Quinto Talks Star Trek Sequel + TrekMovie Looks At Big Sequel Questions

This week while he was helping "Save the Arcades" Zachary Quinto gave an update on his latest projects and also talked about the next Star Trek, including talking a little Shatner and Khan, but he appeared to be noting that the film is not in a hurry. Details below, plus some TrekMovie analysis on the decisions remaining for the Star Trek sequel.


Quinto: Nobody is in a hurry
Five months ago (before the release of Star TrekParamount commissioned the script for the Star Trek sequel. Since then producer (and possible director) JJ Abrams and the writers (Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof) have talked in generalities about what is next, but made it clear they are still in research and discussion mode. Now in an interview with SciFi wire from this week, the new Spock seems to suggest a bit of patience is required:

I know that they’re breaking the stories and working on it. J.J. [Abrams] and Bobby [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman]. But I think those guys have other things that they’re working on. Star Trek is a priority, certainly, but I don’t think anybody’s in a hurry. Which is what I love about them. You know what I mean? Of course the fans and the studio would love it to come out next summer if it could. I think it’s going to be much better served by taking time and being clear about the story that they want to tell. Whether or not that involves Khan or Mr. Shatner remains to be seen.

Zach Quinto takes some time out to relax at an arcade

When? + who will direct?
Although much of the talk about the Star Trek sequel has been about the story, and how much it should be weighed between the new and the old (including Shatner and Khan), there are still some fundamental questions that have not been resolved. Two big decisions are if JJ Abrams will direct, and when will the film be released (and these questions are inter-related). The studio is keen to get the sequel out by the Summer of 2011, however that may not fit with Abrams schedule. JJ  has many other projects on his plate, including co-producing Mission: Impossible: IV for 2011. Also Abrams seems reticent to jump into directing a second Trek film so soon. In his last TrekMovie interview, he  made it clear he would like to change things up:

TrekMovie: Way before you decided to direct this movie you told me you wouldn’t make the decision to direct until you saw the script. I know it is presumptuous, but let’s assume a sequel happens. What will be your decision process will be to direct that one?

Abrams: I think that the dream version of any job is to chose the job because you love the job. And for me I have only directed two films and they are both films that are sequels to TV shows that Leonard Nimoy starred in. I would love to try and do something else. That is not to say that can’t do something else first and maybe come back and do the sequel to this. But I do honestly think that it is insane to think about a sequel when the first one hasn’t come out it. I pray people see the movie and I pray they like the film. And if there desire for another one, not only am I thrilled to produce that movie and help realize it, but I am wide open to the possibility of directing it. It is something I need to decide when we have discussions about the story…

So it is possible that the Star Trek sequel script gets handed in at the end of this year and JJ loves it and has nothing else on his plate and dives into pre-production in early 2010 to get the movie delivered by 2011. However, if Abrams ends up doing this "something else" next, then the studio may be left with a choice: Get a Star Trek sequel in the Summer of 2011 produced by Abrams, but directed by someone else, or wait until 2012 (or later) to get an Abrams-directed Star Trek sequel.

Of course this is like déjà vu all over again. Back in late 2006 and early 2007 all the Internet buzz was regarding if JJ Abrams would or would not direct the first Star Trek movie. We should probably expect the same kind of thing this time around.

There is another fundamental question regarding the next Star Trek film, and that is the budget. The first film ended up costing around $145M (before marketing), which is typical for a summer tent pole, but the largest Trek budget ever. However the film was greenlit in early 2007 when things were different at Paramount, and they still had an investment partner on the film (Spyglass). Since then Paramount (and other studios) have cut back on production slates and they are also cutting back on spending as well. Just this week Paramount moved the release of the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Shutter Island from October 2009 to February 2010, citing a lack of funds to market and distribute the film (apparently they blew all their cast on Monsters vs Aliens, Star Trek, Transformers 2, and GI Joe). Studio Chief Brad Grey issued this statement
regarding the move:

Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment. This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn. Like every business, we must make difficult choices to maximize our overall success and to best manage Paramount’s business in a way that serves Viacom and its shareholders, while providing the film with every possible chance to succeed both creatively and financially.

