Lindelof, Orci, & Kurtzman Talk Star Trek Sequel (and Shatner too)

As we recently reported, work on the Star Trek sequel script is finally underway. A new interview with the writing team has some more comments about the process. See excerpts below for what Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are saying about their second Trek.


Trek writers on sequel expectations, characters & Shatner

As recently reported by TrekMovie, the writing team of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof recently agreed on a story for the Star Trek sequel, allowing work of the script to start. In a new interview with NBC, the Star Trek writing team continued to offer no details about the film, but what they are saying is still very encouraging. 

Damon Lindelof talked about the writing process, saying:

Lindelof: It’s a lot of fun. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure because expectations, I felt, were a little bit low the last time. Now they’re high – but that brings its own level of excitement. So, you know, I hope that we do the fans proud

Alex Kurtzman says breaking the story was" “an epic moment for us, of feeling like we finally came to something that meets our expectations.” Kurtzman also talked about dealing with all the fan input and discussions and how he copes with it, noting:

Kurtzman: It’s exciting and terrifying and wonderful, and yet I want to put my head in the sand – all at the same time. I think Bob and Damon and I have to shut the noise out. You do listen to what people are saying, and our antennae are always out for what people are saying and what people want. We take that in, we process it, we adjust it, we talk about it, we debate it, and then we shut it all out and say ‘What are we going to do here? What do we want? What feels right?’”

For his part, Roberto Orci reiterated Damon Lindelof’s recent comments about how the primary concern for the writers is the characters:

Orci: Now we have all of characters in place for the beginning of the movie, so order number one is to make sure we’re taking care of them. The first movie had the benefit of slowly introducing them – they weren’t all there from the beginning. Now they’re all there, and we want to make sure everyone gets what they deserve first before we see who else can fit in.

The article notes that it is "unlikely" that they will write William Shatner into the sequel, but Kurtzman did offer some hope to those who are wishing to see Kirk Prime saying that if they can find a way to "do it right" then they will do it but they have to firstly "protect and make sure that the integrity of Star Trek is kept alive."

[Source: NBC PopcorBiz]




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Like the approach.

It seems a lot of people here would like to see something along the lines of Doomsday Machine. Not so much that particular story, but it’s flavour of drama.

Oh boy… here we go again. Prepare for another 500+ comments.

Oh, crap, now I’m gonna start checking this site obsessively again to see if plot points get leaked.

#2, you said it.

And the most important question of all: Will it be released in glorious 3-D?

I am hoping for some Klingon action!
(Not that kind… wait… on second thought…)

Why can’t they get Shat into the movie my making a kind of retrospective movie where Kirk is remembering a certain adventure from his youth? He could be telling a story from his youth to someone else, etc, etc. There are plenty of variations possible. If you use my idea for your new movie, just contact me via e-mail and I’ll let you know where you can send my $10,000 check.

You Kirk could get inject with an aging syrum, which speeds up his aging process, turning him into something purely Shat-tastic!! Then we would see Bones and the rest of the crew going on a mission in order to find the components necessary to cure Kirk and restore his natural age. We could get some great one-liners from Scotty about how they need to save Kirk, while Bones rebutts with a “Dammit Scotty!! I’m a Doctor, not a TIME MACHINE!!!” Contact me via e-mail to send me my check. I’m going to have to charge $20K USD for that one though.

One can hope for all of those things. But my hope, good action, good plot, excellent character development and perhaps take TVH approach of no heavy. Unlike TFF where the heavy was overblown, but good character development.

Good luck fellas, that is a job I would never want.


One of the key reasons they reset the Trek franchise in an alternate reality is so not to be restricted by us, the audience, knowing the main characters live to old age. If we know that nobody dies, where’s the peril? The drama? This way, in movie number 4, if they wanted to kill off, say, Scottie (not that they would), and actually leave him dead, they have that option.

Makes it more interesting if you know that ANYONE could be killed, doesn’t it?


Its nice to hear their views on their approach. I have all the confidence in these guys.

