Damon Lindelof Talks About Struggle To Find Title For Star Trek Sequel (Without AColon)

Star Trek sequel co-writer producer Damon Lindelof was interviewed at San Diego Comic Con over the weekend and went into detail on how the team are struggling to chose a title for the film and they are now to the point where Paramount is getting impatient. He also talked about how writing for the "crew" is different for the sequel and even the (in universe) time elapsed between movies. Details and video below, no spoilers.  


Lindelof talks struggle with finding a title for sequel + writing for the ‘crew’

In the his TrekMovie.com interview (posted yesterday) Roberto Orci said that the team were down to their final list of possible titles for the Star Trek sequel. Talking to MTV at San Diego Comic Con yesterday, Damon Lindelof described how the title is vexing the team:

"There have been more conversations about what we’re going to call it than went into actually shooting it at this point. The normal, why can’t you just call it "Star Trek 2" because there is already a Star Trek II. That was the genius of Nolan. There was ‘Batman Begins,’ and now they’re just going to be the ‘Dark Knights’ and not going to have 2’s," It’s hard to do movies without colons. I’m not talking about the colon that’s in my body that I use for digestion…There’s no word that comes after the colon after ‘Star Trek’ that’s cool. Not that ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ or ‘First Contact’ aren’t good titles, it’s just that everything that people are turned off about when it comes to ‘Trek’ is represented by the colon."

Lindelof also noted that they are running out of time to make their decision:

"All those iterations [including not having ‘Star Trek’ in the title] are bouncing around. I think that we are waiting for that one. This is the hardest thing to do in filmmaking or storytelling is you push past the point where you absolutely have to make a decision and now we are in that zone where Paramount is saying  ‘the movie is coming out next May, what’s it going to be?’"

Damon was also asked which character he most enjoyed writing for and he commented that really liked writing for "the crew" who are "now are they are a crew and these iconic relationships are starting to form…watching them become friends:

It was really fun to write the crew this time. In the first one they were all just meeting each other and they get thrown together on this mission. But now they are a crew and these iconic relationships are starting to form, which we just saw hints of before. It is cheesy to say this in a sequel, but watching them become friends is something we have never seen in Trek before. Even in the original series they were already on the five year mission so the idea of learning to trust each other and fighting with each other and not really getting each other yet, particularly the dynamic between Kirk and Spock. Those guys being two halves of the same whole is just a really great relationship between two male characters that I have not seen anywhere outside of Trek.

Lindelof wouldn’t go into specifics on how much time has elapsed in the movie universe between their first Star Trek and the sequel, but did say it was "significantly less" than the three years since the 2009 movie was released.

Regarding Karl Urban’s latest comments about Star Trek, Lindelof said "Karl has gone off the reservation" and he wasn’t going to confirm or deny any spoilers but he did say he didn’t know anything about footage going on YouTube (this interview was done before Karl’s surfing video went viral). 

Here is the video via MTV:


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I can’t believe they still don’t have a title. As long as it’s a good one, it will be worth the wait. Can’t wait to find out more!

give it an TOS style title e.g. something that could quite easily have been an OS ep title (like is what happened with MI4: Ghost Protocol) like what they sort of did with the OS movies (not so much with the almost one word TNG movie titles)

i wouldnt want to see some Trekian phrase like ‘To Boldly Go’ or ‘WNOHGB’ or ‘Prime Directive’ or ‘Final Frontier’ etc with no ‘Star Trek’ like Dark Knight or even Empire Strikes Back(with ‘StarTrek’ relegated to a minor subtitle) – people need to know this is a STAR TREK film and STAR TREK needs to be there first and foremost

plus im not fussed on any silly stuff like ‘Star Trek Reloaded’ or ‘Star Trek Returns’

alternativly maybe they could get away with callng it Star Trek 2 ((like Spiderman 2 or Lethal Weapon 2) ok it may get confusing when spoken but when its there on screen/poster/paper etc everyone will know the difference its not as if Star Trek II was called Star Trek ‘2′…it was officially called ‘Star Trek ‘II’ – The Wrath of Khan’ which maybe leaves ‘Star Trek 2’ ok to use

I’m with Paramount on this one: the movie’s coming out in less than a year, just call it SOMETHING.

“Damon Lindelof Talks About Struggle To Find Title For Star Trek Sequel (Without AColon)”

If it’s a good title you shouldn’t worry how it’s formated. Good just flows and doesn’t worry because punctuation may be involved.

[Khan Strikes Back]

‘Star Trek: The Next Frontier’?

a play on ‘The Next Generation’ and ‘The Final Frontier’…like the ‘final frontier’ of Star Trek ‘Prime’ has run its course and this is the next one…plus its got that wild west connotation

I totally agree with the colon part of it not being cool.

The mainstream audience just goes: oh ANOTHER star trek. Star Trek: Whatever.