So even though Star Trek is a hit movie and considered a success (grossing over $382.5M theatrically so far, with more big profits expected from home video this November), the economic climate could affect the budget of the next film. To be sure there are some built in cost-savings already as much of the design and set construction work will carry over. Also the main cast actors were all signed to 3 picture deals so they are not going to have a big bump into the budget. So in the end it would not be surprising if the studio asked Abrams to find a way to deliver the next Trek with the same or a little less cash. Of course Nicholas Meyer delivered what is seen as the best Star Trek film (Wrath of Khan) with just a fraction of the budget of the first film.


So Trek fans should maybe take a tip from Zach and relax and not be in a hurry. It seems fairly certain a Star Trek sequel will happen, but we are a ways off from knowing what shape it take.


One more thing: congrats Bob!
Bob Orci was certainly not working on the Star Trek sequel last night, as he was receiving his Imagen Award. Here is a photo of the event, with Bob and Jimmy Smits.

Bob Orci takes some time out to get an Imagen Award and hang with Jimmy Smits (Getty)



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Leave Khan out of it and we should be just fine!

A sequel is a dish best served cold…..

And Anthony, check for typos. You got 3 at least.

Either Orci is really small or Smits is really big.

If I’m not mistaken, the budget shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the next film seeing as all the Federation costumes and Enterprises sets are already constructed. That right there takes out some of the cost of making the movie.

I agree, they should take their time, as they did with the first. Bob, I trust your judgement and artistic sensibilities.

“Of course Nicholas Meyer delivered what is seen as the best Star Trek film (Wrath of Khan) with just a fraction of the cost of the first film. ”
I would be very curious to see the results of a Trekmovie poll, what do fans like better, the new film or Wrath of Khan. Or perhaps a simple poll of best ST movie ever.
As for Abrams directing, I think he did a workman like, very competent job but he did not fully get the essence of Trek, and made it a bit too much like a generic blockbuster/Star Wars type film. In my opinion he departed a bit too much (not egregiously so) from Gene Roddenberry’s viewpoint. So I wouldn’t mind if he just produced and they found a director who really “gets” Star Trek.

As long as there’s enough money for a real engineering set next time, I’ll be happy.

Oh, and no Khan.

Its amazing that the new ST film can be called nothing other than a smashing success, and we’re already hearing the dreaded “BUDGET CUTS” lingo. What do we have to do to get some respect?

#7 Wrath of Khan – no contest.

The marketing should be cheaper next time as well since they have effectively re-branded the franchise.

I think the sequel will be disappointing if it is directed by anyone but Mr. Abrams (or at least, a small let down!). Leave the crew intact and do at least one more film before changing the principles, please!

They did a nearly perfect job with the last film, now give them a chance to really blow us away ( and I am not referring to Project Genesis)!

I think its good that they’re going to take their time, hopefully this time have fewer errors. As for the release date, I think 2012 is a bit much to wait, then again if the world ends that year it would be a good way for Star Trek to end. But seriously, I’d rather see it in 2011, and I think if that means someone else directing I’m fine with that. I honestly think it would be awesome if Frakes directed it with JJ producing. Frakes knows his stuff, he’s proved him self as a good director many times and he could bring in a voice for us Trekkies into the process. Doubt it would happen, but it would be awesome if it did.

@ #7 & #11

I take TWOK, First Contact and The Undiscovered Country before ST09.

@ #13

I would like to see J.J. direct, but the script is more important. With J.J. producing, we’d still get a quality product.

@ #14

Definitely a neat idea.

Not gonna happen.

I thought the directing was really good in the last film. It impressed me quite a lot, so I don’t know if I can see much of anyone else directing it other than Abrams.

The writing (not so much dialogue and character interaction; that was fine) and set design was impressive to me, but not as much as directing, special effects, acting, etc… But that’s already been quarreled over. :)

Shatner as Khan in STXII!
It’s boffo box office, Boobelah.

No, I just want to see how many aneurysms I can induce.

I hope Abrams produces the sequel, but I hope someone else directs it.