3. Vultan – October 21, 2010
“Oh boy… here we go again. Prepare for another 500+ comments.”

My thoughts exactly, but its good. I thought after the first article mentioning that script writing had started it would be a while before we got to an article with 500+ posts but then we had Damon talking about the idea of villain and now this. 500+ is good.

4. ShawnP – October 21, 2010
Yea, same here. Nothing will get leaked but at least we are all introduced to ideas we had not thought of.

I’m guessing that Bob and co. have been watching classic episodes like “Errand Of Mercy”, “Space Seed”, “Balance Of Terror” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. I think that their storyline and plot for the sequel will be influenced by those episodes, while they try and do something new, exciting and surprising at the same time. Its a really thin and wobbly tightrope they are walking, and if they fall off, we’re all screwed! :-)

Last time, they wrote the part of Captain Pike with Bruce Greenwood in mind. I wonder who they want in the sequel as a “guest star”?

How the hell could’ve “expectations have been a bit low last time”?

That makes no sense.

Did he not feel the immense pressure from us guys alone (not including the rest of the non-geek world) as he started to put pen to paper?

I apologise for describing us all as geeks.
I’m a geek and I’m proud!

Nice to have a bit of news at last.

….and Anthony is not dead….

I hope this one has some thoughtfulness and intelligence to it, like TNG was known for. The interpersonal relationship themes are great, but TOS generally had philosophically or politically oriented themes, as did TNG, so it’d be nice if you brought some of that to this film, as the first one didn’t really have any of that.


“Makes it more interesting if you know ANYONE could be killed, doesn’t it?”

Except that a great number of fans get upset when a main or major character is killed off. Kirk, Dax, Spock, Trip Tucker, and Yar. There is almost always remorse on the part of the actor, while the writers are criticized heavily for what fans percieve as a slap in the face. And in the case of Kirk and Trip, those deaths were seen as either being unnecessary or an insult or both.

The classic live-action and animated Trek series made use of secular humanistic philosophy in episodes like ‘Who Mourns For Adonis’ and the ‘Magicks Of Megas-Tu’. Star Trek: The Next Generation continued that philosophy with episodes like ‘Who Watches The Watchers’ and ‘Devil’s Due’. I’d like to see a new Trek movie that employs that kind of philosophy again. Trek once was a champion of reason and rationality over superstition and zealous passions.

Two words: Nine eleven. Allegory.

Okay, so that’s three words. But the first two are the most important ones.

Trek has been about more than pew-pew shoot ’em ups. In the turbulent 1960’s, it was about the futility of war, the absurdities of racial discrimination, and the senselessness of overtechnologization. Trek was about the human condition, politics, and all else that really mattered.

To most people, Trek means a way of life. Could it be true to itself if it were only a pew-pew palliative, an opiate, as it were, of the sci-fi masses?

To ask is, itself, to answer.

I rest my case.

And it should be in 3-D, maybe it should.


Yes, except this time, if they ever kill someone off, you can bet the story will be a real corker!

p.s. I’d be surprised if they actually kill off a main character.


“I’m a geek and am I’m proud!”

Same here, man, same here!

18. Where were you when I needed you?


“Yes, except this time, if they ever kill someone off, you can bet the story will be a real corker!”

Corker… in exciting enough to uncork a bottle of red wine I bet!

Why, what a good idea! Excuse me while I do that now!

Yes, we need to see a return of that 1960s idealism. Gene Roddenberry was a writer with allegory on the mind and an eye looking beyond the sky. He opted to show us how we might survive our self-destructive behavior with exploration, education, science and progressive ethical awareness. I mention in an earlier post that Trek made use of the secular humanistic philosophy (that as a species we must look to ourselves and our own ability to reason to overcome hardships – not grovel before a god or gods). But that’s only one idea that helped make Trek different from other TV shows. Those are the positive things that the new Trek movie might find a basis on. Just do not let Roddenberry’s stateliness infect the rebooted universe. That’s the only gripe against Roddenberry. He let Trek become too formal. The 2009 film had an energy to it that made it feel fresh compared to the prime ‘verse.

