Tidbits: Orci & Kurtzman Update + Rorschach’s ‘Trek Nerdgasm’ + Nimoy’s Late Night Calls + more

TrekMovie took a bit of a break for a day but we are back with a brand new ST09 tidbits. We have new interview and status update from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, plus Watchmen’s Rorschach actor talking Trek love, Nimoy talking about strange phone calls and more. 


More from Bob and Alex
Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are profiled with an interview in today’s Screen Daily. The article covers their careers, ascent in Hollywood, and approach to screenwriting. Bob and Alex explain how they always start with the character story first, even with Star Trek and Transformers. Here is an excerpt:

The one formula we have is to find the character story first and know that it is honest and true and emotional and ask ourselves if we removed all the gloss could we still make a $2m indie out of that story

There is an idea:. an indie movie about a troubled kid from Iowa stuck with a half-Alien exchange student on a road trip to Vegas!

Bob and Alex also confirmed that they have finished their script for Cowboys and Aliens and will get to work on the Star Trek: Something Something sequel next (after a vacation).

Rorschach’s Star Trek nerdgasm
MTV has an interview with Watchmen’s Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach) about various things, including this quote:

In working on ‘Watchmen,’ I feel like I’m starting to understand that Comic-Con world,” Haley told MTV News. “The way people get into movies and television shows — it’s just awesome. I recently saw ‘Star Trek,’ and I had a nerdgasm watching it. It was just so cool.

Rorschach would be good for flaming Star Trek nitpickers

Box Office Update: Still at 11
Star Trek sales numbers have moved into the watching paint dry stage with the film remaining in 11th place, with a total domestic gross of $250,335,827 by Tuesday. Add on to that $125,266,285 for international sales and you get a total global gross of $375,602,112. Both of the two new films opening Friday are comedies (I Love You Beth Cooper and Bruno), so Star Trek may have one more seven-digit weekend left in it before the next potential top 5 movie opens (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) next Wednesday. 

Nimoy’s late night calls
Star Trek’s Spock Prime appeared at TrekExpo on Tulsa a couple weekends ago, here he is talking about getting calls from strange women when he spoke at small colleges .

More ST09 and Star Trek Bits

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All I want is a fun story.

oooo Indy in space

Nimoy looks like he’s having a great time these days! Good for him!

It’s gotta be tremendously exciting to be Bob & Alex these days. Write long and prosper, guys!

More Fleet! More Fleet!
Bring is some more “Kelvin” ship action but with Kirk in the chair!

They start with the characters first? I saw Transformers and it lacked in character development compared to other movies like Star Trek. It was all action. I hope this isn’t a trend.

@ #7 Yeah, but it was a Michael Bay film, Which is not about characters. it is about explosions.

and robots, In disguise. and explosions.

Great line…yes, agreed!


But don’t write too long because if you do, you have studied wrong!”

Bob and Alex, you guys aren’t seriously riding around the country on a motorcycle and side-car, are you? I can see a “rather long” Vegas stop!!!

Either way, be careful, and as in Spock Prime’s famous last words: “BE HAPPY!”

Transformers as an indy. THAT I’d pay to see (wouldn’t be caught dead seeing a movie based on an 1980s toy-marketing robot car cartoon otherwise).

I can’t say I have tremendous faith in these guys. I’d give the current Trek a slightly positive mixed review as far as the story (the origin story was great to see as a fan, the villain story meh–nothing compelling and I’ve seen it a million times before, plus plotholes you could drive V’Ger through).

I hope the script authors have a relaxing time off so this fall they are able to give 110% effert in their next Star Trek script. With their authoring talents raking in the money I just hope that the desire of people trying to buy them do not clog there brains in the creative thought process.

May you bless us with a great adventure this Christmas (but we have to wait 14 to 18 months to view the result)

STAR TREK (XII): DARK HEART – Khan is found, saved from a dying botany bay, not all of his crew make it. Two years go by, he is rehabilitated, capts a engineering fixer ship. He is equal to Kirk. Then, adapt the Trek book Troublesome Minds, as the chess game begins… Khan and Kirk, two sides of a coin, one light, one dark… BOTH vying to save or exploit the mind control abilities of Berlis. Just an idea.

