Pine & Kurtzman Talk Star Trek Sequel Villain + Pix & Video From People Like Us Premiere

Alex Kurtzman’s new film People Like Us held its premiere at the LA Film Festival and he and star Chris Pine of course ended up talking more Star Trek at the event and associated junket. See below for comments on the villain, and more (but no spoilers). We also have photos and video from the premiere.


Pine and Kurtzman on the Star Trek sequel villain + ‘bigger’ film w/ focus on character

Speaking to E Online at the LA Film Festival premiere of People Like Us, Chris Pine talked about Benedict Cumberbatch and the villain he plays in the 2013 Star Trek sequel, saying:

"He’s one mean dude! He’s great. Wait till people see. He’s going to knock it out of the park, I promise."

For his part, at the People Like Us junket, Alex Kurtzman talked more about the importance of the villain in the sequel (via IAmRogue), saying.

Sequels are about the bad guy. The first one was about the characters coming together and how they become the bridge crew. You look at movies like Iron Man, it is about Tony Stark becoming Iron Man, that is the juice of the movie. In a second movie, the reason the bad guy is so important is because he tests them. And that is always the joy of the best sequels.

Here is the full video, where Kurtzman also talks again about how they decided not to rush the film (and so they delayed it a year)

Pine also talked about the film in general, telling E Online it will be…

[Star Trek sequel will be] bigger and brighter, faster and louder on the effects side. And on the character side, these characters are all still on their journey to becoming the crew that we know and love from the original series.

And speaking to Collider, Pine said that even though the film is "bigger" (and film partially shot on IMAX cameras), they still went out of their way to make character count.  of the film were shot with IMAX cameras, noting:

I think J.J. did a good job of knowing which scenes to marry with the IMAX and which scenes would really pop, like they did with Mission Impossible…With J.J. and company – Alex, Bob and Damon included – what they’re really, really good at and what sets them apart is that they know how to do the action, and they know that if you don’t give them the small character-driven drama, you can blow up anything you want and no one cares. People will leave the theater because we’ve all seen it, a million ways. With the second one, people will find that it’s the mythic structure, done really well. The character journeys are just perfect mythic structures. They do it so well. The journeys with the characters will be really great, and the explosions and set pieces are going to knock people out of their seats.

Premiere Photos:

Chris Pine at LA Film Fest premiere of "People Like Us" – June 15, 2012

Chris Pine at LA Film Fest premiere of "People Like Us" – June 15, 2012

MORE VIDEO: Pine on how People Like Us differs from his other movies like Star Trek

Here is a video from the LA Times from the premiere, with Chris contrasting his "quieter role" in People Like Us.

And here is video of Chris along with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci at the premiere (not talk of Trek).


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Troubled Tribble

So many have cast their judgement on this movie. How it was handled. The time it has taken. Why everyone waited for JJ to get done with 8mm, etc. And I can’t say I haven’t been frustrated with some of this. I’m not getting any younger, no one is. But if even a tiny bit of the kudos and back patting is true, then this should be one hell of a sequel.

So, I’m with holding my judgement, which is really hard as I am a very judgmental person. I will put faith in the crew, they’ve done a great job so far. Just not on our schedule.

So go to it guy’s and give us on hell of a face melting , mind blowing sequel.


So this time some real IMAX?

wow, they could play an IMAX film on Pine’s forehead! It’s more like a fivehead!


A lot of what they say is the standard goo they have to say… but I really feel the next installment will be excellent. I really enjoy this teams body of work and the concepts they tackle, the actors they have assembled etc etc. Generally speaking I dont think JJ would direct if the script was sub par.
I also dont think Benjamin Cumberbatch would have taken the role either if it was going to injure his career…hes that good I believe. I mean not to take anything away from anyone, but this guys an actor and a half…

Bob Mack

I feel a great movie coming on. Hype is one thing, but these folks seem to know what they are doing including cast, crew, director and writers. But 11 more months? Oh well.


