Lindelof: Star Trek Now Full Time Job For Himself, Orci, Kurtzman & Abrams + Confirms No Borg (wont say on Khan)

Some more Comic Con comments from Star Trek sequel co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof have emerged, talking about the challenge of the sequel and giving an update on JJ Abrams participation in the project. Lindelof also confirmed no Borg for film but wouldn’t say on Khan. All that and more below, including videos. [UPDATED]  


Lindelof: Star Trek sequel combines familiar & unexpected + Abrams now full time on Trek

Speaking to Collider, Damon Lindelof gave a detailed description of the status and challenges for the Star Trek sequel:

Lindelof: Bob [Orci], Alex [Kurtzman] and I had worked for a while. We generated a sort of 90-page "scriptment," but JJ [Abrams] was very very entrenched in Super 8 and I think that we all came to the mutual agreement that we should make this movie the same way we made the first movie with the four of us in room throwing ideas out and challenging ideas, a lot of the way that TV works. I think one of the reasons the first movie came out well is that nobody settled for just OK. It always had to be the most awesome thing ever. Now that the four of us are back in that room together, JJ is finished with Super 8, we have plunged into Star Trek 2 hard core. It is now my full-time job, which is what it always needed to do as opposed to we are all doing four different things at the same time. Now I am just doing Trek 2, now JJ is just doing Trek 2, now Bob and Alex are just doing Trek 2. 

I feel like the bar we’ve set for ourselves is that it has to be better than the first movie. It has to justify itself for being a sequel and it has to go in a direction that you don’t entirely expect, but feels familiar enough to sort of honor the forty years of tradition that people have invested in this incredible pop culture phenomenon. The challenge is immense and all I can say is…we’re on it

All the recent reports on the Star Trek sequel over the last week show how true it was when in a June comment JJ Abrams said the project is "six months behind." The scripting work going on now is what was originally scheduled for late 2010 and early 2011. Essentially Super 8 put the Star Trek project on hold for half a year and now it is back on track. This hold will end up delaying the release of the film, however Paramount have yet to set a new date. Orci and Kurtzman also recently said that filming should be starting in January 2012 which makes a holiday 2012 release possible. However that would call for a somewhat tighter post-production schedule. Both the original schedule for the 2009 Star Trek film and the original schedule for 2012 film had called for 12-13 months from shooting start to release. The other alternative for release would be summer of 2013, which would give the team plenty of time. 

UDPATED: No Borg – Wont say on Khan + more characters to "shine"

Speaking to MTV, Lindelof confirmed they have made the big decisions on the film:

We know what the movie is about. We know what the key relationships are. We know what the stakes are. We know who the bad guy is – or girl…no Borg.

So is it Khan?

I think to Khan or not to Khan was the jumping off question. We actually put a big list up on the board: pros and cons – cause its a pun. Sort of weighed it all out and came to a big decision and once we did we stuck to our guns.

All about Kirk & Spock in sequel?

The first movie was sort of designed like a buddy cop movie – sort of Riggs and Murtaugh [from Lethal Weapon]. A pure emotion and insticnt can pair quite nicely with a logical brain as long as in that Venn diagram they find the same traits in each other. That is a definately a huge theme of Trek and not one you can abandon as you move forwards.  It will certainly be a big part of it, but the sequel is going to want to explore other relationships and characters that were more in the background get to shine brighter. 

No Trek TV for Damon

Lindelof also was asked if he would be interested in doing a future Star Trek TV series and he said "I don’t think so" noting that for films he likes to "play in other people’s sand boxes, but for television I am more driven by original television."

Visit MTV and Collider for full video interviews with Lindelof.

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Does this mean JJ is directing?

First! sweet! i trust them, as long as they get it done. and done right.

Sorry jack! This was my first first!!! Yay!

I trust them to get it done right!

I am so glad Lindelof doesn’t want to participate in any new Trek TV series. An episode every 3 or 4 months just won’t get a TV series many viewers….

The sails are up and and the horizon is clear.

Glad we’re firing on all thrusters.

My question is, is TrekMovie going back to the old “Ghostbusters”-like badge for these kinds of threads? I thought we’d moved on.

Also, the posts are center-justified for some reason.

But, anyway, back on topic: Good to see things are moving along.

Hello! I noticed the centered formatting too!

Onto the subject at hand: Git ‘er done good!


Ok. Lock these guys in a room and give them plenty to eat and drink and cots and don’t let them out till full script is done. Place plenty of red shirts ready to die as guards around the doors of said locked room. Ok Bob. Time to work.