I hereby challenge Mr. Alex Kurtzman and Mr. Roberto Orci to write a successful (at least an 80% on RottenTomatoes.com, with $250,000,000 domestic gross)….

Wait for it…..

Wait for it…..

Aquaman Movie!

Also; put in it the aspect that Khan’s lust is strong, but without McGivers, he would’ve been less impetuous and more cold and calculating, add the line: “his truly was a dark heart.” (Vulcan saying?) A being capable of bending entire planets to his will, with Kirk, a ray of hope, Khan, salaciously solicitous, and McGivers being Khan’s fuel for his own end.

I’d like to see these two write a $2 million indie movie…

Sorry. My p.s. posted twice… Enter button maladay.

Any Aquaman movie would HAVE to be a comedy.
And it would no doubt make tons of money!

So does anybody know what kind of actual profit Star Trek has made to this point- if any?

The actual story on Screen Daily is pretty cool. Some nice insight.

Cast Rorschach in the next Trek movie/TV series! He did a great job in Watchmen.

Yeah, I agree what they said about the whole writing for a $2m budget. I think this movie coulda done this, because honestly I thought the special effects werent that great considering the budget. Nemesis had hardly the budget this movie did, and despite it being a FAIL in most respects, but the FX were pretty good, not a huge difference that I could see between them and ST09. But yeah, I think their story would hold up, but Id like to see something next time that’s a little closer to the better Trek writing.

No Khan for the sequel, it’s classic and it’s been done.

We have a chance here for brand spankin new Star Trek stories don’t blow it with a rehash of old material. Enterprise was doomed by re-heating old stories we’d all seen before, and Voyager was regularly guilty of the same.

Brand new Trek only please! New species, new villain/villains, new adventures, follow the motto and ‘Boldly go where no one has gone before’

I agree with #21. There must be so many other stories out there. The social issues and suspicions of our world are still so prevalent .Why not the Enterprise exploring other planets with the problems we are experiencing today. A ” 911 ” scenerio on a distant planet where the Enterprise and her crew intercede to prevent it and perhaps enlighten them on the worlds that are out there and the ignorance they show in dealing with their petty swuabbles and mistrusts. Please leave Khan done with !

Watchmen demonstrated how original material can be treated with the utmost respect and carefulness. JJ could have learned a few lessons here but he didn’t.


Watchmen was a critical and financial failure. Slavish devotion to the original material can backfire. And IMHO Zack Snyder didn’t get what Watchmen was about. He was so busy trying to duplicate comic book panels, he missed the nuances and subtext of a brilliant piece of writing. And his few choices for original interpretation were disasterous…again IMHO.

Maybe it’s Zack Snyder who should learn from JJ’s Star Trek.

I want to catch ST 09 one more time before it leaves theaters. Gonna try to make it this weekend!

“Rorschach would be good for flaming Star Trek nitpickers”

Rorschach would be good for flaming Star Trek apologists

Don’t think we don’t see how the debate is framed, moderator.

The problem with these writers is that they didn’t have to do a lot of original work on the Star Trek movie. The characters were already well formed by decades of TV and movies, and most of the differences (Kirk’s “Rebel Without a Cause” phase) were trite and derivative. Nero was a pretty weak villain, the plot was borderline stupid and the solid characterization at the heart of the film (the McCoy stuff, the interplay between Spock and Sarek) was merely an alteration things written by better writers. The film is a solid foundation for something better to come, but I doubt that’s going to come out of the pens of the people who wrote Transformers 2.

27. CJS

“..the plot was borderline stupid and the solid characterization at the heart of the film (the McCoy stuff, the interplay between Spock and Sarek) was merely an alteration things written by better writers. The film is a solid foundation for something better to come, but I doubt that’s going to come out of the pens of the people who wrote Transformers 2.”

