There has been a lot of chatter in the last week so TrekMovie thought it was time again to check in with Star Trek co-writer/producer Roberto Orci who not only contradicted Karl Urban’s latest comments but also gave details on post-production and revealed some spoilers on the new characters in the film, talked titles and more…and this is only in the first part of the exclusive interview below.
Orci reveals Cumberbatch is canon character but not Mitchell + much more
TrekMovie.com: A couple of weeks ago you were on a radio show and you confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch is not playing Gary Mitchell in the sequel. Then last week Karl Urban says he is playing Gary Mitchell. Both can’t be true.
Roberto Orci: All I can say is that when I did that radio interview I had just been doing 22 hours of press. I had just got off a flight from New Zealand…
TrekMovie.com: Nice callback, but are you sticking with your original comment and it isn’t Gary Mitchell.
Roberto Orci: I would say that I never lie. While Karl tests all those hypo spray props on himself [laughs]
TrekMovie.com: Another thing Karl is saying is there is some footage being released this weekend. Do you know anything about that?
Roberto Orci: No. I would love to see some.
TrekMovie.com: For the last movie your first full trailer with new footage was with Quantum of Solace which was in late October of 2008. So following that pattern should we expect the first sequel trailer sometime this fall?
Roberto Orci: Yeah. Marketing plans, especially for the second time around, get a little more clear. You know you want a certain amount of time for an audience to be aware of what is coming up. So certainly fall at the latest for starting to role this movie out.
TrekMovie.com: Have you guys picked a name for the movie.
Roberto Orci: No, but we are down to the final list.
TrekMovie.com: Is having "Star Trek" as part of the name a variable?
Roberto Orci: Only one or two of the titles on the list do not contain it. For the most part all the titles we are considering do have Star Trek in them, but just to get crazy we need to consider crazy things.
TrekMovie.com: So how long will we not know who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing? How long will you guys try to not talk about it?
Roberto Orci: For as long as we can because of our belief that one of the fun things about Star Trek that distinguishes it from other franchises is that the story turns. It isn’t just the spectacle of Star Trek, not just the explosions and the battles, it is the plot. That is why we are so protective of plot and character with this particular franchise. In others that isn’t the case but in this one we can preserve the experience for some people of not knowing exactly until we get there. Will we succeed in keeping it under wraps? Probably not, but we will try it.
TrekMovie.com: OK, I want to try and get something out of you that is actually new about the movie. Kind of like you did on the radio show but I will name a guest actor in the sequel and you will say if they are playing a new character you created or one from the original Star Trek canon.
Roberto Orci: OK, I’ll play.
TrekMovie.com: OK let’s start with Alice Eve. Canon or new?
Roberto Orci: Canon
TrekMovie.com: Noel Clarke?
Roberto Orci: New
TrekMovie.com: I assume that also goes for Nanzeen Contractor, who plays his wife?
Roberto Orci: Yes, new.
TrekMovie.com: Peter Weller
Roberto Orci: New.
TrekMovie.com: Joseph Gatt
Roberto Orci: New.
TrekMovie.com: OK and the big one, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Roberto Orci: Canon.
TrekMovie.com: Can you give me a status update on post-production. What is happening in July.
Roberto Orci: Trying to make each sequence and trying to make it work. We have two brilliant editors working simultaneously with JJ going back and forth. So get these sequences working internally and then we will string them together to see how they work as a whole. But first it is, don’t try to cut the whole movie, it here is a sequence so where does that start and where does it end? Do we have a little piece of the movie that is totally working. We attack it modularly.
TrekMovie.com: So music is still far off I know, but when does the sound work start, does Ben Burtt, he’s back right? So is their work still in the future?
Roberto Orci: Still in the future. You don’t want them to waste their time for things that may not end up in the movie. So sound design, anything like that. But ILM is in there dropping FX in sequences as we go. There are things we knew would be in there since the beginning and they have had a nice long time.
TrekMovie.com: When do you think there will be the first rough cut?
Roberto Orci: Probably in a month.
TrekMovie.com: What has been the reaction from the studio so far?
Roberto Orci: It is always nice to hear nice things from the studio and they are over the moon. They were very complimentary when we wrapped and some said they thought it was better than the first one. But you know they want to encourage us.
TrekMovie.com: Sure, but this is their business so these are the kind of people who would let you know if they had problems, they would tell you it sucks if they thought it sucks right?
Roberto Orci: I think so. You don’t often get such well acted praise [laughs].
TrekMovie.com: What about you? What have been some of your reactions to the footage you have seen so far?
Roberto Orci: I am such a Star Trek fan that I’m not sure I would dislike anything we have shot so I’m not sure I’m a good source. I see them all in uniform on the ship and I’m like "Wow! This is great! New Star Trek!" But I’m the wrong guy to ask. But every few weeks during dailies I would see a new email chain go around with stuff like "Did you see that scene yesterday?" "Did you see Spock in that new close?" "Did you see Cumberbatch make it sound like poetry?" So to hear other people chattering about it is encouraging. And it’s big. It’s so big. It’s epic. We just really went for a bigger version than we did last time, because of the trust.
UPDATE: Check out part 2 of our exclusive interview with Orci where we discuss Star Trek on TV chatter, what is and isn’t canon, and his future with the franchise.