Kurtzman and Orci Talk About ‘Digging Deeper’ In Star Trek Sequel

saavikWe already reported that at the 2009 Screenwriters Expo last weekend, Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman announced that they are now shooting to finish their sequel script in eight months (instead of two) and the film is now likely slated for 2012. In a new interview from the event, the pair go into more details about what that extra time gives them, as well as talking about more aspects of Star Trek and more. 


Orci and Kurtzman taking time with Star Trek sequel
Excerpts from IGN interview, Here are the relevant Star Trek parts of the extensive interview with the writing team:

IGN: You mentioned that you ended up with more time to write it then you first expected. Has that allowed you to take a step back and not have to rush anything?

Orci: Yeah. We want it to come like the first one, which came organically.

Kurtzman: Because we weren’t rushed.

Orci: We weren’t rushed, so I think the time we got to spend on it is reflected in the work. We feel the pressure a little bit coming on, but we’re easing into it slowly.

IGN: Kirk and Spock have always been the stars of the series. Is it a difficult to make sure all those characters get their time to shine?

Kurtzman: For sure. In a sequel, you have even more of that burden, because the first movie is about introducing characters, but the second movie is about digging deeper into them. So you’ve got to make sure your story is giving everyone a moment… More than a moment. An arc.

Orci: We’ve always thought of the bridge crew as a family, so it’s not just, "What are we gonna find for them?" It’s part of the DNA of doing Star Trek right, I think – to make sure all the characters represent a significant part of the family.

IGN: How did you decide to make Spock and Uhura a couple?

Kurtzman: It actually came from the original series…

Orci: There was a little flirtation in the original series. But we thought that since we were doing a harmony on some of the things that were happening before, well, what happened in the original series? The first interracial kiss was with Kirk. So we thought what can we do that’s different, but that still pays homage to that? Spock!

Go to IGN to read the full interview, discussing Fringe, Transformers Xena and more from Bob and Alex.

Bob and Alex digging deeper into the crew and their character arcs





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As much as I hate to admit it, having extra time to do the movie will be a nice bonus. I’d rather they take their time.

2012 will be here before we know it, though.

And how did they decide to destroy Vulcan? I don’t remember that from the original series.

Not Star Trek anyway.

Three years is SUCH a long wait. If the quality is there I suppose it will be worth it. But heck, TOS wrote and delivered half a movie every week when you think about it. Some of Trek’s best hours came from that.

I’m just sad that, at this rate, every time we see these actors again, they will have aged 3 years a pop! Not exactly making “optimum use” of this relaunched franchise’s most valuable commodity, now is it?

Remember the Jack Black rumors? Everyone immediately pointed at Harry Mudd. What about Cyrano Jones? Trelaine, or Koloth even? I’m not saying that as what I want to see, I don’t even know if I like the idea of Black being in it… But the variety of odd, humorous characters isn’t limited to ol’ Harcourt Fenton.


one of the reasons they went with a young crew is so they actors wont age themselves out of the roles too quickly, but perhaps the next film will actually be set a few years into the Enterprise’s mission. This would have a number of advantages:
1. Kirk would be past the ‘is he or isnt he ready’ phase
2. Pine would more look the part of a ‘captain’
3. the time gap would allow them a ‘canon’ reason to make changes to the ship or even the crew.

At least it wont be another 7 years a wait.

It’s not 7 years, but it is a while… I’m for more ENT until then, whether miniseries or straight to DVD. I wonder if the cast would come back.

of course it’s pooh to have to wait. But you know, it will all be okey. Look all the stuff that’s coming out. New special features for all the movies, new versions of the original series etc. I think there will be enough. Besides, all the new fans have to catch up a bit and watch, what is it now….. 28 + seasons of star trek (oops, I didn’t include the animated series) so, they will be busy for a while.


Anthony, thank you for taking the time to personally respond to my post. Much appreciated!

“Orci: Yeah. We want it to come like the first one, which came organically.”

“Kurtzman: Because we weren’t rushed.”

Is that why Transformers 2 wasn’t quite so… organic?


Now we wont get any jive talking racist red shirts!!

