.

I guess if we’re all voting again i’ll throw in my ballot of:


Pretty much any other TOS is okay though , if you can’t go with original. A mix of both would be preferred.

Would it be too much to have, like, three missions featured in the film? Somehow they could all be tide together, but If you thought of each mission as one of three acts, and if you keep a good balance going, I don’t see why not.

Oh yea, and a Mugato too (not Will Ferrel)

To quote Darth Vader: NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a better representation.


Please God no. I can’t imagine anything more parasitical than “reimagining” previous stories.