Exclusive: Scripting Started For Star Trek Sequel

This week the progress on the Star Trek sequel, due in theaters June 29, 2012, has taken a big step. TrekMovie has confirmed that scripting for the film has started. More details below, plus we look at the milestones for the film – past and future.


FADE IN – on the Star Trek sequel script

The sequel to the 2009 Star Trek movie is due in theaters June 29th, 2012 – or in just over twenty months. Early this summer writer/producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman confirmed with TrekMovie that they had a story for the sequel and were working, alongside fellow producer Damon Lindelof, on breaking it down and making sure it held together. This finishing work on the Star Trek sequel story was being done while Orci and Kurtzman were in production on Cowboys and Aliens, which they wrote and are producing. Production on that film, directed by Jon Favreu, has just wrapped up and over the weekend Orci tweeted a "to do list" which included "start writing Star Trek" as one of the items.

Today TrekMovie confirmed with Roberto Orci that he has crossed that Trek item off his list and that he and co-writer Alex Kurtzman are now at work on the Trek sequel. Orci tells TrekMovie "fingers have been put to keyboard". This means that the long process to develop a story is done and many key questions now have answers, like: Khan or no Khan. The next key event in the life of the Star Trek sequel will be when the script is handed in for the official green light (films generally aren’t given an official green light until there is a budget and a script). Orci could not confirm when they plan to finish, but delivery would likely have to be by early 2011 so that pre-production can start. Around that time it is also expected word will come out as to whether or not JJ Abrams will be directing or just produce the film. Production on the sequel is expected to start in early summer 2011.

Here are a list of key dates in the development phase of the Star Trek sequel (some of which started before the release of the Star Trek movie in May 2009):

Date Sequel event
March 30, 2009 Paramount signs ‘supreme court’ (Abrams/Burk/Kurtzman Lindelof/Orci) for Star Trek sequel *
January 11, 2010 Paramount sets June 29th, 2012 as release date
Spring 2010 Story development started
October, 2010 Scripting started

*It is worth noting that the main Star Trek cast all signed on to options for two sequels when they were originally cast in 2007.

Questions on the Star Trek sequel

Regarding details on what the story is for the Star Trek sequel, the filmmakers have talked about how the sequel will be "bigger" in terms of scale and go "deeper" into the characters, but there are no specific plot details. It has been confirmed that the USS Enterprise crew cast will be back (Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin). But there are many big questions remaining to be answered, here are just a few:

  • Who will direct (if Abrams decides not to do it, then who?)
  • What will it be called (and will it have "Star Trek" in the title)?
  • Budget (bigger than 2009 film, smaller? the same?)
  • 3-D or not 3-D
  • Who/what is the villain (Khan, Klingons, both, others?)
  • Will we see new familiar Trek characters (Nurse Chapel, Harry Mudd, others?)
  • Will William Shatner be in it?
  • Who else will be returning from 2009 movie (Greenwood, Ben Cross, others?)
  • Who will be cast for key new roles (possibly big name star to boost int’l box office?)
  • Will there be any changes to the look (ship, sets, uniforms, props)
  • Will/how much will sequel carry on storylines from first film (Spock/Uhura, destruction of Vulcan, Spock Prime’s knowledge, etc.)

And of course…will there be more or less lens flares?

Poll: What are your expectations?

We are really just at the beginning of this long process towards the release of the next big Star Trek movie. Over the next 20 months we will find out the answers to those above questions and more. But for now, what is your level of anticipation?



So what are you most looking forward or hoping to see (or not see) in the Star Trek sequel? Sound off in the comments section below…maybe Bob Orci will take a break from scripting and drop by to say hi.


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Bob! Great news! Good luck with the writing- I know it is always an exciting and daunting time.

P.s. When you get stuck, just cut and paste that beautiful little scene of the Kirk hologram that was cut from Trek 2009. That should fill a few minutes, and would make this Shatner fan very happy.

Thank goodness things are starting to make a move. 1st i think maybe. Good luck SC

cool. now bring it on, bob!

I hope there are Andorians in it!!!!

As long as there is no Bloddy Enterprise A, B, C, D or E.

I hope Khan is NOT in it!! And let the Klingons be the bad guys!

Please. No Khan and no Shatner.

No Khan, yes Shatner.

No Khan. No Shatner. Yes to Klingons, but they don’t have to be the main villains. Everything else I’m far less opinionated on, but it would be nice to avoid time travel this time, all things considered.

We know the story is done. One thing we know is whenever a Star Trek movie is in development, very little about the story will come out. I suspect we will probably hear lots of rumors, some true, some not. I will try to be patient and wait till the movie comes out. I will, of course, keep up on rumor news, but I will withhold judgment until it is released.

A few things I hope to see:
A story that looks forward, not back. Khan, no matter what the spin, will be looking back. No matter how they do it, a Khan film will inevitably be compared to Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. I for one would like to see a new story with new twists.

