Chris Pine: “You can’t make cerebral Star Trek in 2016” *UPDATED*

Chris Pine was one of many Star Trek Beyond stars to sit down with Britain’s biggest SF and fantasy magazine, SFX, to talk Trek and more. On making Trek in 2016, Pine said that, while the JJ films have tried to touch on “demanding questions and themes”, it’s just not possible to make a movie without “wham-bam explosions and planets blowing up”. Plus, SFX grabbed exclusive interviews from Director Justin Lin, Karl Urban, John Cho, and Soufia Boutella, who joins the cast as Jaylah.

[UPDATE]: Quote from Sofia Boutella on her new character, Jaylah, who has the most in common with Kirk.

Issue 276 of SFX, Britain’s best-selling science fiction and fantasy magazine, is celebrating the release of Star Trek Beyond with the film’s first UK cover story and exclusive interviews with the cast and crew.

Chris Pine spoke about how Star Trek can compete in the modern cinema marketplace.

“You can’t make a cerebral Star Trek in 2016. It just wouldn’t work in today’s marketplace. You can hide things in there – Star Trek Into Darkness has crazy, really demanding questions and themes, but you have to hide it under the guise of wham-bam explosions and planets blowing up. It’s very, very tricky. The question that our movie poses is “Does the Federation mean anything?” And in a world where everybody’s trying to kill one another all of the time, that’s an important thing. Is working together important? Should we all go our separate ways? Does being united against something mean anything?”

On rumors making the rounds way back when that Chris Pine was originally going to share scenes with William Shatner, Chris said:

“At this point there’s been so much built up about this potential portentous meeting between the two Kirks… Fuck the movie, it would just become about that. The movie can’t become about that. The movie has to be about whatever story we’re trying to tell. It’d be fun, it’d be kitschy, it’d be a great piece for you guys to talk about, and for late-night TV, but above and beyond that I don’t know what it serves for our storytelling purposes, you know?”


SFX also spoke with Director Justin Lin, who said that remembering Star Trek’s mission statement was key to making Beyond.

“What was so great about Star Trek in the last 50 years was not only the characters, the sense of exploration, and these themes that connect to us as human beings, it also had the ultimate mission statement — which is to try new things. I think sometimes that gets lost. Let’s sometimes go to places where we’re not that comfortable. If anything, this is the one franchise where you can do that.”

And, Lin’s favorite character? Why, Dr. McCoy of course:

“Bones was my favourite growing up. So to be able to re-engineer Bones, and to see where he is today but then at the same time how he would interact with new challenges and how that would shape who he is and evolve him… That was part of the joy.”



SFX 276 is on sale from Wednesday 22 June and available to order online.

[UPDATE 6/17]: Sofia Boutella talks Jaylah
Sofia Boutella’s new character Jaylah has been at the forefront of advertising for Star Trek Beyond. It’s obvious she is going to play a pivotal role in the film, but who is she? What’s her story? The actress elaborated on her character, telling SFX:

“Jaylah is a survivor, and she is someone who thinks outside of the box. She’s an alien warrior, but her look is relatable to humans; her alien appearance in the film is not extreme. She has more in common with Kirk than anyone else in the film; they’re both very independent, and they’re both very honest and direct in their approach. She makes her own weapons.”

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Seems like he’s warning us the movie’s going to be a letdown.

Sure does.

No, he isn’t. Give the hatred of this new movie a rest, you’re going to be seeing it like most of the planet.

You people need therapy.

Seriously if you can’t play nice because other people don’t share your views then take a break and come back when you’ve grown up a little bit.

Groan. No wonder Star Trek is dying off….. the fans can’t even get exciting. Well, I’m excited! Star Trek forever!

What fans are to talking about. There are new young fans that want this nu trek. You’re talking about old Trek fans, all I can say is enjoy the present Trek because us old fans are a dying breed.

damn straight Old trek fans are a Dying breed I am so happy.

DS9 is King On behalf of all those old Trek fans, feel free to take a long walk out a short airlock.

You probably don’t even appreciate the irony of your handle given that DS9 is easily the most cerebral of the Trek shows.

DS9‘s a space opera like the other Star Trek shows are, and the ‘cerebral’ thing is just so much bullshit, and most likely has been debunked.

You are right, and the only way to save our vision of the future, it seems, is to picket our own franchise. JJTrek will not stand the test of time because he is not showing humanity how to go forward, and it seems that after 50 years, it looks as if the studio has finally found a successful guinea pig in him. He has entered the battle between those who run Star Trek and the studio- on the studio’s side. He has all but erased Gene Roddenberry’s better future for mankind from the inside. While attempting to delude the fans (and probably himself) that he was recreating Star Trek for the 21st century, JJ created a hollow shell of a universe which flew in the face of Star Trek cannon both in technicality and in spirit, a perfect shell of the franchise that Paramount could relocate their whims to. And just to solidify their victory, Paramount and CBS have put aside their differences and banned the fans from self-expression with the Axanar lawsuit. I have seen “Prelude to Axanar”, and while I do not believe these productions are cannon, if I had to choose between JJTrek and Axanar, I’ll let you guess what I would do. What we have to do is get on Paramount’s nerves, and emulate the “Save Star Trek” rallies of four decades ago in spirit and message. It’s time to get referred to as “those crazy Trekkies” again!

Damn right, and damn straight. And the only way this franchise can continue is with a new influx of fans.

He’s stating a truth, and you think that the Star Trek franchise is dying? Please stop believing in the ‘Roddenberry had a vision’ bullcaca, and see some truth, mainly from this book:

That’s not what’s being said at all. You’re reading between imaginary lines.

He’s warning us that whiners gonna whine.

No kidding. Good thing trek fans didn’t exist before Rodennberry said this, because they would have ripped him a new one:

“Build your episode on an action-adventure framework.
We must reach out, hold and entertain
a mass audience of some 20,000,000 people or we
simply don’t stay on the air.”

Learn to read. That does NOT mean that the story is ABOUT action/adventure. Action/adventure is the colorful lure to draw viewers in to be hooked by solid stories with IDEAS to explore.

NO, YOU learn to read, sir. Roddenberry was right all those years ago, and that’s what the current movies have gotten back to. That you can’t accept that show how you’ve bought all of the bullcaca about how Roddenberry ‘had a vision’ and also about how ‘cerebral’ the original show was.

Being a long time Trek fan ,I have to admit Chris Pine is right. I’m sure every actor wants to do a role with some meat,but as an actor you follow the money, it’s a job where you’re in demand and then your not. Were in a long cycle of movies like Trek where you can’t have the Star Trek of the past. The original 6 films had some action ,which was a lot for the time,if you think about it. But today with a generation of video game players where its action all the time, I’m not surprised by the current trend of movies out there. Its nothing new,think about the trend of movies from the 40’s, 50’s and up to now.
Movies today reflect what people want to see now and Hollywood is doing what they have always done..deliver the movies the masses want. What Trek fans want in this day and age is imho dead ,its past. Maybe 10 years from now the cycle will come around where we see the old Star Trek, but for now I expect battles ,booms and a little for themes. Get use to it or watch the old movies. Even Star Trek 2 TWOK would not do so well today. BTW Trek has never done well on the big screen,you can’t tell those kinds of stories in 2 hours or less, but the small screen is a different story ,at least will see com Jan 2017.

I am sure the new Star Trek series in 2017 will be Action focused times are changing and people want Action adventure not themes and Heavy Cerebral Crap.

If you want action, go watch Schwarzenegger’s movies. Star Trek is a science fiction franchise which deals with sci-fi and other themes in an intelligent way. Enough of dumbing down.

For Star Trek to be a mega-budget ‘tentpole’ film franchise, events need to be the biggest thing ever to happen to the characters. The assumption is that the likes of ‘Is There, in Truth, No Beauty’ and ‘Wolf in the Fold’ happen between these massive stories. Equally, summer blockbuster movie-style events could have happened between seasons of the original show.

Pretty much that, except that in the ongoing comic book, that kind of spectacle also happens.


I’m reasonably sure there are dramas being released & having financial success at the box office today.