Hawaii 5-0. Bob Orci, still loving 5-0, and this weeks episode was the best so far. I like the contrast between them basically torturing that guy from the bar and then them being offended at the end by a dog being potentially put down. One nit though — in the opening scene, you have a lady taking a cell phone call while underwater in a submarine. That is pretty much impossible my friend.

“The article notes that it is “unlikely” that they will write William Shatner into the sequel, but Kurtzman did offer some hope to those who are wishing to see Kirk Prime saying that if they can find a way to “do it right” then they will do it but they have to firstly “protect and make sure that the integrity of Star Trek is kept alive.” ”

I love the Supreme Court, but at the same time I wish they had the balls to just say no to fat shat so that this issue would go away…we all know Abrams is not going to go for Shat in the movie, so what is served by Kurtzman trying to place the 25% of fandom that can’t lat go of fat shat???

meant “placate” not “place”…sorry

All I want is a great movie :-) good luck guys


“…so what is served by Kurtzman trying to place the 25% of fandom that can’t lat go of fat shat??”

“lat”? never heard of that word. I assume that you meant “let”, although lat does rhyme with “fat shat”!

Just got Star Trek Countdown and Star Trek Nero, kick butt. Now as far as the sequel story goes, they sound like their confident in what they came up with, and if they are, then I am to, cause these three guys know their stuff.

The doomsday machine was a great episode which had a foe that at the time of watching as a young child scared the hell out of me, a shell shocked commodore decker (to be played by Tom Hanks of course) riddled with guilt at being partly responsible for the death of the uss constellation’s crew. Kirk still getting used to being a starship captain and a blossoming friendship with spock.
A planet killer which unlike v’ger is not looking for a creator – it has one cold purpose: to destroy.
This doesnt even have to be the main plot – it could be various events in this sequel that set it up for the 3rd film (i.e introduce Commodore Decker – the general Patton of starfleet commanders – respected, feared and looked upon in awe. There can be rumours slowly filtering through of distant planets vaneshing etc and Decker being sent to investigate)

RE: Expectations low
The way I read that is that the last two Trek films were not well regarded by the general public or Trek fans. It had been over a decade since the last successful trek film.

notice they made great note to mention antennae… meaning so far as I can gather I think they might be angling to include or focus on the Andorians…remember awhile back they referred to “Cold Space”…

31. Hugh Hoyland – October 21, 2010
“Just got Star Trek Countdown and Star Trek Nero”

Nice! I HAD to read countdown before seeing the new movie, I wanted to know how they tied it in, made me anticipate the movie that much more. If they did another comic launch before the next movie I bet it would work.

I also loved the world wide marketing and the viral marketing, it put star trek in the limelight! The huge set up in Tokyo and Germany, world premiere in Sydney. I would love to see the same world wide spectacle when the next one comes out. It just made us trek fans that much more excited to see how connected and excited we all were. The first trek movie I saw in theaters was Star Trek Generations and never has the anticipation and excitement been so elevated and lasting.


lol so true. but they’re fun so why not?


everyone I knew including myself thought Star Trek 2009 would end up being 90210 in space. so yes, expectations were very low. but now that we know what they can do, we’ll expect nothing less than the best.

no plot suggestions from me right now, but I would not mind seeing some of the minor background characters continue in their background roles like TOS did. bring back Madeline, the goldshirt with the Afro, that guy who’s not-kal Penn, etc…

Middle East allegory. The Vulcans have picked a ‘suitable planet’ to live on, only they totally screw up and end up stealing a planet from life forms they didn’t know were there. Or maybe the planet itself is alive or something. Israel in space. Why not? They did the end of the Cold War with VI.

Yes, yes, blah, blah, sure, whatever, what? Well, have to go back to work now – it’s unlikely I’ll do it right if I keep paying attention to this hooey.

32. OK, the movie opens, and we have a 10 minute sequence before the title sequence starts that has the Enterprise in action completing TOS episode of the Doomsday Machine…wouldn’t that be cool! I really like this idea in general — the movie could open with a 10-minutes action packed concluding sequence of an TOS episode, then the STAR TREK title sequence pops up, and then the new and original story starts…AKA a James Bond type of opening.

Will there be any reference to the books from back in the day?