For me, Star Trek has to be in the title. I liked the idea with Star Trek: Subtitle. I know that is similar to the Next Generation movies, but so what. Everyone who does not live in a cave knows this is not a TNG movie. Star Trek is not Batman. I don’t think a Dark Knight type name is appropriate here. Star Trek is integral to the name. Not having Star Trek in the title almost seems like it’s being hidden that this is a Star Trek movie. Star Trek (2009) did extremely well at the box office, so the name Star Trek is not at all a detriment, but is in fact, a selling point. KEEP STAR TREK IN THE TITLE.

Bob, good luck with this. Remember, no Shat and no Khan…take us in a new direction that incorporates sf as well as action/adventure…and no, I don’t need a political moral story on torture…8 seasons of 24 did the job for me, thank you. :-)

Bob! You have time to read books?!

4–I would not mind seeing some familiar aliens from the original series (Andorians, Tellarites, etc). I would avoid aliens established in the later series (TNG, DS9 or Voy) because some of them may not have been encountered yet. I suppose you could include some from Enterprise, but most of the frequent alien guests were the same from the original series.

Klingons do not excite me much here. I would not rule out a good movie with them, but we would have to see what they do with them. The only thing here is I just ask the writers to respect canon about smooth vs ridged forheads. I’m fine with ridged in the movie, but just don’t contradict the Enterprise episodes about how they ended up with smooth forheads.

Harry Mudd… tangled up with a deal gone wrong with the Andorians.

Like the Original series keep the formula of a quality character driven solid storyline. I was happy to hear you are going deeper in the character developement. Exccellant. It would be great to bring on Nurse chapel. Sickbay is empty without her. Now christine did sign on later then the main. Key characters. So this would work. A brush with those Fuzz Faced goons (klingons) great! How about a Tholien threat? And a little more cultural info. On our web weavers. Little is revealed about them. But all in all I’m thrilled the shows realy on the road now best of luck and smooth sailing. Keep it family friendly. Will be awaiting 2012. And some great trek!

Bob, don’t forget to gently prod AJ to get rid of the Budweiser plant engine room — that has to go!

I know I’ve noted this before,

Another poster a while back noted it would be cool to have a teaser sequence featuring some scene or battle from one of the episodes (they noted The Doomsday Machine). I want the movie to look forward, but a brief teaser (like the James Bond teasers) hearkening to an episode of the original series would be welcome for me before moving on.


17 — Agree with Omen 2 — a teaser like that that would be cool!


Now, I just hope Paramount stays out of the way – I would have loved to have seen the original intended opening of Trek’09.

Best wishes Bob to you and your collegue for every success in your scripting.I am looking forward to the fruits of your labours appearing on the big screen in 2012.Now that the storyline has been developed I guess that the dye has been cast with regards everyones hopes and expectations regarding the new movie however I have no doubt that you will do a wonderful job.I also hope that Star Trek appears in the title.

I’ve seen the coming-together of the crew of the new Enterprise, and how they handle being thrown into an emergency, and how they all learned real fast to work together to accomplish a goal. Now I would like to see what happens once the emergency is over and they are sent on their 5-year mission…How they learn to interact with their respective personalities, handle not-so-urgent problems and mundane stuff. Intervene in others issues…things that went on a lot in the original Trek. I still want to see a major baddie of course, but that’s not all there is to Trek. I like the subtle nuances that give the show/films personality. I hope these guys do too.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

20 — I’m not sure I would want any change anything regarding the first part of 09 — as is, it is the best beginning to a major franchise movie since The Empire Strikes back in 1980. And in seeing the deleted Klingon scenes, I can see why they were cut.

Khan no, Klingons totally totally totally! That would be so rad to have Kirk battling some Klingons!!

Star Trek: $#*! The Captain Says!!!!!

no kahn please. I just want something fresh. something different. I would like a mystery adventure instead of a villain this time, something happens, and the crew of the enterprise has to figure it out. The best example of this (although it did have a villian) was Star Trek VI. This was mystery adventure at its best. I wouldn’t mind seeing Spock play detective again.

OK Bob, Get me in before I deploy early summer (Was supposed to be in Star Trek 2009 but someone lost my casting forms in wardrobe or something, went in for fitting November 2007 and was called once fo a scene then they canceled due to weather and then wasn’t called :( Now I am pending a deployment right before the production date for the new one :( DRATS NO Luck!

LESS LENS FLARES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck Bob, great to hear writing of the script has begun! :-)

Now in answer to those questions:
– Yes to 3D as a novelty as long as long as we still have the option of seeing the movie in 2D.
– Klingons as the Villain.
– Star Trek in the title is a must!!
– Yes to the Hologram scene with William Shatner, it was a beautifully written scene and all us Trekkies would love to see it on the big screen!

I have a feeling that Star Trek (2012) will be just as good if not better then Star Trek (2009) which will be awesome!

