Star Trek writer/producers Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof Solve Gulf Oil Spill Crisis – With Help From Sponge Bob & Bruce Willis

The news these days seems to be dominated by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Suggestions for solutions have come from many sources, including entertainment figures like James Cameron and Kevin Costner. So over the last week Esquire magazine has reached out the likes of Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, who took time away from their important work on the Star Trek sequel to solve the problem. See how they did it below.


Bob looks to Sponge Bob to solve Oil Spill

Roberto Orci is currently on location in New Mexico of the set of Cowboys and Aliens (with his regular writing partner covering production for Hawaii Five-O, in Hawaii). When asked by Esquire for his input on the oil spill he teamed up with Clancy Brown (who plays a preacher in Cowboys and Aliens, but is also known for voicing Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob: SquarePants). The pair came up with an oil-spill solving treatment for a conspiracy theory/road movie called American History Squared , where Sponge Bob and Mr. Krab travel the country to solve the oil spill crisis, here is an excerpt:


Over black, words scroll:

"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way." —Franklin Roosevelt

BUBBLES fill the screen taking us to BIKINI BOTTOM where SPONGEBOB and MR. KRABS have been selected for a special mission: Make landfall in Louisiana and road-trip it toward Washington, D.C., to find a solution to the environmental disaster caused by the gulf oil spill. (Think Jack Kerouac meets Roger Rabbit — after all, the kids should be a part of this, too, since they are, you know, the future).

Before departing, our heroes do their homework, reading all they can about the country they’re about to cross in a pressurized, water-filled RV, which simulates conditions under the sea.

Finally, with all the fanfare of an Apollo mission launch, Sponge Bob and Mr. Krabs take off for the final frontier, their RV making landfall where no press has gone before… the beaches of Louisiana.

Eventually the pair run into Lawrence Fishburne who offers them a couple different colored pills, leading to two possible endings.

Read the rest at Here is a mock up of the poster.

Bob sees a big conspiracy movie here

Damon goes all Bruce Willis on the Oil Spill

And Orci isn’t the only member of Star Trek’s new ‘Supreme Court’ who is putting up solutions at Esquire. Last week Orci’s Trek sequel co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof offered his idea to solve the oil spill. For his part Damon Lindelof’s solution is also in the form of a movie treatment. Lindelof envisions the solution to the Gulf Oil spill as a sequel to the 1998 Michael Bay oil-rig-workers-save-Earth-from-an-asteroid film Armageddon, (which happens to have JJ Abrams as one of many writers). Here is an excerpt with Bill Bob Thorten reprising his role as NASA’s Dan Truman, speaking to the president (played by Dustin Hoffman):

Billy Bob takes a dramatic pause and quietly says "Good God, Mr. President. We’re all dead." (Trailer moment.) But then he realizes why the President has called HIM of all people.

Because he’s saved the world before. He hatched the plan. He put it into action. He got a team of roughnecks off an oil rig and into OUTER SPACE to nuke an asteroid that was threatening our way of life. But what’s that got to do with the oil leak?

Well, the wonks at NASA have found an ASTEROID that will pass by Earth in about three days. On its current path, it’ll miss us by a good million miles or so.

But if… dammit, IF… someone were to go up there and detonate a calibrated warhead on that damn thing, its trajectory could be altered. Altered so specifically that it could be made to hit a very specific target.

A target on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.

It can plug that leak.

As for getting Bruce Willis back (even though his character died in Armageddon) Lindelof suggests "some time travel thingamajob once they get into space".

Read the rest at Here is a mock up of the poster.

Damon gets all Armageddoner

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If neither of those ideas work, I vote we plug the leak with Tony Hayward.


And his little sailboat, too.

Get the red matter.

I can already see where this is going …

Tony’s ego alone should do it. Maybe he can ship it over… on his yacht “Bob.”

As for celebs and Trek solutions, call Picard. His crew stopped earthquakes to save a little girl with weird fingers. So, tell them that Megan Fox is at risk in the Gulf.

As per #3.

Sine there’s a big drill in Trek 09, is it an allegory after the fact? ;)

i say shove spongebob in the leak and let him soak up all the oil LOL

I’ve been proposing stufing James Cameron in the leak for weeks now. No one seems to be taking me up on this, and I can’t figure out why….it’s a win-win for everyone….it pulgs the leak, a Hollywood type gets to eliminate his carbon footprint, and hopefully we will all be spared the sequel to Pochahontas II….opps, Avatar II….

i guess i dont get this. are these supposed to be funny? theyre not.

