Kurtzman: Cumberbatch’s Villain is Scary + Star Trek Sequel Delayed To ‘Protect’ Franchise [UPDATED]

Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut People Like Us hits theaters in two weeks, and while out promoting the movie he is also talking a little Star Trek. In a couple of new interviews the co-writer/producer of the sequel explains why the team chose to delay instead of rushing it out for a 2012 release. He also confirmed our earlier report about no Trek for next month’s San Diego Comic Con. [UPDATE 2: Also talks about Benedict Cumberbatch & ‘connected’ USS Enterprise sets]


Update 2: Kurtzman on Cumberbatch & ‘Connected’ USS Enterprise sets

Another People Like Us Interview has cropped up at CinemaBlend, where Alex talks about sequel villain Benedict Cumberbatch, saying:

There are certain actors who have the ability to take a line of dialogue and add a ring to it that you didn’t even know you put into the dialogue, into the line. And he’s one of those really brilliant actors…Sequels are about your bad guy. Because your first movie is always about the becoming of [the hero] and your bad guy has to test that hero in a very significant way. And he’s an incredibly formidable presence. He’s amazing. Are you going to be scared of him? Shit yeah!”

In a previous article we reported on how the USS Enterprise sets were "connected" for the sequel, allowing more shots of characters moving around the ship. Kurtzman spoke to Collider about how this new configuration opened things up for director JJ Abrams

J.J. was brilliant, in building the sets that way, because what he wanted to do was be able to play whole scenes without a cut, as you were literally moving through this huge, huge ship.

Original article

Kurtzman on why Star Trek sequel moved from 2012 to 2013 + Says no Trek at SDCC

The original plan for the sequel to JJ Abrams’ Star Trek was for it to be released on June 29, 2012 (which is in just two weeks). But when it came time to finalize the script and get pre-production started in the spring/early summer of 2011, other projects (especially Super 8 for JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk) were keeping the team from focusing on Trek. In a new interview (with Movies.com) co-writer/producer Alex Kurtzman explains how the team could have stuck with the original plan, but we may not have liked the results…

We collectively as the brain trust – J.J. [Abrams] and Damon [Lindelof] and me and Bob [Orci] and Bryan Burk – decided that in order to protect Trek, we had to delay it by one year. We just didn’t want to rush it. We felt that we had put so much love into the first movie, and we didn’t want a mandate to ruin the work that everyone had done. And I think the fans deserve to feel that their beloved franchise is being protected. So we delayed for a year to really work on the script, to have the time to shoot the movie correctly, and I’m really excited with what J.J. did. I think we all are.

Kurtzman also expressed a similar sentiment to ComingSoon.com about the Star Trek delay, saying

Here’s the thing about Trek. Part of why we delayed a year was because we didn’t want to rush it, just because we feel very beholden to the franchise and we feel very protective of it and the worst thing we can do is to put it out there before we felt like we were ready and we were still working on the story."

So while it is unfortunate that the team ended up overbooked for their time in 2010/2011, at least they recognized this and didn’t just phone it in on Star Trek. As fans, of course we all wish there was a new movie opening in two weeks (as per the original plan), but if the only way for that to happen was for it to be a rush job, then waiting another 11 months is worth it.

Alex Kurtzman directing "People Like Us" (Photo: Ralph Nelson/DreamWorks)

With regards to a panel for the Star Trek sequel at next month’s San Diego Comic Con Kurtzman confirmed our report from earlier this week, saying he doesn’t expect Trek to be there…

No, I don’t think so [for Star Trek at Comic Con]. We literally just wrapped, so I think it would be too hard to do that.

For more from Kurtzman on how he and Orci are sequeling The Amazing Spider-man and bringing Ender’s Game to the big screen, see the full interviews at ComingSoon.com and Movies.com.

Kurtzman’s People Like Us arrives in theaters on June 29.

Alex Kurtzman directing Chris Pine in "People Like Us"

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the delay is a good thing!

you could have done it without jj. I swear if Johnathan Franks had directed the 2009 script, it would have been a LOT better.