Point #1: I kinda like that they are spacing out trek a little bit. Remember in the Rick Berman “debriefing” of star trek he noted oversaturation of the franchise. These movies being so far apart is an attempt to let out the tires while not leaving us completely hanging. I’ve really found solace in watching the fan films. New Voyages should tickle any TOSers fancy.

Point #2 And while we are fantasizing about the new movie I still get Goose Bumps thinking about Javier Bardem as Khan.

Point#3 12.. I’m sure Transformers 2 was more influenced by Michael Bay and making a Bazillion dollars. I’m sure Bob and Alex were offered such a ridiculous sum they couldn’t turn down producing something in 2 months or however long they were locked in a hotel room.

Point #4 I’ve never really looked at the TOS crew as being Kirk/Spock. I’ve always seen it as Kirk/Spock/McCoy. Getting Kirk and Spock together in the newest movie was only logical but I felt like the key component of McCoy was downplayed a little. I hope they get to the heart of the blessed Trinity of trek.

Point#5 Thank God this website is working for me again, I feel like I needed to vent trekness, thus the length of this post.

Live Long and Prosper

#2 – “And how did they decide to destroy Vulcan? I don’t remember that from the original series.”

Yeah, by paying attention to the film and everything else around it on this site you’d know it’s an alternate timeline/universe.

#3 – “Not Star Trek anyway.”

It’s Star Trek anyway.


As long as Star Trek 2 doesnt turn out like Transformers 2… I’ll be fine.

I took my friend to watch Transformers 2 with me and at the end of it I apologized for making her watch that train wreck they called a movie.

@7. Anthony Pascale

I couldn’t agree more. Look what 3 years did for The Empire Strikes Back.

Three years won’t be too bad. It’s a wait, yes, but by the time the sequel is released, the wait will have been worthwhile. It does take time to come up with a sequel that will make fans ask for more; we wouldn’t want a Transformers-ish sequel. During that span of three years the cast will grow deeper into their roles, more uncharted territory will be explored, and special effects will have innovations. The concept of using an alternate reality to reboot the series was a major risk, however it paid off. Rebooting venerable a series as Star Trek puts much pressure on the production’s shoulders, and we all want films that are worth watching, which is what the crew is trying to give us. For now, all we have to do is wait.

“Orci: Yeah. We want it to come like the first one, which came organically.”

Organically? Organically? Come on…

That entire movie was a set-up for opening up the new Trek Movie universe for sequels. The 5 minute conversation went something like this…..

“We know where we want to end up so lets begin there and work backward. But we don’t want to stray too far from Classic Trek so lets just pull the key plot point from Wrath of Khan and use them all over again…”

The whole movie was about as organic as a Twinkie.

In other words, “we haven’t thought of a good story yet”.

#2 Enough already.

#15 Nice!

huh, much as I totally enjoyed Trek ’09 I have to agree with others that the story was easily its weakest point. What carried the show was the pacing, look and pure bravado of the piece.
I’m glad the writers have been given longer to get something going- I hope they use the time well. ;)

– The first interracial kiss was with Kirk. So we thought what can we do that’s different, but that still pays homage to that? Spock! –

I don’t get the logic of their reasoning, let alone the emotional base – but who am I anyway…

People complaining: Try writing it yourself.

I can see jack black as jones.

The writing staff of TOS was some 15 to 20 people that went on to make a living at it. And they was many angles of life to glean ideas from. Then a 3 year gap between SW4 & 5, but that was written from Lucus’s 9 story outline plot. And the story line was in a Galaxy far…far away and no one knew really any thing about it. But for Star Trek it is in places far to close to our hearts that we have built love for in the last 43 or so years.

The next movie script has to be a key that opens the old Star Trek lock, but it can not be one that looks like old keys to the Star Trek Universe lock. To do this you have to be one hell of a locksmith (or Smiths) to build a key that does not make a key that does not get any destroying scratches.

And there will be scratches of the new key, just like the last 11th key was scratched my the Engine room flaws. But those flaws are only noticed by fans that can see the changes.

And the more you take from old keys that open the lock, the more people are going to say been there/done that already. And like TOS Kirk/Spock/McCoy was a three sided key. As you learned with double Kirks in the 4 broadcast show, Spock is a visible part of Kirks logic and order, and McCoy is Kirks ill-logical and emotional human personality side.

