Simon Pegg talks about “pressure” to write screenplay and reduced role in Star Trek Beyond


While doing a promotional interview with for the upcoming comedy Absolutely Anything, Simon Pegg spoke of the challenges he’s facing writing Star Trek Beyond, and the possibility of reducing Scotty’s role in the new film.

Pegg, who is co-writing the screenplay with Doug Jung, spoke of writing for modern blockbuster films:

There is a lot of pressure.  The way movie making works these days is that as soon as you have a structure and all the sets, the kind of physical aspects of the film are locked in, the dialogue and stuff is always a moveable feat, so we’ll be writing it right up until the edit, I think…it’s a work in progress.

When asked if Scotty’s role in the new film will be larger than in the past:

I feel like less, because I’m going to have to be on the set all the time anyway as a writer, so I should write myself out.

*I do want to mention something about this interview – the uncertain way Pegg speaks about Scotty’s role suggests that this interview MIGHT have taken place several weeks back, possibly before the movie even began production.

Star Trek Beyond is currently shooting in Vancouver and is scheduled for release on July 8, 2016.

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Scotty! We need more power!!

I am quite confident in Simon to write a good script… good luck with filming!

What about Doug Jung? We haven’t heard from him yet.

Great. Just great. Scotty is my favorite character.

I’d rather see more bones then Scotty. Urban nails the doctor whereas Pegg just imports his mission impossible character and adds his wife’s accent. I mean no disrespect because I adore Pegg, but I’ve always felt he plays the comedy more than the character.

RED ALERT! I thought this movie is already in production! How can you be filming a movie if you don’t have a completed script?! I’m having flashbacks of ST:TMP.

No, no “Red Alert”. Come on now. As Pegg states in the quotes above, the sets are built, and the physical aspects of the film are in place. Several of my former co-workers in the makeup effects field completed work on the film’s aliens a couple of months back. That means the story is pretty much locked.

Dialogue on the other hand is almost always an evolving thing. Changes can range from tiny little tweaks of a sentence or two to whole scenes being improvised depending upon the film makers and actors involved. Given the technical requirements of a film like this I can’t imagine there would be much of the latter. They are always massaging dialogue though, just to make each scene play as smoothly as possible.

The “Red Alert” will come if, after shooting wraps, reports that the studio has okayed a major re-shoot, ala the (not-so) “Fantastic Four”.

1. Star Trek Into Darkness introduces Carol Marcus as a member of the crew. Kirk welcomes her at the end by stating “Dr. Marcus, I’m glad you could be a part of the family”

2. Simon Pegg says that when it comes to writing, his (and his pal Edgar Wright) Achilles’ Heal was writing women.

3. Simon Pegg is announced that he is writing Star Trek Beyond.

4. Carol Marcus is not in the movie.

Zoe, it’s solely on you again. Here’s hoping that expanding Uhura’s character isn’t limited to having her shoot things.

@7 Mark T.,
“Several of my former co-workers in the makeup effects field completed work on the film’s aliens a couple of months back. That means the story is pretty much locked.”

All it means is that they knew they needed a specific type of alien. That by no means suggests that the story is “pretty much locked”. You could start designing character makeup of a log line — “marauding aliens attack a federation colony with devastating results”. That’s far from a locked story, yet I can start designing my alien makeup and costumes.

@5. Toonloon,
“I’d rather see more bones then Scotty. Urban nails the doctor whereas Pegg just imports his mission impossible character and adds his wife’s accent.”

This won’t be a popular opinion around here, but I think Urban is too close, bordering on impersonation that inhabiting the character. I want to love the work, but sometimes I feel like he’s trying to hard to be DeForest Kelley.

Pegg’s Scotty is not my favorite (not that I have a whole lot to chose from), but I would rather see the character have an important role, than not. That said, Scotty had some pretty great parts where he was seen only commanding the Enterprise in short cut aways, from the real action down on the planet. As long as Pegg is giving Scotty an important, but smaller role, then I’ll be just as happy as seeing him throughout but without much to do.

That said, Bones still needs to have a more important role to play as conscience/advisor. And maybe having Scotty in a smaller, but significant role is the way to accomplish that. I just hope Pegg is thinking that way. He sounds pretty overwhelmed.

Chris Pine & Idris Elba Omaze


@11. B Kramer,

LOL That was funny

Thanks for the link.

I wouldn’t be worried about this movie if it were not for the fact that they took a perfectly good story and ruined it by trying to remake another movie making cheesy copies of iconic scenes in Into Darkness.