A little bit scared that Kurtzman is using Iron Man II as an example of how a great villain makes a great movie. Both Iron Man II and its villain stunk.


I wish I was as good looking as Chris Pine

Dee - lvs moon' surface

AWWW… CP rocking a burgundy Ralph Lauren suit…. AWESOME!!!

I’m excited with everything… Star Trek sequel, the charming villain BC… IMAX 3D… can’t wait … the mythic structure… Trek guys… WOW

People Like Us sounds great… and it seems we have a release date in the moon… fingers cross… WOW… waiting for… ;-) :-)


It’s bothering me that this crew is still ‘coming together’. It tends to suggest it may be getting bogged down in some trivial fashion that causes detracts from the overall picture. Not feeling too good about TWOK 2.0 at this point….

MJ, Kurtzman was clearly not talking about Iron Man II, he was talking about how the first STAR TREK was an origin story, like the original Iron Man. The analogy was between Tony Stark becoming Iron Man like the various characters (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc) becoming the fame USS Enterprise Bridge Crew.

It also happens to be an analogy he made in the past, even before Iron Man 2 came out, but again it wasn’t about Iron Man 2

You know your “x is worrying” negative nelly thing is getting kind of old, or even older


Let’s say I went back to 2008 and told you that, in the new movie:

1. Vulcan will be blown apart.

2. There will be cross dimensional time travel.

3. Uhura and Spock would be a couple.

4. Scotty will be the comic relief, and have an Ewok sidekick.

5. Kirk will go from cadet to captain with one incident.

6. The bridge will be an Apple store, and engineering would literally be a brewery.

7. There won’t be phasers or photon torpedoes, but Star Wars-style “laser machine gun” fire.

8. It takes three minutes to get to Vulcan.

9. There would be blatant knock offs of Khan and the Ceti eel among others.

10. The Enterprise would have ridiculously large nacelles and be going on it’s maiden voyage in 2258.

Yet, the film was fantastic. Do I like the idea of rehashing Khan with a skinny pasty Brit? No. Do I like the delays? No. Do I like green eggs and ham? No. But until they prove me wrong, In JJ We Trust.


@10. Anthony, you know if I am out of line that I will admit it and apologize. In this case, I was simply responding to this:

“You look at movies like Iron Man, it is about Tony Stark becoming Iron Man, that is the juice of the movie. In a second movie, the reason the bad guy is so important is because he tests them. ”

I don’t think it was unreasonable to assume he was carrying the thought here from Iron Man I to 2 in the context of this paragraph. That was my initial comprehension of this, but I can see how one could have a more general interpretation.

In another post today, I mentioned how the quote from Pine about BC’s performance has me really looking forward to the sequel, and I point out how many great series of movies had the second movie as the best one.

I am VERY POSITIVE about this sequel!!!


Yeah, I got the impression he was referring to Iron Man 2, as well.
Probably wasn’t. But it does come across that way at first glance.


@11. In response to one of your points…

7. There WERE photon torpedoes. They were fired at the Narada during the climax (the blue pulses). Also, there were simulated torpedoes during the Kobayashi Maru test. And the phaser style was not that dissimilar to the phaser style of the TOS films (particularly Wrath of Khan). The “constant beam of light” style didn’t really come in until later.

Mr. Anonymous

Rehashing Khan with a Brit..? For the love, they’ve been telling us for over a YEAR now that Khan isn’t the villain!

Anthony Thompson

15. Mr. Anon

11. Dallas has obviously not been paying attention. But we should cut him a bit of slack cuz Texans are known to be a bit slow. : )


14. You’re right about the photons, don’t know why I forgot (especially the KM scene). But the phasers themselves, if that’s what they were, I didn’t care for. It’s one of those Trek things I wish they left alone. Then again, for sake of argument since we’ve got little else Trek-related to discuss, there’s a few other “alterations” I would’ve made:

1. Chekov shouldn’t have been in the movie. Maybe not even the sequel. You didn’t see Robin in Batman Begins for a reason.