Between the lens flares, too-close shots of everything, and some bad emotional choices, Abrams’ inexperience as a film director shows. One really horrible bit of directing is the scene of Kirk offering to save Nero, Spock quipping about it, etc. I don’t mind Kirk blasting Nero, but I do hate the flippant humor of that scene. If played seriously, with the depth and drama it deserved, it would’ve been fine.

That’s not the actors, script, SFX, or anything else; it’s the director who makes choices like that. Abrams isn’t terrible (see George Lucas and Michael Bay for that), but he’s far from being a great director–yet.

So, please please please, no Abrams in the center seat! Please!!!!

because of yall i wanna see the Wrath of Khan. but i like the new movie too.

No Khan please in the sequel

I am adamant about this. there is more to Trek than Khan and the Borg

Coming in 2011, from the mind of JJ Abrams…


I’m glad they don’t want to rush it. Otherwise they’ll end up with
I for one don’t want this news series to suffer from the sophomore slump because they rushed a POS out to the theaters.

if the something else is dark tower then i can wait for more trek

Decloaking . ..

SHAT-KAHN the Next Generation! Spectacular CmdrR!

Recloaking. }:-D>

I also agree Kahn is a bad idea. Shatner might be good. I thought the new film was fine and good but it was by no means perfect. A new director might be a very good idea, on the other hand it could also end up much worse. They should be very careful who they pick.

As long as they don’t go for a borg storyline, and the Klingons are in some way involved in the main plot, I’ll be satisfied.

Lol, could you imagine…….?

Just take the time lads. Make it once again big as you did with the “first” one. Better quality than a fast new Trek.

STXII will come… as the Guinness slogan…

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!

Please no Frakes, not to good of a track record, and Shatner, YES, Kahn NO

No Kahn please. The creative team needs to more creative than that, and they will be, I’m sure.

If Shatner is in it, he should play neo-Kirk’s grandfather, Tiberius, in a setup scene at the beginning or a send off scene at the end. The actor who played George Kirk even looks more like Shatner than Pine, so it would be a good fit to have Shatner play George Kirk’s father. Having Shatner play James T. Kirk in any capacity just would not work in the reboot Trek universe.

I have no problem with waiting three years instead of two for the next Trek movie. I’m just happy that there will likely be more Trek movies in the future. Might as well take the time to ensure each one is exceptional, so that the studio will want more Trek.

Who here would remember that Irwin Kershner directed the best of all ‘Star Wars’ films? Yay, Irwin!

Abrams can certainly manage another director as long as he has hands-on control as producer.

And no-one can say how quickly PP wants a sequel except the planners in that office. Not even Zack Quinto. A tentpole film wouldn’t be treated so casually.

And congrats, Bob! You’ve had a great year!

All I ask of the second film is a proper, on-screen, canon ending to the ‘Archer’s dog’ mini story. All that is needed is the smallest of small scenes near the beginning of the flick where a beagle materialises infront of someone or even better, is seen sitting in Kirks chair as he arrives on the bridge.

Frakes no – IMO, others may disagree. But I think the old Shat deserves one last ST movie. IMO, he is Captain James Kirk, always will be the definitive James T or D Kirk, depending or not u believe “Where no man has gone before”

Bring Back Kirk !!! The Shatner Kirk, and then the circle will be complete.

@ #7 nobody can truly quantify an entire franchise in one 2 hour movie.

Besides CAN anyone truly do an original story?

The entire franchise has covered everything: God-like entities, parallel universes, time-travel, revenge, racism, spy games, court martials, creating life, human/alien rights, war, politics, conspiracies, duels, kids, rapid aging, the prime directive, love, hate, death, life, playing god, disease, evolution, religion, resurrection,rivalries, family,exploration (which usually involves all-of-the-above), WMDs, space creatures …etc… it’s all been done.

The real challenge is using those themes to tell a GOOD story.

@ #11 & #15

Wrath of Khan, ST09, Undiscovered Country, Search for Spock, then First Contact for me.

Get Neill Blomkamp to direct!