I don’t know. If it’s all down to the editing and FX teams – and the story is sound with all footage needed shot…

Then Paramount find themselves in dire straits, films which were supposed to be out in 2012, now being juggled around because they’re not ready – They NEED something BIG and with a guaranteed audience, to mark 100 Years anniversary publicity.

Crunch time and we’ll be seeing this sooner perhaps?

I don’t think it is because you loose all the momentum ST 2009 had. I wonder if any new Trek fans ST 2009 got they have already forgotten that their is a sequel? Or care about Trek anymore?

They needed extra time to put in all the lense flares

A heartflet thanks to Bob and Alex for taking the time.

It’s so easy to produce crap, particularly in Trek, that a vision quest ought to be a mandatory exercise before a single letter is typed.

Personally I’m glad to see you guys taking your time and treating Trek with the attention it deserves. I only hope this will generate enough interest to put another Star Trek series on the small screen too

I also agree that you shouldn’t rush things either and put out a great film but also waiting to long could be bad for a film also. Like I said before that waiting to long and you could loose momentum for the sequel.

I wonder if this next gen- wide theater release for the blu-ray episodes isn’t a “test” for audiences to see how much folks may want to see another next-gen film?

Cumby’s gonna be scary…hhmmmmm

People are either interested or they are not. The publicity for the sequel is there for those who care to take notice. It’s just not in your face and thank goodness for that. Come January next year and I think it will be a different story and so it should be.

People Like Us is what needs promoting now and does need to do well at the Box Office so that Dreamworks SKG will be more inclined to seek distributors to give the movie international coverage. Not happy right now in that regard…

I am happy about how the Star Trek sequel appears to be coming together. Keep up the good work, guys!

It took about a dozen years to get TOS to the big screen. . . . It took this group 1/3 of that time to get around to making their sequel. . . . I think they could have treated their fan base with a little more respect. Every 3 years is pushing the envelope (a la Star Wars), but 4 years (+?) to wait is above and beyond in my humble opinion.

To add to my previous comment – I do think some people are catastrophizing a bit re delay and lack of trailers and publicity. The fact is that people are being reminded of Star Trek in subtle, natural, “organic” (Far Strider used the word “organic” – good description).

As an example, Benedict Cumberbatch has received mention and an article in the local (NZ) TV Guide, which has a wide readership, re the Sherlock series, but in there was mention given to his being in the next Star Trek movie and giving its 2013 release date.

Margin Call, the movie, has been showing in cinemas here. Zachary Quinto, among others, has been mentioned, along with him playing Star Trek’s Spock…
Karl Urban has had some press re his house being on the market and mention was made of him playing Dr McCoy in the new Star Trek.

This is what appears in local magazines and newspapers, as well as on their websites just as a matter of fact to do with these actors.

They should have began thinking about
sequels and production as soon as Trek2009
came out & showed to be a success… but
writing didn’t begin until about a whole year
I agree wholeheartedly with Mickey. They
should have treated the fan base with more
respect –
It’s obvious they want to please, but only
a little bit.

While the second movie appears to have taken all the necessary steps to be the movie the “brain trust” wants it to be, then I have significant confidence that we’ll get wait we’ve been waiting for.

Personally, I can’t wait, but I know better. These gentlemen want what’s best for the francise and I have no doubt that we won’t be disappointed.

CAN’T WAIT!!!!!! :)

I don’t think anyone should be concerned with losing momentum. The last one was a cold start and it was pretty successful.

17. Anthony… of course, we’ll have to see the finished product before we can really decide which was the correct course of action for Paramount. Not all of us agree that Trek 2009 was a great movie which demanded the same team do Trek 12. (I think Trek 2009 is only the third best Trek movie.) And I for one am very worried that if this movie is indeed Khan Redux, that Mr. Cumberbatch is all wrong for the part, and the movie will face blistering, negative comparisons to Ricardo Montalban’s iconic performance.

