Orci: Freedom Of New Star Trek Movie Timeline ‘Scary’

More comments on the Star Trek sequel have emerged from the People Like Us junket, this time it is co-writer/producer Roberto Orci talking about how, even though they didnt really dig into writing the movie until 2011, they had created the story early on. He also talked about the pluses and minuses of creating a new timeline.


Orci on developing sequel story & freedom of new timeline

At the People Like Us junket, Star Trek sequel’s Roberto Orci talked about how writing team developed the story for the movie early on…

“We sat on a story that we had for a while and waited to see if it still felt relevant a year or two later, after we’d all gone through a bunch of stuff. And it still did. The hardest part was being patient and kicking the tires of what our instinct was. Not just writing, the momentum of the studio being happy with us and the nice reaction we got. It’s very easy to get overconfident and go, “Anything we say next is going to be Star Trek.” You want to mitigate against that and be your own check.”

Orci also talked about the double-edged sword of giving themselves more freedom by creating the alternate time line…

“Since we freed it from the original time line we had narrative freedom, which is sometimes worse. Absolute freedom is sometimes scarier than what you have to do.”

More from Orci and Pine on Trek and Enders Game at Latino Review.

Orci with fellow "People Like Us" producer Bobby Cohen at LA Film Fest Premiere – June 15

Orci’s last Ender’s Game production update

Orci and Kurtzman have just wrapped production on their second big sci-fi movie that shot this year, Ender’s Game. For this project, an adaption of a classic sci-fi book by Orson Scott Card, there isn’t the same kind JJ Abrams level of secrecy. Orci and the team have even been running a blog showing images from the shoot. Yesterday he posted the final production update.

Ender’s Game is due in theaters on November 1, 2013. It is a highly anticipated movie for sci-fi fans and here at TrekMovie.com and we will be tracking the film like we did with Prometheus, and other non-Star Trek projects we choose to adopt.

Shot from the set of "Ender’s Game"


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Inching closer and closer to spoilers….

It sounds like they really care about the story they tell instead of thinking, “We can say anything and we’ll be allright.”

A blank canvas is the most daunting challenge for any artist.
Can’t wait to see the result in May, 2013.

I also very much look forward to seeing “People Like Us” someday, too. Looks very interesting. ;-)

Can’t be that scary, because we are getting TWOK 2.0.

“Since we freed it from the original time line we had narrative freedom, which is sometimes worse. Absolute freedom is sometimes scarier than what you have to do.”

So true.
I sympathise with you, Toto.

That’s why I generously offered to tell you what you had to do. From the start.
And, I believe all my precious advice, and, suggestions have been very helpful to you.

Shhhh…No, don’t say a word. Don’t thank me; Star Trek fans must help each other out.

It’s only logical.


Bob Oric is one cool dude.

4. Phil~

It’s been awhile since the Khan rumor was shot down (by no less than Simon Pegg; a source pretty close to the production, I’d say).

What is the basis for your rationale that the sequel will be TWOK 2? I’m not baiting, I’m just sincerely curious…

You’re tracking Ender’s Game? Really disappointed in you, and Orci for that matter. Card’s a nasty bigot. *unfollows*

8. AP reported BC is Khan, and has taken the position that he stands by that until official announcements indicate otherwise. That’s where I’m at as well, though I’m on the record as stating I think it is a really bad decision to do TWOK 2.0, and I really hope that AP is wrong….

Did I miss AP’s retraction?

Bob Orci

Count me there opening day! I honestly have never read Enders game. I’ll attempt to do that at some point. (The other Cards book I have read is “How to write Fantasy/Sci-Fi.)

I wonder if in fact I should read it first before I see the movie. Or go in with little knowledge of the story?

Either way it looks exciting IMO!

9. Associated Press reported Cumberbatch is Khan?


No, but with all due respect to AP (he cited an anonymous source close to the production, I believe), I think Simon Pegg’s statement (with no denials from Paramount or any other sources; including Bob Orci) might be a bit more accurate on the matter.

Simon Pegg used no anonymity or coy innuendo; he just flat-out said, “It’s NOT Khan.” He was fairly clear on that point. I doubt he’d risk his reputation to cover a deliberate falsehood.

But who knows? I suppose we’ll ALL find out in about a year or less, right? ;-)

11. Jack~

I think Phil meant Anthony Pascale.