The only thing you forgot to add was “IN MY OPINION,” cos I, for one, do not share this opinion, and I’m sure you don’t mean to dismiss anyone else’s opinion, eh?


“Nero was a pretty weak villain”

Nero was a weak villain as portrayed exclusively in the film. The Countdown Nero was pretty interesting. Perhaps the next villain’s backstory and motives will be properly discussed in the actual movie

I’m not dismissing other opinions, I’m just pretty sure that mine is the correct one. Transformers 2 has made over 600 million dollars. That means, in my opinion, there are a lot of people out there willing to digest cinematic garbage. The whole world, apparently, is free to disagree.

I don’t agree that Nero was weak. His role was somewhat small, but I found him more compelling when he was on screen than any Trek villain in quite awhile. Of the movie villains, I’d rate him 2nd following Khan. A lot of that is due to Bana’s performance; the man did a bang up job!

Perhaps there’s a place for Jackie Earle Haley in a future Trek movie? Thoughst at to who he could be? Anyone?

#32 … I know who he should play!


I’m curious if Mr. Orci or Kurtzman have read the Horatio Hornblower series of books. It inspired Gene Roddenberry in the creation of the original Star Trek and Nicolas Meyer in his films. I can see one of those stories inspiring the adventure aspects of the next film as well as inform the Kirk character as it did for Mr. Roddenberry. Why not look outside of the Star Trek universe for inspiration on the next film? Too many of the past films relied on the past Trek films.

I can see the Hornblower stories could apply to the Star Trek universe. Perhaps stories that relate to the current political and social events of our times. Oppression of peoples, or a Prime Directive story and the conflict it presents to our characters. Just a thought.

#11: Thanks for the shout-out, but my guess is “Troublesome Minds” and Khan in a story wouldn’t mix well. ;) If they’ve read the book, they’re free to use the story–Star Trek owns it already. I’d love to see their take on it–I bet it would rock! My guess is that they could movie it up quite well.

#26—“Rorschach would be good for flaming Star Trek apologists

Don’t think we don’t see how the debate is framed, moderator.”


I don’t think that Anthony’s use of the term “Star Trek nitpickers” was specific to ST09. Star Trek had nitpicking fans long before Abrams directed the latest entry…

Here you are, nitpicking the comic caption under the photo in the article!!!

And “apologists” suggests that there is actually something for which to apologize…and there isn’t.

Bad Robot just made the most critically-acclaimed and most domestically attended film in the history of the franchise.

That hardly equates to something for which any fan of the film should “apologize”.

24: Watchmen received a mixed response from critics and it made decent money, far from being a financial failure.
Both outcomes are to be expected from a great movie.

@34 – Or, how about a story about the creation of the Prime Directive? And how it took Kirk’s interference with a pre-warp society – and subsequent “repair” of the damage he did – to lead to the creation of General Order One.

27. CJS – July 9, 2009

The problem with these writers is that they didn’t have to do a lot of original work on the Star Trek movie. The characters were already well formed by decades of TV and movies, and most of the differences (Kirk’s “Rebel Without a Cause” phase) were trite and derivative. Nero was a pretty weak villain, the plot was borderline stupid and the solid characterization at the heart of the film was merely an alteration things written by better writers.


I don’t think you can fault writers for having a good subject matter to start wtih. I think you can say the same for any franchise where you have significant material to draw from or react to (Batman, Superman, Harry Potter).

I have frankly seen more reboots or franchises fail because the authors tried too hard to make something new or different in the 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours of screen time allotted and in the process did not effectively connect to and represent the original subject matter.

I admire their self-restraint and/or JJ’s and think that there is a reason that these people are called on again and again to revisit franchises and bring them to life.