This is not funny…

This is a VERY VERY serious situation, where thousands of marine-life are dying. Why are these fools actually using this event to produce a joke? I’m sorry, but i’m going to be a bit politically correct here… and say….

Shame on you….

Guess what ? These morons are writing the trek sequel….. very sad.


Humor is sometimes the medicine that makes truth go down.

Right on mr orci prime! If we dont laugh we cry n sometimes both at the same time–kinda like the fine line between genius and insanity–it was genius to find n be able to find oil that deep-and insanity to drill without a fail proof emergency shut off capability–

Clearly, Jas, this is a horrible situation and I don’t believe there’s a person in the United States who doesn’t get this.

That being said, I was all for shredding up BP Execs’ personal property (houses, couches, cars, etc) and using *THAT* for the “junk shot” instead of shredded tires and golf balls.

Bruce willis could play Homer Simpson with the right makeup.

Satire is one of the most important weapons humans have. It must never be neglected.

Well played boborci.

@11:Sometimes, if you don’t laugh, you’ll go quite, quite mad.

No, it’s not well-played, it’s just distasteful and vulgar. There are tasteful ways of making fun of it ( but this just shows that these people seems to live in some Hollywood bubble and fantasy world (like many fan boys do).

Why is the coffee spilling YouTube sensation funny and the ST teams “movie ideas” are not?
It’s because the first makes fun of the greedy irresponsible people who caused this situation, not the situation itself. The latter treats the whole situation as a joke.

Basically, if you want to create satire of a disaster, you should always target those who caused it. Who thinks that humour could be made out of the fact that seven million people were killed in the Holocaust, or how three-thousand people died in the 9/11 attacks? No one (non-al-Queda), I would guess. But I think many people would agree that making fun of Nazis or Usama bin Laden can be very funny.

Humour is a very delicate matter and the boarder between hilarious and coarse can be very thin… If you don’t quite master it, it is often wise to refrain from practising it.

19 I wasn’t trying to be funny, genius. Get a grip and wake up.

@21 boborci
Well, that’s strange, since you previously on this thread wrote “Humor is sometimes the medicine that makes truth go down.”. I do realise what you were trying to do, but I think you failed miserably. Sorry.

No biggie, but Billy Bob Thornton is written as “Bill Bob Thorten” when first mentioned in the article!

I don’t think that’s appropriate. Some things are too serious.
11: I agree with your point, but no reason to get nasty on other people.

Everyone needs to relax, I felt the satire, within the stories…
Maybe you guys need to separate your feelings about the people who made ST09 from the content of their sarcastic movies.


“Humor is sometimes the medicine that makes truth go down.”

“I wasn’t trying to be funny, genius. Get a grip and wake up.”

Wait. So…the oil spill really IS an elaborate heist perpetrated by the world’s elite in order to stockpile oil for the coming global cataclysm in 2012? And JFK was assassinated by the CIA?

Wow, this is hitting more raw nerves than Shatner’s one-woman show in Vegas.

Not to go all GOP congressman or anything, but I think we owe Bob Orci an apology here. Bob — I know you meant to lighten up a grim situation. We can all agree to sympathize with the folks in the Gulf and to keep the pressure on BP to do all that’s possible to help those affected.

Yikes, people. We’ve all lived through ST V. You’d think we’d have learned to be polite around jokes we may not like.


@ 12

Then continue making comical situations out of critical/problematic events….. Why don’t you make a comedy out of the AIDS epidemic in Africa ? Why don’t you ?

**Its not a medicine…. its a way of hiding problems, so we don’t have to face them.

I appreciate Bob Orci’s effort, but it really wasn’t funny. Neither was the Lendelof version. Was it supposed to be funny? Anyway, I would call it cute. And charming.

This whole gulf thing is crazy. Would this be the biggest man-made enivornmental disaster of all time? I know it’s got the Exxon Valdez spill beat by far. I imagine that this will have repercussions for decades to come.

As for the validity of funnidity, remember folks: we have to laugh to survive. That’s part of the human equation. YES, make jokes. That helps us get through the horrific parts of this disaster. We need the laughs, so keep ’em coming. We also need decades of hard work and determination.

I think it’s far more offensive and an insult that the judge who lifted the ban on off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico reportedly has oil investments. It’s always convenient if one is in such a position of authority…

It is also mind-boggling that this disaster has gone on for so long now.

I grew up in New Orleans – spent all my childhood and most of my young adulthood there. If you’ve never lived there, it is hard to explain, but it is the kind of place that gets into your blood. It isn’t just a PLACE it is an EXPEIRENCE. Most of my friends and family still lived there when Katrina hit. They lost everything. Most left to start new lives scattered across the country. Their entire social network, built up over generations, was decimated.