@Curious, that was by no means the only criteria on which I was basing my statement. Apologies if my sloppy sentence structure made it seem that way. Pegg’s quote from the interview about ALL the physical elements of the production being in place tells me the story is set. The dialogue as I stated earlier, is always a work in progress.

I just read so often on this site statements of panic that we are approaching the big anniversary and they haven’t written a THING. Just because they’re tight lipped about it, doesn’t mean work wasn’t being done. Until someone can provide proof to the contrary, I vote for trusting in Pegg and maintaining a cautious optimism.

11. B Kramer

That was good.

Chemistry on the set looks to be a bit edgy.

My bet is Idris is playing a superior command rank than Kirk.

Most likely nuStarFleet are still not trusting our favorite captain.

Perhaps a Commodore?

Most likely Idris will be in the background questioning Kirks every movie until he learns Kirk almost has his hands on nuTreks equivalent of the ‘Guardians’ Infinity stone.

Perhaps there will be a nice fist fight between the two when they depart on a final shuttle flight to the surface of a primitive world that possesses that awesome power.

It will be another Prime Directive storyline.

Only this time, Kirk will prevail over a power hungry nuStarFleet..

Simon should be careful. You don’t want to become the person that killed the new franchise. Keep It Simple, Simon.

Welcome Ahmed & TMMW.

1. TrekMadeMeWonder – August 13, 2015

Scotty! We need more power!!

He’s giving her all she’s got.

Less Scotty, more Keenser?

Meanwhile, it appears KHF really is a crash site.

Bye the bye, does anyone know if there ever was talk (or denial) about time travel (or flash backs/forwards)?

I have always – since the days of the early crew – wanted to see Scotty in command of the Enterprise like he was in the series on a few occasions. I still hope.

Thanks #20 OP. cool picture. Definitely looks like a saucer or ship crash. If it’s the former, I certainly hope it’s done better than Generations, where they appeared to drag a model saucer through a railroad train hobby set.

And ditto on Scotty taking command. Scotty had the chops, in the original series, to captain a starship. I think Pegg could muster the same strengths as Doohan and remind everyone that he isn’t there strictly for comic relief.

The original teevee and movie series’ “holy trinity” of Kirk-Spock-McCoy is what made it so good, on so many levels. The rest are supporting parts, thus interchangeable / dispensable IMHO.

*Breakin’ News*

Zachary Quinto isn’t filming any ST BEYOND today because I see him live, sans any Spock makeup or prosthetics, on the bulk satellite feeds promoting his AGENT 47 movie.

If Pegg can’t be Scotty and write the movie, then recast Scotty. The character is more important than the actor, and Pegg is hardly defined with the role.

I’m actually OK with less Pegg in the movie. He’s a great actor and very funny… in other roles. In my opinion, he was the wrong man to play Scotty. McCoy, on the other hand, should be a much bigger presence in these films than he is, as Urban was perfectly cast.

I’m a Pegg fan but when I see him in Star Trek I see Simon Pegg, not Scotty,

Urban *can* be a good Bones when given some good dialogue. He was way better in 09 than STID. He was a parody in STID. It was sad.

As I’ve said before, I like Simon Pegg but do not think he is right as Scotty.

Karl Urban has the potential to be a good Bones but was shafted in STID.

Seems like a number of us agree on these general concepts. :-)

#23 Right On Brotha!

I laugh when actors in Hollywood talk about being under “pressure”.

If any of them had a real job in the private sector, most would curl up in the fetal position and start sucking their thumb.

When they encountered real stress in business, they’d fold like a card table!

What a bunch of spoiled brats!

Why do I feel that this is a disaster movie in the making. Nothing against Simon Pegg, I think he’s more than capable to write a wonderful movie, it’s the studio exec’s that worries me.

This might be one of the reasons Pegg was hired to write ‘Star Trek Beyond’!


‘Star Wars’: Simon Pegg Helped Shape the Story of the New Films

In a new interview with EW, J.J. Abrams reveals that Pegg’s role on The Force Awakens was much more significant than a simple cameo:

Abrams: “He was a sounding board. He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.”

PBS’ Nightly Business Report just did an extensive coverage from the Disney event in Anaheim today at 3pm my time which is same as Anaheim’s. Lots of interesting snippets. In my market they rerun NBR at 8pm and 1am. You might want to keep an eye out for it of you have a SW or Pixar interest.

Does anybody get the impression that this movie is being,….Rushed? We all saw what happened with Star Trek The Motion Picture. Great visuals, half baked plot.

