Orci & Kurtzman Talk ‘Into Darkness’ & Next Star Trek In Official Mag + 4 New Images

The latest issue of the official Star Trek magazine has an interview with Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer/producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The pair talk about the villain John Harrison, the arc of the crew, how the film ties into today and even a bit about their next Star Trek movie. Excerpts below plus some scans of new Into Darkness images from the mag.  


Orci and Kurtzman talk ‘Into Darkness’ in latest Star Trek magazine

Orci on the villain John Harrison and his relation to the film’s title "Into Darkness"

Well he understands Starfleet because he was enlisted in a similar way. Some
might see part of the title coming from the fact
that he’s kind of a dark shadow of members of our crew. He too has gone through the process to some degree, that some of our crew have gone
though, and clearly for some reason it’s failed to bring him over, so I think he represents that part of our heroes."

New image of Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison from Star Trek mag

Orci also commented on where the crew is on their arc and how Harrison ties into that arc, saying:

"The relationship [between Kirk and Spock] is still forming itself, and in many ways forms itself over the course of this movie. It also gives us a great opportunity, because of the logic versus emotion conflict is such a brilliant and wonderful backdrop against which to pit a huge problem like Benedict Cumberbatch walking into their life. It isn’t just Kirk and Spock, it’s all of them, and how they’re all functioning together now. They are not the well oiled machine that they were in the original series, because they had gone through many, many more missions in the original series."

Chris Pine as Kirk (image from Star Trek mag)

There is a lot of talk about Harrison as a ‘terrorist.’ Orci said that this isn’t what the movie is all about but it does tie it to today’s reality:

"…that’s not just as simple as it being a terrorist allegory – it’s a flavor of the movie, it’s an element, but it’s certainly not at the center of its plot. It does speak to the fact that we wanted to embed in our universe events that are recognizable to an audience."

…but Kurtzman noted that regardless of terrorism element and the ‘dark’ title, the film still holds on to Star Trek’s optimistic vision:

"The thing that’s been interesting to us is that, despite the fact that we are literally going Into Darkness, I think we all worked very hard to make sure the theme of hope, what hope costs, and what it’s really about, was always alive in how we were designing our story. So we’re pretty consistent with the last movie in terms of dark things happening, but holding on to the light that Roddenberry set up as a basic tenet of the Star Trek universe."

Spock looks concerned in the captain’s chair

Orci also talked about how the pair of writers are ready for the next movie and want to gauge reaction to Into Darkness

"You can see we’re online, checking very much as fans what the Star Trek sites are saying, so we’re open to anything for the third movie – we just want to make sure we’ve learned the lessons from the first two. "

More from Orci and Kurtzman in the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine on newstands now.

Latest issue of Star Trek magazine


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Looking forward to this mag, i have not seen Empire in a store yet either.

WTF!?! Where’s the comment I posted ten minutes ago? Is this some kinda April Fools joke? GEE! LOL!


That new pic of Harrison looks like a passport photo!

Oh that Empire mag was really good! Usually don’t reach the US till a week or two after the UK though,from previous experience. And that is NOT an April Fools joke! lol.


All ‘first’ comments are deleted abusers get banned. Been policy since 2006

3rd move should deal with the Romulans. We still need a good Romulan movie.

Oh,ok. Well I didn’t mean to abuse or anything. I never say first even when I AM first,as I think it’s just stupid,and kinda obvious,lol! So,hope my post which was meant as a joke wasn’t taken as abuse.


“You can se we’re online, checking very much as fans what the Star Trek sites are saying, so we’re open to anything for the third movie…”

Sadly, friends, thought it has been great fun and at times challenging to contribute here, and a great honor to have my comments read by Bob—a man who is as much a fan as I am and who is one of THE FEW people on Earth who decides how Star Trek turns out (how COOL it is that we get HEARD by Bob!)—I’m not sure I’ll be saying much for the third movie.

I’m returning to the prairie desert and in about another day, two at the max, I’ll be out of hailing range. I’m not sure how long I’ll be offline or if, once I do go back online, I’ll get back into the rhythm of commenting here, because a big move like I’m going through to such a different cultural place than where I am now changes more than just one’s location.

Even though I’ve never met any of you face to face, this IS still a community of what “friends” means in 2013, so I’m giving y’all a head’s up, which also gives me a reason to let you all know I’m going to miss you!

We’ll miss you too,DMD. Always enjoyed reading your posts and even agreed from time to time,lol! Be safe,wherever you are,and good luck.


“You can see we’re online, checking very much as fans what the Star Trek sites are saying, so we’re open to anything for the third movie…”

Bob Orci … I’d like to see something original again. New story, fresh ideas, the Kirk/Spock relationship firm, maybe bring in one of the classic Klingons in an original story.

Will miss you dmduncan, cheers!

I can’t believe I am already looking forward to the next Trek in (has to be) 2016 when STID isn’t even out yet. It’s just that the 50th anniversary year ought to be a big year for Trek and the next film should be the centerpiece of that.