The problem with this wizbang brand of Trek is that it is forgettable… it is just another action movie in a Summer full of them. It won’t have the budget or the vision of the actual big action films (Captain America: Civil War) so it has to compete on story & character – which is what Trek was always good at. ST09 was very good. I loved it actually. I almost walked out of STID twice and it is the only ST movie I have only seen once in the theatre. Beyond may be the first ST movie I won’t see on opening night (if I see it in the theatre at all) since… I don’t know. I don’t think I saw WOK opening night but I might have.

*Braces himself for the wave of disgruntled commentators (himself included)*

Ohh… boy.

Basically saying that Star Trek cannot be hamfisted anymore. That’s a good thing folks. TMP can happen again, but it has to be cleverly imputed in the guise of adventure.

Basically, have to do TOS again.

The only hope I think is to get away from TOS .I’m hoping the new TV trek is just that ,something new, no Kirk no Spock.

He is absolutely right. The new movies reflect this as well.

Yep. He is correct. When you make a major tentpole there are certain things that just much happen. Doesn’t mean it can’t touch on treky issues. Writers just have to be clever in the way they go about it. For trek to be cerebral again it would have to be on TV. That’s just the way it is. I will echo what I have heard some others claim… The movies are fun and can be good. But Trek is more of a TV medium in the grander scheme of things.

Nope. He’s wrong.

No he is right , you just don’t like the statement but you know it’s true . TMP was and still is to long and to boring and i’m a old Trek fan.It doesn’t work on the big screen. Even the original cast didn’t like TMP and wondered if there would be another.

He’s right. TMP was the only cerebral of the original movies, and it succeeded largely because it was the “big return” of Trek — audiences generally didn’t like it much. I have a weak spot for it, but I realize it’s major weaknesses.

The box office returns still say otherwise. TMP was a blockbuster in its day, something that nothing until STAR TREK 2009 quite achieved. Trek IV came the closest, and that was the most cerebral of the remaining TOS films.

@ The River Temarc

You obviously did not fully read my post.

It was only because it was the return of Star Trek, I know I was there. People paid to see it in droves ,but it was a long boring movie. We only went to see those people in their roles again. But the movie wasn’t that good at all and Gene Roddenberry is the blame. Audiences changed by then because Star Wars set the new bar. Star Wars was fun and yes mindless ,but a better movie then TMP.

Agreed. I watched TMP about a year ago and could appreciate it lots more than I did in my 20s. Except, of course, the obligatory Roddenberry supersexy female in a miniskirt that teases the eye with a “possible glimpse” any minute … :-p

Marja, I am shocked—shocked—to find that striptease is going on in here!

I find myself agreeing with the sentiment, not quite with how he actually said it, only because there’s a certain element of fandom who will make sure Pine goes to his grave regretting how he defiled ‘their’ Trek, and he just poured gasoline on their fire with these comments.
A few talking points…
The Trek movies have always struggled over the action verses drama debate. TNG wanted to shed the ‘cowboy’ mantle of TOS, but when Picard and Company hit the big screen, they needed to be action heroes, too.
The folks who remember TOS as strictly ‘cerebral’ are practicing selective recall. There were plenty of action oriented episodes, and more then a few where TOS Kirk and Crew were exploring space with their d**ks. Treks social relevance was simply an accident of timing. Had the show happened along a couple of years later, Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ would have buried Treks social relevance claim to fame.
Smartly made, movies can be both, and to some extent or another Trek films have successfully walked the like. Now, lets ask ourselves, would anyone have gone to an ‘cerebral’ Avengers movie if Earths Mightiest Heroes had debated endlessly the virtues of the 5th and 14th Amendments, the need to get a UN resolution to defeat Loki, and argued jurisdiction as to who should try the invading bad guys? Probably not, though you can acknowledge that Marvel is at least touching on the implications of action in a civilian world where there will be causalities, even if the movies won’t deal with who gets to clean up their messes directly?

He’s right. And nowhere does he say that it’s dumbed down. In fact, he talks about ideas.

And it’s not dumb to examine the idea of the federation at a time when we’re talking – all over the world – about closing borders, withdrawing, moving backwards and keeping people out.

Agreed, old Trek fans do have selective recall ,it’s not a knock.We all do this with any series after we haven’t watched it in years. The facts are you can’t do old Trek these days, not on the big screen. If you really watch the 6 tos movies , they contain more action than anything else. Good post man, Old trek fans need to get with it or go back and watch the old films and be happy and stay away from this site. Star Trek moves on with you or without you, that’s a fact and Beyond will do well , people will go see it with you or without you.Anybody saying the new movie will suck or I won’t go see it, doesn’t matter. As much as you want to feel important with your points makes no difference. Star Trek will go beyond…no pun intended. Nobody at Paramount really cares about what you want or what I want, they make the movie they want.

“Old trek fans need to get with it or go back and watch the old films and be happy and stay away from this site.”

Congratualtions, you are the new King of the Trolls. The scope of arrogance and philosophical bigotry of that statement is beyond understatement.

Without “old Trek” there wouldn’t BE “new Trek”. Someone needs to smack some manners into self-important newcommers like you and remind you to respect those who made your fandom possible.

Movies perhaps, but what about a Star Trek series made in 2016? Unlike movies, you can have multiple episodes a season that can venture into multiple territories, genres and themes. With a movie, you only get one shot every two or three years. I understand the movie aspect, I just don’t agree that Star Trek ‘in general’ cannot be cerebral in this day and age.

Yea, I took his comment as relating to the movies.

Stuff has to happen in TV shows too. Fuller’s Hanibal was smart snd intense – but I wouldn’t call it cerebral. I wouldn’t call it action either.

All you have to do is look at the list of movies that already been out in the last 10 years and you have your answer. Yes you can do what you want on a small screen ,but on the big screen history shows with Star Trek ,you can’t.

This is why the movie format falls short.

If you need to justify billion dollar budgets, and rely on crazy special effects to draw in the lowest common denominator, you’re not doing art.

Star Trek needs to get smaller… It needs to find a medium that allows it to be itself. Without the demand for wider audiences and popular appeal. If it has to sell out to grow its base, then growth is not a goal that is compatible with the art.

Play to your crowd, make your fans happy. Do it on TV, online, or even in print. I’d rather see good continuing stories scrawled on a mensroom wall than see a 50 year legacy destroyed- essentially turned into Star Wars… Be true to yourself.

“If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for who we really are.”

‘Star Trek needs to get smaller… ‘ This is the truest thing you will read on the internet today.

But it’s not true, only true to you because he said what you wanted to hear. The facts don’t reflect that.To think will get a cerebral Trek in todays movie market is just plain unrealistic ,but the small screen it can be done ,where BTW Trek lives.

Agree Dan, but it would need to come out of Summer Blockbuster territory and move into Fall or Winter holiday season to do that as a movie. Paramount is looking for maximum profits, not a formula that mixes well with cerebral Trek.

But “play to the crowd” is not necessarily viable … many self-professed “true fans” are not in the age bracket advertisers want TV shows to draw. I think the perfect audience for advertisers is still the young bracket.

Books won’t make big enough profits for the studios that own the franchise. How I hate that latter word; it emphasizes “commodity.”

It always has. music ,art anything is always targeted at the young, were past that target ,done. move on

Quite true. That’s why I’m more excited about the new TV show than I am about the movie (even though I AM excited about the movie). We’re not going to be able to get what I think of as “real Trek” — episodes like “The Devil in the Dark” — in summer blockbuster movies, and Paramount isn’t going to want to make small, thoughtful movies. So TV is our best hope. *crosses fingers for the new CBS offering*

Would you call Best of Both Worlds or All Good Things dumbed down, action-filled Trek?

Star Trek had some good, smart, strong episodes – but it was a show with rayguns and aliens. We talk like the whole darned thing was a Harold Pinter play.

Trek is going to be on TV. Why can’t it still be in the movies too?

Best of Both Worlds was not super intelligent at all. The smartest Trek series was DS9 but it gets the least amount of love. The dumbest series was Voyager and a lot of “fans” say it is the best. Just saying.

I agree DS9 was an arc type ongoing story and one of the first series to do that and yep not much love.

That swiped most of it’s structure (and no few details) from Babylon 5. I’m a huge fan of both franchises, but I can admit the truth. JMS deserves a co-creator credit for DS9.

Very true. DS9 was the best of the Trek series. Why it gets so much hate is beyond me.

It was never allowed to stand on its own two feet. Berman didn’t like it and wouldn’t allow it prime position in the franchise.