2. Scotty should’ve been, well, Scotty. I love Simon Pegg, but c’mon.

3. I like the idea of mixing the TOS and refit Connie, but I’d have gone with the deflector being a dark gold and the nacelles having a red color instead of blue.

4. I would’ve had Pine do The Intro at the end instead of Nimoy.

5. I would’ve explained the 24th century backstory more. Unless you bought the comics (and this was a movie made for the general public, not hardcore Trekkies) you didn’t “get” why Nero blamed Spock or why his mining vessel was the Death Star meets the Scimitar.

Overall, I loved the movie but those are some alterations I’d have made. But that’s armchair directing. How about you?


15. Come here often?

Michael Hall

“Sequels are about the bad guy. . . In a second movie, the reason the bad guy is so important is because he tests them. And that is always the joy of the best sequels.”

Good god. I have no doubt whatsoever that Mr. Kurtzmann actually believes this. But while the constraints on what’s possible for a multimillion dollar tentpole franchise film to achieve thematically are certainly understandable–if regrettable–it’s another thing for a commercial screenwriter’s vision to be so blinkered that far from trying to think outside of the box, it doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the box in the first place.

I think Alex expressed this idea better back in January 2010 at a WGA event (4 months before Iron Man 2 was released) ….

Kurtzman: I think our idea on this is that the first of any series is about them coming together or the formation. I couldn’t really tell you what Jeff Bridges was doing in Iron Man, but it doesn’t matter at all because it is all about Iron Man becoming Iron Man. Whereas I think sequels are very much about the villain. Because while [in the first one] the villain serves to bring the crew together, the second one I think has to be a true challenging of what that family is about. That is why Wrath of Khan was so amazing. Khan tested each one of them and ultimate asked for the ultimately sacrifice, and that is why that movie held up so well.

The point is that Star Trek 2009 was an origin story about the crew coming together and so the villain (Nero) was really not that important. Whereas in the 2013 sequel, the villain is bigger part of the story.

Commodore Adams

Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to see the teaser trailer.

10. “You know your “x is worrying” negative nelly thing is getting kind of old, or even older” agreed.


@20. Agreed!


@19. Dex, congrats on listing your home for $2M, and on the Knighthood as well.


I think personally it has more to do with having a great script to start with and then executing from that foundation… There is a lot to do in 90 to 140 minutes and having all that come together into something cogent,exciting,deep and relevant is no easy task. I dont mean to offend anyone but ST-TMP was not the establish the crew movie to TWOK testing the crew in the follow up…Trek 2 was a better script, a better crew, and overall better execution in total, equaling a superior experience for most at the end of the day. I don’t read anything wrong per say with anything that Alex or any of the others have said so far. Just have to wait n see-zee when it hits.

daniel craigs my wookie bitch

MJ I was just about to say something similar. Iron Man II not perhaps the best comparison. considering so many people think its inferior.



A little of topic but if you were wanting to hear large portions of the score for star trek II on the big screen again this summer. then here is another reason for you to go see Amazing Spiderman.
James Horner once again has recycled huge chunks of the musical motifs and cues from TWOK for his Amazing Spider Man score, I just got back from a screening and there is a good chunks of the TWOK score recycled in it.

again slightly off topic, but I just had to share that with everyone on here.


This is so stupid! Please just announce and make it official who the villain is! It’s either going to be a) Khan b) Gary Mitchell or 3) Charlie. There is no reason for keeping it a secret, other than annoying us!

Michael hall

“I think Alex expressed this idea better back in January 2010 at a WGA event (4 months before Iron Man 2 was released) ….”