Tenets of Roddenberry? Like blowing up an enemy after they refuse help from you. Even though they are getting sucked into a black hole.

Very Roddenberryesque.

Time does fly, many thanks to Anthony, for allowing everyone to discuss and debate/create ST ID and influence bob and company for making awesome star trek! Looking forward to ST ID and more, cheers!

Agreed #10. History tends to place Khan as Kirk’s ultimate nemesis but I would have liked to see Kor worked into the movies somehow. Even with another actor playing him instead of Corlios. I know he did a few roles on DS9 as an older version of the character. But having Kor somehow involved in the whole Genesis / David Marcus thing or even the ST:TUC story line would have been nice.

Maybe we’ll get that chance in the new timeline somehow.

The next Star Trek movie needs more boobs. Star Trek always needs more boobs. Boobs, boobs everywhere.

Or Tribbles. Either one.

“You can see we’re online, checking very much as fans what the Star Trek sites are saying, so we’re open to anything for the third movie…”

don’t listen to the TNG, VOY, DS9, ENT Fans!!!!

only listen to the Star Trek (TOS)Fans!


Yea would have been cool to see Kirk and Spock beam aboard Nero etc onto the Brig at the end and have them locked up forever despite them being emotionally compromised. What better punishment then to help a maniac when he does not want it even at the face of death

Note to Orci and Kurtzman:

Let someone else handle the next one…?

Thanks! =)

Part 3 should be pure exploration of the galaxy, characters and fight versus Nature that includes Talosians, Trelane and Mudd.

Kirk has to work with the Klingons Kor or Kang to help save the Galaxy :)

I just finished watching the augments episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. If this movie features augments at all, it would be a good opportunity for a cameo of Brent Spiner as Dr. Arik Soong, or at least an on-screen mention of the character.

Brent Spiner / Dr. Soong is a GREAT character! =)


Wishing you all the best, DMD. I’ve seen your name here for a long long time and always enjoy your posts. Hurry back when you get a chance!

#23. “Brent Spiner / Dr. Soong is a GREAT character! =)”

Oh Lord, now I understand why you’re a JJ Trek hater…thank heavens Trek has escaped from those shackles!

Part 3, begins with 5 yr mission and we see them going through all the popular tos episodes quickly in fast sequences and it stops at the end of the 5yr mission and the movie begins

Dont forget April fools is coming up.


I can see Anthony having something sneaky up his sleeves!

Villain revealed to be a Tribble

@ 8. dmduncan

God speed.

All hailing frequencies will be open.

dmduncan hey man just want to say I’ve enjoyed your posts over the years and I think we’ve got a lot in common as far as our world views go (and if I’m not mistaken we’ve both dabbled in screenplay writing).

I wish you luck on your move and hope you can get back in communication soon (my comm lines are always open bro).

Sounds good. But no matter what they say, the studio is still selling the movie as the usual terrorist-cynical-mass-murder-revenge-action vehicle. So from an advertising standpoint, real Star Trek sure as hell doesn’t sell. More and more I’m longing for a new TV series.

So ready for this movie! Can’t believe it’s almost here! But the more I think about it, the more I think one of the main characters might die… based on hints in the trailers and interviews… I certainly hope that’s not the case, unless the third film will parallel Star Trek III! Regardless, so excited!

I’d like a third movie that has andorians, tellarites and orions in it…

Hey, dmduncan, sorry to see you go, even though I think I already left. The threads got too busy for me to keep up, but I checked in tonight for the first time in months and see you’re off. I hope you’re happy about the move you’re making. It’s been a pleasure, dmduncan. Wish you the best, always–and online or not, I hope you’ll see the third movie…?


Mr. Duncan, it was fun chatting/debating with you over the years. Hope your departure is not a permanent one. Would like to hear your opinion of the movie some day.

Happy trails!

Try writing a Star Trek story without involving Earth. I know Damon Lindelof thinks that Earth is such an important thing in Star Trek, but I personally find it to be just a boring place we’re already accustomed to on a 24/7 basis. Take us somewhere and go with it. Don’t take us somewhere and than run back home where everything is safe, familiar and relatable.

One thing I would like to see with the 13th movie is a story which does not revolve around Earth so much. Don’t get me wrong, I like how JJ’s movies along with expanding the trek universe are also expanding on Earth’s identity. But Star Trek is about exploration and not always dealing with someone trying to attack or destroy Earth. Star Trek 2009, most of it on Earth or revolving around Earth. Into Darkness, Cumberbatch attacking Earth. I would like the next movie to deal with something really far out there, something that tantalizes and expands the imagination. It seems like in these new movies the Enterprise is never far from home, what happened to deep space exploration. You can only go so far with trying the movie relate to people i.e. stories on Earth, terrorism etc. We all know each series and movie utilized what was happening in the world like the cold war, terrorism etc. I think it would be wise to give us some glorious mission, something a little more far fetched than usual. And if its not shown in Into Darkness would be nice to see a big fleet. Starfleet has many ships, but its always felt like Starfleet consist of 12 ships, it just always rubs me the wrong way.

