Exclusive: Kurtzman On Villain Testing Crew + Lindelof On Changes 3D Brings To Trek + Abrams On Next Project

TrekMovie had the opportunity to briefly chat with some of the people behind the camera for Star Trek Into Darkness at a cocktail reception at Bad Robot this week. Today we present Alex Kurtzman talking about the importance of the villain in the film and where the crew is on their arc. Also Damon Lindelof talks about how 3D has changed things this time around. And finally JJ Abrams talks about what he will do after Into Darkness


Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof Talk ‘Into Darkness’ + Abrams talks about what’s next

At the Star Trek Into Darkness Bad Robot visit, TrekMovie had a chance to chat with some of the cast and crew at an informal cocktail reception at the end of the day. Earlier TrekMovie posted some comments from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman talking about the villain John Harrison. Here now are some more tidbits from a brief chat with co-writer/producers Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof.

TrekMovie.com: Way back at a WGA event in 2010, before you guys even started working on the sequel, you spoke about how second movies are more about the villains. Is that how it panned out for Into Darkness?

Alex Kurtzman: Well I think the core of the idea of "it is all about the villain" is that your hero – and the challenges that your hero or heroes face – are only as good as your villain’s intelligence. Because whatever their plan is, it is forcing your heroes to define themselves and make choices that are super complicated. And that always makes a great story. That is the key. The key is designing a bad guy that puts your heroes to the test in a way that feels different than what came before. 

TrekMovie.com: The first one was about getting the team together, but this one can take off from there.

Alex Kurtzman: The tricky part is not assuming that they are the bridge crew from the series, but they haven’t evolved to that point yet.

TrekMovie.com: After seeing the first nine minutes this movie feels bigger, like JJ is drawing on a bigger scale than he has for his first three films as a director. Is that your impression as well?

Damon Lindelof: I think that 3D was a part of it. Our original inclination was against it and then Paramount did conversions on a couple of scenes from the first movie for a test. The first they showed us was when the Enterprise drops out of warp into the wreckage around Vulcan and we were like "OK, that was pretty good." And JJ was like "if I really committed to making it worthy of 3D and thinking about every shot in 3D, then I’ll do it." And I think the result of that was to open up the epic jar as it were in terms of the scope and size of the movie, but it is also a very intimate movie in a lot of ways. Obviously the stuff you saw is in proportion to the rest. There are other action set pieces, but there are many more intimate moments.

By the way, while chatting Damon revealed his favorite episode of Star Trek was "Mirror, Mirror" which he said introduced him to the concept of alternate realities. So perhaps much of Lost is thanks to Star Trek.

Abrams talks post-Into Darkness project

I also had a brief moment to chat with director/producer JJ Abrams, most of which was small talk but I did get some Trek stuff in there.

TrekMovie.com: Is post-production on Star Trek taking up most of your time now?

JJ Abrams: Yeah. This is it.

TrekMovie.com: And after this you think, like you did with Super 8, you will do something else, something original?

JJ Abrams: I don’t know. I am trying to figure it out. I’m working on an idea and script with another writer.

More to come

TrekMovie will have more cocktail party chats coming up with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho and Karl Urban.

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just one more day until the 9 minutes…..and The Hobbit of course lol

I wonder if we’ll see the Trek movie series converted to 3D. Or at the very least, Star Trek 2009.

I so hope John Harrison is not a pseudynoum for Khan. You can do a great villain that is new without doing a rehash of one of Trek’s best villains. Cause no matter what is done it will be second fiddle to Ricardo Montalban.

I have learned to accept diff actors in the iconic roles of the crew but I will always prefer the originals but I can like the new ones, but Shatner will always be Kirk to me.

When do we get the next theatrical trailer? Will it be around midnight tonight? I am in the central time zone!!

I had a interesting thought. What if there was another sleeper ship launched at the same time besides the Botany Bay but this one was found first and kept secret by Starfleet.

John Harrison will turn out to be a new character, yet one whose existence is consistent with canon. How, you ask?

There were a lot of badasses aboard the Botany Bay. In this timeline, he’ll be top dog, vanquishing Khan and giving the Enterprise a run for its money.

In this way, Abrams and Co. get to offer up a few nods to canon, TOS and Khan, but they also get to be original in interpreting these supermen.