Anthony, in your article about the schedule, while its true that the original 2009 movie had a very long post-production time, you are not taking into account that this is a sequel film. For sequel franchise films, the post-production schedule is typically about 25% less in time. So Holiday 2012 is eminently doable.

8. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire – July 26, 2011

Still better, have them form a standing circle and tie their legs together so that they can’t break formation. Place a spitting cobra in the middle of the circle. The catch: the spitting cobra is a life-long Trekkie with impeccable literature and film sensibilities and an inclement disposition toward shallow, hackneyed writing. Ok Bob. Time to work.


10. I think i know that cobra. Add a giant saw blade that inches closer every time there’s a lame in- joke, and we’re set.

@12. Anthony, I agree with you — yes, those were the facts. I am not contesting those. What I am saying is that for franchise sequels, post production time is typically reduced considerably. Consider the Harry Potter films as a definitive example this. For Trek 2, the have the sets in storage, the have the Enterprise and some of the Federation universe on Hard Drive, the actors have played the roles before…etc. etc. I therefore don’t think it would really be that “tight” to get the movie out by Holidays 2012 if they start filming in early January.

So the only thing I am mildly disagreeing with you on is your inference that the schedule for the sequel might mirror the 12-13 months from start of filming to “in the can” of Trek 2009.

And we are not factoring in all this extended time of “soft prep”, etc, going on right now. Presumably, if the story and script are ready by Fall, they could start on the special effects before live action filming starts in January.

Besides Anthony, I believe JJ’s Super 8 went from filming to release in just 10 months, and that film didn’t have the production advantages I mentioned above of being a sequel.

Sounds like there is a villain in this one as Damon says, “We know who the bad guy is.” Let’s hope it’s not a two dimensional mustache twirling caricature. He also says they want to explore other relationships. So, there’s a Spock-Uhura sex scene for the female and teenage boy demographic. I keeed. I keeed. But I do hope that means more McCoy. Dr. McCoy is one of my favorite characters in the series. I love his idealistic philosophy. He’s also very funny. I miss the troika of Kirk-Spock-McCoy.

Hopefully these guys will consider a classy well spoken indian actor for Khan like Amitabh Baachan… not to mention a legendary actor like that having a major role in a mainstream american blockbuster will crush international box office numbers.

Well that is really bad news. I guess I am making a big deal because I don’t want to have to wait two more years for this movie. What is going on now with the Supreme Court should have been happening a year ago, not now. So in my opinion, they could make it up to the fans by getting this movie out by next Christmas, since doing so would not seem to be rushing it by many objective standards that I have mentioned.

OK, I am dropping this for now. Really wasn’t trying to argue with you. I appreciate the great news here — thanks!

Well it’s already been decided on the Khan or no Khan bit, so I just pray it’s a no. At least now we have some sort of actual news on where they’re at. I think they can make the original date, mostly for the reasons MJ’s already listed.

Oh No, Damon. How could you not say a definitive NO to anymore Khan? I am already YAWNING and GROANING all at once. No, I am not pushing out a baby, just the mere notion of there being more Khan, bloody Khan. Now we are going to get people saying “Bring back Khan” again. I guess it’s a variation on the plea, “Bring back Shatner/Kirk prime”. God, the TIRESOME MONOTONY of it all.

So I see that the villain could actually be a female…Oh My!

The following applies to all of our work: I am a big proponent of making our process as transparent as possible. But there is a paradoxically hard truth that I hate: It is impossible to explain the variables that go into the decisions of making a movie at the scale that we make within an online interview with an overgrown kid who barely knows smurf from smurfola (present company { Anthony Pascale} exciuded);)!!!.

Our second career may well involve explaining how hollywood works;)

What’s with this thread? It is centre-justified for me as well and all the formatting is *wrong*. It does not appear to be on the other threads.

@23. Yes, the fact that he didn’t rule out Khan is very interesting. I mean he had no problem saying no Borg. Maybe he is just messing with us though. They have to do something to keep us interested for two more years I guess. :-(

So if JJ does not direct we can assume the script is a dog and the movie will be almost straight to video.

Definitely thinking he said it that way to mess with our heads so we can get into a Khan debate. He hinted at the fact it could be a girl. That would be so welcome.

still angrey they let it slip- we hill have one movie in the time they could have done two- they should write a 2 part epic & film them both at the same time & release them one year apart & make it a three part arc incase they only do three with these actors.