You can see we’re online, checking very much as fans what the Star Trek sites are saying, so we’re open to anything for the third movie…”

An exploration-themed film please, set out at the frontier of known space.

I think the movie itself will be 100x better than the trailers.

The 9min imax preview was amazing and I imagine the rest of the film will be awesome also. I dont mind the earth scenes as other films never really did show us much of future earth etc.

I would love to see the soundtrack score names and listen to some of the music now!

Will we be getting any burger king or mcdonalds special collector cups or toys?

dmduncan rocks

Make the third a “bottle ” or “ship” show set almost entirely on the Enterprise. Make it more character driven and about the crew working together as that well-oiled-machine. It could be done much less expensive and less box office but will have lager profits and be the most remembered movie of the three.


Nooooooooooo, I rather they go BIGGER than just smaller, just being on the ship would work for a regular episode but not for a movie imo.

If John Harrison is a big hit, have him return for part 3

Btw bob, tell damon, I think the engineer killed david and his father to grant them their wish of immortality as to live forever you must die and move onto the next state ie energy leaving physical body and the engineer was upset at how humans were playing god and have lost their way, ie wars etc and has become a dangerous species and was selected to be wiped and reimagined ie the payload headed for earth to restart creation.

The engineers understood to live forever one must sacrifce and help the process of creation must like salmon dying after reaching destination and giving birth to life. The Engineer simply is granting them their wish, now hols still while Engineer crushes your skull and rips of your head.

40. boborci – March 31, 2013

Haha! I love you man. (And I’m not just trying to get your beer. ;-))

9. JRT! – March 31, 2013

Agreement is not so much on my mind. If you think “dmduncan,” think that. ;-) Thank you my friend!

11. somethoughts – March 31, 2013

Thanks, somethoughts. You’ve been here as long as I have. Will miss you too.

24. Jonboc – March 31, 2013

Will do my best, Jonboc!!! Thank you.

29. Commodore Adams – March 31, 2013

Thank you sir. Will try to get in range!

30. Hugh Hoyland – March 31, 2013

Thanks Hugh. You are not mistaken! ;-)

34. NCM – March 31, 2013

“Hey, dmduncan, sorry to see you go, even though I think I already left. The threads got too busy for me to keep up, but I checked in tonight for the first time in months and see you’re off.”

Coincidence?—not if you’re familiar with my thinking! Will miss you NCM—and I was actually thinking about you, no BS. We’ve had memorable conversations here.

“ I hope you’re happy about the move you’re making. It’s been a pleasure, dmduncan. Wish you the best, always–and online or not, I hope you’ll see the third movie…?”

You kidding? Absolutely! The trip will be long, but for Star Trek? I make it. It’s already planned.

35. Vultan – March 31, 2013

Likewise, Vultan. Will do my best.

I have enjoyed reading your comments, dmduncan. You have made some interesting observations over time. I hope your new place and lifestyle will be as you hope and that, at some point, you will manage to get yourself online and come say “Hi” to us here. I hope you enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness. Have a good one, dmduncan!

The thing about terrorism – it’s been around for a long time. I seem to recall the name Guy Fawkes. Different names have been given to what are essentially the same criminally harmful activities, especially when civilians become part of the “collateral damage”. Another word could be sabotage and John Harrison is a saboteur.

Yeah, I’m sad to see dmduncan leave. This site will be that much emptier without him.

dmduncan, your posts were always elegant and honest. No mean-spirited-ness, no egotism, no bullsh*t. Always a pleasure reading your intelligent posts.

I might not have always agreed with you, but the thing is, you articulated your arguments so well that I could understand where you were coming from. A signature of a great debater.

( I was going to say master-debater, but that is reserved for Harry Ballz! :-) )

Anyway, I hope your journey brings you great joy, and that you find whatever it is you may be looking for. Enjoy the trek (yours) and make sure you check out another Trek (Into Darkness) while thinking about us, and the lively discussions we had. I just know that you’ll have a blast seeing the sequel. I regret that we won’t be swapping opinions/criticisms anymore.

Live long and prosper. May the wind be at your back!

Re STID promotion – My 10 year old daughter conned me into getting her an Australian publication called Mania, a magazine seemingly aimed at children between about 8 and 12, with quizzes, puzzles, info for the kids etc.

She ran into me showing me a page titled Mania Top 10 Movies – The Slickest Flicks Hitting the Big Screen! and among them – Star Trek: Into Darkness, along with this: “Live long and prosper. MANIACS! Return to the Starship Enterprise where danger is afoot and adventure is never far behind. The brave Captain Kirk and his best bud, Spock, have to do battle with a new villain with an unknown past! Out May 16”. Obviously the magazine went to print before the new release date of 9 May was made public.

Just thought Bob Orci might like to know…

next movie = Borg