I, for the life of me, don’t envy the task these guys have picking the ‘right’ title.

Maybe just… ‘Trek’ ? That seems very next gen.

Would be hilarious if they went with ‘Enterprise’ awful choice in all seriousness.

I GOT IT: ‘The Next Gen.’ Thats a GREAT title… even though it’s not TNG as us Star Trek fans know, it let’s trek fans know what’s up and gives an in to the mainstream audience. Star Trek IS the next generation of US. I think that’s as close as they could ever get to a ‘Dark Knight’ type title without using the words Star Trek.

It’s a Khan film; so, something genetic-sounding with religious undertones, perhaps:

‘Genesis’, ‘Survival of the fittest’, ‘Paradise lost’, ‘natural selection’, ‘seed of evil’, etc.

It sounds like they want to drop the ‘Trek’ name. Not sure why. It didn’t put people off from seeing the 09 film…why not use the brand’s goodwill?

T.R.E.K(The Rise of Eugenic Khan)

Star Trek: Genesis?

@KHAN 2.0

I like ‘To Boldly Go’ as a title too.

But we also have to consider someone buying a ticket to it and not sounding silly. “Two tickets to “Boldly Go” Please.” That kind of sounds silly.

Seriously “The Next Generation” is it. That would be a bad ass title.

Star Trek: Scotty I need warp speed in 3 minutes or we’re all dead!

Look at the strange lack of continuity of the Rambo movies:

1) first blood
2) Rambo: first blood part II
3) Rambo III
4) Rambo

Was anyone unaware or confused that there was a new Rambo film put a couple of years ago?

I don’t think they should worry about calling it something that may “contradict” a previous movie. NO ONE is going to confuse it with Wrath of Khan.

What troubles me more is that they didn’t start off by saying, “this is what it is about, this is what it NEEDS to be called.” Do you think Christioher Nolan was vague about what to call batman begins? I very much doubt it.

If they called it FRONTIER (terrible title) then EVERYONE will know it’s a star trek movie. Enterprise tried to drop the label out of a misguided attempt to distance itself from the brand, which ultimately back fired because the studio made them change it. JJ’s new movie won’t have that problem.

Even George Lucas didn’t resort to Star Wars, colon, the empire strikes back.

Come on guys! Give it the title you want and forget what the studio or the fan base want. Do it your way. Eventually, everyone will thank you for it once it’s out there.

Man I wish Damon had not said “off the reservation”. Every time I hear that phrase my Native American Indian side gets all wound up. I know its an overreaction but it is not one I can control. Just as someone who lived on a Reservation for a good chunk of my life I can tell you that there are few things better than being off the reservation, sex maybe, and new Trek, but thats about it.

Sorry to dump this on you guys, it was just bugging me.

“Star Trek: The Resurrection of Mitchell”. After all, Gods can’t really die. Just ask that Jesus dude. : D

Sorry, wasn’t clear about my frontier title. I meant that a the publicity surrounding the movie will make it very clear that what ever they call it, everyone will know its a star trek movie.

Even if it’s called “Bob thinks Greedo shot JFK”, the general public will still know JJ’s film is star trek.

My suggestion with no colon & to the point with name recognition…LOL


@ Azrael. Good point. There are a lot of common sayings that are offense to some minorities. Thanks for telling us how you feel about that one.

In the UK, “taking the mickey” could be deemed as anti Irish by so e people and “getting down to the nitty gritty” and “bulldozer” are all slaving terms but are used regularly.

Anyway, I digress. Come on guys! Give us a title please!

Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Gary

Star Trek 2

“Why can’t you just call it “Star Trek 2″ because there is already a Star Trek II.”

That’s why they’re just going to call it something identifiable, like “The Wrath of Khan”.

Boldly Go

The Revenge of Khan? Anyone? Nick Meyer eventually got his way with TUC. Maybe the trek universe wants its original title back from george Lucas. :)

@alec “It sounds like they want to drop the ‘Trek’ name. Not sure why. It didn’t put people off from seeing the 09 film…why not use the brand’s goodwill?”

I thought that way at first too but you have to see it from the mainstream movie goer who isn’t a Star Trek fan. There are even potential people out there who haven’t seen the ’09 movie but would be open to seeing a badass summer film.

Even though the ’09 movie did amazing for a Star Trek movie, it still was only an average summer blockbuster performer. It also did unimpressive overseas. Like it or not, Star Trek carriers a stigma over it. An unfounded one considering all the countless IPs people geek over today there was a time where Star Trek was the only one and some people are stuck on that mentality.

With all the franchises that are big today, there are tons of people out there who would otherwise enjoy Star Trek but may not give it a chance based on those stigmas. Making people feel like they’re not buying a ticket to a ‘Star Trek’ movie on a very superficial level is a foot forward into getting people to give Trek a CHANCE for them to enjoy.

