Star Trek Nominated For Producers Guild Award – Could Indicate Best Picture Oscar Nomination

This morning the Producers Guild of America announced the nominees for the best produced motion picture of 2009, and in another franchise first. JJ Abrams Star Trek was on the list, along with two other sci-fi films (a PGA first). The PGA nomination is a major step towards a possible Oscar nomination for Best Picture.


PGA Nominate Star Trek
This year the PGA followed suit with the Oscars and expanded their list of nominees to 10. Here is the full list for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures (via

Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures:

Producers: James Cameron, Jon Landau

Producers: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson

Producers: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey

Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

Producer: Lawrence Bender

Producers: Clint Eastwood, Rob Lorenz, Lori McCreary , Mace Neufeld

Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness

Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof

Producer: Jonas Rivera

Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

The 2009 Star Trek movie is the first film in the franchise to be nominated for this award. In fact 2009 marks the first year the PGA nominated any science fiction films (and they nominated three including Avatar and District 9). The only other genre films to be nominated in the past were the three Lord of the Rings movies. JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof appear to also have the unique honor of being nominated for best Motion Picture and best Television Series. In November Lost (created and executive produced by Abrams and Lindelof) was nominated for the PGA’s Best TV Drama Award.

The winners of the PGA Awards will be announced on January 24th.

Oscar Indicator?
In the past the PGA nominations have matched very closely with the Oscar Best Picture nominees. You can see in a chart at Awards Daily that in many years it is an exact match, with most others having just one film being different. However, with the expansion of 10 films for 2009, there is no telling if this high correlation will be the same again this year. Although JJ Abrams’ Star Trek is one of the best reviewed films of the year, so far most Oscar Watchers have considered it a big long shot for a Best Picture Nomination. That being said, the buzz may change with this PGA nod.

DGA is next
The next set of big guild nominations is the Director’s Guild which announces on Thursday. JJ Abrams should be considered a long shot for a nomination, but he was mentioned in an award season buzz article in Variety yesterday, which drew a comparison between Abrams work and that of another director getting some buzz:

J.J. Abrams reinvented the Enterprise just as Quentin Tarantino reinvented World War II, but "Star Trek" and "Inglourious Basterds" explored the same personal themes loyalty, honor, teamwork; the nobility of self-sacrifice vs. the futility of vengeance — each director had taken up in previous works.

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Not holding my breath for a Best pic nom.

Trek deserves a nomination for Best film. For pure bravado alone it would be a worthy contender.

It is best film in our parallel universe

Yes, very deserving. Why does best pic must go to unheard of films or overly critical and non-sci fi?

While I realize there is zero-point-zero chance of Trek winning anything like this kind of award, I think it is very important and telling for it to receive *any* such kind of nomination. There exists this odd bias in Hollywood that only the “right” kind of films can be Best Picture contenders, and science fiction films as a genre have rarely met that distinction. I recall an interview with (I recall) an Academy-type, or an “Oscar-watcher” (don’t remember which) posted here some months ago that a “Star Trek” movie “should never win Best Picture,” which is indicative of precisely that kind of bias. I suppose had Robert Wise’s effort not faced all its well-documented production difficulties, it would have been considered in the “scope” of the epic kind of movies considered for Best Picture…

This Trek was a wonderfully created and meticulously produced film event, and it richly deserves the nominations is has and will receive – not because it is “Star Trek,” but because it was a really good film.

Should *this* Trek win Best Picture? That’s highly debatable, but the point is that such pictures should never be *excluded* from the discussion *merely* for the fact that they are a particular “kind” of movie.

Off topic but I had to learn about Eggo Trek themed waffles on AOL.

I bought two boxes of those Trek waffles thinking I might be able to sell them on Ebay but am not sure how I could ship them without them thawing and spoiling and probably nobody would pay extra to have them shipped in a cooler with dry ice. So they’re still in my freezer. It may be more fun just to eat them.