Now with Uhurah & Spock becoming part of the key, the key may work but it may be part of the key that is made of lead not steal, thus the triangular key could become soft and break. And if the lead part of the key gets mushy it is going to be hard to find some Viagra to cure the softness of the lead.

And the first six movies did not need structure to be built to show the binding strengths between the personallatys (thats what TOS did) but newbies wherein the old uniforms these building understrength’s will need to be built all over again. If Kirk/Spock/McCoy are going to become that shining beacon on the hill the bonding process is needed to be seen again. Star Trek had 3 years in the airwaves, and the writers will kind of have 3 years of private dreams of ideas. But if all comes together correctly will these three years produce a perfect child only time will tell. The building blocks used to make the out come will reveal to us either a #1 on it’s forehead or 666.

And you almost have to be the devil or work for him to want 666 to appear.

No more Spock/Uhura: that’s completely heavy!

More Mc Coy/Spock! I’ve haven’t seen Mc Coy a lot in ST11.

And Admiral Archer for cameo.

for those who haven’t read the novel -SPOILERS-:

a well known beagle appears aboard the Enterprise.

I really enjoy Alan J. Foster novel, more complete than the movie. After, I’m gonna buy Countdown.

#25) toddk, paraphrase, bitchers write it yourself, you have to realize many of these people have a more rubbery mind than a Super Ball. And you expect beautiful stories from brains that bounce all unplanned directions.

That’s like playing Russian Roulette with an Ozzie.

But then again the script could be what a FanFilm team is looking for.

#24 not complaining- but I do feel its an undeniable truth that the story was not its strongest point. That being said the writers had a tough task on their hands, I agree, to introduce the characters and place them in a story that was meaningful. I think they had a good solid stab at it- in places it was really moving- George Kirk being the really successful element.
And for sure, I couldn’t have done better. But that doesn’t stop me from having a view on it. I don’t know how to build a car but I know which sort I prefer to drive.

#19: “The whole movie was about as organic as a Twinkie.”

[nods] I do wonder, though, if it’ll have anything resembling a Twinkie’s shelf-life :)

I enjoyed the film (as an action-comedy space fantasy legally branded “Star Trek*”) but yeah … you could practically hear a susurration of gentle pencil-clicks as the film soldiered on, the collective noise of product-goal checklists being rapidly ticked to completion.

The end product was funny, action-packed and pleasing in its way, but the end product was, exclusively, a product.

* No relation.

im not impressed
Im not going to bow down before these two.
Im not going to be happy with what im hearing just because they said….
what they say other then ‘I’m Sorry” dosent matter.
what matters is the canon (on screen). they need to be able to write a good story WITHIN that. And Star Trek wasnt it.

#29: “George Kirk being the really successful element.”

Oh, agreed. In some ways I almost wish the introduction _hadn’t_ been so emotionally successful; it raised my modest expectations for the film in a way that the rest of the movie didn’t even seem to acknowledge, let alone attempt to live up to. It’s like the first few minutes were from an entirely different film (the kind of film I could have fallen deeply in love with).

Hopefully the movie will be in the cinemas early in 2012. I don’t want in the summer, where so much other good movies are shown. I think with less competition, it will get more viewers. So I prefer a january, february, or march opening.

you preach to the quire and i hear you.

a movie i enjoyed more then Star Trek….
District 9
im thinking G.I Joe (still thinking)
as much as a i think Inglourious Basterds needed more. i think it might have been better then Star Trek.

@ 24, Just give me that chance… (Loved the flick, am a writer, have alot of my own Trek ideas, seeking book or tv series type of thing…) (Yes, seriously.)

Please.. get rid of those two and get someone aboard who really knows how to write character pieces.

No offense, but Orci and Kurtzman should stick with their usual target audience (Transformers, Cloverfield) and admit that they are incapable of writing a decent Sci-Fi drama a la Star Trek.

# 32

My thoughts exactly!

After George Kirk’s death, the movie went down (for me). Okay, the kid-stuff was nice too, but everything after the bar-fight was terrible.

Please stop abusing words like “DNA” and “organic” to this extent….

