Viacom COO Talks Star Trek Sequel During Quarterly Earnings Call

With the Star Trek sequel still not in official pre-production, some in the media (and some fans) are starting to question if the film will make its June 29, 2012 release date. Today provides another positive tea leaf to read into, in the form of comments by Viacom’s COO during an earnings call. Details below.


Viacom still talking up Star Trek sequel

Yesterday Viacom (parent company to Paramount Pictures) held their second quarter earnings call with investors. On the call were Sumner Redstone (Chairman ), Philippe Dauman (President and CEO) and Thomas Dooley (Chief Operating Officer). Redstone started off the call touting Viacom’s "strong, strong growth on all fronts," and summing things up saying:

Today, Viacom is exactly where it needs to be making some of the most talked about television programming and bringing the most anticipated movies ever screened. The quality of our brands, the creativity of our employees, the expertise of our management are second to none, and I could not be more optimistic about where we are today, more excited about where we will be tomorrow.

Since joining Viacom in 2006, CEO Dauman has made Paramount’s brands and franchises (including Star Trek) a priority focus, and he again mentioned this in the call saying:

We will continue to invest in our future by feeding our development pipeline and by continuing to enhance our brands and franchise properties.

And COO Dooley spoke specifically about Paramount and it’s future including JJ Abrams and Star Trek, telling investors:

At Paramount, we are looking forward to our summer slate with the June 10 release of the J.J. Abrams directed Super 8 and the July 1 release of Transformers 3 in 3D. In addition, we are distributing Marvel’s Thor and Captain America, as well as DreamWorks Animation, Kung Fu Panda 2.

Looking ahead at the studio releases, we are looking forward to sequels to Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, G.I. Joe and Paranormal franchises, as well as Madagascar 3 and Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s Adventures of Tintin, a remake of the movie, Footloose, under the MTV Films label and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which will star Jeremy Renner.

All of Dooley’s "looking ahead" list of films have 2011 or 1st/2nd quarter 2012 release dates, with G.I. Joe 2 being the furthest out at August 10, 2012. It is also worth noting that Dooley did not list the Jack Ryan reboot starring Chris Pine. In last November’s earnings call Dooley mentioned the Ryan reboot along with the Star Trek sequel as franchise films the company was "very excited about." Yesterday we reported that Paramount has ordered a rewrite of the Jack Ryan film, which is now slated to shoot after the Star Trek sequel. 

Viacom/Paramount still talking up Star Trek sequel for the next year

POLL: will the make it? (so far more than 4 out of 10 say no)

Yesterday we posted a new poll asking fans when they thought the Star Trek sequel will hit theaters. So far only 56% think that the Abrams team can meet their schedule of shooting this fall and a release by June 29, 2012. Vote and check out the results below.



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Here’s the deal- The most important thing is that we have a good movie thats not rushed.

Nothing seems set in stone to me – that date will still likely move, although it is a prime date

i will be disapointed if they dont make the june schedue its not like they have not been given enought time

It won’t make it.

If they make it, then the quality will be affected.

They will make it.

Two words: Summer Tentpole

Come on Bob Orci. Get the Script done. OR Else!!!!!!!

Hope they don’t try to rush it through to make an impossible deadline.
They did that with the first one back in ’79- the results speak for themselves.

@7–I coudln’t agree more! On the flip side, at least most of the pre-production work on the Enterprise itself won’t need to be repeated. I say most because like many I hope they change the brewery into a real engine room.

It is funny – wasn’t this script supposed to be completed and turned in over the Christmas break sometime? Now we are coming into summer and the damn script isn’t even finished and approved by WB. I think anyone who believes this sequel is going to make a Summer 2012 release date has been drinking too much Klingon Blood Wine!
There is no where on Seti-Alpha 5 (aka hell) that this is even going to brink the fall/winter 2012 lineup. The CGI special effects and shear editing, not to mention reshoots, and pickup shots takes 9 months in themselves.

Sorry – but this is a solid 2013 release for sure!

Quality is of utmost importance. I am eternally patient.

But I would be willing to overlook a lot (except for casting, acting, writing) if the whole crew went straight to a TV series. I would even be willing to keep the brewery.