“J.J. Abrams reinvented the Enterprise just as Quentin Tarantino reinvented World War II, but “Star Trek” and “Inglourious Basterds” explored the same personal themes loyalty, honor, teamwork; the nobility of self-sacrifice vs. the futility of vengeance — each director had taken up in previous works.”

Good Lord. I just finally saw Basterds over the weekend, and whatever its merits (I admire and deplore Tarantino as an artist in equal measure), a more apt comparison with the theme of “teamwork” may actually be found in the TOS episode “Miri.” Teamwork, that is, as in “Bonk, bonk, bonk on the head!”

Seriously–who at Variety is paid to write this sort of drivel?

Sorry but Trek 2009 doesn’t deserve any oscars. Avatar is going to clean house when it comes to the technical oscars.

Trek09 winning best movie?

No. No freaking way. Nothing about Trek09 in anyway resembles a well thought out or craftily executed movie when compared to other movies of 2009 that are far better than this piece of junk. Movies like Coraline, Up in the Air, Young Victoria, Zombie Land, District 9, The Blind Side, Moon, Avatar, Ponyo ect.

To think that District 9, a movie that has a budget less than 1/4 of what Star Trek had, that had a much better involving storyline and much better character development than all the Trek09 characters combined is kind of disappointing. One of the best achievements I think District 9 did for movies is putting a gawd awful looking alien who doesn’t speak english into a role that the audience can relate to. Most movie makers would sooner stay away from this form of story telling. Let me break it down.

– District 9 had budget of 30 million was able to create swarms of photo realistic aliens, convince the audience that they were characters and be able to follow the story through their point of view.
– Trek09’s budget of 150+ million gives us a week in a brewery and a lot of characters doing things that any normal person would not tolerate. And for all the money saved by shooting at a brewery, the best JJ Abrams could do in bringing us an alien is a regular human looking person who just has big eyes. Every other Alien in the film that doesn’t resemble a human is either in the deleted scenes or thrown in the background as background fodder with no dialogue and nothing to do.

Pixar’s “UP” was a better Star Trek movie.

If Starry Trek gets nominated fur’ that wee gold man, I will not only reveal my true identity on this here site, but I will also burn all o’ me pants and eat somethin’ that resembles a tribble. Possibly a small weasel.

Nonetheless, that thar’ Starry Trek and Inglorious Basterdos arrrrrrr tha’ best bonny films this year… errrr… last year?… but I haven’t seen that Clooney flick yet… and I luvs Clooney so much I named me pillow aftar’ him…

Uhhhhhhh… too much info? Good thing I didda not say anythin’ aboot’ me Cyrano Jones pee decanter… that would be embarrassin’…

But what do I knows aboot’ motion pictures? I’m a doctor, not a director.


“Reinventing WW II”? Wow, that is quite a task. Hope he edited out all that nasty Holocaust stuff. Drivel is right.

As for Trek as best pic: It was enjoyable, but it isn’t in that category (though God knows much of what passes for best pic by the Academy isn’t truly in that category either). Now, BSG as Best TV drama, that would be another matter. Sci fi shouldn’t be a ghetto, but, that said, the Trek pic was nothing breakthrough. Formulaic plot, plot holes you could drive a K’tinga cruiser through, etc. And set design? Budweiser engineering, anyone? Can’t say I was a big fan of the lens flared Apple Store bridge either (Poor Chekov and Sulu should be issued with sunglasses for their duty shifts). It was fun. And I liked the origin stories of Kirk and Spock, but it no ground was broken. More worthy sci-fi was and will be produced and those features ought to be considered in the future with the expansion in the best pic category (I’m thinking of things on par with Alien, Blade Runner, Gattica, etc.).