With respect, Mr. Pascale, I don’t think he expresses it any better there, and for the very simple reason that what he’s trying to do is ineffective at best and actually counterproductive at worst: accounting for the success of something he likes by reducing its essence to a formula. That’s exactly what everyone from Rick Berman to John Logan to J.J. Abrams has been up to for three decades now: building their own bigger, badder WRATH OF KHAN through reverse engineering lathered with prodigious amounts of CGI and cheeky dialogue. Trek 2009 certainly showed that such an approach could be profitable for Paramount’s shareholders, but I would suggest that we all might have been better off if these bright, creative people had indulged their own vision rather than Nick Meyer’s, who at the end of the day at least had the courage to pursue a vision of his own.


perhaps its time to start taking bets as to which Trek actor “accidentally” lets the villain’s name slip while doing an interview.


28 You mean Viacom’s shareholders. Paramount doesn’t have shareholders, its a subsidiary of Viacom.
Just sayin. :)

Red Dead Ryan


I’m going to guess Garrett Wang. Or William Shatner. Or George Takei. ;-)


@28. Dexter,

(1) You seem to be presuming you know the story here? I know you have a very high opinion of yourself, but sheesh Dex, surely you don’t have a priori knowledge of the story?

(2) Rick Berman never made any movie in Trek remotely similar ot Wrath of Khan? Perhaps you meant to say “Top Gun” or “Trading Places”? LOL

(3) Dex, I hate to break it to you, but Paramount is not a publically traded company with shareholders. It is a wholly owened subsidiary of Viacom.


Let’s see: Genetically altered madman with a superweapon is obsessed with Enterprise captain. Madman is killed, but at the cost of the captain’s best friend (although the plot device to bring him back is obvious). The Captain, having spent the film fearing age and change, comes to embrace it.

But enough about Nemesis.



What you are suggesting is that “Trek” goes back to ‘TMP’ with someone like Ridley Scott, and applies a more ‘intellectual’ formula, where everyone stares at rocks and postulates as to the origins of the universe using an ever-cleverer version of the HAL-9000 as a foil/revealer of previously unknown primary mission/annoying thing to be destroyed at all costs.

I choose the Space-Western. ‘Kill me some Klingons and stop the Cold War’ is fine with me.

Studio: “Bob? Throw in a good message. Make Kirk say it! But kick some Klingon ass!”



‘Kill me some Klingons and stop the Cold War’

Uh, yeah, killin’ Klingons would stop the Cold War all right.
And start a hot one.

Okay, the villain in Star Trek 2013 is supposed to be a bigger part of the story. Let’s just hope it’s not a simple good versus evil story or a revenge story. Star Trek is not Star Wars.

My hope is the guys of the Supreme Court are true to their word that Star Trek 2013 will go deeper. An action movie with big ideas would be great. For example Prometheus forced me to ask certain questions which had better be answered in a sequel. :-) The Court looks to The Dark Knight as inspiration. Well, let’s hope so, since that movie had big ideas.


@33. Not buying it. The antagonist was Picard’s Romulan clone — it had nothing to do with a genetically engineered superman from Earth history. It was about a political revolution on Romulus — nothing about being marooned anywhere for years by Picard. Earth was never in danger in TWOK. There was no son of Picard with experiments having gone badly wrong. No former love interest of Picard’s present. No new main crew member (Savik) introduced….etc. etc. etc.

La Reyne d'Epee

9. For me one key thing that is giving this new incarnation of Trek interest is the prospect of character evolution and changing interpersonal dynamics – otherwise it would just be same old same old.

If it was just tied up pat in the first film that they suddenly all magically become this perfect cohesive unit, it would be far less watchable and indeed credible for me personally. I’m curious to see how the writers will handle that aspect.