I agree, that 2 years later with the same team would have been problematic, but 3 years later with a new team is a much tougher call. 2 1/2 years later with a new team is what Paramount got with “Wrath of Khan” (arguably the most profitable Trek movie to date, based on its tiny budget and big box office), and that could have been a powerful counter-argument against a not changing horses (Trek 2012 was critically much more successful than TMP, but financially not that different). 4 years later with the same team is exactly what we got with “Nemesis” and that didn’t work out too well for Paramount, something else that must be weighing heavily on certain Paramount managers. Paramount can be at least partially blamed for the delay, just as they can be partially blamed for the failure of Insurrection and Nemesis, two severely under-budgeted movies. But if Trek 2013 flops, few will actually blame Paramount. Just as Nemesis gets blamed mostly on Baird.

I kind of like the long wait Anthony. It puts more age on the characters as the years go by and they can write that they have been on previous missions which have made them more experienced.

The Dark Knight came out in 2008. The Dark Knight Rises comes out next month. That is a four year gap and I have not heard anyone complain about that amount of time between those sequels, so why are you all complaining about the four-year-gap for Star Trek? I do not think there will be “loss of momentum” or anything. This movie will do well if it is marketed well and is a good movie that hits across many demographics, not because of the amount of time elapsed since the previous movie.

If the sequel ends up sucking balls, it’ll have more to do with the fact the writers wrote a crappy script above anything else. But, on the other hand, the extra year will be seen as a boon if the sequel is great. And if the sequel is great, no one will care that they had to wait an extra year to watch it.

If they had rushed the movie, and it came out in 2011 or even this year, and it sucked, then everyone would be crying out over that.

A new team would have changed things drastically, or they would have made a poorly imitated version of J.J Abrams’ film. A potential no-win situation right there.

So the delay was the best route possible. If it sucks, then it just comes down to a poor screenwriting performance by the writers/director. They’ll take the blame, not Paramount.

But judging by the fact they spent the last year working so hard on the film, I have to think the delay gave them more room to work with, to allow for more care to be taken with regards to the quality of the script, and the film itself.

I completely agree that Cumberbatch will be an amazing villain.
My wife and I just saw him last week in Danny Boyle’s “Frankenstein” play (via Fathom Events at our local AMC movie theatre). His interpretation of the monster was similar to John Hurt’s elephant man initially; a physically deformed man irrationally hated and feared, but clinging to his decency. By the end, he turns; a lifetime of rejection and fear literally (finally) making him into a monster. His performance (and the play itself) simply blew me away.

And of course, he is brilliant in BBC’s “Sherlock.” When I first heard he was in the ST sequel, all I could think was “this will be brilliant!” It was one of the most exciting casting coups in all of Star Trek history, IMO.

As long as they remember that Klingon ships are battlecruisers not warbirds and that the medical section is called sickbay I’ll be happy. Coming from an old school trekker who loved the new movie those were the only things that really ground my gears (budgineering notwithstanding). I’ve had way too much to drink and this has taken a pathetically long time to type out on my phone I will bid you nice folks a fond ado.

25… Because the last time we had a four year gap between movies, the result was far, far from worth the wait. Just because Bad Robot has had an extra year to work with doesn’t mean this movie will be any better for it, especially if they still have their eyes on other properties and are just using Trek to get a paycheck while they go off to make Super 9 or Cowboys & Aliens 2 or whatever.

27. Mr. Cumberbatch is excellent in Sherlock, but that’s the only thing I’ve seen him in, the same can probably be said for most of us here. (Did anyone see “War Horse”? Hello? Anyone?) My only serious complaint about him is he’s just not right for Khan. That and we were told after Paramount wanted a big star to bring in international audiences and what we got is a great actor who has never been in what can remotely be considered a blockbuster on either side of the Atlantic.

As for the time it took to get the new Batman movie out well, Im pretty ‘meh’ on that one too so, at least for me, thats not a good example. My interest in the Nolan Batman has pretty much worn off at this point especially considering the success of Avengers…now THATS the super hero movie Ive been waiting for. Time will tell but I wasnt thrilled with JJ Trek to begin with and having to wait 4 years to give them a second chance didnt exactly inspire me.