BKramer, thanks for.the laffs! Those two cracked me up. While O-mazing me with their handsomeness and camaraderie! (“That’s not what your girlfriend said”! Idris!)

#31: Those who don’t work in the entertainment industry have no idea how much work it is, and how astoundingly stressful it can be for a thousand different reasons. As someone who works in that industry, I can tell you without reservation that with all due respect, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. Sure, an actor might not thrive in the private sector–but a Wall Street banker wouldn’t thrive working 20-hour days, having a life devoid of any privacy, dealing with stalkers, and so forth. Being in Hollywood IS stressful, just a very different kind of stressful than what others have to endure. It’s also very rewarding, yes–but that doesn’t reduce the stress.

#37 – I agree. Stress is stress and can be due to a myriad of reasons.

#36 – “Handsomeness and camaraderie” – Yes, definitely. Chris is looking better than ever – so very good. Then there is Idris with that lovely Brit accent…sigh…:)

BTW – Chris Pine does a little rock – check out youtube’s Chris Pine – Higher and Higher (excerpt from a TV series). “My captain” can sing. If it is alright for Will Riker to play horn, what’s wrong with a song from nu James Kirk?

I’d like to see more of Bones (ahem …) too! Personally I loved Simon’s Scotty in STID. Scotty got a lot sone. In fact he was the “deux ex machina” in the film. Well, along with magic blood.

He should keep the beard (with a more Naval trim) for STB. Gives him a little visual authority and yes, it’d be nice to see him and Uhura on the bridge while Kirk, Spock, McCoy are on planet having weird adventures, with focus on the three. It’s a big galaxy, Mr Scott.

I’m sorry Carol Marcus isn’t back for thia round. As Jeyl says, the women must be represented by la Zaldana alone. Well, she’ll do a great job, I know, but I’m sorry to see it go back to Boyz Club No Gerlz Aloud ….

I’ll say one thing for “Boyz Advinchur Club No Gerlz Aloud” … gives us women a nice view for two hours! (And Keachick, I always look at a man’s hands. Chris Pine’s hands are gorgeous. I am also thankful that it looks like Pine didn’t have to do the Major He-Man Muscle Buildup with Weight Gain. He looks nicer at his normal weight. As does Z Quinto.)

37 Batleth, thank you for saying this. I have a feeling some folks look at acting as a grand ol time with lots of canoodling of the opposite sex, and maybe a 10-hour day. Few people understand, first, how much rejection beginning actors go through. The ones we see in speaking roles and starring roles are the stubborn (wouldn’t give up) and/or phenomenally lucky ones.

Sometimes they get in the door because of who they know. And sometimes, they give up. Someone asked Harrison Ford the secret of his great success. Work. And “f^@king bags of luck.”

Movie: 3-6 month shoot, often away from the family or home digs for weeks at a time with maybe a weekend together — unless your family can pull up stakes and move with you, breaking from school and their own work … Heavy makeup that trashes your skin. Costumes so tight you can’t take a pee all day. Or so hot you need a mini-a/c inside and the thing weighs 70#. Take after take of the same line, and not just because of how someone said the line. A glint in the lens, a photobomb, accidental or otherwise, a cloud over the sun … and then there’s the repeat of dialogue so they can shoot you from all angles, over the shoulder, back of head, 3/4, full face, and so on.

And TV series, I believe take anywhere from 80-100 hours /week, plus commute time, plus memorizing dialogue for the next day’s shoot. I don’t know how the hell Julianna Marguilies (star of “The Good Wife”) does it, or how any of our TV series Trek Captains did either. Often it costs a marriage.

Yes, actors love their jobs, because most of them are devoted to a craft that takes a lot of dedication and skill. Sure, there are lucky actors who make it big on little or no talent. But there are thousands who, though talented as hell, don’t get that lucky break, and are waiters, sales callers, ticket takers, salesmen in retail stores, and yes, may be in a cubicle near you. And probably also at your local community theatre.

Sure. It’s not rocket science, nor is it going into battle or caring for the sick. But when the scientists, soldiers, airmen, sailors, and healthcare workers (and presidents) want to relax from the pressures *they* are under, there’s nothing like a good comedy, drama, indie flick or adventure to lift their spirits.

