New Star Trek Writers: JJ Abrams ‘Still Guiding Light’ Behind 2016 Movie

In a new interview, Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne – co-writers along with Roberto Orci for the upcoming Star Trek film – talk about their background with the franchise, where they see the next movie headed and how much producer J.J. Abrams is involved. Details from the writing team after the break.

Payne and McKay talk next Trek

Much has been said about Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director J.J. Abrams involvement in the 2016 Star Trek film now that he is focused on directing Star Wars Episode VII. The next Trek film is being produced by Abrams and his Bad Robot production company, but some question his involvement – even prompting Wil Wheaton to make a joke about it on his Syfy TV show last week. However, in the a two-part interview with TrekCore, Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne they say Abrams is still very much involved in the creative process for upcoming Trek feature:

Bad Robot, J.J., and his team are really at the heart of this movie’s development. They are the guiding light by which we all do our work.J.J.’s been a key part of helping us spin this tale from the beginning, and if there are people who think that we’ve lost him to Star Wars this time around, that’s not the truth as far as we see it.

The writing duo also discuss where the next movie is headed:

Patrick McKay: We’re very much thinking about a movie that would stand alongside the first two, in a general sense, but more specifically, I would say that in working with our wonderful co-writer Roberto Orci, it began very much as a conversation. “Well, what would you guys like to see in the movie?” “Is there an area we all want to explore?” Nothing was off the table – all along, it’s been about the coolest, best movie we can write. There’s no sort of requirement saying we have to do this or that, I think it’s very much been a blank canvas.

J.D. Payne: What we keep on coming back to is the basic credo of Star Trek, that opening prologue you hear at the beginning of each Original Series episode. That’s our mantra for what we’re trying to accomplish here.

The guys also talked about their introductions to Trek:

Patrick McKay: …I’ve probably seen every episode of the Original Series, I’ve seen the movies many, many times; I remember when The Next Generation was premiering, it was such a big deal. I watched at least the first couple of seasons – you know, I do actually remember watching “Best of Both Worlds” as it aired. That was great.

J.D. Payne: I think that the first episode I ever saw was “Frame of Mind,” and it was like discovering jazz or something. How has this been out there my entire life and I’d never seen it before?! After that, I was just plugged into it. I would tape it off of television, edit out the commercials, and I had my own little library of Star Trek and got super, super into it. I just loved the sense it had for the possibility of what could be ‘out there.’

There’s much more over at TrekCore, including their thoughts on Kirk’s quick promotion, their writing process with Bob Orci, and how they take fan feedback. Read the full interview at TrekCore Part 1, Part 2

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