Not surprising one of the biggest and most popular producers in Hollywood has his film nominated for a Producer’s award. But, as far as the Oscars are concerned, not even considering Star Trek’s worthiness for the moment, there is no way they will nominate two sci-fi movies in the same list. And Avatar overshadows Star Trek in all categories, including the top professional critics reviews, which carries a lot of weight in Hollywood. The fact that it is now the 4th largest grossing motion picture of all time and predicted to soon be number 2 behind Titanic, shows that it is also one of the most popular movies of all time and will continue getting all the buzz well into the nominations. Plus without any other notable category nominations, like cast, or director, it would be unprecedented to even nominate it for best picture. Star Trek simply does not have a chance.

While star trek may not win best picture it is certainly no where near the piece of junk that some people describe it as. I have found it to be a very enjoyable picture and as a star trek fan it is quiet an honor for it to be mentioned up there with some of the other great films of 2009. In my opinion Star trek is most definitely deserving of the nomination it has received for the work of art that it is.

Yea best picture oscar nomination would be great but not holding my breath for the award. Some people said the new Star Trek was kind of cooky, a bubble gum movie, but they are the people who either take it at face value or over analyze it too much and I have found in person experience both can ruin an enjoyable movie experience. As with everything in life…it all about balance, don’t take it at face value but don’t over analyze both are incorrect. Bottom line…the new star trek is not as intellectual as past star trek movies but it was a great ride, I enjoyed watching the movie and sometimes…thats all that matters.


They used teamwork to kill and scalp some Nazi’s, and I cant think of a better cause…well ok saving Earth was pretty good to. I honestly think there was about as much teamwork in each to be honest. Neither movie was packed full of it, but for what each had I think the other had in similar amounts. I was actually slightly disappointed by the movie, though. I love Tarantino’s stuff and had super high hopes for Basterds but it didn’t quite live up to what I thought, I think mainly due to more of a focus on the Cinima storyline and less on the Basterds. I just watched District 9, however, which I think went way too unnoticed. That was an incredible sifi film and I think that if I had not been a Trekkie I would have put it equal to Star Trek, maybe even a bit better due to it being a new idea.

Either way, Trek’s not gonna win anything, but at this point I think even being nominated is reason to celebrate because yes, Hollywood does have a bias on which films get in and win. They have to be overly deep or abstract usually, and are rarely fun films. I dont know about everyone else but a lot of times for me having fun with a movie is just as important, if not more so, than being touched by it. And for that matter, Star Trek had its touching moments.

If Trek 09 is listed just above UP..then it’s doomed from the start.
District 9? Come on!
Avatar was cool, but the story was not new..w/o the 3D gimick and cgi, the story pretty much is a disney/pixar flic.
The others blow compared to Trek/Avatar!
But we all know scifi is dirt the academy other than FX.

Definitely the Best Film in the Alternate universe category.

#18: “If Trek 09 is listed just above UP…”

The listing appears alphabetical, so placement indicates nothing in particular.

“Avatar was cool, but the story was not new …”

If you’re condeming films based on the novelty of their storyline, you’re damning ST09 right out of the gate, aren’t you? I mean “Black Hat in spaceship killed by White Hats in other spaceship, preventing the destruction of the Earth” isn’t exactly poppin’ fresh.

“But we all know scifi is dirt the academy other than FX.”

In fairness, it _is_ frequently garbage. Until Avatar zips past it sometime in the next few weeks, the best-selling genre film from 2009 is still the Transformers sequel, for example :(

#18 Star Trek is listed above Up because the list is in alphabetical order (An and The don’t count in An Education and The Hurt Locker).

Definitely a good sign for Trek, but the SAG noms are the best indicator because the largest voting block in the Academy is actors.

Give me a break. J.J. Abrams ruined Star Trek for me. And by the way, he deleted alot of people from his twitter and went private.

#22: “Give me a break. J.J. Abrams ruined Star Trek for me.”

Egad, isn’t that giving him a lot more power than he’s earned?

He made a piece of tie-in merchandise; it should no more have the power to “ruin” Star Trek for anyone than a Trek-themed shotglass, comic book or action figure.