But, the reality is that there are very few original stories (look at TOS, not much that was original there) so it is less to me about originality as identifying a story that can be told in the context of that world and those characters. They could look for stories that are obscure or haven’t been retold in a while, but please do not mistake these for original. If someone hires them to make a script in 1 year that’s going to work for a large audience, I don’t think that’s the place they should look for something profound and original. I don’t think that’s what they were paid for.

What they did do and I think largely bulls eye each time they are called upon is to create scenes that work with dialogue that work that takes the audience on an interesting and enjoyable ride consistent with the source material. I did not find that much in this film that surprised me in a positive way, but I thoroughly enjoyed the witty dialogue, characterizations, and mostly the acting. My wife was one of the people who cried within the first 10 minutes.

I would agree about Nero being a villain whose motivations are not well explained, which makes him somewhat caricaturish (like the villain in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing) but I think that Bana’s self-described “cameo” was well acted and demonstrates a mix of seriously, informality, conviction, thoughtfulness, and anger that makes the character maybe not “believeable” but certainly not distracting (for contrast watch Christopher Plummer as a Klingon with weak Shakespeare quotes here and there to pepper a lifeless movie). I would also say that there is so much we want to know about the crew itself that not explaining Nero is perfectly fine for me– there are many times we percieve villainy in our lives and don’t have time to understand it’s cause so why does Nero’s story need to be told to make this feel “real.”

I think if you go back to Star Trek TOS and movies II-IV, I would argue that many of the villains are quite simplistic archetypes as well so Nero is not out of bounds for a Star Trek villian.

I would also agree that the film’s story was somewhat derivative and obvious and would say the same about the Dark Knight and most action fims of late. If your only point is to encourage them to identify a better story (that already exists somewhere) and translate that into the Star Trek universe for the next film so people who expect something more intellectually interesting will enjoy the 2nd film, I would tend to wholeheartedly agree; so long as there is still enough action and humor and they find a story that is true to the characters stories. As I’ve said before I’d love to see something inspired by Forbidden Planet or Solaris with these characters.


The Undiscovered Country “a weak movie”? I must have seen a different one because the one I saw was tight, strong and packed with good stuff. A fitting sendoff for the crew.

Plummer’s Chang was the best villain since Khan, bar none.

Re: #35 Mr. Galanter; I’m nearing the end of the book now, I love it. I’m not really sure where I stand, New Khan or No Khan, for a new film. I think the book by itself is movie worthy to be sure. The psychology behind Berlis, his people, that world… It’s a thing I’ve missed in Trek. The reason for my suggested mixture, I’d like to see something more than just a baddie who wants to destroy everything. The book has a real unique-ness to it in that you ask the question, how do we perceive if a person is knowingly bad, or just a being guided by instinct etc. And the sign language quotient is intriguing as well. Good read!

39. tman – July 9, 2009

Bana did okay with the material given to him, but I’ve always found him an uneven talent at best. His biggest problem vis-a-vis Nero is that he was just a prop for creating an alternate reality. These guys didn’t even try to create a sufficiently alien name for him. They mined Khan for both his motivations (dead wife) and methods (let me stick this creature in your head) and got away with calling it an homage. They never made me feel anything toward this character, either sympathy or hate. No one is going to be dressing up as Nero for Halloween this year.

But your right, he’s about par for the course with Star Trek villains. The only decent ones have been Khan and the Borg Queen.

#36 “Bad Robot just made the most critically-acclaimed and most domestically attended film in the history of the franchise.”


“Today the term “apologist” is colloquially applied in a general manner to include groups and individuals systematically promoting causes, justifying orthodoxies, or denying certain events, even of crimes. Apologists have been characterized as being deceptive, or “whitewashing” their cause, primarily through omission of negative facts (selective perception) and exaggeration of positive ones, techniques of classical rhetoric. When used in this context, the term generally has a pejorative meaning.”

hardly the standard definition of “apologize” now is it..

of course your tactic is to turn my argument around on me.. standard redirect tactic.. but I must point out my observation concerning the caption was not without thought or cogitation


“to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details.”

you see the caption in my mind was indicative to the trend here to negatively react to fans who have problems with the consequential details not the inconsequential details.. by your posts I tend to see your definition of what is significant and not differs from my own.. but either way your ploy to show reverse nitpicking was at best a simpletons solution that has neither merit nor distinction

I dare you to do better.

