Exclusive Video Interview: Orci and Lindelof Talk Star Trek Sequel (+ Fringe & Lost)

For the sequel to Star Trek, the writing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will be augmented by producer Damon Lindelof. At the Star Trek DVD/Blu-ray launch party TrekMovie talked to Orci and Lindelof about the next Trek, getting a status update, thoughts on their approach and what research they are doing. Bob also talked Fringe and Damon talked about the final season of Lost. See video interview below 


Bob and Damon Talks Star Trek sequel, Star Trek TV (plus Fringe and Lost)

Video taken at the Star Trek Blu-ray/DVD Party


Orci on Trek

  • On status of sequel: Star Trek script: team "will be having preliminary conversations on all the areas we are gravitating towards, then meditate over Christmas and hit the ground running in the new year"
  • Even though Abrams is now planning for Summer 2012, Orci & Kurtzman "have time slotted" for Trek in early 2010 and could "maybe get it in early"
  • Orci is preparing for writing sequel by looking at "classic (non-Trek) great epic sci-fi stories", including works of Arthur C. Clark, and "watching The Original Series again front to back"
  • On if Star Trek could work on TV again, Orci states: "I have to say yes…good stories are good stories and some of the stories in the Trek vault are the best stories around. It is just a matter of the energy and the context of putting it in there."
  • Orci would be interested in producing a new "Star Trek" TV show, but not being show-runner, agrees Manny Coto would be a good choice

Orci On Fringe:

  • X files reference in season two opener does not imply that the two shows share a universe, but (joked?) a "crossover" could be done
  • Feel its OK to "alternate" with serious sci-fi stories and regular stories
  • Team now feel "braver" after they "let the cat out of the bag" on the two universes"

Bob Orci and wife Melissa Blake at the Star Trek DVD/Blu-ray release party

Lindelof on Trek

  • Lindelof on 2012 release notes "we would be hard pressed to get anything on screen for 2011, if that is the case we better get to writing right now"
  • The team has "reached consensus" on the elapsed (in universe) time between Star Trek and the sequel, but they will not reveal that detail now
  • Cites time setting of Bourne Ultimatum, which takes place party during the events of the previous film Bourne Identity as something he admires, noting "one of the things we like to do as story-tellers is drop you in the middle of something and the question you are asking yourself is ‘where am I in relation to the last time I left these guys? Could this be something that pre-dated some of the adventures they had in the first movie? Does it happen five years later? Is it happening two seconds later?’ We are not going to tell you"
  • To prepare for writing Star Trek sequel he has been looking at other sequels he loves, including Aliens and Mighty Joe Young (1949 film somewhat related to 1933 King Kong)
  • Notes: "There is something people come to expect from a sequel to a movie like this which is, bigger, badder, louder, more bad guys. I think the idea of saying ‘do we have to do that? Is there something else we can do that is off the beaten path?’ I don’t know if this is going to be called ‘Star Trek 2’ or ‘Star Trek colon something’…We want to give the audience an experience that feels that it is not a sequel, in all the best ways"

Lindelof On Lost:

  • They have nine more episodes to write for Lost’s final season
  • The marketing strategy calls for there to be no previews before the season starts, but Lindelof "can’t unequivocally say we will hold the embargo up until the premiere"
  • Lindelof notes "even a single scene from the show would tip what we are doing this year, and what we are doing this year is different than what we have done in other years"
  • Does not expect to do more time travel, like they did in season 5

Damon Lindelof at the Star Trek DVD/Blu-ray release party

More Star Trek DVD/Blu-ray Party video interviews coming up
Look for more interviews from the party from cast and crew of Star Trek.

Photo by Carla Van Wagoner

Star Trek available now

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>>”watching The Original Series again front to back”

Awesome!. Thanks you Bob Orci.

I totally agree that they need to bring back Manny Coto if they are going to make a TV show. Season 4 of Enterprise was awsome and I understand he was a big part of that.

Sounds more like BTTF2 ;)

I really like Lindelof’s last statement about going off the beaten path and having it not just be a traditional “MORE MORE MORE” or “ULTIMATE VILLAIN” sequel. At this point I’m pretty open to anything these guys want to throw out there, especially if it’s something unexpected.

I hope they don’t feel super compelled to make the sequel “bigger” with “more more more” as many sequels do nowadays. Looking at the original Star Trek movies, the sequels weren’t about giving more and more and more — something like that’s simply unsustainable after more than a couple of movies — but just giving us a new story. Sure, budgets fluctuate, but can you really say that Star Trek III was bigger than Star Trek II? Or Star Trek VI bigger than Star Trek III?

Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof, JJ — just give us a good story, with good characters, and a compelling theme.