You’re not getting it Jack .Films and TV are 2 very different animals Aliens for example were good films ,but would be a horrible series on TV . The X-files was great TV ,but not so good on the big screen. You can’t tell an arc type story on the big screen ,it’s a one time deal. Star Trek falls in this area. The story will always suffer on the big screen.My hope is the new TV series will give what Trek fans have been waiting for. A TV series always runs the risk of being a let down on the big screen as is a big screen movie ends up a series on the TV, it’s a huge risk. Movies designed for the big screen always are more successful than TV series made for the big screen. It’s just a fact . We have had a few series on TV made for the big screen to the small screen successful , but very few.

Good points ,but Dan it won’t happen on the big screen and it never has in the past. Go back and watch all the big screen Trek movies and you will find they are good but kind of shallow and there is no art to be found.They are fun and enjoyable and that is the way they will always be on the big screen.

*cough* ST II, III and IV *cough* Stuffed full of good themes and ideas

^^ +1

Star Trek is a TV series property. It fits well there. Movies that flow out of a successful TV series work because we are invested in the characters and the ideas and thinking has been laid out. They could do a less cerebral movie if they were using characters who had lived on the screen and struggled with ideas already.

I say it again and again… when Spock died in WOK I was gutted! When Kirk sacrificed the Enterprise I was gutted. When Kirk died in STID I really didn’t care… truly it didn’t make a hill of beans to me. I laughed out loud when Spock yelled Khaaaaaaan… I wasn’t alone. When the Enterprise was falling apart in STID I didn’t care… the JJPrise has only had 30 seconds or so of hero time in the two JJVerse movies… when it came out of the atmosphere of Saturn it saved the day…. other than that moment it could be any ship or any building for that matter…

People like action movies… but there are many of them and I won’t be spending the next 2 years thinking about the next Fast & Furious movie coming… kinda the same way as the internet is all but silent about Star Trek Beyond.

So yes, let’s get Trek smaller again! Let’s invest in the characters and then when they are ready we’ll go see them on the big screen do something bigger than life and unlike anything we’ve seen them do before. As for Beyond… it’s like going to see a polished cover band. Fun for a night, but I’m not going to even visit their website…

Booooooooo……hope the movie tanks…..Pine will always be alt-Kirk; Shatner is THE Kirk…….still a lifelong Trekkie…..hoping for a future CEREBRAL Trek movie without Pine.

Yea, because Shatner never said anything the riled the fans.

Oh, get a life why don’t ya!

(reply to PS)

Duh, clown. We all know you were bitching about me as usual.

Find a new hobby.


Wow. Booooo. Sure, Shat is THE Kirk. Of the Original Universe. Pine is the Kirk of the Alt-Verse. Get used to it.

Pine is horrible as Kirk. He plays the same character in every movie he’s ever been in – his arrogant self. In TOS, Shatner’s Kirk was a great leader, confident, diplomatic, tactful, and ambitious. He was exactly what a ship captain should be. Pine’s Kirk is reckless, arrogant, juvenile, irresponsible, etc. So far off the mark.

“He plays the same character in every movie he’s ever been in”

Unlike Shatner of course….WHOOPS! ;-)

Shatner only plays Shatner. He has the acting range of a rabid poodle.

Not really ,I love Bill but he only can play one character. What Bill does really good is reinvent himself, that what keeps him in the news. For an actor ”it’s a job” even Bill has said that many times. Actors have to keep working or they end up working a job like we do. Once you get in that limelight and in demand, would you want to let that go,or bitch about how Trek isn’t ‘cerebral’ anymore.Of course you wouldn’t. Actors have to keep working while they are young and in demand because when they older the roles get far and inbetween
Get it Harry?? You wouldn’t be any different if it was you.

@Ransom, I’m not sure you’ve seen the same movies I have. Pine usually plays earnest characters who have an important job to do: “The Finest Hour”; “Unstoppable”; “Jack Ryan [or whatever it was called]” … he played an entitled jerk in “Bottle Shock” … oh yeah and “Star Trek 2009”, but that fell off by STID. I think he’ll be more like TOS Kirk in “Beyond,” mostly action-hero Kirk [who we saw, yes, even in the divine TOS].

Maybe so , but Pine laughs at you all the way to the bank. Its a job man ,why can’t people see that ??

He never did it for me as Kirk. Something just seemed off about him. I actually preferred Chris Hemsworth George Kirk….the little screen time he had.

The only thing Shatner can do now is smoke a crack pipe and ride a hello kitty bike


Exactly. Pine will NEVER be Kirk. Pine is not Kirk. The Abramsverse sucks. Pine sucks. Pine’s Kirk sucks. The whole thing sucks and should be sucked into a black hole. Don’t worry, cerebral Trek movies will come again some day after this team of anti-Trek producers is gone.


I agree and why they should stay away from TOS ,All the original actors are burned in our brains and it’s hard to replace them. But you’re wrong on the new movie ,it will make a ton of money. Studios are more interested these days how their movie does overseas than in the USA. you’re just pissed because it’s not the Trek you want to see.I’m an old Trek fan all the way back to 1966, but even I see and understand why the studio is doing what they are doing, Chris Pine is right, get use to ,it’s just a another movie when the day ends.

hoping for a future CEREBRAL Trek movie without Pine, Keep Dreaming Sucker:p

The Voyage Home shows that movie Trek can be both cerebral and fun.
The defect in not making that happen is unimaginative filmmakers, not the “marketplace”.

I like Chris Pine and his portrayal of Kirk, but this interview inspires no confidence in the quality of the new movie.

I enjoyed TVH, but don’t recall it being particularly ‘cerebral’. A great ‘fish out of water’ and character study made it good viewing.

Cerebral: Related to the mind rather than to feelings : intellectual and not emotional

And I think TVH was more emotional than cerebral. Whales in danger, Earth in danger, heroes to the rescue, danger and humor.

I second what Marja said!

TVH is about responsibility. Kirk and crew accepting responsibility for their mutiny. Earth accepting it’s responsibility for killing off the humpbacks, and by accepting the responsibility, also accepting the duty to DO something to make things right.

I’d agree that the film-making could be both thoughtful, artful and action/fun if the right story was told the right way, but I agree with Pine that there just isn’t much payoff for that in this day and age. The emphasis is so heavy on succeeding financially with a release like a Star Trek movie that pretty much everything gets sacrificed for the sake of commercial success.

I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. Perhaps CBS can do some thoughtful episodes for television.

And I see some comments suggesting that Star Trek needs to get “smaller” or that Paramount needs to get away from the “tent-pole” status for Trek in order to make it better. Essentially, almost every film is a tentpole – especially when they cost hundreds of millions to make. This year, Paramount is only making 12-15 films and most of those are co-productions. With Star Trek being so expensive to produce I think the choice at Paramount is to either make it a “commercial” success at any cost or not to make the movie at all. That’s just the nature of the business today. Paramount isn’t going to make a $50 million version of Star Trek. There’s no profit in it when you have to spend $200 million + on marketing to get people in the doors like they did with STID.

Studios are not interested in $50 million versions of ANYthing. Smaller films are crowded out of the markets. Even the Holiday film and spring markets are stuffed with wanna-be tentpoles that didn’t quite make the grade. Lots of people acknowledging this.


Re: Studios are not interested in $50 million versions of ANYthing

Then how do you account for Paramount’s PARANORMAL ACTIVITY cost even less?

Another who justs don’t get it. The Voyage home was a different time, we don’t live in that world anymore , get with it.

We will never find our way back home if people listen to people like you who insist on not looking for it.

And this is why Trek (in any era) has generally not been its best on the big screen. Trek belongs in a serialized format that allows it to tell all kinds of stories without worrying about filling in the theatre seats and generating popcorn sales.

Says you. I like the movies. Why can’t we have both?

We do have both, don’t we? I think it’s plainly obvious though that they are very different types of products.

What?? have you reading these posts. You can’t have both Jack because the nature of Movies vs TV. Do some fact checking and you will understand. With films as Jeff pointed out is about filling seats in a theater and food sales. The studio don’t feel the trek you want will fill the seats and they would be right. They tried that with the old films making them for the fans, it just doesn’t work!! Check the history. Trek is making more money now than any of the old films ,good film or not so good. It’s about making money in the box office or getting ratings on TV ,its always been that way.It’s a big business like any other business.The Box office talks and if they make money we get another Star Trek ,if not Trek is done on the big screen.

