Chris Hemsworth Explains Why He Turned Down ‘Star Trek 4’

In an extensive interview about his career with Variety, Chris Hemsworth (George Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek) touched on why he turned down returning to the franchise in a fourth Kelvin universe movie. The fourth movie has been waiting in the wings for a long time. At last report,  Hemsworth, along with Chris Pine, had “walked away” from the table while renegotiating salaries. It looks like there was a bit more to this, as Variety explains:

He turned down the next “Star Trek” sequel because he wasn’t sold on the script. “I didn’t feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet,” he reveals. “I didn’t want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table.”

Hemsworth’s name has been floating around for another beloved and enduring franchise, the James Bond series. When asked if he’d consider it, he put forth another fan favorite name, best known to Trekkies as Krall in Star Trek Beyond.

He’s open to the possibility, but he also endorses another contender. “My vote would be Idris [Elba],” he says. “I think he’d give it a different sort of swagger, too, and each time someone new comes into the role, I think you’ve got to offer up something different.”

Star Trek 4’s uneven path of development

Pre-announced by J.J. Abrams before Star Trek Beyond had even opened, the fourth Kelvin universe movie has had a bit of a strange development cycle. The script was written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who were collaborating with Roberto Orci on a potential third film before Paramount decided to go in a different direction. The movie then sat dormant until 2018 when suddenly it looked like the wheels were motion. Director S.J. Clarkson was hired in April 2018. Then momentum seemed to slow, and in August it was reported that Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth had walked away from the negotiation table while trying to come to new terms over salaries. That seemed to kill the project right there. Director Clarkson moved on, and at last report in January 2019, the industry trade magazines consider the movie “shelved.”

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It would be nice to revisit it when they’re all a bit older – maybe in their 40s. They can do Wrath of Khan era KU Trek 4. If Picard does well – maybe it will bring some goodwill to the Trek Universe and people will be ready for it.

Tiger2

They are in their 40s now lol. Pine is actually the youngest of the group and will be 39 this year. Saldana, Pegg, Quinto, Urban and Cho are all 40+. I think Pegg is 50 now (but doesn’t look it).

They just all look amazingly good because they are Hollywood actors and stay fit.

G66

It’s called makup. They aren’t athletes.

blackmocco

I’ll politely disagree in regards to Chris Pine. I bumped into him at a Rogue One screening and he’s kinda dreamy in real life.

Tiger2

I just mean they don’t look fat and bloated lol. Zoe Saldana is the same size she’s been for the last 20 years and even with a new baby. I don’t mean just look younger but generally fit even though most are in their mid 40s now.

Marja

To be fair, it is their job. They don’t get hired if they let their physical training slide. I’d be willing to bet most actors spend a couple of hours a day at it, except when they’ve just got off a movie and allow themselves some slack time.

TG47

Exactly…

And we can see the difference in those who make the shift to working behind the camera.

Once the work requirements for physicalfitness aren’t a factor, they tend to let it go.

Tiger2

Yes which I literally stated in my first post.

Disinvited

G66,

Dancers most definitely are athletes. Zoe is.

ML31

Does this mean he was impressed with what “Ghostbusers” brought to the table?

This has “They didn’t offer me enough salary” written all over it. And more power to him if he has the star power to command more money and walk away from jobs he doesn’t think pay enough. For the record they could have done something without him if TPTB REALLY wanted to do another Trek film. The desire just wasn’t there it seems.

If you read the full piece, it says he’s gotten more selective with what he says “yes” to with experience. Pretty sure Ghostbusters was part of that experience.

Jack

He doesn’t say that about Ghostbusters specifically. Ghostbusters didn’t quite work, but it was fun (and he got pretty rave reviews for his role in it). He’s been doing more comedy (and he also wasn’t a lead in Ghostbusters).

Marja

He obviously had a LOT of fun playing the dumb blond in “Ghostbusters.” He was fun to watch!

G Shake

Agree.You want to cut the budget replace them and make the movie

Holden

Yes, ML31, I think this was all about money. Talking about the script gives him an out under the pretense of artistic differences.

But, that said, I doubt the script was that great either.

Josiah Rowe

It was a supporting role, but he was great in “Ghostbusters.” But what do I know — I actually liked that movie.