28. Me too, and like Trek 2013, part of it is casting. I just don’t see Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

# 27

Thorny; he’s not playing Khan, remember? That rumor’s pretty much been put to bed already (by no less than Simon Pegg himself, and with no denial from the powers-that-be).

And yes, his role in “War Horse” was good, but I’d hardly call it his signature work. He was far more memorable in 2004’s “Hawking” as well (in addition to “Sherlock”). And as I’ve said, his “Frankenstein” was incredible. And even though it was a stage play (with he and Johnny Lee Miller alternating roles on different nights), I’d love to see it on DVD someday….

“Sequels are about your bad guy. Because your first movie is always about the becoming of [the hero] and your bad guy has to test that hero in a very significant way”

That just confirms it for me they just dont get what makes great Star TREK. the best stories in Star TREK is not about the Villian.
The best stories are about Kirk Spock, Bones,Scotty,Chekov,Uhura,and Sulu.

Even TWOK was not Khan’s story it was the story of Kirk,Spock,Bones and the rest of the crew.
TWOK,VOYH,TUC were not villian driven they were driven by the crew.
Yea Montalban, and Plummer, are incredbile in their performances but its not them that make those movies,

JJ and crew Trek is not star wars, quit trying to make it into star wars, its not. Trek has always been best when its about thoughtful and making a comment on the human condition or mirrors the current climate in society.

I know the JJ appologist will all be clammering over my comments, but I dare you to prove me wrong. (with more than anticdotal evidence)

Especially after revisiting the E.T. interview with Nick Meyer, Harve Bennet, and Deforest Kelly it just really reminds when coupled with the comments in this article that they(jj AND crew) just dont get it.
I know I will still enjoy the new movie, but iam afraid it will be a hollow enjoyment.

Please Orci, Kurtzman, and JJ please please please prove me wrong give us a great movie that tells a great story on the level of the best in classic TREK.

oh and just for the record i went to an advanced screening of People Like us and I really enjoyed it.

In the meantime, “The Avengers” was written, produced, released, and praised, AND put a jillion dollars in the bank – in half the time it’s taken these no-talent diletantes to jerk around and crap out what is certain to be another flashy, empty, mediocre disappointment.

sorry part of my message didnt get conveyed via y phone.

JJ and crew, Please remember Trek is not star wars, quit trying to make it into star wars, its not
. Trek has always been best when its about thoughtful story telling,
When it is making a comment on the human condition, or mirrors the current climate in society

Eh, I don’t care anymore. once every 4 years isn’t often enough. No Trek on TV until these films are over, the franchise might as WELL be dead now.

“We’re lucky they delayed it so they won’t be split”

Or they could have been dedicated to it like at TV production crew would have been, and we’d get more than 2 hours of Trek every 4-5 years.

Star Trek was great while it lasted. Now it’s just an art project for some elite producer/director/writers that we get to see occasionally.

I don’t think I’m going to bother anymore.

Removing your site from my RSS feed now Anthony. There’s just no point anymore. I can’t get excited over something that is clearly a side project.

They couldnt have delayed their other movies and spent that time to release Trek sooner?

30. I hope you’re right about Khan, but I’m sticking with Anthony’s word until we get something official. I can just see someone in a few months confronting Pegg, “You said it wasn’t Khan. You lied!”. Pegg: “I exaggerated! When I said it was just a myth, I meant our Khan takes on mythical proportions.”

Four years too long to wait…oh ye of short attention span.

31. I do agree with your points about what makes good Trek.

On the other hand…

Cumberbatch is scary!

*jumps up & down excitedly like a three-year old*

I can’t wait! I can’t wait!

How is leaving the movie sitting in can’s for the best part of a year ‘rushing it’? I agree we don’t want to go back to the Berman conveyor belt but 4 years is too long.

#9 Highly doubtful. That ship has sailed.

I will haunt them to their graves if this isn’t as good as they say it is.