33. nuKirk – October 21, 2010
“notice they made great note to mention antennae”

Good call. Ah, speculation.

615 days 21 hours to go

Gotta say, I don’t envy them this task. O/K have to somehow pen an acessible, engaging story, that’s not lacking any depth (aka “less trek”) for being such.

That’s a difficult balance. Not to mention evolving the characters while keeping them authentic.

Also, influences are fine, but I don’t want them to redo any Trek story. If I want I to see a particular episode of Trek, I’ll watch that episode. I don’t need a repeat on the big screen.

41. gingerly

“have to somehow pen an accessible, engaging story…..that’s a difficult balance”

Bob is on record as saying his favorite TOS episode is Balance Of Terror.

Great, he probably has nightmares every night not to commit a Balance Of Error!

i really hope they have more ship to ship battles. I love fleet actions and was so excited when I thought that I was going to see one in the first movie. Then….everybody died. Although that was awesome and a great lead in to the power of the antagonist. I still wish and hope for there to be some good old fleet battles. The tech is there for it and I just think it would be dandy!!

Ah I’m bored and need star trek so here I go writing random convos. lol

Kirk: In order for us to go undetected we would need a way to cloak the Enterprise.

Spock: The Federation and Starfleet does not posses such technology, captain.

Kirk: Then all maybe lost.

Spock: However, The Klingons are known to have developed cloaking technology over the past few years.

McCoy: Looks worried and looks over at a grinning Kirk, and says, “Just hold on a god dam minute.”

Kirk: Spock, start your computations and calculations, we are headed to the Klingon research station.

McCoy: Are you out of your freaking mind? We would get blown out of the sky.

Spock: Captain, the Klingon research station is protected by 500 Destroyers, 250 Birds of Preys, thousands of cloaked mines and they have a direct link to Qo’nos. This is a highly illogical plan, and I calculate only a .001% chance of success.

Kirk: All we need is one cloaking device.

McCoy: Jim, this is suicide.

Kirk: We will steal the cloaking technology from the mine, Spock, Scotty and Chekov should be able to use it to cloak the Enterprise and we can sneak in and finish our mission.

Spock: Lowers one eyebrow and says, “fascinating”

Why not figure out a way to bring KirkPrime into the alternative timeline in search of Spock? ;)

Of course, they would still have to explain his Prime Death but I am sure something could be worked out (spin off from Shat’s novels–and give him a nice cut of the writer’s residuals).

There are always possibilities–the question is whether the Supreme Court can (and want to) actually find a way to introduce the Shat so that it has mass appeal (doesn’t over complicate the main story and characters) AND pacifies the nit-pickers (plausibly explains Prime Kirk’s presence)! I agree that a future nuKirk kills (pun intended?) the dramatic tension of wondering if they might be inclined to off Kirk at some point (after all–the killed the whole cast of Lost, didn’t they?).

Should be fun to see what they come up with for the next movie–with or without Shat!


Kirk Prime said goodbye in Generations, the only way we can see Shatner in the movie is if Pine contracts a aging illness and Shatner can do his thing for 10mins. It would be Shatner playing a aged version of Pine, the Prime Kirk would be too contrived to be in the rebooted Star Trek imo.

He said antennae!!!!! This must mean Andorians! YES!!!!! NOW I’m excited!


I’ll bet you 1,000 Latinum bars that the next movie will reboot the Klingons.

The surpreme court gets to play around with one of the most iconic adversaries to the Star Trek universe. Klingons had a glimpse of the alternate future, their armada got wiped out. This is a great opportunity for the writers to give the Klingons more depth, get rid of the stupid Viking Klingons and reboot them as the cold war intelligent power hungry soviet communist types of the 60s to 70s. The writers can explore cloaking technology, home world, customs, intelligence, lifestyle of the Klingons.

What was on the screen of the KM test? Where was the Kelvin near when it was destroyed? Who held Nero captive for 25years. All this will tie into the sequel, to me, the obvious choice is Klingons and as a tease to us fans, the Botany Bay will make a cameo at the end to make your hair stand up.

You know that to include Klingons doesn’t exclude Andorians?