Spending more time on the writing.

What a novel approach for film-making today.

I wonder if it will catch on.

(No, I don’t. I’m certain that it won’t.)

Bring on the flashing lights, transparent plot-devices and cliches!!

William Shatner set to be beamed up in next Star Trek movie


Any thoughts?

@40… Don’t forget the lens flares!

#36. Speak for your self. I thought they did a great job on the Movie. I would not be nearly as happy if someone other then Orci and kurtzman were doing this movie. I know Trek is in good hands and I want them to take what ever time they need to give us the best story.

I would love to see a main mission story. 3 years is what it is. Maybe after three years, Scotty will have streamlines the massive nacelles. As for grabbing a story directly from the series… please don’t! If you want to borrow a character, go for it, but make this new for us. And PLEASE include the brain food.

I like to think of the stars as Kirk Spock and McCoy not just Kirk and Spock.

On a side note The Melbourne Herald Sun todays reported that Abrams was having dinner with Shatner to discuss having him in the next Star Trek movie.

Iowagirl, in one of the first episodes of TOS they show Spock strumming his Vulcan instrument, and Uhura is really into it. It is subtle, sure. But looking at it in a new light, it does come across as affection towards Spock, in my humble opinion.

41 –
Shatner as:
A horta.
Evil Kirk from the Priceline Universe.
Rand after a terrible transporter accident.
The Guardian of Fudge Cookies.

Deeper? As in pile higher and deeper?

The story for ST’09 was done in 2007. So, three years is coming up right about now, and this only exposes the Klingon Emperor Has No Clothes.

With talented craftspeople such as Manny Coto, the Stevenses, Ron D Moore, Ira Steven Behr, etc. out there who *know* Trek, I’d really wish that they had a shot at this universe. I think they’d already have the sequel(s) fleshed out quite well.

As to the Spock/Uhura romance…. geez, doesn’t anybody ever read TOS ‘about’ books? Have we all forgotten that the original “Plato’s Stepchildren” script had Spock kissing Uhura?? Have we forgotten Shatner made them change it so *he* got that kiss??? Where’s research gone?

In any case, it seems that in the original timeline, the Spock/Uhura closeness grew more to a brother/sister type relationship. Yet, here in the altered timeline, that kiss due to Amanda’s death… does make sense. But let’s credit Meyer Dolinsky for the original idea of Spock kissing Uhura and finding it the logical thing to do.

During the TOS years, all women had a thing for Spock, didn’t they? … moreso than Kirk, I think. Spock was the tall, dark, mysterious type who appealed to lots of women… It doesn’t surprise me at all that Uhura had a thing for Spock.

I don’t recall TOS having a writing staff the way TNG (and post-TNG series) did.

I wouldn’t count the Shatner eggs before they’re hatched. We have no idea what JJ and Shatner are talking about. We shouldn’t presume that Shatner will be in the next film, or — if he is — that he would play Kirk…? Again, I think Shatner is good for Star Trek, and he definitely knows how to play the PR game. I’m all for seeing him in uniform again, but I’m not holding my breath.

If the next film has something to do with the Nexus, I suppose there is a possible way for Kirk Prime to re-emerge. But then you’ve got Spock Prime and Kirk Prime both living in an alternate timeline, which seems to be pushing things a bit, IMO. But I am confident that Orci and Kurtzman are already considering all of this.

I would like to see McCoy (Urban) given a greater role in the new film, taking us back to the triumvirate relationship of K/S/M.

Wow! The nay sayers weigh in, already. I have been a Star Trek fan since I was about 10 years old. That’s 33 years! When I was that young we would play “Cops and Robbers” and “Star Trek”. I always wanted to be Spock. He was so smart and I loved that he could incapacitate people without really fighting too hard. The latest Star Trek movie was the best to date, from my perspective. Sure “The Wrath of Kahn” is up there, too. Anyway, I ramble. For me, canon is not that important. That doesn’t mean that I am not a “true fan”. I am. I love Star Trek and I think that it is in good hands with this group. And , oh yeah, the latest Star Trek movie got my wife hooked real good. Now, it won’t be so hard to convince her to go see it with me in the future.