The Motion Picture and Voyage Home are #2 and #3 by gross after inflation adjustment. Furthermore, ID only beat it’s original (WoK) by $4 million for #4. (source Box Office Mojo)

Trek films that are cerabral are highly comptetitive.

Jeff gets it ,thanks Jeff

I can’t join him in his opinion, at a time when even Batman can get cerebral (almost). Certain people could do it, and today’s audience is not dumber than that of 50 years ago. Paramount formed a team with different motives. New Trek was obviously designed to be non-cerebral in favour of never before seen box office success. I can accept this although I don’t like it. However I won’t accept Pine’s words on what can be done and can’t be done today. It could be done.

It could be done with a different team or a different season of release. I know I’m pounding this, but as long as it’s a “summer blockbuster” I don’t think “cerebral” will sell in the way Paramount wants.

Heh, maybe a different franchise owner is in order ….

This is a good point that I don’t entirely agree with – I don’t think the season has much to do with it. Space movies are expensive to do properly – they need expensive effects.

And every studio wants a money-making franchise, regardless of when it’s released – but I’d argue Paramount, despite frequent protestations by many here, has never sold out Trek.

Trek 09 wasn’t dumb and it didn’t betray Trek. It had some writing issues, and there wasn’t nuch to the plot, but it was, as the Onion noted ‘fun, watchable’ while capturing the spirit of Trek.

When we call Star Trek smart, often we’re talking about watching chatacters be smart and do smart things (which just tirned into nonsense talk by Voyager). But emotions and relationships were always key.

Also, why can’t we wait to see what this one is actually like before calling for a rehaul?

I agree ,great point. Marja you have fans here that want what they want ,they won’t listen to reason and even if they get how Hollywood works ,they still want what they want. We have seen that mindset during this primary season, the people want one thing, the establishment wants another.

No today’s audiences are not dumb , but they do want to escape the real world and don’t want to get into cerebral movies unless it’s based on a true story. Star Trek is pure fantasy, like Star Wars just to have fun for a couple of hours. Get it ??

I think his statement doesn´t just characterize 2016 movie-making reality. It has been like this since the 80´s, when the blockbuster was basically invented with Star Wars and Indy and budget escalation happened in the early 90’s (think T2, which, afaik, was the first movie to cost more that $100 million). That changed the landscape, first and foremost from a storytelling perspective. Dumb and impressive is the formula that works to attract the masses. There are notable exceptions, but Paramount is going to play it safe with a tentpole property (they are even downplaying the “Star Trek” in the title because they probably assume it will turn away potential viewers as the might *think* it’s going to be too cerebral)..

That’s why ST at its best has always been on TV. And if you look at today’s TV landscape, that’s where you find the good storytelling. I have high hopes for ST:All Access to bring me the Trek I want, following up on all the shows that paved the way, Trek and others. And I look forward to the big action spectacle that will be ST:B. But I will not be disappointed if it doesn’t deliver “cerebral” Trek (tell me when it ever did that). Because that’s not what it is made for. I think we can all agree on Pine being absolutely right here (funny enough, 20 years ago, we were complaining that Trek movies on a much smaller budget felt like overblown TV episodes).

@Alex, “Star Trek” is viewed by many in Europe as a kid’s show [don’t know why]. Maybe they mix it up with “Star Wars”? [As to which, the cover of SEX — I mean SFX — is no help.] And who knows how the name “Star Trek” plays in China, et. al.

I agree with the concept of cerebral Trek on TV. I just wish they could use the new cast in at least one storyline.

I think it’d be cool to have an anthology series centering on several Starfleet organizations or starships.

As far as I know it will be a new cast and no Kirk and Spock, which I think is a great idea. Let’s put TOS to rest, i’m burnt out with TOS.

In this age of encroaching Transhumanism and AI, someone forgot to tell Chris “…You never go full Retard…”

Well, he’s not wrong.

And I agree 100% that putting Shatner in there would take away from their own story. Shit, putting Nimoy in the last 2 took away from THEIR story – I’m genuinely excited for Beyond because it’s the first time this franchise is standing on its own legs.

Agree completely!

I thought SP in 09 worked very well. In STID it felt forced and unnecessary (though it was great to see LN one last time as Spock).

@ GreatTrek, Agreed. I think it would have satisfied the fans eager to see Shat if the scene with Kirk’s recorded message to Spock had been put in toward the end … Spock’s nod at the “new generation” would have meant even more.

DangerousDac & Prodigal Son

Was it the character or the actor that did the taking?

In other words, is it your opinions that if Quinto had played Spock Prime as well, the two films would have been better?

@ Disinvited

I liked Nimoy as Spock Prime in 2009. Nimoy in STID though was completely unnecessary — that’s where I am coming from on this topic; Spock Prime did not need to be in STID.

Interesting, what Lindelof says overshadowed their movies:

“As long as we’re making these new movies, people are going to keep asking us when are we going to do Khan. That conversation basically informed a lot of the thinking on the sequel [STID], perhaps to its detriment, because it kind of overshadowed the larger questions of what should the movie be.” — Damon Lindelof

What a moron. Anyone who thinks he’s right is equally obtuse. It only works if there are NO smart sci-fi films being made, which is obviously not the case.

His remarks about Shatner are moronic too and a lame excuse for lazy writers who cant write a good story that features Shatner. If Pine feels so small that he cant do a Trek film with Shatner and not be over-shadowed or feel the story would be over-shadowed, then he’s basically saying he isnt that good of an actor and the writers arent that good either. And honestly, both points arent accurate.

I get that he’s promoting the film. But talk about out of touch. Yikes.

@ TUP, Having read some of the scenarios posted on other threads here, I think there is almost no good story that could feature Shatner as Kirk. Except the recorded message to Spock, and Shatner wouldn’t settle for that.

Don’t blame the writers. Blame Shatner for wanting a “central/important/active role.” Talk about out of touch. Yikes!


@Marja – the myth that Shatner wouldnt accept the recorded message gig is not true. While it IS true Shatner was lobbying for “more than a cameo”, when he was told by fans about the hologram scene he said he would have done it (ofcourse we dont know if he meant it). The film makers confirmed they never pitched it to him because they felt he wanted a bigger role.

Further, Bob wrote a story that included Shatner.

Too many people here (not you Marja) fail to understand there is some middle ground between TMP and STID. Its not one or the other.

I’m older and of course a TOS super fan, but I think it’s time to move on and retire the TOS cast from movies–including Shatner. Keep looking forward, not backward!!!


Your post here is the opposite of cerebral — emotional and action packed!

It’s a surprise you don’t like the movies much, because you are the type of audience they are after.

I think TUP was just commenting on the misconception that Mr. Shatner refused to do the hologram scene written for him. While in fact it has been confirmed he was never offered the role – so blaming him for not appearing in ST09 is wrong.


I could’ve sworn that Shatner had been quoted as saying he wanted a “meaningful role, not a cameo,” that was more “central to the story” … which, to the producers, meant he
would never accept the hologram scene, and thus, they never called him. Also, didn’t Abrams say that Shat would need to do a test screening, and didn’t Shatner say that was something he would not do? Hmmm. My memory does not serve, perhaps.

I was under the impression that what he said to the fan after the movie had been made was somewhat different from what actually happened.

Pine is out of touch??? Oy the irony. Pot meet kettle. Shatner would not only overshadow the movie but his stupid merkin and horrible acting would take anyone right out of the movie. Lets keep Shatner where he belongs – which is probably nowhere. Thank god the days of Shatner in Trek are gone. Like Nero said, he was once a great man, but that was another time.

Harry Plinkett,

Whether or not Shatner’s appliances are laughable in public, all celebrities have their on screen appearance digitally touched up these days so it’s just a matter of the faith one has that a director would use a digital touchup house adequate to the task.

If Shatner is such a celebrity presence that he could overshadow a picture, one would think that would be an argument for finding a way to getting him in for the goose it would give the B.O. Besides, what you are actually declaring is your lack of faith that Lin could find a balance when he seems to be able to strike such with other celebrities who have a strong screen presence in his other ensemble casted features.

@ Disinvited

Personally, I crack up every-time I see Shat’s old Maytag upright.