You may have a point about FX budgets. I wouldn’t be surprised if ILM, WETA and their ilk charge an extra arm & leg to add their names to the film credits. It’s lile the US government spending $150 on a screwdriver.

Several here have expressed opinions that ST09 did not impress on the FX side, especially with regard to the Enterprise’s believability. And for that, JJ paid top dollar. Maybe he’d do better next time to go to South Africa for his FX.

Great to see Star Trek being recognized. Also nice to see so much sci-fi/genre represented.

Please, lets not get carried away. An Oscar nomination is a massive, massive long shot. Don’t want people to be disappointed. No one can deny that Star Trek has been one of the best films of the year, but for the Academy to recognize this?… I’m not sure.


“No one can deny that Star Trek has been one of the best films of the year, but for the Academy to recognize this?… I’m not sure.”

It’d be nice for someone to recognize the Academy as being competent to judge films. Just reading that Variety quote makes me think that Hollywood is the LAST place to find competent criticism/evaluation of film.

GAH! As I have said many times, to many people, on many sites… and many times on this one. James Cameron’s AVATAR, written by James Cameron, Writer of James Cameron’s Titanic and James Camerons Alien and James Cameron’s Terminator (You get the picture)

AVATAR just isnt that good of a film, Its story has been done and re-done countless times, The Characters were not believeable and I thought the acting was average at best. It’s just idiots who bought into the whole “Oh look, Its Shiny” type advertising. Take the 3D element away and your left with a film that, whilst looks great, lacks any real substance.

Of course, the only other people who bopught into the film are Hollywood Execs and other directors and producers who want to go about kissing James Camerons arse.

Star Trek on the other hand should of never been developed, it should have been a box office flop, But wasn’t. I think that shows in itself that whilst the film is mostly (for nitpicky reasons) hated by the Trekkies, is loved by people who dont even like Sci-Fi. The film was fun, the actors all played they’re parts well and, in the case of Pine or Urban, deserve to be nominated for best actor and best supporting for those performances alone… However, Without shadow of a doubt, this award should be given to District 9, just for making a film that requires you to think again

But it wont, It’ll be J.C’s AVATAR, written by James Cameron… as will every Oscar its nominated for :( !!!!!!!

Of the sci-fi films I saw this year, only two merit non-technical awards: “District 9” and “Moon.”

Don’t get me wrong, I loved “Star Trek” and I really enjoyed “Avatar.”

But if any scifi film this year deserves a Best Picture nom, it’s “District 9.”

#26: “No one can deny that Star Trek has been one of the best films of the year …”

I can’t deny that it’s in my Top 30.

#28: “It’s just idiots who bought into the whole “Oh look, Its Shiny” type advertising. Take the 3D element away and your left with a film that, whilst looks great, lacks any real substance.”

I never saw it in 3-D until my third viewing, and quite the contrary, I found that the 3-D added very little to the experience other than a $2 surcharge (the 3-D effects were nifty, but incidental). As for the advertising, I found it underwhelming at best … based on the trailers, I was prepared to dismiss Avatar entirely as just another video-game-looking movie, and went in with thin hopes and low expectations. Maybe that’s why the film blew me away so effectively; I had invested nothing in hopes.

“However, Without shadow of a doubt, this award should be given to District 9, just for making a film that requires you to think again.”

Definitely the best [mostly] live-action SF film of the year.

I see first son of Krypton hasn’t taken his depression pills yet today… :-)

While Cameron did great work bringing Avatar to the screen, the key to the film’s success in my mind was Zoe Saldana’s performance. She should definitely get a leading actress nomination for her role! I wonder how many motion capture suits she caused to burst into flames as they tried to record her fiery performance.

I will say this about the Oscars, Star Trek definitely deserves the sound design award over Avatar. Half of Avatar’s sounds were ripped right out of Jurassic Park! Every animal sounded like a Velociraptor!

