Another day and another comment from JJ Abrams on the 2012 Star Trek sequel he is producing (and possibly directing). This time Abrams is talking about time travel and possible cameos from past Star Trek actors. Find out what he had to say below.
These excerpts actually comes from an interview that was probably conducted a few months ago and published in Wizard Magazine #217 (unearthed by TrekWeb). But since the work on the sequel is still in its infancy, it is probably still just as valid.
Time Travel again?
It seems like time travel is mandatory for the most successful Trek films. But will you veer away from that in the sequel ?
JJ Abrams: We’re just now talking about what the story is going to be and there is some very cool ideas that are out there. My instinct would be not necessarily go back to any of the same well again unless it pertains to character. But if there was some brilliant piece that involved time travel of course I wouldn’t rule it out.
However, being as the story is being developed by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, I think it is pretty unlikely they will propose another time travel story to Abrams. Lindelof has told me that after doing a whole season of time travel on Lost and doing it with the first Trek movie, he was ‘done’ with time travel. And my interview with the writers in the April Geek Magazine had this exchange:
Time travel has been a staple of Star Trek, including many favorite movies and episodes. Did you use time travel again because it had worked in the past?
Orci: Actually the opposite. We hesitated to use time travel, because it was so used. However, it was such an important reason to use it — to have both a prequel and a sequel — to maintain canon, yet free us up. Despite its overuse, we thought ‘let’s use it one more time before we put it away, and then not use it again.’ It was also the only way to justify the level of involvement that we felt for Nimoy to be a genuinely active participant in the movie. And that was worth it and specific enough that it didn’t feel like a gimmick. So we allowed ourselves to use it to jump off.
Plus in his May Fan Q&A here at TrekMovie, Orci noted pointed out that they have stricter rules on time travel, and it is no longer a simple matter, saying:
Orci: In our Universe, as long as I am here, you can’t just slingshot around the sun
Nero and Spock needed a giant black hole- In the Abrams-verse, time travel is no longer so easy
Wizard: Would you consider any more cameos from any of the other Star Trek actors from any of the other series ?
JJ Abrams: You know, I’m open to anything. But I am not going into it thinking, "Oh, okay, how do I figure out a way to create more cameo options?"
Wizard: But you are not averse to it.
JJ Abrams: No, I’m not averse to it, but the great news is that the cast of the new Star Trek has this massive burden of having to try to live up to the incredible job that the original actors did, and I think they were so good that they did it. And while the first movie would have been nearly impossible to do without Leonard Nimoy – we would have had to change the story completely – I feel like while being open to it and, like you said, not averse, I am also thrilled that we are now in a place where we don’t necessarily need to shoehorn cameos in just to appease original fans. The great thing about Nimoy, beyond his just being who he is, is that the role was not a cameo, it was a critically important character in the movie. Trying to find cameos was never an interesting thing for us. Trying to tell a decent story was the thing that we were working hard to do.
If there is a guest spot in the new movie, the one most seem to talk about is William Shatner. The actor has made it clear (as recently as last week) that he is interested, and Abrams himself has said it was his hardest decision to not have Shatner in the first film. All that being said, it is probably still a longshot. They don’t ‘need’ to do it for the fans this time, and it is unlikely for them to develop a story that needs a past Trek guest spot. Plus, without using time travel, your options get more limited. But, you never know.
Leonard Nimoy was a key to bridge the past with the new "Star Trek", but do they need to do it again?…probably not
You can read the full interview in Wizard #127.