I think it would have been way cool to do the opening scene with a hyped-up version of “The Deadly Years”—allowing Shatner, Takei, Nichols, and Koenig to all have cameos and not impacted the over all story. The 4 could have played older versions of the crew now affect by the aging disease on Gamma Hydra—instead of Chekov being the cure, Bones or Spock could’ve been the one that got scared and didn’t age—maybe Spock, so McCoy would have a reason to give him sh*t.

The scene could have lasted 5 mins tops—starting from latter end where they have to defeat the opposing foes as elders then get cured. Start the movie the same pace as the Nibiru mission in STID.

Spock getting scared could have totally tied into his conversation with Bones in the trailer about “fear of death is not logical.” Just saying. All in all, I can’t wait to see the movie!! I just hope we get to see a decent replacement Enterprise—just got use to the JJverse NCC-1701. It seems too premature to bust out the Enterprise A.

way to alienate the fan base chris. nice job. i understand that today’s star trek needs to operate on various levels of intellect (or non-intellect) to remain viable on the big screen but that just made me mad.

This depends on how you define “fan base.”

I’ve been a Trekfan since TOS’s orginal broadcasts but enjoy the movies. I think there’s way too much CGI splosions and emphasis on ACTION! but I love seeing my favorite characters, with some changes.

Quoting Shakespeare and Melville doesn’t necessarily make something intellectual.

Cerebral usually means nothing happens and there’s no emotion.

I wouldn’t define any Trek as cerebral – even the Cage and TMP (which wasn’t intellectual, it was just too damned slow.)

Quoting Shakespeare and Melville doesn’t necessarily make something intellectual.
@Jack, Thank you JAYSUS I mean JACK, finally somebody said it. TWOK, much as we love it, has some big-ass plot holes too.

“The Fan Base”… that’s a bold statement… the only way I disagree with Chris is in the way that he should have known in what cesspool he lowers himself here… You do not jump into a pit full of rabid pitbulls with a suit made out of bleeding fresh meat.

I think Chris is partly right. I think you can make a cerebral Star Trek movie it just wouldn’t have as large of an audiance as the big budget blow things up action adventures of today.You want central I think that’s what tv is for and where cerebral works best in my opinion. I think allot of people like me go to movies now days not to think but to get away from thinking for a couple hours and just relax and enjoy a fun entertaining movie with lots of action explosions and special effects. I think Star Trek works best on tv but film has its place to and is just a different flavor of Star Trek for a different type of audiance. Anyway that’s just my one opinion out of many after all everyone likes a different flavore in their coffee. I myself am looking forward to Star Trek Beyond.

I’m sad that he is correct because a part of me believes that all these effects should be put to better use. I wanted and hoped there would be a Star Trek film that was freaky. I also don’t believe that a genuinely well written effects film couldn’t be interesting and though provoking and appeal to audiences all over the world.

I agree with you on effects! Lordy, imagine the fantastic ships, environments, and characters they could meet.


INTERSTELLAR, GRAVITY, EX MACHINA, INCEPTION, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, and the Nolan Batman trilogy all demonstrate that Pine is clearly wrong on this one. All of those movies were commercially successful, and they were all quite thought-provoking.

Agreed. Interstellar felt the most like what a Trek movie should/could be.

@DanielB, Yep. Mind-bending intelligent adventure. It was a very cool sci-fi adventure.

I disagree. X-Men and the Dark Knight trilogy were as subtle as a punch to the gut. Interstellar, Ex Machina, Inception, and The Martian were much more intelligent and thought-provoking. There was nothing whatsoever thought-provoking about Gravity, which was just 90 minutes of things going kaboom while Sandra Bullock screams.

I think if you want to emulate the mass-market success of MOST blockbusters, you hire JJ Abrams. If you want to make a thought-provoking film, you hire Nolan or another director. I loved the first three movies you mention but did not think X-Men was really that thought-provoking. And in disclosure, I did not see the Batman trilogy but acknowledge its success; and I didn’t see Inception … wasn’t that the semi-successful movie with Depp as the computer genius who uploaded his brain?

Being commercially successful is not the same as being a huge profit maker, alas; and that’s what Paramount wants.

x-men was very thought provoking for a comic book movie, it is one of the few comic films that go beyond the generic comic book movie thing like mcu movies. xmen did deal with a lot like genocide, racism, prejudice and had a lot of complex and complicated heroes and villains

@ girl,
Zootopia did that, but without the genocide and superheroes … ;-)

I wouldn’t call any of those cerebral.

@ Jack, Aw c’mon, they did the Turing test on Eva in Ex Machina. Isn’t that cerebral? ;-)

You clearly don’t know what “Cerebral” means… also Gravity tanked pretty hard, Ex Machina? Never heard of that… Inception is mostly remembered for it’s brilliant action scenes, X-Men? Really? X-Men is about as cerebral as my bowl of chocolate muesli… Nolans Batman is Gritty and realit-based, NOT cerebral… For Interstellar I actually can’t say anything because I still haven’t seen it.

People throw that word around like candy on childs birthday party…

SelorKiith… What? “Gravity” grossed $723 million worldwide. Hollywood wishes all movies ‘tanked’ like that! However, I disagree with the original poster that it was a cerebral movie. And look for Ex Machina, an excellent indie flick.

Gravity tanked? In what universe? It made 7x its budget.

I think it’s fair to say he means in movies, not television. Just going to throw that out there. And I sorta agree with his Shatner thoughts. It would be great but it probably would feel a bit forced.

“It has become a crusade of mine to demonstrate that TV need not be violent to be exciting”. Gene Roddenberry

“I wanted to send a message to the television industry that excitement is not made of car chases”. Gene Roddenberry

Well, that’s sad but not unexpected. When a company spends a TON of money on a movie, they understandably want to throw in everything and the kitchen sink to maximize a return on the investment.

Oh, I’ll definitely be going to see “Beyond”; I’m looking forward to it. I enjoyed the last two movies although I still don’t know why Nero goes back in time and never once thought to alert his home world of it’s impending doom. That was a pretty huge plot hole.

Personally, I think you can have an entertaining, action packed movie that isn’t a formula driven good guy vs. stereotypical bad guy with tons of fighting, explosions and mayhem. TOS had all the ” fighting, explosions and mayhem” they could afford to do with a TV budget. It’s not an either/or situation unless one lacks imagination.

Sometimes NOT having a huge budget makes writers more creative because they have to be. Sometimes a lack of budget forces people to think of things like the transporter.

Like someone else noted “The Voyage Home shows that movie Trek can be both cerebral and fun. The defect in not making that happen is unimaginative filmmakers, not the “marketplace”.

I realize that it’s easy to say “just be more brilliant”, but there are a lot of brilliant movies – like Reservoir Dogs by
Quinton Tarantino or Mystery Train by Jim Jarmusch – that didn’t break the bank.

Anyway, I hope the movie is a success.

Live long and prosper!


I’ll even go you one better: Since the slowing down of time still works in traveling at light speed in Orci’s universe (see: Spock Prime popping out 25 years later), why does Nero have the patience of Job to wait around in the wrong time for Spock Prime’s relativistic forward time travel but doesn’t himself hightail it right back moments before the supernova becomes unstoppable the minute Robau makes him aware he’s time-traveled?

Recall what Einstein’s thought experiments informs us: for Nero and his crew, the trip forward through time traveling at near the speed of light would appear instantaneous.

Why would he wait till the last possible moment? That way he could still save Romulus by goosing Spock’s inadequate red matter amount/timing so that it would still consume Spock and Nero’s time clone but this time saving Romulus, leaving a place in alttime for Prime Nero to occupy where his wife and kids live.

@ Disinvited,
If Nero had been as smart as you are, there wouldn’t have been a movie ;-)

It would’ve been really cool if somehow after all the action he had realized that and popped out of the Alt-Verse just in time to save Prime Romulus [instead of dying an awful pointless death by thousands of torpedoes]. In fact, if the Bridge crew had put that idea together so Nero COULD save his home planet in the Prime Uni — that would have been so “Trek.”

yeah! that WOULD have be soooo “Trek”! See, it IS possible … They could have still had all the action and excitement of the ’09 film AND a Star Trek ending. I think that’s what most fans would appreciate. I liked the Abrams movies. The fast pacing was fine, but felt that they could have been a little better and more like Trek with some re-writing.