If the guys are looking at great, classic sci-fi, then I would very much recommend ‘Solaris’ by Stanisław Lem and the film adaptation by Tarkovsky. There’s certainly not a huge amount of cross-over between a Star Trek blockbuster and this novel/film; but it should inspire creative energy nonetheless.

As for the elapsed period of time between Star Trek and Star Trek 12, I reckon that they’ve settled on 5 years. It can’t be too long a period because the actors clearly haven’t aged that much; and the team (plus the studio) presumably still wants to leave room for many possible sequels with this same crew. Making it 5 years lets the crew mature a bit and we can believe them being thrust into more complex scientific, personal, and inter-personal problems. As for the title of the film, I see no real need to include the words ‘Star Trek’. We all know that it’s a Star Trek film. But their leaving those words out might appeal to the mainstream; and it might give the title more ‘punch’. Either way, I’m not terribly bothered. I’m interested to see any aesthetic changes between the current and the new film: will they keep the same uniforms; will they keep the same bridge design? Will they please change engineering!

I like what Lindelof is saying..

I think Aliens is the classic example of what he is trying to say Re: Sequel.

Alien and Aliens are two completely different movies, yet it is still a sequel. One was a claustrophobic horror and the next was all out action. Perhaps we will see this played in reverse? Trek 2 might be more cerebral or something? More intelligent? No villain but rather some sort of 2001-esque happening? V’ger?

Indiana Jones comes to mind… there is a puzzle that needs solving (Iconians? V’Ger? Dysonsphere?) and its not just the Big-E trying to piece things together.. the Klingons (AKA Nazis, AKA Russians) are also trying to solve it.

The Chase (TNG) springs to mind as its a similar concept.

”watching The Original Series again front to back”

I also appreciated that comment by Orci. :-)

Nice scarf, Damon.

“Orci is preparing for writing sequel by looking at “classic (non-Trek) great epic sci-fi stories”, including works of Arthur C. Clark, and “watching The Original Series again front to back”

Bob: Larry Niven, the Mote in God’s Eye. One of the best “first contact” SF novels ever, with action, adventure, and a subtle “message” that isn’t in one’s face. And obviously heavily influenced by Star Trek, with characters and equipment that can transfer nearly whole from one universe (Niven’s) to the other (Star Trek’s).

dmduncan – November 20, 2009



Dear Editor,
Please be reminded, there is no such thing as, “The Original Series”. There is merely the original Star Trek from 1966. Do others not think this anachronistic construct disingenuous in its purpose? What is the fanword? “Retcon”?

C.S. Lewis

A scene that’s been running around in my head since Saldana said she’d like to kick someone in the sequel:
(Kirk and Uhura are alone, he’s trying to seduce her again.)
Kirk: “Forget for a moment that I’m the captain, okay?”
Uhura: “Aye.” (She kicks him.) “Sir.”

Star Trek : Ectomy.

Oh, come on! Which Arthur C. Clarke stories? Is a raise going to ascend with the help of dudes who look like the devilled ham guy? Will we see the Enterprise raised into orbit on diamindium lines and electro-magnets… and then rendezvous with a city in space full of three-legged spidersbots?

Apparently, there’ll also be a Mugatu, only he’ll be REALLY big.

Can’t wait.

BTW, Bob… re: Melissa.


If you guys have time, please read some of Iain M. Banks’ Culture books. They each stand alone. ‘Excession’ is great, and there’s a cool, very Trek short story: “The State of the Art:” from the collection of the same name. Good reading in any case.

Kirk is the Captain. He can’t go around hitting on Uhura (one of his bridge crew) like he’s still at the academy.

But I would like to see some conflict between Kirk and Uhura that gets resolved on the mat in the ship’s gymnasium during a martial arts workout between them, that puts Uhura on notice that he is the Captain now, and he’s not going to be acting like a cadet anymore, so that she has to adjust her image of the guy she knew at the academy into something very different.




Also, ”watching The Original Series again front to back” is such a positive thing. Just like Harve Bennett prior to developing TWOK.


I have full Faith in Orci ,JJ ,Kuzman and the others to get this right and make a awesome Squeal. Doesn’t matter to me if it is in 2011 or 2012 as long as it has a good scrip and has stuff that we expect of Trek!

I just want some nods to TOS, Good Characters, good theme and lots of Character moments!

Sounds like they may drop us into the missing 25 years then push forward to the end of the first movie. With the Klingons having cracked Nero’s computer and aware of the future, this will be very cool indeed. The Klingons will be more fierce and more advance than they were in the prime universe!

Hybrid Human-Romulan-Klingon race (theme: genetic engineering/cloning)
The benefits and dangers/morals/ethics behind this.