To 3D or not to 3D? I’ll bet a bag of popcorn with real butter that the suits want 3D for Star Trek (2013) And while conversions of movies from 2D to 3D have improved, I have not seen a conversion that has enhanced the movie.

On the other hand, if the movie is filmed in 3D, you could make something cool. Recent films where the native 3D either helped the movie or enhanced them include, “Despicable Me” (gleefully over the top 3D), the craptastic “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” And of course you can’t forget Avatar. I like to commit film heresy by thinking about the visuals in 2001: A Space Odyssey if they were filmed in 3D. The Monolith in 3D. The bone flying into the air, then becoming a ship in 3D. The Discovery in the blackness of space in 3D.

“Star Trek 09 was written so as to talk down to it’s audience with silly plot contrivances and bad dialogue. And yes, I realize canonicity is at the discretion of future writers, but Orci and Kurtzman have no interest in telling an interesting story and disregarding the writers that came before them.

I was – and I use this loosely – lucky enough to interview Orci late last year. Not only is he a bad writer, he’s a pompous ass who answered my queries with the silliest comebacks. Orci as a writer has no concept of suspension of disbelief and seemingly vomits whatever tickles him at the moment and doesn’t care that it makes sense or not. These two are simply what’s wrong with American cinema today, and are far from the sole perpetrators of awful writing.”
The writer of this refers to him/herself as fbi press. This was posted to the Star Trek 2009 IMDb message board two hours ago. Even if Bob Orci intended to talk down to the audience in Star Trek 09, he failed…
Perhaps it is these kinds of people who Bob Orci is talking about.

By the way, Bob, I have no idea what a smurf or smurfola is. Should I have to know?

Please do a new villain. Don’t rehash Khan. Khan is one of the best villains in Trek and to redo him would be just inferiorto the origial and show a lack of originality on the part of the writers.

Hot dam, looks like the sequel gonna be huge and epic.

I wish I knew what they have in mind, who or what can challenge the young crew the most while allowing for epic shots, music and character drama?

Klingons, Khan, Talosians or Trelane

Love it, a female that kirk falls in love with but must kill, the drama!


Ying and Yang, you cannot please everyone. Im sure bob has a thick skin, one would need it in the showbiz env

Smurf or Smurfette methinks? Either way I think a sound of delight is in order. Can I get a….


from Y’all?

Thank you, Damon Lindelof, re the comments about how to use twitter, etc. As he correctly says, there are enough people out there saying stuff sucks. They don’t need to hear him say it as well.

I guess that has what has so shocked me since coming onto the Internet almost two years ago, was just how rude and negative some people can be towards, well, everything, everyone, anyone, anywhere…

I applaud you, Damon Lindelof.

Not really sure anyone could pull off a Khan that would do justice to Ricardo Montalban. Then again I said the same thing in regard to Kirk and Spock, and then found myself pleasantly surprised.

IF they do Khan, they’re going to have to cast one hell of an actor. I do hope they cut the whitewashing and cast an actor who at least looks the part (Indian). Montalban was Hispanic, but pulled off Indian pretty well in ”Space seed”.

In my opinion, Irrfan Khan would make a great……..Khan.

Redoing Khan wil show a complete lack of orginality.

And also the newbies will somehow end up loving it more than Wrath of Khan, which is a SF classic.

Don’t redo Khan because it’s cool, it is important that these guys find the right story that is unique and wonderful to Trek.


I think your argument is flawed, that is like saying dont redo TOS, they did and it turned out great!

Its time to wake Khan and see what happens.

A female villain would be awesome, something fresh we haven’t seen since Sela or the Duras sisters. I have all the confidence in that this second movie will again blow us away, surely with the amount of detail the writers put in. If JJ (hopefully) will direct the sequel aswel, you can bet it’s a winner (of a movie) once more.
The question is: can we (the fans) hold out until 2013?

If the villain is Khan, i hope they cast The Rock.
If the villain is Harry Mudd, i hope they cast Jack Black.
If the villain is a female, i hope they cast a Playboy Amazone!

Just make the movie, do it in great style like the first one was done and do’nt keep us waiting until 2013!

Sigourney Weaver would make a bad ass female klingon villain

This is good news? Am I in some kind of “1984” style alternate universe or something? They just said what we have been dreading and bitching about for months and we’re cheering about it!?!

The fact is, the lamplighters are hard at work softening the blow that this will be a Summer 2013 release (or if a miracle happens, Holiday 2012-2013.) Say that with a positive attitude and the bad news becomes just the opposite: good news. THAT’S NEWSPEAK.