Yah I totally disagree that James Camersons Avatar has only adequate acting…as mentioned above ZOE gives an incredible performance that almost made me cry more than once…star trek? I smiled and laughed a lot but was never driven to tears….(I should of been when Vulcan died maybe if handled differently)–Likewise Trek looks great lots of work went into sets costumes etc all excellent…but Avatar blows it all away…When the gi was getting into his mech, instead of plastic and fake it looked like the insides of a tank…totally real…my father worked at the logistic center at ft lewis repairing a kid I visited during their christmas parties and got to get in and ride the tanks. I know the look…Avatar created world with levels of detail an 3d never seen before…and the acting was stunning the story good…the first half of the movie increible….2nd half loses something but still….Avatar does deserve any accolades its getting and guess what Cameron will soon have a new number one movie of all time to pass his Titantic….Could be the man deservices the honor..he knows how to make movies obviously….

The whole notion of a Oscar nomination may be a long shot…but isn’t it cool that it’s even being discussed by people outside of this website?

There was a nice gesture from Entertainment Weekly in the latest issue….an Oscar preview. They laid out their predictions of the movies they expected to be nominated. Then they added a blurb….For your consideration: Star Trek. They made a nice, succinct case for why it deserves to be considered.

Bravo EW!

#30, John, I take exception to the wording that 3D added very little to Avatar. I hope you meant that it added very little to the story, which worked with or without 3D. But unlike UP and many other animated offerings, this is the first time I have seen 3D in a way which I felt totally immersed in it. Stuff wan’t just popping out at me, mostly I was able to into the world he created and feel like it surrounded me. Anybody who says it is just a gimmick hasn’t seen the movie.

But either way, I seriously doubt mere advertising has driven this movie to earn over a billion dollars worldwide in less than 2 weeks. If so, then every “idiot” on the planet must have been let out into the streets when this film opened. Besides, Star Trek had a much bigger ad campaign that seemed to hinge on the “oh look it’s shiny” efforts, from the lens flares flashing the camera, to Kirk screaming “Do It!”, to a big red (and shiny) alien creature chasing Kirk, etc. Surely then Star Trek benefitted from that same group of idiots that seem to be solely responsible for Avatar’s much greater success. Though if Star Trek had a much more intelligent crowd, it was not impressed in equal numbers as Avatar’s “idiots”.

As much as I love Star Trek XI, there is no way it’ll win anything.
Nominated maybe, win no.

If Star Trek ever won the Best Picture Oscar I’d swallow my gum, and I don’t chew gum!

Star Trek XI is one of the best films of 2009 but as much as I would love to see Star Trek get this honour I feel the movie is not strong enough to be considered for Oscar. Its not realistic to think about this as a possibility.

I had wanted past actors and past Trek movies to get this honour, Patrick Stewart should have beennominated for Best Actor for First Contact. Perhaps in a parallel universe Star Trek in all its shows and first 10 movies has won loads of Emmys and Oscars in the creative categories.

Is Star Trek XI a cool film? Yes it is . Is it the best Trek movie ever? No it isn’t. Its probably 5th place but one of my fav films of 2009.

Star Trek XI unlike some of the previous movies is probably more likely to clean out at the MTV Awards rather than the Oscars.

And I am a hard core Trek fan. If Trek XI was nominated I will be excited but given the calibre of film the Oscars go for it ain’t very likely.

If the Oscars is increasing the category and putting more mainstream films in for Dest Picture, then whats stopping them from puting the awful Transformers 2 into the mix. Now that will be a dark day.

As much as I loved the new Trek I felt it was a bit more dumbed down than previous Trek’s.

I don’t mind this but I am concerned that this movie is ging to make people forget about what came before.

Like past Trek movies this will get awards at the Saturn Awards.

I miss my classical music in my Trek

#36. Don’t worry, while there is a slight chance of a nomination, there’s 0 chance of it winning. This is a fact based on how the Academy is handling voting this year.