A few stayed, and now this.

My childhood is filled with memories of visiting friends who lived deep in the bayous of Louisiana, taking boat trips through the swamps in search of alligators and nesting pelicans. Of snakes slithering in the shadows and egrets poised on one foot. Summer trips to the Gulf beaches to catch blue crab and chase seagulls. Trips to watch the turtles hatch on the beaches (before that became illegal). All this has been irreparably damaged. The oil has soaked into the swampy soil where it will leach toxins for decades.

I don’t find this something I can “laugh” about.

I simply can’t.

As a resident of the Gulf Coast and a person who could be directly affected by this disaster, I approve of Mr. Orci and Mr. Lindelof’s suggestions. We need all the ideas we can get!

I think hollywood is running out of ideas , to the point where their using tragic events, in the name of ‘human-goodness’, to further sustain themselves.

How about we start by starting a campaign right here on Petition President Obama to lift the Jones Act. This is a law that keeps foreign vessels out of US waters. The Dutch offered to send skimmer boats ( a fleet of them) to us the first week the spill occurred. Neither congress nor the Obama administration will allow this due to the Jones Act. Bush lifted this restriction the first week after Katrina occured. Speculation is that Unions here in the US want all of the work and convinced the President and Congress to keep the Jones Act in place. Many foreign governments and corporations have experience with this kind of thing, and we won’t allow them to help. This is a travesty and more people should know about it.

@ 35

I think the problem is that us “north-americaners” are too proud and full of ourselves. We will go so far, to not allow world-wide support. Why should anyone help the USA ?

Its because they would look too weak in front of the world-stage if they asked for world-wide support. How sad…..

The problem is….. that this company and US government cannot deal with the problem properly. They should enlist world-wide support and solve the problem TOGETHER.

Wow, way to many people seem to be suffering from sphinctus restrictus.

Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone.

Smile though you’re heart is breaking.

Come on, you get the idea! I’d much rather that we as a country confront this challenge with a firm conviction and a smile on our face than sitting around bitching about whose ass needs to be kicked.

There. I said it.

Oil heist total speculation. JFK Chicago plot well documented. As is Tonkin Gulf not happening.

Clearly am not making fun of situation.

NOT funny. NOTHING to smile about. Pandora’s box of filth and death.

Corporate greed and disdain for Creation. Stop the INSANITY!

…plus Armageddon is just about the crappiest movie I can think of…

22. What am I trying to do. And If you truly realize what I am trying to do then it isn’t a failure. Not selling tickets to this thing.

21. Correction: not trying to make fun.

If you are not making light of [finding a solution], I don’t get it….?

…plus the political implication seems ugly…?

…not to mention the paid ad here, asking you to “Blame Obama for the BP Spill”…

42. The political implications are ugly, and perhaps that is what is upsetting some. But that’s the point.

Please clarify your implication?

Can o worms in a rabbit hole! I think Anthony would ban me.

I get the feeling that i wouldn’t like it… and that it might be unfounded / unfair…

I took Orci and Lindelof’s comments as “absurdist humor,” regarding a situation that, while serious and upsetting, has reached absurd proportions. Is it not absurd that BP — which is IN THE BUSINESS of oil drilling — is not prepared for an accident like this? Is it not absurd that the damned rig has been spewing 5,000 gallons of oil a day for TWO MONTHS and BP has been completely INCOMPETENT at stopping it? Isn’t it absurd that there have been people calling for alternatives to oil energy for DECADES, and they have all been sufficiently quieted so the oil companies can continue to reap billions in profits while the rest of us are getting every penny squeezed out of our pockets? Absurdist humor fits the bill quite nicely, IMO. The human race is both arrogant and ignorant, which is why the world is in the shape it’s in. You can’t blame that on Orci or Lindelof …

47. “where no press has gone before…”

U can find several examples of lure free press being banned and harassed by BP security.

You can watch FOG OF WAR to see Mcnamara admit Tonkin Gulf incident that lead to Vietnam didn’t happen.

You can read the new book JFK and the unspeakable or google the chicago plot by Edwin black to see that the FDR quote might have some relevance.

In addition to the sail boat we could add a few of Obama’s shank golf balls to plug the leak.

Sometimes humor is meant to make us laugh…before we get angry about all that is wrong and demand solutions instead of blame games (or golf or sailing).

Trek at its best always made me laugh while getting me to think about the social issues it brought to our attention (while get past the network censors)–I didn’t always agree with some of the solutions suggested in the episodes but I was challenged to be a part of a solution instead of just part of the problems in life.