And I know of one Trekfan who crushed on Nichelle Nichols as a kid, and grew up to be the first African-American president. Actors can inspire, and many say inspiring others is a highlight of their careers. /essay concluded ;-) /

@ Harry Ballz

I agree with you most of the time, but as I have a couple of friends in Hollywood who have worked their asses off for years (evenings, weekends 16 hours days on short-turnaround projects), but have yet to still “make it big” (99% don’t), I can categorically say that you are full of crap on this one.

Yes, Marja. I agree with all that you have written.

Unfortunately, the long hours involved in making the original 79 episodes of TOS helped bring about William Shatner’s marriage breakdown, which not only involved himself and wife, but three little girls. The rigours of making a TV series cost Shatner a lot more than it ever cost actors like George Takei, but then again, William Shatner had so much more to offer as well.

Life can be bitter/sweet.

“Sure. It’s not rocket science, nor is it going into battle or caring for the sick. But when the scientists, soldiers, airmen, sailors, and healthcare workers (and presidents) want to relax from the pressures *they* are under, there’s nothing like a good comedy, drama, indie flick or adventure to lift their spirits.”

Or even mothers who have been up all night with a teething, colicky baby who may also have an ear infection. No sleep to be had. And that cry that such a distressed little one can make can cut through you like a dagger…usually time heals and it is “all’s well that ends well” but oh my…


FAMOUS actors are spoiled, accommodated and coddled… the point where they lose all perspective on the real world.

Their idea of STRESS pales in comparison to what people with REAL responsibilities have to deal with…..spoiled brats who throw tantrums when they don’t get their own way.

Too much (all?) of our human society, especially in capitalistic countries, is based on $$$$. REAL responsibilities, as Harry says, bring REAL AND CONSTANT WORRIES ABOUT damnable $$$.

Famous actors do not have that nearly life threatening worry unless they really screw up. Even if they get too old for the “market,” they will have invested, saved up, if they have any sense at all when not partying, traveling or acting.

Yes, a famous actor must worry about getting that shot in the bag which one just can’t say quite to the director’s egotistical satisfaction BUT one need not worry about being kicked out on the street with one’s children and pets if one just can’t make that rent payment ONE month after working for slave wages at McDonald’s for 60 hours a week.

Yes, the kids might be whining at the 2 nannies as mommy has to wait for her final take of the day. But there is no choice famous mommy must make between buying healthy food for the kids or paying the rent. REAL mommy buys cheap processed fattening foods for her kids and pays that rent one-more-time. Her kids stay home alone because she can’t afford daycare. The older takes care of the younger.

Now, lesser, struggling actors, that’s different. Best not to have any family responsibility if one is going to try that.

Much of Hollywood, particularly these days, is built on nepotism. Since Pine has been mentioned, there is his CHIPS-dad Larry with inroads in Hollywood. This goes for people behind the scenes too; of course lighting people might introduce their offspring to the profession, nothing wrong with that.

But, for the majority of the 99%, there are not Hollywood inroads. If their dad was in the middle class, let’s say working for a major publishing firm, that firm probably does not exist anymore. So his offspring have the pressure and stress of making their own way entirely, and most jobs are low paying service jobs these days.

Just for the record: Please note I am offering one side of a discussion or even a debate, I am not attacking anyone. Be warned: I intend to put this notation on anything I say from here on in, because I am SICK of “it.”

#42 Harry Ballz

I’m with you, Harry but my comment went to moderation.

Incidentally, according the Shatner’s autobiography, the love in his marriage to Gloria Rand (Rosenberg) was waning before Star Trek. For instance, he talks of them driving across country to Hollywood in his new red sports car and they apparently had nothing to say to each other, no common conversation. The divorce likely would have happened anyway, sooner or later.

My comment in moderation outlines the REAL stress of surviving for an impoverished family or single parent. I gave a low income example but the stress is REAL if one tries to maintain a middle class existence also, especially these days.

Note: I am offering discussion/debate on topic at hand. I have attacked no one.

I intend to put this notice on anything I say when Keachick is involved because I am SICK of being accused of attacking her. I am not, nor have I ever attacked her personally. So, here is my notice. (Yeah, I know y’all are gonna get sick of it).

I’m with you, Harry. I now have 2 posts in moderation.

#41: Of course, Shatner cheating on his wife played a large role in the breakup of his marriage.

#42: That’s a typically sweeping and judgmental generalization. Again, since you’re presumably not in this industry, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

…yeah, we’ll just figure out the dialog as we go! =P

…sounds like *another* total POS in the making =(

IMHO, this move will be such an epic disaster, that it will be the end of the new Trek.

…CP is *already* looking pretty weak compared to Elba! =P