How about… “Star Trek: Almost There”?… LOL

Star Trek: Attack of the Lens Flares

Just do what Star Wars does. The “STAR WARS” brand is always there, but its small and out of the way. The real titles were “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”, not Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, etc. But the logos still have the Star Wars brand on there.

Do exactly that and there’s nothing to worry about, assuming you came up with a decent title in the first place.

Damon, dude, seriously… struggle no more! ;-) :-}

TO   B O L D L Y   G  O


C’mon it’s gunna be the remake with Gary Mitchell.

Call it “Where No Sequel Has Gone Before”.

@24: Huh? Only if you count that “an average summer blockbuster” did better at the box office than Batman Begins, Captain America and Toy Story! JJST1 did amazing business so JJ was able to destigmatize Trek forever. That’s why Paramount gave him the keys to the store for JJST2. The conversation about leaving Trek out of the title is just as pointless as leaving Of Mars out of John Carter. If the movie is great people will go see it even if it’s named “JJ Blinds You Again With His Stupid Flares” but if it sucks like Carter, it doesn’t matter what you name it and people will stay away in droves. As long as it’s not called “To Boldly Go #2” I’m happy with the title! :)

Star Trek: Boldly surfing a wave in space


Star Trek: Bones boldly has gone off the reservation

;-) :-)

Star Trek Continued
(If Khan is in it) Star Trek: Genesis of Khan

Poor Damon Lindelof.

I hope that he is recovering well after his colectomy.

My heart goes out to him and his family.

“STAR TREK” is recognizable as a brand name, with even the fonts being iconic essentials.

It would be best if the writers could bring together the theme of the “crew” with that of the main storyline in the title. And keep it simple.

Not easy.

Star Trek [Name Withheld For Secrecy Purposes]

How about “Star Trek or Die Trying”? “A Funny Thing Happened on my Star Trek”? “Have You Ever Seen So Many Stars Trek in One Movie”? “So a Star Treks into a Bar”?


oh crap, they wrote the script, finished principle photography & in all this time, they couldn’t come up with a title, really !!!

What about “Star Trek II-a: Khan Uprising”? ;-)

If it has Khan in it don’t call it Star Trek so I can ignore it. Otherwise i hope it has Star Trek in it.

I suggested a Milton reference weeks ago if it’s Khan…mainly because I think it would connect the new to the old and be a lasting, memorable title. Paradise Lost … Rule in Hell … something. Though now Genesis, as suggested above, sounds pretty good…

Or…. PERDITION’s FLAMES, forcing hordes of google searches for “perdition meaning”

Perhaps Lindelof, Orci and the rest of the senior team are going about this the wrong way. Star Trek has a huge fan base, why not leverage that strength? Put out the best titles, allow fans to vote.

That would avoid a fan backlash against an unfavourable title plus it would get the buzz going for the movie and not cost Paramount a cent in marketing costs.

Even if they put these titles forth to the fans, I doubt that would divulge any of the details of the film.

My humble opinion, anyways.


Good idea

Absolutely you ditch the numbering system and you don’t even need “Star Trek.” You can easily identify it as Star Trek by some iconic imagery in the poster. You don’t actually NEED the words STAR TREK anymore, which all by themselves are enough to turn off half the population anyway.

I wish I knew the options they were thinking of. Even without knowing what the movie was about, the cornier sounding ones would no doubt jump right out.

-Strange New Worlds (probably been brought up 99999 times)
-Endless/Eternal Frontier (I’m thinking of how if you’re in space, once you get to the frontier or the edges of what’s been discovered, there’s *more*, the limits just keep pushing outward and outward and it never ends)
-1701 (could get confusing)
-The Fated Sky (‘All’s Well That Ends Well’, re: human agency and fate – going back to Shakespeare in general might help, there’s always something catchy)

It’s too bad just plain “Enterprise” was already taken by the series; that would have worked.

I would like Star Trek in the name. Overseas, omit the Star Trek part in marketing.

Sounds like he’s TALKING out of his colon. Get off the stage and shut up. The production staff is not the show.

Just write one damn single good movie. Then write another one. Prove you have talent for actual writing.

Take your millions and rent some movies written by Robert Riskin or Paddy Chayefsy or Rod Serling or John Huston or Billy Wilder or Herman Mankiewicz and learn your craft. That a whole different talent than networking, negotiating deals, and cashing checks.

Generic Shakespeare lines for a title are a no-no. A Shakespearean title should have relevance to the story and be understandable out of context, or it will just sound pretentious.

You don’t need necessarily NEED Star Trek in the title. Just come up with something interesting, place the delta shield behind it with a bunch of fancy transporter sparkles, and then let the media do the rest.

All the entertainment outlets—and the fans—will label it “the new Star Trek movie” anyways, whatever you call it.

Correction: “You don’t necessarily NEED…”
Darn typos.

Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before
And then they reveal Cumby is not Mitchell. That would be great.