I think with a cast this good they should be going to TV; otherwise they’ll only be good for about three films (15 yrs.)

And only 3 movies off the reboot just doesn’t cut it for me.

I think they will still meet the original date, and even if a bit delayed its ok by me. My position has been 3 years in between films is to long anyways. So whats a few more months.

But the main problem I have is that in the mean time there is no “new” Trek to keep the audience interested until the next movie comes out. Im not even talking live action series either. The most obvious way would be animation show like Clone Wars, there are other ways as well.

But theres nothing (except Fan productions) to keep attention on the brand. A missed chance for sure.

Personally the amount of time it is taking to write the scrip fro the sequel is a bit much…..personally I am a fan of the philosophy that worked so well for Star Trek II. Here’s what I’ve found to be the Star Trek II Philosphy (which involves a story):

When Leanord Nimoy recieved a script for the first time for Star Trek II, he had some major problems with the script. Spocks death happened half way through the film, and though a good moment, came after some pretty undefined stuff for Spock. Nimoy felt that Spocks function in the script was undefined/unnecesary, and needed to be more defined, or more integral to the plot. So, as the story goes, he had a few days off of shooting A WOMAN CALLED GOLDA (spelled correct I think), to talk to the the Nick Myer (the Director), and Harve Bennet (the major producer for the film), and he put forth his concerns. After hearing Nimoys speal, Nick says “I agree….How long do you have until you need to get back for your current project” (a paraphrase of course). Nimoy says he’s got like five days or so, before he goes back. and Nick responds by saying “I’ll have a revised script for you to read on the plane. In five days Nimoy recievs a script that to his satisfaction is much improved.

This story is really a comment on some remarks that Nick himself has made on audio commentaries and during interviews…..His philosophy that time crunch is one element that can help produce a great story, and thus those that are given forever to be finished won’t be as good. I think this is true. Star Trek II proves it.

Also, look at another example……Which is better the First TNG movie or the last TNG episode? the TNG finale of course. would it surprise you to hear that the TNG episode was written in less then a month. Granted the movie had a lot of strings attached. But both products came from the same writers….and they admit that the TNG Finale would have actually made the better film, even though the time spent writting it was about 20% of the time spent writing the movie.

Case closed. While I don’t think this sequal is going to be crap, I do think that the fact that it is taking so long to write is worrisome none the less.
Take all these ramblings as you will.

maybe movie it august or xmas

I’m going to guess they’re going to really try to hit their date (or at least IN the summer) because its not an Autumn type (serious, period drama) movie. The next good time for it would be around the Christmas season.

Of course it will make it. It’s more than likely going to be a disappointing film because of being rushed though.

Today’s movies are nothing more than product–for the most part–in the hands of the Marketing and Advertising departments… the wrong hands. With rare exceptions are they in the hands of creative artist.

I’m beginning to feel more and more, there are going to be a lot of disappointed TREK fans next year.


Good points. Perhaps the “Supreme Court” should’ve handed it over to Nick Meyer for some script polish. He is older now… so it would’ve taken him what—ten days? ;)

i think it will be out June 29th,2012. i’ve said it before,i don’t think they’d let us down like that. but,do they think ‘this’ is susposed to be excing?! are we,as Trekkers susposed to feel better because Viacom says things are ‘strong’,and ‘growing’?! i won’t feel better until the script is done,and handed in. i’ll be excied when J.J says hes taking the helm!

They’re going to make another Mission: Impossible movie? Oh, please, put the original team with Jim Phelps together! Not Tom Cruise…

Like I said, November 2012 for ST12. Just a guess.


Good points. Some have the wrong idea that the “slower” or more time someone spends writing the better the work will be. This isnt necessarily true, although there are exceptions.

In fact from personal experience when I wrote a short for a contest there was a dead line. I got it done under the time limit and actually came up with something that wasnt all that bad.

But a second short I did that had no dead line at all didnt quite match the first.

I think it really just depends on a lot of things and can work both ways. I think its very possible to write a fantastic story in a very short amount of time as well as write a great one that takes a long to do.

Or no matter how short or long it takes it can wind up bad lol.

