In the second part of his new exclusive interview with TrekMovie.com, writer/producer Roberto Orci reveals how talks about Star Trek returning to TV series are getting real. Orci also finally (after some coaxing) makes a big declaration about the canon status of some of Star Trek’s extended universe materials. He also discusses his future with the franchise after the sequel.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ROBERTO ORCI (PART 2)
Talks Star Trek TV series possibilities + declares (his) EU canon + more
TrekMovie.com: For years I have been pressuring you guys to create an animated series for Star Trek – like you and Alex did with Transformers Prime. Recently you said things are finally heating up and you even mentioned the possibility of live action Trek TV? So to clarify, there are real talks going on with regards to Star Trek on TV, both live-action and animated?
Roberto Orci: They are almost real. The relevant parties haven’t sat down in a room together, but they have sent messages through intermediaries. So after [the 2013 Star Trek sequel] comes out or as its ramping up and after the powers that be determine whether or not Star Trek is back or not – one movie doesn’t make a trend. Two movies starts to indicate that there is a trend and its viable. It will become more real as the year goes on. It is certainly more real than the first time you pressured me into talking about it.
TrekMovie.com: And just to clarify, in the past when we have discussed this the talks were within your circle of trust. Now they have expanded to include other entities, most notably CBS?
Roberto Orci: Yes. Through our agents it has been raised as a question at CBS and as a possibility with the people who are in charge of Trek. So we are thinking about it to see if there is an opportunity there.
TrekMovie.com: Is there some kind of handshake – or possibly written – agreement between Paramount and CBS for CBS to not do a live-action Star Trek TV series while there is a feature film in development or until after JJ Abrams produces three movies?
Roberto Orci: I don’t know how specific that is. I do know there is an conversation where all parties agree to do what is best for Trek. And sometimes that means leaving space for the movie and it may turn into "maybe we can do both." I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule where if there is a movie you can’t do it. It means let’s be aware of whether or not we are cannibalizing Trek. Let’s be aware of not saturating the audience and having them not be tired of it but hungry for it.
TrekMovie.com: But do you agree with me that an animated series is…
Roberto Orci: Yes. It is less cannibalizing. I would like to see an animated series the most. When I think about it, it is the most different than what we are doing and still in the most in line with it. So I would like to see an animated series.
TrekMovie.com: An animated series done like the new comic books and game you guys are currently overseeing – set in the movie universe with the same characters, having adventures in between the films?
Roberto Orci: Yes, exactly.
The last Star Trek animated series lasted two seasons from 1973-74, now Roberto Orci is talking about making a new one tied to his movie universe
TrekMovie.com: When I was at E3 I spoke to a VP from Paramount who said the upcoming Star Trek movie game is canon from their perspective. So will you guys just wave the canon wand over the game, comic books and upcoming comic books that you are involved with?
Roberto Orci: Well I always say that I arrived in Star Trek where the rules of what is canon had already been established.
TrekMovie.com: Yes, but some of the exceptions were that extended universe things done by creators of filmed canon were also canon. My argument also is that in previous times there was a plethora of filmed material to fill out the canon of the prime universe. So the extended universe stuff was a little bit extra on the side. With the new movie universe there may be just three feature films, but there could also be an animated show, the comic books, games. In the end there will more extended universe, which is more like how it has been with Star Wars. And the way Lucas handles canon there is that the EU stuff is canon, but the films reserve the right to contradict and trump them. So in your case it would mean that everything in the game, comic books, etc you have overseen, like "Star Trek Countdown" for example, is canon except for anything that was contradicted by the movies. I thought that would be an interesting model and the difference with previous Trek is that
you guys are overseeing all of this. These rules aren’t written in stone from my perspective and I think a lot of fans would like to hear you say, "yes these are all the adventures of Kirk, Spock and the gang and it is all canon and all ties together into a single universe." Again, with the caveat that you reserve the right to contradict any of it in a future movie and that would trump. That’s my pitch to you.
Roberto Orci: OK, based on that then with you Anthony Pascale as a witness, I hereby declare anything that we oversee to be canon.
TrekMovie.com: OK! Do we need to get that in writing? Do we need to get the ghost of Gene Roddenberry to notarize this?
Roberto Orci: Let’s call his son Rod, I’ve got him on speed dial.
Bob Orci declares the movie-universe comics and game (and future EU he oversees including the possible animated series) to be canon
TrekMovie.com: Speaking of future movies, do you expect to be involved in a third Star Trek movie? I know you and Alex have a new deal with Universal, but that allows you to still work on Trek does it not?
Roberto Orci: Yes. I hope we are invited back. I would love to do another one.
TrekMovie.com: And Alex agrees.
Roberto Orci: Yes, absolutely.
TrekMovie.com: What about a fourth, fifth and sixth?
Roberto Orci: I would love to do nothing but Star Trek. However, I am aware that not necessarily being the best thing for Star Trek. I would want someone to tap me on the shoulder the minute it is stale. And I hope I have the self control and will to go "you are right, the best thing for me to do now is make a gracious and easy way for someone to come in and continue on."
If you missed it, check out Part 1 of Bob’s interview where he reveals Star Trek sequel character details and talks about the title, trailer and more.
POLL: Want Your Animated Trek TV?