@27 Treat yourself and watch “Tinker, Tailor” Cumby is in it and proves himself at par with British acting greats like Oldman, Hurt and Firth. Not to mention Bane’s in it!

#35 “They couldnt have delayed their other movies and spent that time to release Trek sooner?” It’s really a moot point now. It’s coming out, not any sooner and not any later. So the what-ifs are all irrelevant.

#32 – What’s been your contribution to anything has anyone enjoyed lately?


#31 totally agree – the best stories of ST are NOT about the bad guy – they are about the Trek Crew with the “bad guy of the day” merely being a vehicle around which the crew can explore issues of morality, ethics, philosophy etc This is the main reason why Trek proved to be so popular – it was a collection of moral fables. Simply put, Trek is not the “monster of the day” phenomenon that JJ and co seem intent on pursuing and while they do this, Nu Trek will never be on my favorites list. Yes, Trek 2009 was a nice space action movie but it had nothing to do with Star Trek.

I have to disagree with the delay being good. Not rushing it is good, don’t get me wrong, but there gets to a point where too much time has passed and the momentum the first movie built up is gone. I think this has happened. Of course us fans are still stoked, but the general public will have forgotten how much fun they had seeing the first movie. I had this very talk today with my cousin who grew up watching TOS but wasn’t much of a Trekkie and he agreed. Putting the movie out this year would have been the last chance to capture any of the enthusiasm of the first. Now they’re going to have to work extra hard promoting it to compensate.

@ 33

Daniel Craig is my .. whatever. ;-)

I agree with you points. Let’s hope Bad Robot was thinking about your points when they made the film. I think Star Trek can have big action but it should be about ideas. Philosophy. Science. Take for example the TOS episode “Arena.” Big action. But it had ideas. Was the Federation wrong? The trait of mercy. Great stuff.

I’m just disappointed there’s nothing at SDCC for this movie,a really missed opportunity. Maybe NYCC in October? I’ll still see the movie next year of course,just not that excited about it…..yet. And if Khan IS the villain,I won’t be excited for this at all. I don’t want Khan,plain and simple,lol! And since I’m a Trekker and not a Trekkie,I guess I’m just on the fence for now,lol!

Have fun y’all! J-R!

“… And he’s an incredibly formidable presence. He’s amazing. Are you going to be scared of him? Shit yeah!”

Thank you in anticipation.



While my instinct is to rebel against it, I have to admit that this “organic” marketing technique probably does more good than harm at this point. It truly is too early for spoilers (I still don’t think a title is a spoiler though!).

I agree with DanielCraig about what Star Trek is about. Yet, if anyone remembers, the teaser slogan for Star Trek 2009 was “This ain’t your father’s Star Trek”. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with a different kind of machine, a hybrid animal, so to speak. Accepting it for what it is will give you more peace of mind.

Another thing: Alex expanded on ONE aspect of the movie: the villain. I love villains and anti-heroes so I’m very curious and excited to see Benedict in this. But I doubt that the movie centers around a hero/villain theme. Especially considering how much time and new talent they’re putting into this. We should feel flattered that Bad Robot has the wherewithal to know the kind of quality we expect. I, for one, am very excited to see what they’ve done! (^_^)

“Every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villain.”–Jim Moriarty, Sherlock BBC

imho i am glad we have a team on trek that cares….a lot about trek…also think jj n team are one of the hottest movie talents out there…most trek stories were about something bigger than just a villin but more often than not they had villains,whether misunderstood alien kids or salt monsters..often the crew were villains bad kirk,drunk sulu,evil universe crew etc…its harder in an expensive action movie to fit in the nuances n depth of characters u can do over time on tv….understanding trek as the do i am sure they will try for more depth this time around now that they, the crew are together now t boldly go…,
comedy channel showed the shatner roast again the other day—remnds me of 1st watching it on a screen in one of the stores at the experence on sunday last nite of the 40th year of trek convention in vegas in 2006 my one n only convention so far…we were all really shocked at how rude n crude the roast was…

i got my deluxe tmp soundtrack today….anyone know why lala land sends an extra copy of the cd cover with it?