Even IF the Khan rumor is true (which, according to Pegg, it isn’t; but since we don’t know, let’s assume it IS true for a moment)…

…I don’t see how it would be TWOK 2.0. Wouldn’t Khan need to actually MEET Kirk first before he can be all crazed with revenge against Kirk?

If anything, it would be closer to Space Seed 2.0, but even that may not necessarily be an apt description. They could change the circumstances surrounding Khan’s “thawing” and eventual first meeting with Kirk.

TWOK was about revenge, plus the idea of aging and mortality. I don’t see any reason why this film would necessarily need to be about those things (especially the “aging and mortality” part).

Extremely excited for Ender’s Game! Didn’t know about the blog though, just read that. Answers many of my questions. November 1…much longer to wait. I wonder… will we’ll get a teaser for Ender’s Game with the Untitled Star Trek Sequel? A teaser or full blown trailer would make sense–it’ll be almost 6 months before EG comes out…not too early for an audio visual treat!

OK — I just checked out the ‘Enders game” IMDB page….
…he cast list has an actor named “Han Soto” as portraying an aide the character of Colonel Graff, played by Harrison Ford.


I think that maybe at some point they were seriously going to do Khan as the main villain. Then they were like “we’ll be slaughtered” and scrapped that idea. Methinks they’re doing an original character, maybe the offspring or an associate of an established TOS character.

Simon said “he’s not Khan”, as in Benedict won’t play Khan. Not saying that the baddie won’t be mentioned or not have a cameo, just that Ben won’t be playing Khan.

I’m practicing at being ambiguous. I’m learning a lot from this site. How am I doing! ~_^

“We sat on a story that we had for a while and waited to see if it still felt relevant a year or two later, ”
They originally planned on a shot of the Botany Bay after the credits of ST2009. Put two and two together people!

17. You’re doing fine. …If in fact you were asking a question. I’m not really sure. ;)

Bob Orci looking forward to what you guys will have in store for us in the sequel.” :):) Live Long And Prosper

# 17 LG~

“I’m practicing at being ambiguous. I’m learning a lot from this site. How am I doing! ~_^ ”

I can’t really say at this point …. (Just kidding! ;-D ).

And yes, Khan was probably the ‘big bad’ in the earlier versions of the script and that’s the info that got leaked out to Anthony. My guess is that when they were casting early on (and were leaning towards Benecio del Toro), they didn’t have a finished script just yet. When negotiations with del Toro fell through, they did a quick rewrite and Cumberbatch’s as-yet-unnamed villain was born.

But yes, I agree with you LG; I’m pretty sure it’s not Khan at this point, either. Pegg’s undisputed denial was a pretty firm ‘NOT.’

I hope “Ender’s Game” is better than “Prometheus”. An EG trailer accompanying Trek 2013 should be a shoe-in.

9. Phil

If AP reported that Cumberbatch is playing Khan (which is ridiculous on it’s face, BTW), his assertion is contrary to statements from both Lindelof and Pegg.

“Card’s a nasty bigot.”

He is, but that has nothing to do with the quality of “Ender’s Game” as a work of literature, let alone its considerable potential as an SF movie blockbuster. Targeted at the youth demographic for all the right reasons, and with plenty of character-defining action both on earth and in near space, it could be a smash on the level of “The Hunger Games” if done correctly.

18 — agreed.

My feeling is that Simon Pegg is engaging in disinformation in a (quite understandable) attempt to let the studio, marketing department, and filmmakers control the release of that information on their timetable.

I will be shocked if it’s not Khan.

Why is Card a bigot? Could someone please spell out for me why there seems to be a consensus that he is bigoted?

# 23 AT

Did Lindelof back Pegg on his “not Khan” statement? I haven’t heard. Probably missed it somewhere….

But yes, I don’t believe Pegg is engaging in disinformation either. I’d take a main cast member’s open admission that an anonymous source’s shadowy rumor any day of the week. My take is that Khan was in an earlier version of the script and even after the rewrite, the rumor stuck.

And “Ender’s Game” has me officially intrigued. My wife is a fan of the book and was pretty stoked to hear they’re making a movie of it. I need to brush up on the Orson Scott Card books….

Why is Card a bigot? Could someone please spell out for me why there seems to be a consensus that he is bigoted?

Card’s a Mormon — his great-great-grandfather was Brigham Young. Card supports laws that ban homosexual behavior and believes homosexuality is somehow linked directly to incest/molestation/pedophilia.

Shore Leave?