Hopefully it doesn’t turn into The Motion Picture with the reels being played while drying!

I sense that Orci and his team may be overthinking this script. Star Trek 09 received a lot of criticism, as well as praise. People have gone on about all the plot holes (which do not exist, btw, except, perhaps one minor one). Many have not been able to understand the MWI interpretation of time travel, even after it has been explained by those who watched the movie and did understand it.

I suspect they have two or three possible versions of a story. Deciding whether to make this sequel in 3D or not is also a complicating factor. The criteria should be – which of the possible versions sounds and looks the best, provides necessary explanations to audiences, and gives each of the main characters a chance to “strut their stuff” in a coherent, meaningful way. Go with that story version and then decide, only then, if it could look better in 3D or not. If doing the film in 3D means a rush job, then, for God’s sake, film the movie in 2D and make it a very worthy 2012 movie, from (almost – there will always be naysayers) anyone’s, everyone’s perspective.

Make it so, Bob Orci, JJ Abrams, and co.! Anyway, how is the soft-prep coming along? Is Chris Pine doing boxing because of what might be required of him in Star Trek – Thataway? and why not? (my name, since you guys have not given it a title, number). Nosey keas like to know this stuff…:)

I’ve said this before: I would rather wait for an awesome movie than have a mediocre to crap movie right now.

16. Vultan – April 29, 2011

I understand that Carrie Fisher is a script polisher/doctor, and quite good at it, too. Anyone have her phone number?

Has anyone suggested a 12/12/12 timeline?
12th movie and all that?

#21 – Keachick … “25 Fittest Guys” … about Chris Pine doing boxing… this is not new information… CP said that a few times in interviews… about
to play some sports… look at this interview he gave when he was on the set of TMW in Vancouver …

“Do you play any sports now? 
I enjoy working out, boxing, playing basketball, and, of course, athletic sitting and competitive television watching.”

:-) :-)

What I think about it… well the fact that they are not giving us information about the sequel does not mean they are not doing anything, right? … if they have a schedule, apparently … so, they are working… but of course that “no information” is frustrating … but I think that is how it will be until September comes … or maybe in August … who knows …

I’m not panicking yet! … LOL

:-) :-)

Thank you, Dee. I’ve not seen that article before.

“…athletic sitting and competitive television watching”? LOL How does that work? I wonder if it is slimming at all. I thought he never got to watch his big plasma television. Perhaps moving house has made that easier. I wonder if Chris still has that orange couch. Now I know of two Chris’s who like to cook…

What have we learned from this article?


If there’s another delay, I hope the movie makers take a deep breath and forget about a deadline of June,2012. Put whatever time it takes on the script and everything else and make a great movie and release it a year later. To me, Star Trek is a summer blockbuster type of movie and not a winter movie. I’d rather wait than see them rush it and not have the time to make it as good as possible. I loved the 2009 movie and I’d like the sequel to be even better. Also, of course, I want to see MORE PIKE!!

I think they’ll make it, you folks worry too much

I’ll say this again if there are 6 months ’till release & nothing has happened THEN and only THEN will I or anyone else for that matter should worry

You have to remember that this isn’t old Hollywood where films take YEARS to make this is new Hollywood where films take just a few months to make

Why ?

The bottom line, the longer it take to make, the more it’s gonna cost them, it’s all about faster, cheaper, even tho’ we’re talking about a few hundred million at a pop for these big summer films, the bottom line has to be maintained

This is why so many of these films have up to 7 VFX companies working on them to meet the deadlines for summer release dates

So again, I’m not worried about the deadline they’ll make it come hell or high water they’ll make it, somehow

These guys have a lot of talent. I’m putting my faith in them for a movie that will be hailed as the equivalent of the dark knight.

In fact the opening sequence of the last Trek movie was certainly on par with tdk. That was probably the most brilliant opening to a film ever written.

I don’t get all the doom-and-glooming. The main sets and props are built, the main cast has already been, well, cast… these are the things that eat up a ton of time in pre-production, and they’re all done.

Basically, once the script’s approved they just have to cast the new characters, build a couple of new sets, scout a location or two, and start shooting.

Sequels are fast.