#32 – And hopefully he doesn’t have a damn iguana pituitary gland!

#16, #29 –

Frakes would not be a bad choice. FC was a very well done Star Trek film. INS was well crafted and directed, the story/script was lacking. Can’t blame Frakes for that. Plus he “gets” Trek, IMHO.

I floated the idea a while back of dragging Nimoy further out of retirement and back into the directors chair. Who else to direct a StarTrek sequel? Who says lightening doesn’t strike twice? Besides, he could kill his character (Spock Prime) off AGAIN!!!

Sure, fanboy fantasies, but it’s fun! It should be a fun year or two for such fantasies.

#33 –

Fine. Show me a way to include an old, pudgy, Prime Kirk in the next film without using yet another time travel story, and I’m on board with you. There are other ways to include The Shat in the new film. But I highly doubt he, or you, would agree to such terms.

The writers are on record as saying they are done with time travel, at least that is my impression. The new films, rightly so, will focus on the “new” crew.

Fans probably like TWOK the best, but I think ST.09 is the best movie of the bunch.

But the director? I’ve been pondering that too. Bryan Singer who is a Star Trek fan would have been good, but he’s on the BSG movie now.

Guillermo Del Toro would do a good job, I think.

Steven Spielberg is the only one of the “old” directors I think who still has the sense of youthful exuberance the new Star Trek embodies, so he would be a great fit.

Jon Favreau comes to mind.

I DO know that I hope Nicholas Meyer isn’t approached. JJ’s sense of detail in ST.09 was beautiful, and Meyer totally lacks that sense. He’s a good writer, but as a director he doesn’t seem to care about verisimilitude. I watched “Time After Time” recently and that film has some of the worst special effects, and for a film that came out a couple years after Star Wars, and the same year as STTMP, it’s hard to get past how bad they are.

Imagine Star Trek in Quentin Tarantino’s hands. Boy that would be funny.

No Khan, please. Shatner? If it fits well. But ONLY if. I’d be fine to see a Star Trek movie without him. Heck, there were three without him, and one of them was fantabulous (FC, in my opinion).

And looks like, by the poll so far, TWOK is king. And, despite some rather negative reviews by fans that come to TM, ST09 comes in second. How ’bout that?

#37 :: That would be really quite interesting. Nimoy is a fabulous director, but the idea of dragging him “further out of retirement” is a little preposterous. ^^;

#34 :: You know, you’re absolutely right.
Or, they could just stop expanding Star Trek altogether.

..NOT. I would hate that. I’ve got at least 60-70 more years to be alive (that’d put me at about 86-96 xP) and I don’t want it all to end when I’m not even out of High School!

But, qué sera, sera.

#41 –

I agree, it’s a fanboy fantasy, but not as preposterous as you think. For his age, he is very vibrant and active. His focus now is photography, another visual art. And who knows Trek and understands it better than he?

I can dream, can’t I? ;-)

The Wrath of Khan, sure I get the love for that film. It has iconic space battles, classic lines and a tearjerker ending. But I have a very special place in my heart for The Undiscovered Country.

PLEASE – let Khan rest in peace!

I don’t mind them taking their time with a script – rushing it will me cut corners. Take your time and deliver a good story guys.

Oh.. and I am not opposed to having Shatner in there as a cameo.. but please… no Khan.. something original again like the first one.

If JJ passes,. Nick Meyer please!!

I hope they really do a Khan story. I want to see a fresh and exciting new take on an old character in this exciting new and fresh universe they opened to us.

After Khan, I want them to remake The Doomsday Machine! The original episode is so 60s. Pine and Quinto will make a much better job. And a story about a doomsday machine would be a refreshing and exciting new twist in this exciting new universe.

Would people prefer a mediocre original story or a kick-butt Khan story?

All those saying “no Khan” remind me of those saying “no Joker” after Batman Begins came out. We all saw how that turned out and how wrong they were. I think a great script with a great actor, directed with TLC could make a sequel with Khan the best one yet.

And then, when the trilogy is over, they should reboot again, and give new actors a chance, so that Pine, Quinto & the others can go on in their exciting career.