Orson Scott Card (b. 24 August 1951) – “He is also known as an advocate for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he has been a lifelong practicing member, and as a political commentator on many issues, including opposition to homosexual behavior and the legalization of same-sex marriage.” Wikipedia

I think, MJ, there lies your answer as to why many people see him as a bigot.

I see. Thank you for the clarification.

The take away seems to be that if you are: a. religious, and b. favor traditional marriage, then you are a bigot.

Duly noted.

I hope Khan is in this because I hate original writing!

@29. Uhhm, MJ isn’t even on this thread, so I am not sure who you are responding to.

@30. That’s about what I got from it. Sad, really.

30. favour “traditional” marriage…

Sigh. A cowardly way to say one’s not wanting gay couples to marry, which won’t be hurting traditional marriage.

From a 2004 essay (also in Card’s Wikipedia entry):

“The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.”

I recently watched the original episode and Khan came within a gnat’s ass of dying. Suppose he dies in this timeline? Cumberpatch IMO has a strong resemblance to Joachim ( I hope I spell that right!) from STTWOK. Just throwing it out there. Don’t crucify me.


Cumberbatch is not playing the Khan of the Prime Universe, but is playing the the Khan of the B Universe, therefore Pegg hasn’t lied. He is possibly giving out disinformation for his friend Abrams. A wait and see postion is probably best.

@35. If that had been made clearer by others I would have understood their position better. Never having read Card’s wiki entry, or even any of his books, how would a non-interested party like myself be aware of that? Aside from that I know a number of people that oppose same-sex marriage, including some gay people, for a number of reasons, I personally am not opposed, because as a divorcee I want them to have the freedom to be just as miserable as I was. This will be my last statement on this matter, because I am going to respect Anthony’s wishes and keep politics off the site.

I get the feeling Ender’s Game will be a “soft” B sci-fi film, and not an overly extravagent production.

Maybe it’s just me, but films about kids tend to be underwhelming. (Example: Super 8 was good, but nothing special, and you knew the boy was going to make nice with the alien and send it on its way.)

Not sure about it. But I will see it anyway, as I enjoyed the book.


It would still be Khan Prime as the Botany Bay was launched prior to Nero changing the timeline.

# 40

Richard Daystrom~

Merci! I was just about to say that…. ;-D

@23. Anthony Thompson – June 19, 2012

Of course, I could be wrong.
But, I am of the opinion that Khan was never considered to be the (main) villain of the sequel. Not for very long ( if indeed he was , at some point), anyway.

The fact that some people were convinced that Khan Noonien Singh had to be played by Hispanic actors allowed “the powers that be” to quietly work on the sequel, so to speak.

Thus, denying all the Khan rumours earlier on was not really in “the powers that be”‘s interest.

While many indulged in heated debates believing that the villain would be Khan, who would ever come close to discover the (“real”) identity of Mr. Cumberbatch’s character?

As far as their need for secrecy was/is concerned, the apparently commonly held belief ( at least, on the Internet ) that Khan had to be Hispanic was a “blessing”.

8. lankyguy – June 19, 2012

You’re tracking Ender’s Game? Really disappointed in you, and Orci for that matter. Card’s a nasty bigot. *unfollows*


You just wrote a post concretely demonstrating bigotry against Bob and Trekmovie over Ender’s Game, while calling Card a bigot.

Look in the mirror much?

Correction 42.

come close to discovering

Apologies to MJ. I was responding to Michael’s query.

Of all the kinds of relationships that get discriminated against the most, I think that polyandry *wins* the *award*.

Oh well…anyway, gotta go…

I’m just passing on part of what (crowd-sourced) Wikipedia says, I just did a Google search myself when I heard talk here of his controversial views. I’ll read the book (written before all this, I think) in the library (I don’t remember ever seeing it when I was a teenager and into sci fi) and see the movie, if it looks good. Look it up yourself and decide for yourself whether or not he ‘s a bigot, if it matters to you.

It just bugs me when people suggest they’re being targeted merely for having political or religious views, which Michael’s post did. Have your views, be religious — but when you start deciding on what others should or shouldn’t do, what rights they should or shouldn’t have and what they should believe, well, you might face criticism…

10,000 denial points for Aurora.

43. Dmduncan — what you just wrote is ridiculous. Feel free to disagree with the guy (and his assumptions about the site) but basically you’re following the old “if you call me a racist that means you’re a racist to even notice it” line of argument.

How about get back on topic?