I agree with him. With few exceptions cerebral movies do not make the money that Paramount wants. If you look at the Trek movies, how many were cerebral? TMP was the most, and it was poorly received. It many money mainly due to the spectacle of Trek on the big screen. Then TWOK was much more action with some themes such as aging and friendship but the big one was vengeance. ST3, again friendship, loyalty, and a mad villain wanting to obtain a superweapon. TVH was more cerebral, agreed with a message. Basically they all had messages and themes woven in with action. Some may bring up Interstellar. Sure it was cerebral, and I could imagine it with Start Trek characters instead, but I think ST is just continuing what started with TWOK. Action-oriented stories with different themes and ideas thrown in.

As for the WS Kirk thing, I do think they need to stand on their own. I’d like to see WS Kirk again and maybe we will sometime.

Just lost a lot of respect for Chris Pine. Because movies like Interstellar / The Martian / Inception – they all sucked right??? No – it means they gave in and dumbed down Star Trek. Ugh. THANKS A LOT JAR JAR ABRAMS …. This goes right along with Simon Peggs interview. You can’t make a true Star Trek movie today. Let me scrape the cow manure off my shoes….

A) Star Trek has never been like any of those, but shoukd be (not Inception, it’s hugely overrated).

B) I wouldn’t call any of those cerebral.

Thank you Jack… the Movies indeed never were anywhere close to that. And given how none of these will ever see proper Sequels or even come close to spawning a Franchise, that’s a pretty good thing!

Where’s your messiah now?

Who is the messiah supposed to be?

Line from ST:TFF, mebbe?

TMP was by far the best Star Trek movie ever and also the best ‘Trek music ever.

Music yes, but the acting left a lot to be desired. Incredibly wooden performances from Shatner, Nimoy, and Kambatta. And it desperately needed one more re-write, with the pacing in the second-half nothing short of glacial. Never mind the plot’s blatant rip-off of “The Changeling” (it isn’t mocked as “Where Nomad Has Gone Before” for nothing.) I like the movie, but best Trek? No.

Agreed. TMP was dull. Every other Trek movie since contained action.

Yes, def a re-hash of “The Changeling.” You’d think with a huge budget and Robert Wise, Roddenberry wouldn’t have stolen from his own past work …. that’s a big part of what always bugged me about that movie, and why that “Where Nomad Has Gone Before” always cracked me up. That, and the AWFUL colorless costumes and backgrounds.

Imagine that TMP acting challenge though. Staring for hours a day at a blue screen, trying to look moved and amazed. I know it was a challenge to watch for 2 hours …. and I had SFX to watch. You have to have some appreciation for the actors’ stamina.


Re:You’d think with a huge budget and Robert Wise, Roddenberry wouldn’t have stolen

You are absolutely wrong in blaming Roddenberry. Roddenbery, Ellison, etc. and a host of others did propose original script ideas for TMP and none of them were what your are tarring Gene with here. The Paramount suits were the ones who rejected all of those ORGINAL ideas. And if I recall correctly from piecing together all the disparate accounts, it was only in desperation trying to find something that would placate the implacable Paramount suits, who Ellison reported wanted Mayans with dinosaurs, that I believe Gene let them look at the Phase II scripts which included a treatment for THE CHANGELING rehash for its pilot, IN THY IMAGE, that the PARAMOUNT suits picked. Gene.

I do so tire of history constantly being rewritten that Paramount has ONLY been responsible for the GOOD in STAR TREK and bears absolutely no responsibility for its BAD Trek decisions.

And I find it absurd that people are preaching that Paramount now knows what it is doing, while the company itself is in dire financial straits because of mindlessly adhering to their action movie script decisions which have contributed to it.

If I had to choose between watching JJ’s 2009 so called Star Trek movie once or watching TMP hundred times, I’d choose the latter.

He’s right. You can’t make a “cerebral” Trek film today (“Cerebral” being the term we all agree is OK when others describe Star Trek that way. We fans who are “cerebral” know the show ain’t anywhere close to being so). The entire film business is rigged now for blockbusters only, from getting investment all the way to every last platform and device being able to show it. They could remake “The Empath” for a few grand and show it in arthouse theaters in NY and LA, but something as mind-bending as “TMP” just would not get the butts in seats for a 2 1/2 hour intercourse metaphor/exploration of humanity’s search for its creator/next step in its evolution. And “The Empath” would just be a bore. “Wagon Train to the Stars” was an easy way to couch a good message into a weekly action/drama TV show. Pine is saying it’s still possible to do so (though STID was a disastrous example to cite).

Well he’s totally right. It’s not 1980 — things have changed. Deal with it.

This exactly. Paramount won’t spend 150+m on a movie without it appealing to the masses. That’s just the way it is. Sure you could argue they could make a one act play movie for $10m that only trekkies will see but they’re a business after all. What people can’t get in their heads is that I am a Star Trek fan who loves the new movies *whilst still acknowledging the flaws*. Yes I know they’re big summer action movies for the masses – but guess what ? I’m fine with that.

I don’t go to the cinema and spend £15 to watch Waiting For Godot. I want to be entertained first and foremost.

I do. I try to see every version of Godot ever made.

Give it up, he isn’t coming.

@Cafe, LOL

We can be pretty sure there aren’t many drama lovers like you in the cineplex.

Of course you can’t make that kind of trek anymore when you don’t want to or don’t even try. And you set out to make the most “un-trek” like movie possible. And you bring in the director of the most idiotic franchise ever, Fast and the Furious, which is aimed at the kind of people who go street racing on public highways and end up killing half a dozen people. Yeah sounds like a good choice to direct Star Trek.

It will be a wonderful surprise indeed if Lin’s Trek turns out to be the best of the three new Treks, owing more to TOS than F&F.

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ grossed $467,381,584 worldwide.

‘Interstellar’ grossed $675,120,017 worldwide.

People appreciate more cerebral fare. It’s great to watch movies like ‘Transformers’ when you just want to sit back and enjoy some breezy entertainment, but folks in general don’t want to be talked down to. They want to be engaged at their level, or even a bit higher, to make them reach.

I enjoy the new films but Star Trek should be raising the bar, not lowering it.


Yep! Best comment / argument so far.

Transformers Age of Extinction hauled in 1.10 B. Way more than Interstellar and ST. How cerebral was that?

Is he Fkg kidding. Shatner would serve no story purpose. Keep your action motorcycles and space jumps Chris. I guess they only respect Nimoy because he passed.

Whether or not you agree with his statement (I do not), it doesn’t show a whole lot of faith in the product they’re about to release, ie. ‘hold on tight everyone, here comes a hot mess of mindless action and one-line jokes.’

Seriously considering waiting until this is released on HBO or Showtime. How sad.

I’m not even going to see it. First trek movie I haven’t seen in the theater since Search for Spock. JJ Trek is absolute crap on a level consistent with the worst pop culture drivel.

The majority of fans and movie-goers alike greatly disagree.

@Captain Ransom

Sir, Captain, Sir! Yes, Sir. It’s absolute crap, sir!

@Great Trek

What majority?

@quantum47 Anyone but you 5 or 6 People that consistently pop up in these Comments here?


lol. Very funny.

Seems to me there weren’t any explosions in “The Martian” or “Interstellar” and they were blockbuster hits.

Oops, well there was one in “Interstellar”.

Those were both awesome movies …

@Thorny, was either movie released in Summer Blockbuster season?

That is the fundamental error they made with NuTrek.

Trek theatricals steered clear of summer since TFF in the 89 massacre summer that also damaged Bond domestically. If Abrams had let 09 come out as scheduled, end of 08 instead of summer 09, I think it might have done even better, and the timetables that skewed for the followups might not have been as severe either. I think I’d’ve hated the 09 as much as ever either way, it is the nadir of trek theatricals for me, still, and easily.

I also think that if Par had held BACK on TFF six months and allowed recutting along with limited reshooting and a new VFX team (instead of paying triple time to the inadequate group they had), they’d’ve had a more successful film and a better one, even with eating six months of interest. If you consider TFF’s VFX cost more than the VFX for TWOK, SFS, TVH or TUC, it is a crying shame and an utter waste of resources (and that’s coming from somebody who only loves three trek movies — tmp, twok & tff.)

“Inception” was a summer blockbuster, and it definitely was not dumbed-down fare like “Transformers” or [insert random superhero movie here].