There is always a danger with sequels of course, we had The Dark Knight which far and away exceeded Batman Begins (One wonders how the next Batman film can live up to this now) and then we had Iron Man 2 which while a very enjoyable film didn’t quite capture the magic of the first one.

My take would be to set it in the time frame somewhere prior to the first half of the first season. At that point, they were still building a set of 12 constitution class starships, which had a higher level of capability than the existing fleet. Somewhere before that, the Enterprise was given the five year mission for deeper space exploration, new life, new civilizations.

I’d like to see how and why that mission and charter – for this ship and crew – came to be. The sensibilities of 4th season Star Trek:Enterprise are what I’d like to see reflected. These movies should embody the “finding our way on uncertain ground” feeling the early first season had.

Perhaps it is needing to outrace the Klingons in establishing a soft power hegemony in making first contact, maybe the re-emergent Romulans, maybe both.

Trek 09 was a huge success. I loved it. Just do your best and I am sure it will be fine.

No Khan.
No time travel.

I would prefer not to have the Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, or Borg as the main villains. Cameos and lesser roles perhaps, but please not the main villains. They were all fully explored and overexposed in the 5 TV series and 11 movies.

Let’s give more exposure to some of the lesser-known species in the Federation such as the Andorians Same with the villains – pick one of the villains from a previous series which was formidable, but underused, such as the Breen, Gorn, or Tholians – all of these were portrayed as very powerful and dangerous, but none were fully explored.

I just hope it doesn’t turn out like Iron Man 2. Which wasn’t as good as the original Iron Man.

All our hope and trust goes into boborci and alex and damon.

I am so glad they got started on the script, i cannot wait until it comes out!

#30 – “Yes to the Hologram scene with William Shatner, it was a beautifully written scene and all us Trekkies would love to see it on the big screen!”

There is a major difference of opinion from us Trekkies on seeing Shat in the sequel. Many of us DO NOT want to see Shat the in the sequel.

Abrams or maybe even Nick Meyer direct
Have Star Trek in the title
Same budget or more
Leave the Khan idea alone…. either Klingons or some natural disaster
Introduce a new Trek character
Greenwood was fantastic as Pike, definitely bring him back!

Make the Enterprise look a little more like the TMP version, make it the original size, and make the engineering decks and shuttle bays more like 23rd century

Spock Prime’s knowledge

Well good luck to the guys on the script! Im sure its going to be good. :]

@ 36.

If shat being in the film works for the story and services it very well, then why not? I don’t want Shat being included just for the sake of having him in it. Otherwise it would be Star Trek Generations all over again. I love that film A LOT, but one thing that hurt it was the fact that Shatner’s role felt soo “tacked on”.

If they gotta have Shatner in the film, then i presume boborci and co. have found a very very very awesome reason.

maybe they could explore the ORION SYNDICATE

It’s about damn time.

There’s only 3 things I want out of the new movie.

– Less lens flares.
– No “Bourne Ultimatum”-like shaky cam during fights. I kinda like being able to SEE what’s going on during a fight.
– Gorn….maybe Klingons if Kor is the villain. But preferably the Gorn, with an original Gorn antagonist. Or maybe BOTH (If done well).

NO 3-D and I can’t emphasize that enough!

Absolutely agree with Damian #17…..

A teaser beginning echoing an original episode…..and have it drive into main story. Something BIG and explosive that would work for the fans and newbies alike….say the end of Balance of Terror or Doomsday Machine…..some element of that could leapfrog us into the newest adventure.

NO Khan.

Let’s start with the Doomsday Machine “eating” the Botany Bay, that giant amoeba from “The Immunity Syndrome,” the Probe from ST4 AND V’Ger, and then imploding with indigestion.

Then move on from there.

(Did I miss any?)

i want some Twilight Zone/Outer Limits/early TOS style uncanniness/eeriness

unexplained wonder/unknown – questions and mcguffins that are not answered and are left to the imagination (with just the odd hint) which is far more powerful than any explanation the film maker can give – e.g. the ark angels in Raiders, the ‘interdimentional beings’ and the portal to the other dimention in Crystal Skull, the space jocky/derelict in Alien, 2001s monolith,

-more references to the prime timeline/alternate future – ok I know the new timeline is supposed to be a fresh start but itd be fun for the odd nod

-various TOS stuff cameoing/referenced/easter egging (but not centre stage, e.g. Doomsday machine, gorns, cloud killers, corbomite, talos IV, tholians, wild west, Mitchell, rand, No 1)

more redshirt deaths – im talking ‘Obsession’ levels

A character driven story that goes where no Star Trek has gone before…plus I would love to see the engine room looking more high tech and futuristic. And I agree with ZEITGEIST… less lens flares!

Boldly go where no Trek has gone before.

Bob, are we there yet?

To Bob Orci:

Remember that the Enterprise is a character. Treat her as such. Remember.