@17 1. Chekov shouldn’t have been in the movie. Maybe not even the sequel. You didn’t see Robin in Batman Begins for a reason. Fully agree. Now he’s just born at the wrong time, still unnaturally young for a Starfleet bridge officer and the Wessel talk makes him a bit of charicature. 2. Scotty should’ve been, well, Scotty. I love Simon Pegg, but c’mon. Hopefully giving him more time behind the engineering controls will allow him to show more Scotty, instead of Simon. Now he had few scenes in which he could not be the comic relief. They did it with Sulu, who they made into a much deeper character by showing him both on the bridge and in combat. 3. I like the idea of mixing the TOS and refit Connie, but I’d have gone with the deflector being a dark gold and the nacelles having a red color instead of blue. I’m more ticked off because of them making it twice the size of the (±700m vs. ±300m). That’s much uglier. 4. I would’ve had Pine do The Intro at the end instead of Nimoy. At the end of the Star Trek gag reel, he does this. It’s not as serious as a real voice over but he makes it work. Nimoy saying it makes sense in the teaser, at the end it makes more sense for Pine to do it (teaser->final scene is passing the torch). 5. I would’ve explained the 24th century backstory more. Unless you… Read more »


Isn’t it really odd that the movie does not even have a web page? Especially when there is this long of a waiting period.


‘In a second movie, the reason the bad guy is so important is because he tests them.
He tests me!!!
surely a clue at the best of times

I think the iron man 1 and 2 analogy was not perhaps the best choice. The villain was exactly the same.

In fact the most tension in 2 was when stark had a fight against his best friend when they both suited up.

He may not have intended to mean Trek will be like that but using iron man as an analogy it will be taken that way.

Once again Alex was not saying that the Star Trek sequel is anything like Iron Man 2. He didn’t say that.

He was saying that first films focus on origin stories and therefore villains arent that important. Iron Man 1 was an example of that, as was Star Trek 2009. It is an analogy he has been making since Iron Man came out.

Ralph Pinheiro

Mr. Bob Orci, one question.

You are believing in the performance of the actor as a villain that causes impact to the public. Could he overshadow the main cast performances? A villain with extremely striking presence could undermine the main actors. In my opinion, the Joker has caused such a strong impression in Batman, that almost left the main actor in the background.


# 11 Dallas – lol Great post. Couldn’t agree more!!!!


#11- Dallas, nice post. When you write it out like that it implies the film will be a total disaster. And yet…it isn’t. In fact, it is one of the Trek movies I come back to again and again. For me though it is Spock prime that makes the movie. I love his scenes with Pine’s Kirk and Scotty. Great stuff: “Transwarp beaming is like trying to shoot a bullet through a smaller bullet, all while riding a horse blindfolded.” Great line by Scotty. I will continue to have faith in these guys to deliver a satisfying sequel. They at least deserve that. It is a tricky business trying to reboot an established franchise, as we will see with the failure of Amazing Spiderman in a few weeks. So, I have to give this team credit for not only successfully rebooting Trek, but also for making a pretty entertaining film in the process. My money is still on Cumberbatch being Khan. The whole “The Dark Knight is out inspiration” thing just cries out that it will be Khan. I love Cumberbatch’s work on Sherlock, so I am sure he will bring his A game. The only question I have is if this sequel will have a semi-downer ending like TWOK did? Will they kill off a member of the bridge crew and if so, who? Certainly not Spock again. Perhaps Chekov or Uhura. It would be interesting to me to see how they alter Kirk’s first encounter with Khan.

Bugs nixon

I liked it better before the internet.

No one knew anything beyond the fanzines, and no one could spout off before they actually saw the movie.

Anthony Thompson

40. ilker

It has an official webpage on Facebook.


Kurtzman sure can grow a beard.

Anyway, I will most definitely check out People Like Us. I really like Chris Pine as as actor and I feel that he has not found a great role yet. I hope that a smaller film like People Like Us could be his game-changer.


#3: Hey, don’t hate on big foreheads! Mine is bigger than Pine’s! Y’know what they about guys with big foreheads…..

Rufus Xavier Sarsparilla

@27: It’s neither Khan, Gary nor Charlie.

In fact, there’s never been ANY indication it was Charlie, so I’m not even sure why he’s on the list.