Voters have to rank the 10 nominees from 1 to 10. If any movie gets a “1” on at least 50% of the ballots, it wins Best Picture. If no movie gets 50%, it gets more complicated. First, the film with the lowest number of “1” ballots is eliminated and the “2” spot on those ballots gets bumped up to “1”. Then, they check again to see if any film got 50% of the ballots (including the now reformulated ones). They repeat this until any movie gets 50%.

So essentially, the only way to win Best Picture is to either have the most #1 votes to begin with, or have enough #1, #2, and #3 votes to push you over 50%. This also has the weird effect that the movie with starts out with the most #1 spots could still lose Best Picture if it doesn’t have 50% of the ballots, and there’s a strong #2.

I do not feel that this is the best ever Trek movie. but the mainstream is making it out to be that and making the past 43 years of Trek seem wrong.

Am I wrong for thinking like this?

“Am I wrong for thinking like this?”

Probably not. But with all due respect, Captain: if that’s your greatest worry in this life, you’re a lucky man. :-)

Didn’t the final Oscar ballots go out already?

I have said this before and will say it again: “Star Trek” will be shut out at the Oscars. No nominations. Not even one technical award nomination.
Ditto for “District 9”. Its all about “Avatar” this year. It will sweep in every category for which it is nominated except best pic. As much as I enjoyed “Avatar”, without the performances of Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Zaldana, Sam Worthington and the incredible(but not groundbreaking) CGI effects, this film would be a mediocre one at best. The other sci-fi nomineess will be “New Moon”, “Transformers 2” and “Terminator Salvation”. As for the Oscar nominations matching those of the Producers Guild, that means nothing this year. “Nine” will most likely be nominated for best pic, as would “The Young Victoria”.

Someone earlier mentioned “District 9” as a much more likely contender for Best Pic than Star Trek. …Really? Really?

I thought that, while it was… interesting, I didn’t think it even close to the quality that Star Trek was. And I’m saying that as a moviegoer, not as a Trek or even scifi fan. The acting was good, even the directing was good, and the aliens looked great. The plot was… okay, but the script itself had me cringing at points. I don’t see it at the same level as Trek and certainly not Avatar.

And “Inglorious..”? Well… it was very… Quentin Tarantino-esque.

I am totally holding my breath for the oscar nom! I inhaled on May 8 2009…eeear!

12 – As a British Naval Dude, shouldn’t you be burning trousers instead of pants?

Just askin’.

Saw Avatar this weekend. It was a better film than Trek.

Well, as much as the TOS purist in me failed to fully embrace JJ’s ST, (I love it for what it is) it is still family, so I am rooting for it. (against all hope). But I have to point out that District 9 and Avatar blow chunks. District 9’s allegory would have been ham-fisted even 40 years ago (and TOS still did it better). Avatar is Gump-esque. For all its beauty, is monumentally, impenetrably, derivatively, obnoxiously, stupid. It is patently offensive in its treatment of its brainless, murdering (ostensibly American) military. It will therefore clean up!

Star Trek was a superior time at the movies on all accounts. It was fun, basically true to its roots, and had some real moments. It will lose, unfortunately.

I didn’t see many films in 2009 so I don’t know what kind of competition there is, but SURELY there were at least 10 films better than Star Trek was, that are eligible?

I don’t deny that it was a likable, well presented and fun thing to see in the cinema, but once I got it home the flaws were painfully obvious. Anyone doing a good, honest appraisal of the movie would not give it an award for anything but sound design and visual effects.

Maybe Star Trek won’t get an Oscar nod, and that’s okay with me… it is getting onto a lot of people’s radar, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment in itself.
HOWEVER (and this is a big fat however)
If Star Trek isn’t nominated in any non-technical categories, then neither should Avatar. The acting was mediocre (I thought all the CGI detracted from the acting), the story was lukewarm (it’s as predictable of a movie as I have seen in a long time) and it’s characters (or should I say “caricatures”) were extremely black and white.