42. CJS,

I agree that Nero was a bad name. Romulans are distinctly Romans in space with Praetors, Centurian, etc so Roman names is in my view are okay. I think it funny that they couldn’t have culled from the extensive Latin texts a more appropriate name that is more obscure, so doesn’t conjure an image. Nero immediately evokes an incompetent ruler who’s true love was theatre. Bana’s character is an understated guy of lower birth who is bent on revenge to make up for his loss. Nero he is not.

Regarding “lifting” the torture scene and the “homage” to Khan, again if I look at the comments by the writers and JJ as reported at this site over last 2 years, they saw TWOK as the best or only example of an exciting Star Trek film so I thikn they thorougly analyzed it and compared their product to it as a sanity check. There are many other things they could have done in that scene to make it torture which would have resonated with the modern realistic world much better and been truer to the depiction of Nero and his team. I think physical brutality itself is extremely powerful and not showing the actual torture can actually be more frightening when time isn’t there to show it. I also think the scene was too abrupt and didn’t build any suspense or fear so it seemed very cartoonish. The only explanation I can come up with is that they may have wanted to ensure no kids were scared away from this film so they intentionally made that scene cartoonish, but I think they could have done it very differently.

#43—-You apparently missed the point, which was to suggest that your interpretation of the comment was in itself born of “selective perception”.

You obviously took the term “Star Trek nitpickers” to mean those who only nitpick ST09.

My point was that there have always been “Star Trek nitpickers”—in fact, that’s one of the things for which (fairly or not) fans of this franchise are best known. With that in mind, it is far more likely that the joke was intended in the latter manner.

As for your use of the term “apologist”, again the notion that “negative facts” are there to be ommitted at all would suggest that there is indeed something for which to apologize—-so I’m not sure how that definition is supposed to support your inferance toward the irrelevance of its root word (apology).

Once again, the only “negative fact” of which I am aware is that Star Trek (2009) did not do well abroad. Perhaps you know of another?

There have been subjective criticisms of the film itself, but that’s hardly the same thing as “negative facts”.

ST09 is not in need of an apologist. There are those who are fans of the film, and those who are not.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian) would be great as Khan. He is Javier Bardem clone. :D

#45 “You apparently missed the point”

Yet I clearly stated above:

“you see the caption in my mind was indicative to the trend here to negatively react to fans who have problems with the consequential details not the inconsequential details..”

with nitpicking being:
“to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details.”

with the caption being a debatable consequential detail (you say it is not)

and then went on to point out what is and is not consequential is in the eye of the beholder.. this certainly pertains to your comment that my “interpretation of the comment was in itself born of “selective perception” and thus refutes your idea that I somehow “missed the point”

Your best bet would be to site reference to our discourse here as nitpicking and I would have a mind to agree as the consequential probabilities have proven to be limited

as in many things: time will tell

@ 37. Watchmen will not come close to turning a profit. Negative profit means it’s a financial failure. Check Rotten Tomatoes. The majority of reviews were negative. It was a critical failure. (I’m a Fanboy so I was personally disappointed in the results of the movie.) A GREAT film needs to be a critical or financial success…preferably the former in terms of priority. Star Trek was both! My point was that trying to perfectly recreate your source material is usually huge mistake. I can’t think one successful example. JJ and team seemed to discover the “secret sauce”…honor the source but put a fresh spin on it. (As part of my prep for new Trek I watched a lot of old Trek. IMHO…an exact duplicate of the ’60s era Enterprise, interior or exterior, would have been laughable and kept mainstream audiences away.)

Nimoy is still going strong. Good for him.

Anyways.. The use of the word apologist was to show the divisive nature of such comments (as nitpickers).. I believe the point was made.