Well there was a drone hunt, that was almost Fast and Furious material. I’d totally watch a movie about people who kidnap drones. ;)

The Martian had one explosion (aboard the ship) and one explosive decompression. So, actually, it had two explosions. Fabulous movie, by the way.

Remember guys, you’re getting upset over something that’s written in a magazine. You dont know what he actually said organisaatio meant.

it’s just not possible to make a movie without “wham-bam explosions and planets blowing up”.
Weeeeell,,,,I thought Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was pretty good,,

And I guess we wont see Mr Shatner pop in and surprise us anytime soon,its a shame to torpedo and sink one of the biggest opportunities that Star Trek would have to offer.


But ST2 is action adventure, with planets blowing up! It’s TMP that was the only cerebral one.

I really think Mr. Shatner should stay in retirement… have you even tried to read the abyssmal novels he wrote? I couldn’t even finish the first one half way before I nearly burst a blood vessel from frustration.

There is some truth here, as other are saying. If “Star Trek” is seen as a tentpole for Paramount, they would be very concerned if it just ended up being a message film. That said, themes can certainly be worked in quite nicely. Does some of what Pine says in that first quote indicate that this is the case with Beyond? “The question our movie poses is…” We will know soon enough.

This is also why it will be good to have Trek back on the small screen next year.

He’s WRONG! It’s one thing making an SFX driven movie that appeals to a broader audience. But those FX should be about CREATION, not destruction. Occassional explosions here and there, all right, but the main focus should be on those “strange new worlds” we were promised five decades ago! Full stop.
A Trek movie doesn’t have to be “cerebral” in a sense that it’s only people talking about values and philosophy for 90 minutes. But it can be about that awe, that sense of wonder that space holds in store for us. Every space documentary knows how to handle that sense of wonder better than any of the recent Trek movies!

Which certainly wouldn’t have fit in a 5 Minute Interview… sure he could gush over the beautiful Starbase and the Planets and Ships… but he wouldn’t be talking about anything else and most readers would have fallen asleep right then and there.

Pine is just stating the reality of the situation…and truth be told, the introspective “human adventure” really didn’t start until the TMP…then it was wisely jettisoned until Roddenberry brought it back in full force with TNG….turning that sweet, delicious apple pie called Star Trek into a pumpkin pie. Still a pie but very very different…and not so delcious for those that like, and were expecting, apple. I like action in my Star Trek. I like to see Kirk fight. I like sex and romance in my Star Trek. I like outer space adventure. I like fun. I like Star Trek. TNG…um…not so much lol

Can’t wait for Trek Beyond!

Uh. I like those things too. But ‘cerebral trek’ and ‘introspective human adventure WAS part of the apple pie recipe from the get go with “The Cage” and folded in nicely in many episodes of TOS. Trek wasn’t JUST fist fights, or sex, or space adventure, or social commentary or human adventure or any one thing. It was a perfect mixture of many elements that made a perfect whole…apple pie.

The Cage is a perfect example. Cerebral didn’t fly then, either. You can omit the “cerebral”. You can discard the pretentiousness and stick to a good story…like Star Wars or Flash Gordon…and it’s still fun entertainment. Remove the “fun” aspects…the sexy romance, the humor, the fights and adventure and you get your cerebral Trek…it’s called TNG…and it’s excruciatingly pretentious, talky and dull 90% of the time. I subscribe, not to the Church of Gene, but the Church of the Genes. Get Roddenberry’s head out of the clouds, get him grounded, and add the basic storytelling sensibilities of Gene Coon…and you have the recipe for apple pie…just like granny used to make. Try to be lofty, preachy and too clever for your own good…ignoring the mass appeal of your source material and you’ll be sitting down to pumpkin pie…which is great at Thanksgiving, but it’s July 4th and what you really want, with that ice cream, is granny’s Apple pie. But you eat the Pumpkjn anyway because you have a sweet tooth and it’s better than nothing.

Agreed. There is a reason Paramount uses TOS instead of TNG for the reboots. Perfect people in constant harmony with one another, story arcs regarding shipmates kids who glow in the dark and problem resolution by consensus is not going to make the majority of people want to part with their money. And for all the talk about the Nu Enterprise bridge looking like an Apple store, how did it ever escape criticism that the 1701-D bridge was inspired by a Hilton Hotel lobby?

I’m not talking about removing anything. Pine is. And you are. Lord knows I don’t want my Star Trek to be TNG but I also do not WANT it to be Flash Gordon and Star Wars.

Well said!

Quote: “Does the Fedration mean anything?” Given the tendency of the world right now to scismatize and pull itself into ever smaller pieces that’s actually asking an extremely relevant and important question. I’m such a pitifully defensive old world Trekkie that I originally refused to see the reboot. When I eventually did I had to admit it was cleverly done and beautifully shot. The new cast is spectacularly gifted. Making Kirk more fallible gives people more of a handle to grasp him with. I’m glad the new one is venturing into original territory and hope it’s terrific. Let’s bravely go, people!

This is just making excuses for weak writing. To say “we can’t do cerebral” is nonsense. The Voyage Home was ‘cerebral’ in that it didn’t rely upon space battles — but instead — comedy, characterization, and social commentary regarding our environment.

It was not only a smash hit but brought people into the franchise. I remember. I was there. My frickin’ Aunt who had never watched 10 minutes of Trek went to see that movie.

Writing about society with engaging characters and being funny is really hard. It’s much easier to build a rollercoaster and blow everything up. The problem is you waste STAR TREK when you do that.

I won’t pay to see the Enterprise destroyed again. It is the star of the show.

“It is the star of the show.”

Not this Enterprise.

@ q47
Maybe [per typical action-movie plot from the Eastwood/Bronson days] she’s the girlfriend who dies tragically in the beginning of the movie at the hands of some enemy and gives the hero cause for revenge. …

This Enterprise is ugly. Won’t be sad to see it go, as long as NCC-1701-A is a better-looking ship and not just the same design with an “A” appended to the registry.

What about Interstellar and The Martian? Both were smart, complex and did great box office.

Interstellar made 188 M in the US. For comparison sake STID made 228. And Paramount wants MORE!! So how would making a Interstellar like Trek make Paramount more money? (FYI The Martian also made 228 in the US. Neither were meant to be big summer tentpole movies so telling Paramount to follow that path would not excite them very much.)


Re:telling Paramount to follow that path would not excite them very much.

Puzzling. Paramount is floundering and people actually believe staying with their action movies course delivering more of the same will SAVE them?

I would think the proven failure of their sticking to that exact same action marketing model failing to deliver for them, would by now:

“Turns out Turtle Power isn’t going to bail out Viacom VIAB -1.42% CEO Philippe Dauman.

The entertainment company cut its quarterly earnings forecast Friday, owing in part to the “theatrical underperformance” of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows.” —

Viacom expects to post adjusted diluted earnings of $1.00 to $1.05 per share for its fiscal third quarter, sharply below the $1.38 consensus estimate from Wall Street analysts.

The guidance cut comes at a time when nothing Viacom puts on the big screen compares to the boardroom and courtroom drama between Dauman and the company’s controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone.” — ‘Viacom’s Dauman Isn’t Making A Great Case For Sticking Around’; by Steve Schaefer;; Jun 17, 2016 @ 10:48 AM

cause them to be open to a new, possibly more cerebral, mix?

Moonves is likely going to get his wish. He won the game, and Dauman is out, and Moonves will likely be handed the keys along with Redstones daughter. Moonves will be the keeper of 100% of the Star Trek franchise probably before “Beyond” hits home video.

Goodwill? People LIKING what they saw and then wanting to see it again in the theater? Or buy it on homevid? Those are good reasons for making it like INT. Hell, TWOK made a lot less than TMP (don’t trust the last couple of decades of box office tracking, TMP did MUCH MUCH more than the current accounts report), so should they have decided to not do more movies because TWOK didn’t make 175 worldwide (back when that meant something.)

Interstellar made $675 million worldwide. The Martian made $630 million worldwide. Star Trek Into Darkness made $467 million worldwide.

(WordNet pause: cerebral) “involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct” — ah, well, there’s the problem: Paramount is a victim of the either-or fallacy. As soon as they figure that out I’ll be back in the theater. November 31st, probably.