#43 vulcanfilmcritic

there wasnt a finished script and they havent started shooting yet, surely you knew this was delayed till dec 2012 or summer 2013?

At least they not rushing it and putting in quality time, with a $200 million budget, this would rock.

Berman would have approved a bad script and take $75million to make a dvd movie about the search for data and some cross over with enterprise, ds9 and voyager, shudder.



But I would be in favour of a new direction for Star Trek XII rather than revisiting the classics.

Maybe if they did a new take on finding Khan then maybe butI do think when it comes to a re imagining of Khan it is just going to seem like bad fanfic in comparison to the classic Space Seed and Fantatic Wrath of Khan.


I would love if Khan was integrated into starfleet and pike and khan became good friends who is sent to help kirknspock then…

My fear is that they will make the sequel similar to what so many other movies are like now. Whether it is the Harry Potter finale, Transformers 3, Captain America… they all appear to be at times very dark, not only visually but in tone also with violence, noise, destruction, degradation. For the most part, I just find much of this plain boring, unattractive, unexciting. There is just so much of this kind of film making. Maybe I’m the weird, odd one but I don’t really find most of it cool, anything but. I know these movies probably have excellent effects etc, but, well, so?

I don’t really want to see a lot of shoot ups, kicking ass etc, or burning spaceships, planets… Even though a character like Kirk may be very fit with good fighting capabilities, there are only so many kicks and punches one person can take or deliver, without becoming an invalid needing a kidney transplant and/or an indifferent, callous monster. (I start to yawn, literally, if those scenes go on for too long).

Surely, one can’t just imagine space as being full of antagonistic, even cruel, beings. What about the rest of space? Why are we, as film makers and fans/audiences, so keen to embrace the damnable rather than attempt to put those things at arms’ length and replace them with notions and models of a fictional world/universe that is not always so angry, vengeful, destructive and stupid? Destruction is easy, even cowardly. Creation is not.

I know I have written similar before, some time back, but please, Bob, Alex, Damon and JJ – show us some of the great beauty that outer space can look (the Hubble telescope has sent some incredible and wonderful pictures back…). There must be a world out there that is so exciting, so incredibly beautiful. It may have life similar to what we know, perhaps even humanoids, maybe not, but still… Who knows, that world may actually have a name – Menosia…;)

I never really experienced Wow with any of the Star Wars films – Star Wars can be exciting and even funny at times, but it has never given me the same sense of delight, the Wow factor, that Star Trek has often given me.

Remember – guys – This is Star TREK!!!

Good Luck. Now go make a beautiful movie, sooner rather than later.

23. Mr. Orci does all this smurf-talk point to Andorians? Heh-hee! :)

Anyone started a campaign to get Scott Bakula a cameo yet?

I’m kinda hoping the villain springs directly from some situation that’s arisen in this new universe, rather than Khan who would still be floating around in the Botany Bay that was launched in 1996.

Space is vast and it was a complete fluke anyone ever found him. Just like Amelia Eartheart has never been found or Jimmy Hoffa dug up… and that’s just one planet.

Of course, if you do go that route… you might wanna watch the “Augment” and “Klingon-forehead” 3/2 parters from Enterprise Season 4. Since history before Nero arrived is likely the same.

Unless you guys on the Supreme Court dictate the universe pre-2233 was alternate to begin with.

#47 keachick

Maybe they will balance things out, 25% exploration, 25% character drama, 25% explosions and darkness, 25% fun

Ipman, dark knight, forrest gump, inception in space

My instant gut reaction is NO KHAN DO. :)

The new direction should involve pointing to a star and striking for it. If they intercept familar alien races along the way, then that’s the 40+ year old fanbase catered for.

Khan should be left well alone to the exceptionally classic story he’s had. Plenty of other stuff that’s never even been explored and depicted onscreen. Pin an idea on something iconic but surprisingly low on detail and then make that your own.

@ #23. boborci – July 26, 2011

“… Our second career may well involve explaining how hollywood works;)”

To be completely honest, over time, I have experienced quite a few moments, where I truly wished that a statement such as yours could indeed represent more than a (semi-serious?) quip…

As interesting, entertaining and even moving as the various interactions between the creators/purveyors of Hollywood entertainment and their audiences can be, personally, I was/am just as often left with the impression of having witnessed largely futile attempts to create some sort of substantive dialogue between the parties involved.