Did you know there is a movie coming out that features both Kirks, Chris Pine and William Shatner…plus Brent Spiner, Robert Picardo, Mark Hamill and other vets of Star Trek and sci-fi? It is the 3-D animated film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey which is has a panel at Comic-Con Thursday. Writer-producer Harry Kloor gave TrekMovie a preview, including exclusive first look at images.
Take a trip through the solar system w/ the voices of Trek & Sci-Fi
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey is a 3-D sci-fi animated film that will be shown in IMAX theaters in 2010, primarily in museums and science centers. The film is written and directed by Dr. Harry Kloor, scientist with PhD’s in both Physics and Chemistry, who when he is not teaching at NASA Ames has been also worked in Hollywood for the last couple of decades, including selling some stories to Star Trek Voyager. The project started at NASA and JPL as an idea for a video to educate the public about the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan, but Kloor tells TrekMovie it "quickly expanded way beyond that." The project moved out of NASA to become a privately funded feature film, but NASA is still involved providing expertise. Kloor says that this makes
Quantum Quest a "science-fiction action-adventure film that also integrates real science discoveries and real science thoughts and ideas." The goal of the film is to create a film with real science education, but works as a form of entertainment that appeals to a wide audience, especially kids, teenagers and young adults. "I am trying to make photons and neutrinos as exciting as dinosaurs" says Kloor.
The film is made entirely using CGI, but all the space imagery is based on real imagery from NASA, especially from the Cassini mission. In fact the Cassini spacecraft is a character in the film. Although the project has been in development for a decade, production on the art started in earnest in the last couple of years, to make use of the latest real imagery from NASA.
Although there is real science, the story of Quantum Quest is told through a number of fantastical characters. The hero of the film is a photon named Dave (voiced by Chris Pine). He is on a quest that takes you through solar system, from the Sun, to Mercury, to Venus, to Mars, to Saturn and its moons, finishing at Titan.
The backdrop of the story of Quantum Quest is a conflict between "The Core" (William Shatner), who represents all the stars, and life and knowledge, against a being called "The Void" (Mark Hamill), who existed before the big bang and wants to annihilate all matter and space. The Void sees mankind as its greatest threat since it feels that if man weren’t observing the universe (with all its probes and spacecraft), then the universe wouldn’t exist.
The Void also has a number of concepts to help it in its battle, manifested as characters, including Fear (Sam Jackson), Ignorance (Tom Kenny), Zero (Doug Jones) and Moronic (Jason Alexander). Dave will encounter some of these creatures as he travels the solar system.
The Core has all forms of matter to help it, such as photons, protons, neutrinos, etc, . In addition to Dave the photon (Pine), other characters include Reina the neutrino (Amanda Peet), Jammer the solar-surfing proton (Hayden Christensen), Milton the free quark miner (Robert Picardo) and others. Dave originally wants to just stay in the sun, and play ‘nova ball’ (for ‘Coach Mackey’ voiced by Brent Spiner). But eventually Dave is recruited into the Core’s forces, lead by the Admiral (James Earl Jones). He and Reina leave to travel across the solar system to face the forces of The Void, with the goal of keeping the Void from destroying the Cassini spacecraft (with a computer voiced by Sandra Oh).
Kloor says that he chose sci-fi stars to do the voices because it fits better with the science and science fiction adventure of the movie. He also tells TrekMovie that there are many hidden Easter eggs for Star Trek, Star Wars and sci-fi fans, including what Kloor calls a "passing of the baton" between Shatner’s and Pine’s characters.
The planned release for Quantum Quest is for February of 2010, playing at large-format theaters (including IMAX), primarily science museums and science centers. It will be shown in both 3-D and 2-D. As the film is part entertainment and part education, there will be class-room materials made available on the official site.
More info and clips will become available on the official site, which will be launching after Comic Con at qqthemovie.com