Last week Star Trek co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman told us they (and Damon Lindelof) were just starting to break the story for the sequel due June 29th, 2012. At the same event, TrekMovie also spoke to producer Bryan Burk, one of the other members of Star Trek’s five-member "Supreme Court", who gave an update on the plans for the production, and also talked about how the team want the sequel to be even bigger than the first.
Bryan Burk Talks Star Trek Sequel
Bryan Burk is a long-time collaborator with JJ Abrams and his producing partner for pretty much everything going down at Abrams’ Bad Robot production company. Although we don’t often hear from him, Burk is the fifth member of Trek’s new Supreme Court along with JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. TrekMovie recently spoke with the producer about his plans and hopes for the Star Trek sequel.
TrekMovie: You have to deliver a movie to Paramount by June 2012, so when do you expect to start shooting?
Bryan Burk: We will be shooting this time next year. Starting early summer or late spring.
TrekMovie: So that puts pre-production starting around December this year or January 2011?
Bryan Burk: I would like to shoot for that, we will see.
Burk expects the crew to be shooting the Star Trek sequel by next summer
TrekMovie: When you look at this next movie in terms of scale and budget, like the recent Iron Man sequel where they gave them another $50 Million, are you thinking same scale or bigger?
Bryan Burk: Monetarily I can’t talk about anything because there is no script yet. I can tell you as we go into it, that our aspirations are for the movie to be even bigger and better than the first one. I don’t mean that just in scope, I mean content and characters and emotionally. We had a lot of conversations about Batman Begins and how that movie kind of re-invented that franchise, and we looked at what The Dark Knight did and how that really ramped it up and they went to a different place with that film, and how those two films keep re-inventing themselves and are not the same thing every time. So we have strong ideas of what we want to do and we are hoping that this one is an even bigger film than the last one.
TrekMovie: I know you guys originally hoped to bring the A unit to shoot in Iceland for the first one. Are you hoping for the sequel to take on challenges like foreign location shooting? Is that part of what you mean by making it bigger?
Bryan Burk: Obviously whenever you are doing one of these films you are hoping you will outdo the other one in terms of scope and making it bigger. I feel like, particular with the last film, we brought a lot of people into the Star Trek universe who either hadn’t been there before or hadn’t been there in a while, and now that you know who these characters are, we are hoping to take grander and bigger steps with the characters, emotionally. The stakes will be bigger and people will be more invested.
Burk says team looks to "The Dark Knight" as model for a sequel
TrekMovie: Speaking about the first movie. You guys got a lot of accolades from fans and critics, like the NBR Top 10. But in the end you guys did not get onto the list of 10 Best Film Oscar nominees, which did spark some ‘snub’ buzz in the media. Was that a surprise to you guys?
Bryan Burk: If we had been on the Oscar list, that would have been the surprise. The fact we are even having this conversation is flattering that anyone would think we would get a nomination for an Oscar for Best Picture. We were nominated in the special effects and sound categories, and I was particularly proud of the team we had working on it. And last year had incredible visual effects movies, and to say that Avatar changed everything is an understatement, let alone the sound design in that movie and Hurt Locker which was incredible work. We won actually for Makeup and I think Barney [Burman], Mindy [Hall], Joel [Harlow] and the whole team did an incredible job. So to say there was a snub — in a million years we wouldn’t think that.
TrekMovie: So you mentioned the team from the first film. Do you expect to get the whole band back together, like Ben Burtt, Roger Guyett, ILM, Scott Chambliss, everyone?
Bryan Burk: God yes! The plan is to reassemble them. Of course the problem is always everyone’s schedule. We would love nothing more than to work with all these people again. So hopefully everyone will be back.
TrekMovie: A nuts and bolts question. On the last film, you, Bob [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman] were credited as executive producers while Damon [Lindelof] and JJ [Abrams] were credited as producers. For this one, are all five of you producers for this one?
Bryan Burk: Yes, all five of us.
TrekMovie: How does that all break out. For example, what is it that you do that JJ doesn’t do?
Bryan Burk: Sleep! [laughs] It actually depends on the project. We have a lot of things going on right now. Like on Star Trek my involvement was heavier on the beginning of the project and at the end of the production, and less so in the middle because we were doing the Fringe pilot at the time. So it is a lot of bouncing around, so where everyone needs help from wherever it might be, you just jump in. But for right now, the boys [Orci, Kurtzman, & Lindelof] are all off writing it.
Bryan Burk (left) with Paramount CEO Brad Grey, JJ Abrams, and Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore at November Star Trek DVD party – Producer expects original team to reunite for sequel