Flashback scene to Kirks very first attempt of the KM.

What was Kirks initial solution the one he tried so hard and failed, while thinking, “I do not believe in a no win scenario.”

A key battle scene he can reflect upon this.

Reading Arthur Clarke and watching TOS seems like a good idea.

There’s always the theme of people being ruled by a computer, so Kirk has to teach them the value of having free will, and then destroy the computer by confusing it with irrationality or out-logicking it. That always makes a good story. Or, how about meeting up with a “superior” race who puts humanity to the test, and end up being impressed. Or, how about a good ole’ Klingon fight? (They’re nasty, they fart in airlocks, you know.)

I think the time frame should be like very shortly after. It can be about their first exploration mission. The mission of the Enterprise and Starfleet is to explore, and the first movie it was about saving earth, etc and the characters meeting each other and coming together. The next movie should be where the characters are pitted against the unknown, they learn more about each other as they go out learning the unknown. I don’t know they can do a lot. Maybe they can bring in something about the prime directive and not interfering with other cultures while making contact and maybe contrast the Federation’s way of building its alliance versus the Klingon’s way of conquering worlds. Maybe they could start the movie with a flashback where something went wrong meeting the Klingons for the first time and that is what led to first contact missions in the first place. So many thoughts!!!!

Many Coto running a new Trek produced by JJ, Orci and Kurtzman? I think I just e-jayed in my jeans.

If JJ had his way, the first scene would start off with Spock ordering the words, “Fire!” Sorta like when Riker ordered Fire upon Locutus in the 2 part series, “best of both worlds.”

The cam pans to the viewscreen showing a bloody Kirk with the two ships about to destroy each other. Star Trek theme/logo scrolls and the film starts.

Very similar to what he did with MI3 opening sequence, with Ethan tied up and being tortured and his “wife” about to be killed.

Bob, let us know what you think once you’ve watched the original series…

Come on, someone had to say it, hehe.

I was one of the guilty few who initially gave you a hard time about the movie but thoroughly enjoyed it when I saw it. I will not make that mistake again. I trust you guys to get it right whether that’s Khan or any other subject. I will not be as judgemental this time round.

Peace and long life!

Hey Bob Orci. When you watch the Tos Series again are you going to watch it on the Blu Rey Remastered or in the orignal form. I hope you pay a little attention to Miror Miror. The Terran Empire would be a nice little thing to explore. The 3 others I hope you pay attention to is Assingment Earth. Theres a Series there if you realy wanted to tackle a new series. A Private Little War is a great one with the Klingons and the Federation. Errend of Mercy. A good one with the Organions. War with the Klingons and the Federation and an all out fight. Maybe a little combo with a Private little war.

Hey Bob Orci. A great Idea for a new Series that could be based on Star Trek is one that has Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln and there exploits and there main foe will be Khan and his race of Super Human Men and Women. What would you think. I think if done right would work realy well.

Dude, two words (well one hyphenated word) stedi-cam ;-)

I wonder if it would be a good idea to retain links to the first film in the sequel?

I like the idea of encountering the Klingons with advanced tech culled from the Narada, but also, what about the Romulans?

Perhaps we could see a sequel inspired by “Balance of Terror” but this time it’s the Enterprise crossing the Neutral Zone trying to make a peace offering to expedite relations between the two powers so that the Federation can help them either prevent the Hobus Supernova from ever happening or to preemptively evacuate Romulus. But, of course the Romulans don’t believe them, and thus the encounter sets off a battle that almost reignites the earth-romulan war all over again.

I love TOS, but I am not really a fan of science fiction. To me TOS was about something bigger than most science fiction.

Hey Anthony. I would but Im in Texas. Oh and hey Bob Orci. I and some others think that you should get Anthony a Roll if even a small one in the next Star Trek Movie. Come on and get him in it.

“On if Star Trek could work on TV again, Orci states: “I have to say yes…good stories are good stories and some of the stories in the Trek vault are the best stories around. It is just a matter of the energy and the context of putting it in there.” ”


#37 Cawley should not be anywhere near real Trek TV Series. I would rather have Coto than Cawley.

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman: I know you guys said that you read these boards, so I just wanted to throw out a wish (again) I’m hoping you might be able to grant for the next movie. Bill Murray’s a great actor, I think he’d be great in a Captain’s chair. I don’t know whether necessarily what was previously suggested (Commodore Robert Wesley), but I really believe he’d be great. I think he could be a powerhouse of a Captain.

Okay, that’s all I have to say, probably the last time I’ll say it. Thanks.

Hey Bob,

I vote for something with Gary Mitchell or Talis IV or the Doomsday Machine. Those are awesome episodes. I really like Assignment Earth too. An update on that story would be awesome.