I understand Chris Pines point of view.
And he is completely correct.
No this is not a TV series made 50 years ago we are talking about, it’s a major motion picture “event” film being made in 2016, so comparisons are based on two very different forms of entertainment with fifty years of history between them.
Not that we can’t make comparisons, and not that there haven’t been some very cerebral films that have done well, and it’s not even that people are simply dumber in today’s world.
It’s none of the above but everything in between.
Today’s world is very complex, filled with danger, tragic events, absurd politics(at least in the USA) and a whole lot more then I care to think about and add on…you can fill in those examples by your self.

So ask your self, do we want to see Kirk, Spock and McCoy in a big adventure to take us away for a moment in time and maybe, just maybe slip in a little bit of meaning and heavy thought and themes….but then again that is very 1960’s Star Trek, except now we have modern day film making giving us greater scope then was possible on TV in any real world time period. 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s 1990’s 2000’s and beyond…wow that was corny

And remember folk’s just because your all screaming for a new TV series that doesn’t mean that its not going to suck even more then any movie.

While I am no big fan of the new series of films, I do like the actor’s and I’m still wanting them to get a story that lets them shine for themselves.
ST2009 was a good start, STID fell a bit flat for me, and I am sort of hopeful that maybe I’ll be surprised by STB

It has to be better then our November Presidential Election…talk about a nightmare.

Yet another reason I would rather watch the fan films than the studio schlock

A Star Trek film needs to have lots of action with a side of comedy. The stage being a theatre demands it. It’s about a big fight sequence or ship battle. It’s gotta be exciting if it’s gonna hold on. Chris Pine is absolutely 100% correct, that is if he’s only talking about the Films. Its why lots of people go to these movies. Its why Super Hero movies work so well. They’re full of action. They’re just all around fun.


Star Trek can still be cerebral in 2016 on the small screen. 40 minute episodes whether they’re stand alone or season/series long arcs tends to give people that more relaxed situation and allow for the storylines or themes that would maybe not be jam packed with action sequences where people aren’t expecting huge explosions.

To help differentiate between the two formats, for those who can’t separate their expectations, Im fine with NewTrek sticking to the theatres and being a wild adventure while the new series continues in the Prime Universe.

“Build your episode on an action-adventure framework.
We must reach out, hold and entertain
a mass audience of some 20.,000,000 people or we
simply don’t stay on the air.”

-Gene Roddenberry

Wise words that may people here blasting the new movies should be equally wise to remember.

I remember this statement well, Buckaroo! Funny how it gets selectively ignored by some people…
I remember a film called “My Dinner With Andre,” the entire movie a conversation between two gentlemen over dinner. There was another, I think it was called “Mindwalk,” the entire movie a conversation between 3 or 4 people discussing the problems of the world. I don’t think one could get more cerebral than that. So, imagine “Star Trek: The Way Some Fans Want It,” the entire movie a conversation between Kirk, Spock and McCoy discussing the heartbreak and loneliness of long travels through space. And “Star Trek Beyond” is no good because of fights, explosions, and destruction?
Not to mention no one has even seen it yet, but we won’t talk about that either…

The problem with Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness is that they tried to tell a “James Bond in space” plot outline instead of the exploration and scientific wonder that the TV show adopted. The action is fine and important as long as the rest of the story is eye opening or mind mending.

Mission Impossible made the same mistake. Take a show made famous for thought provoking story lines and make the theatrical spin-offs almost exclusively about stopping a bad guy from destroying the “world”.

Yeah, but people keep going to see those Cruise movies. For the life of me I don’t understand why. I don’t even like him as an actor, except for TAPS and THE COLOR OF MONEY, where he is probably playing a variant on himself. I never got through more than a few minutes of the third M:I, though I did get through 2 & 4 once apiece, but no interest in wasting more time.

Mindwalk was awesome, I saw it several times, not that you could do a Trek movie that way. I always found ANDRE a snooze, though before I saw it I had written a short parody of it that was kind of a variation on the end of Clarke’s THE NINE BILLION NAMES OF GOD … I’m thinking BEYOND will deliver requisite elements for a mildly satisfying TREK film (casting aside, as I find Pine beyond lame and only suitable for light comedy.)

I wound up doing three articles about the making of BEYOND (one on VFX, one on cinematography and a short Lin interview) and the impression I got was that they were trying to balance the ‘trek’ aspect with mass market elements. Then again, nobody was talking much about the BARCO 3 panel aspect, so that does suggest a tacked-on marketing gimmick.

Trekkies need to know their STAR TREK history! :)

You’ve missed the point entirely, as has Chris Pine. It’s not about either/or. Good Trek is able to do both. See TWOK for an exemplar.

@Cygnus-X1 So, please enlighten us oh mighty… what exactly was there apart from the stereotypical “Man doesn’t know he has Son”, “Heros in Peril with a Side of Self Sacrifice” and “Revenge never pays off!”? Or do you solely refering to the speech in the last 5 Minutes of the Movie?

SelorKiith June 18, 2016 7:22 am

I’m referring to the movie as a whole, which is driven and centered around a meaningful overarching theme, and has several meaningful secondary themes and tropes that are also developed over the course of the movie. The death/rebirth trope, for example. The movie begins with that trope—Kirk’s birthday, angst about getting old—and ends with that trope—Genesis planet birth, and Kirk’s rebirth paralleling it, in the wake of Spock’s death. It’s a well developed illustration of that classic trope. The revenge theme is not just that revenge never pays off, though that’s part of it. The entire plot is driven by Khan’s lust for revenge. Khan begins the story by gaining his freedom (from his planetary prison), gaining a starship, getting some measure of revenge on Kirk, and even gaining the Genesis Device. Khan has literally achieved all of his goals by the climax of the movie. His friends plea with him to take Genesis, take the Reliant, and go literally anywhere. But, Khan is obsessed. None of his achievements mean anything to him without besting Kirk. Not just killing Kirk, but achieving an implausible degree of satisfaction about who’s the superior man. In the end, Khan literally loses everything that he values because, in spite of his superior mental abilities, he can’t get past satisfying his own ego needs. TWOK doesn’t just tell you the meaning/moral of the story (like STID does, in the form of Kirk’s epilogue at the end which is not supported by the actual story leading up to it); it shows you the meaning/moral of the story by developing it over the course of 2 hours. THAT’S what Trek was meant to be from the beginning. And that is exactly what BR Trek is not.

Build adventure and action into a movie, sure. Let action, lens flares, splosions dictate the plot? No.

We don’t need dumb action (like in Abrams’ Trek), we need action that makes sense, action that serves the plot.

As long as we are quoting Roddenberry:

“After the theatrical film, I’d prefer Star Trek to come back on the air, instead of doing a series of movies like James Bond. We’d do it as a mini-series of 90-minute or two-hour shows, with a number of them each year. It’d be better for us because we’d have a chance to polish the series, get better budgets and good directors.” — Gene Roddenberry in 1976

Well I say stop trying to create a $200 million dollar movie and instead create half a dozen $50 million dollar movies and release one every six months across the next three years. We would get to see a higher level of production than TV usually gets, and the writers and actors would get much more screen time to develop story and characters.

We know there are plenty of movies with a $50 million dollar budget that still make a profit and we also know there action oriented TV shows that are under $5 million per episode. I don’t see why Star Trek couldn’t break new ground and create a theatrical mini-series of movies that bring the best of both worlds. However, I want individual 2-hour episodes, not some gigantic 12-hour story that is split up across three years.

That actors might have to swallow their pride a little bit though and agree to make less than 5 million dollars per movie.

You are SO RIGHT! Trek needs to cut its budget and up the ante frequency-wise. The MCU is able to support at least one movie every six month so why can’t Trek? A mini-series of movies, filmed back-to-back could go on for 5 years or so. Each movie would be successful enough ($75+ million domestically, $150+ internationally) to sustain sequels at a $50 million budget and Paramount would still have streaming licences, home entertainment releases and merchandise to further cash in on the trademark! It would be a win-win scenario for both sides: the fans get “their” Trek back, reasonable production values at reasonable costs, and the studio could cash in on fanbase demand. No, Trek does NOT need to win over 16-year-old Star Wars and Fast’n’Furious fans to support this franchise. It needs to appeal to its core audience first.

…. yeah, but its core audience are going to go see it anyways. And, personally, as a Trek fan I’d like to see more fans and new fans added to the ranks. Assimilated, if you will.