In other words, it’s like Khan but different enough…

Like I said in another thread…Star Trek 3 will be Mirrior Universe as villians, Spock’s beard is pretty iconic to the masses

Ok Anthony… I’ll be waiting for more!

meanwhile … a really cool thing here:


I assume those going to the theaters tonight will do us a favor and load the trailer onto youtube for the rest of us. oops did I say that out loud? ;)

7 – I’m going for Kirk vs. Borg. Borg also iconic, and it’s a match up that was never able to happen in the prime universe

So, for boborci on any other member of the Supreme Court: is there any chance that Paramount will ever do a high end 3D post-conversion of the 2009 Trek movie for home video release?

Only 3.5 hours until I see the 9 minutes!!! I’m SUPER excited!! AHhhHhhHHH!! *nerdgasm*

@ 9 ….I didn’t hear a thing >:D

JJ, if you delay ST3 to make another 3 bomb TV shows and another bomb movie… i swear

do not want ST3 2017…

I’m a long-time 3D photographer. 3D conversions are always awful and look like pop-up books at best. I’ll never see a non-natively-shot 3D movie.

Anyone notice the absence of Anton Yelchin? He’s no where to be found!

Regardless of the lack of information on the plot of the movie, I think the press machine is ramping up quite nicely, and It’s great to have all these articles to enjoy. Thank you, Anthony

7- Mirror Spock is being dealt with in the current comic series and it’s not looking too good for our bearded friend….

Wouldn’t mind seeing the follow-up to CLOVERFIELD, but I’m starting to think that won’t happen.

JJ, there’s a bunch of good novels out there waiting to be adapted. Drop me a line. :-)

I have to wonder if cumberbatch is section 31. dammit.. may 17th is too frakin’ far away.

#16. Legend of Link

You mean it’s as if they killed off his character and he isn’t very happy about it?


Hear what? :P

I’m guessing Cumberbach is going to be John Harrison.

Hope the nine minute preview finds its way to youtube pretty quick.

I think Cumberbatch is going to be playing Q!

@ Darrell Skeels
Titanic is done right for a conversion, Best 3d ive seen next to Avatar. So yes, it can be done , if done right.

Doing a 3D conversion as well as titanic would cost Paramount big $$$ so it probably will never happen.

It’s Khan. The Villan that can truly challenge Kirk.

@ 1. BritBoy – Oh yea :D

The Vulcan scene was perfect choice for a 3D conversion test.
I can’t wait to see STID in IMAX 3D. I love 3D on the big screen, not so much in my living room, still love my 2D blu-rays.

Is it possible to not have a villain in Star Trek 3 please, and take things in a more imaginative direction?

What’s worse that a movie in 3D? A movie converted to 3D. What’s worse than a movie converted to a 3D? A movie partially converted to 3D.

A question for Bob Orci about the 3D, if he’s on this thread: I worked in the DLP group of the company that developed the digital projection being used, and can say that even the researchers there knew that a good portion of the population, maybe 10-15%, will always see the “flicker” and “strobing” aspects of this 3D technology. There’s just no way around it with a 24 fps projection system; it’s just natural human biological diversity reacting to this technology.

Being one of those 10-15%, I personally can’t stand watching 3D, but I love large screen IMAX (in any of the current 2D IMAX formats…) Question: is there ANY possibility of putting out a 2D IMAX version of the new Trek? I can avoid the 3D showings, but that means missing out on IMAX, which are really the only large screens left out there. And damn it, I want to see Trek on a BIG screen!

I know the IMAX theaters want the 3D versions because of the ticket premiums they can charge, but how about negotiating with the theaters to show a 2D version just once per day?

@32 – can’t stand 3D but don’t mind non-70MM material on a GIANT screen, blown up with edge enhancement and grain reduced (DMR process)? We won’t even talk about the low-rez Digital IMAX (which some have dubbed “LIEMAX”) which make up the vast majority of “IMAX” installations.

I realize TREK will have some native IMAX material but as you know the majority of releases are not. It ceases being special after awhile. It’s like watching nothing but upconverted DVD instead of native 1080p Blu-ray at home.

Not to mention IMAX does not support Dolby Atmos or Surround 7.1 (both formats that STID will be released). I was VERY aware of the channel/speaker locations for THE HOBBIT. This does not happen with Atmos.

That said, 3D doesn’t bother me except for the IMAX design of the yellow glasses I had to wear was pinching the sides of my head. That was a first…very annoying. RealD has a better design.