I loved the new movie. I’ve been a Trek fan since 1970. I used to watch Star Trek after school every day on reruns.

Manny/Bob Trek series please! :D

also, Bob Orci, I assume the Klingons have studied the Narada when Nero and them were captured… would they have obtained future tech from it? could that advance their tech in a similar way as the new Enterprise? just something to consider if maybe you haven’t. I don’t imagine that would be something you’d want to gloss over! :P

oh and I agree with #36. cameos and extras from the rest of the trek community are great. :)

I’d like to see Khan the hero saving humanity somehow through a twist of fate/circumstances. After all, in the first movie Spock was actually responsible for the destruction of Vulcan. If he didn’t create the red matter, there would be no destruction of Vulcan. Maybe Khan could be put in a position to save the Earth/Federation??? I’d like to see him go up against the Klingons!!! Too bad Arnold Schwarzenegger is too old to play a young Khan. Haste la vista Kirk!

Everyone watch Blood and Fire II, out now – It’s a great story! Something like that would be nice ;)

Just went on the Phase II site, and I cant find it? Is it released somewhere else?

@ Mr. Orci

All I can say is Khan,Khan,Khan!!! Khan is a must, Its like makeing a Star Wars movie without some refrence to Darth Vader or Batman with out a Joker reffrence. Khan I’d a Star Trek classic And Goldden Villan and is a wonderful dish to serve to an audience!

I just noticed that no one commented on how Damon Lindelof Dressed for the DVD Party. I don’t have anything bad to say. It just struck me as other worldly and unusual. It is an Anomaly in Star Trek talk.

I have only one request in relation to the Star Trek sequel: Please, please, please, PLEASE lose the ‘lens flare’ lighting/cinematography approach.

It wasn’t too bad the first time I saw the move, but now that I’ve watched it again a couple of times at home it is incredibly annoying and distracting and, in my opinion, detracts immensely from the whole visual of the film.

Oh, and more Scotty. Simon Pegg was very underused in the first film and his appearance for the last 40 mins (or so) definitely raised the tone of the movie and made it more light-hearted.

I’d love to see a ‘Mirror Universe’ based theme for ST:2 – Zachary Quinto with a goatee beard gets my vote. What better adversary than ‘evil’ versions of the crew :)

I know, I said I only had one request, and that’s three, forgive me.

“There is something people come to expect from a sequel to a movie like this which is, bigger, badder, louder, more bad guys. I think the idea of saying ‘do we have to do that? Is there something else we can do that is off the beaten path?”

I like this. I like this very much. :)

@14: LOL! That would work almost too well!

I just want the writers to address my biggest problem with the first movie, which was the idea of the federation having access to Transwarp Beaming. It takes all the fun and adventure of space travel if such an invention exists. Even in Picard’s time, when elderly Dyson Sphere-Rehabilitated Scotty maybe came up with the technology, it’s truly outrageous. It’s like James Bond having a car that can cloak in Die Another Day. Where do you go from there? Nowhere. Time for Daniel Craig.

So I propose that in the TNG era the Federation finally developed the technology for transwarp beaming, but then the old Organians stepped in and forbade them from using it because, like the cloaking device, it would change the balance of power in the galaxy so drastically that all hell would break loose. The peace-loving Federation got no business running around with invisible ships, nor does it have any business being able to beam into the Delta Quadrant for five minutes to tell Neelix he’s not Quark and then beam back.

BUT…when Spock goes back in time he knows he’s in a space/time frame BEFORE the Organians caught wind of the Federation using the technology, so he figured he can get off ONE transwarp beam before they noticed it and stepped in to forbid them from further using it. This way, the transwarp beaming scene in the movie is no longer to outrageously insulting to our Trek Intelligence, and also fixes what will otherwise grow into a pretty big flaw in any of the sequels — namely, why don’t they just beam all their troubles away after Plot Point 1 drops, and then spend the rest of Acts 2 and 3 on Risa?

Come to think of it, why didn’t they just beam off Nero’s head and be done with it? If you can beam into a ship doing warp in the other direction probably in a whole different sector by now — maybe or maybe not still on the same heading you saw them on when they left — then you can do it through shields and beam off Nero’s faulty-logic-having head.

I know the writers will most likely never address the transwarp beaming fiasco, but I just wanted to share my “solution” it with fellow fans who might be having a hard time swallowing the beaming thing like I did. Organians. Done. And I’m happy to report that the beaming thing was the last of the movie’s major plot holes/contrivances that was keeping me down and I can finally relax and just let the otherwise-excellent film entertain me.

I don’t care if they are reading Arthur C. Clark or Mark Twain. Just give us a good story with a solid script.