Holden

I actually liked the new ‘Ghostbusters’ too. I wish it had committed a little more to the gently horrific tone of the original, but I felt the new story worked fine on its own. And Hemsworth’s performance there was about as effective as anything he’s been in.

Ron Beau

I loved the new Ghostbusters, and so did my friends I saw it with. I like that it had a different tone from the original, which I also loved. The cameos by the original actors were a mistake, and the opening scene was slow and out of tone with the rest. But it had sharply drawn characters, great action set pieces, and like original some of the best comedic actors of the day. It’ll be an iconic film for the performances of the leads.

Marja

Ron, I agree. I feel kinda sad that there won’t be any more with McCarthy, McKinnon, Jones and Wiig [and Hemsworth, of course!].

Ron Beau

“They didn’t offer me enough salary”
Actually, they did, and to Pine too.
Then the studio looked at the declining box office numbers and saw the writing on the wall. So they went back to renegotiate.
Note that term pops up over and over – not negotiating salary, renegotiating.
Hemsworth and Pine have plenty of other projects. Why should they give up a couple of million dollars to subsidize a studio?

Connie S Hayes

It is the thing to do. Good grief people, I’m sorry but they all make more money then they should when compared to most of us you support them. Without those of us who support their movies, where would they be? So give it up! It’s so ridiculous. But you know the old saying the more you make the more you want. Suck it up you two Chris’s and get with the program!

DarExc

There is a lot of good Trek out now, I enjoyed the Abrams verse for what it was, but I think it’s ok to close it up now. Maybe have the timelines unify in one of the shows or something if we even need closure.

Afterburn

I disagree. I feel like with Beyond they finally figured out the way to make great action-oriented Trek. If Beyond had been the first instead of the third, I feel like it would have been a great trilogy.

Thorny

Beyond suffered from the same “angry villain out for revenge” problem that the other two movies produced. It worked once okay. The second would have worked better if they’d left the name “Khan” out of it, but it was still okay. By the third movie, that premise was “beyond” tired. At least “4” sounded like it wasn’t going to be another “irrational vengeance” movie.

Cub

The angry villain out for revenge did work once — in 1982! But Star Trek’s villain problem predates JJ Abrams’ involvement. Remember Shinzon? And that guy with the stretched face whose name I can’t remember? Ugh.

Garth Lorca

That’s exactly the issue here. The “angry villain out for revenge” without any real motive has plagued big-screen Trek since 1994, with FC being the exception to that rule. GEN (to some extend), INS, NEM, ST09, STID and STB all suffered from that pointless formula still trying to recreate the success of TWOK.

But TWOK cannot be xeroxed. It was a one-time masterpiece and the best Trek movies after TWOK stood out because they didn’t try to copy TWOK… TVH, TUC and FC worked so well because they felt different from TWOK. I don’t know why they decided to rehash TWOK time and again after FC.

Tiger2

I liked Beyond but yes I agree with this. These movies ALL did the same thing, the crazy villain out for revenge trope, literally every single movie. At least the TOS and TNG films didn’t have the same freakin motivation even if some of their villains were still lame. But the Kelvin movies did it three times straight. I just think audiences basically shrugged when Beyond showed up because it felt like the same thing.

Afterburn

Doing the same thing is not automatically a bad thing if it’s done well, and in Beyond it was done well. The audiences that went to see Beyond, btw, enjoyed it– it has an A- Cinemascore, and a RT score of 85% (80% Audience score).

Was it a perfect movie? Absolutely not. But like I said, if it had been the first in the trilogy, and they’d kept improving, it would have been great.

Locutus

One thing Beyond did not do well, however, was the villain out for revenge part. It was nearly nonsense. What it did do well, and what Star Trek fans appreciated the most, were the character moments.

Tiger2

I have said in the past, even once to you, that Beyond is actually my favorite film out the three. But yes it still has flaws.

And the biggest problem IMO WAS the villain motive angle. It made no sense. Krall sat on a planet for a hundred years angry the Federation didn’t pick him up (when he knew the area was hostile and unexplored so they simply couldn’t find them) and then we see the guy leave the planet with no issues at the end. Why were they still hanging around on the planet?? And how does he getting stranded have anything to do with the Federation being a more peaceful organization after the Xindi and Romulan incidents? Why is he still in Starfleet and took the position as a captain if he felt so strongly about it? No one forced the guy to stay there if he didn’t like the direction it was going in. But as said, his motive to be angry at the Federation had practically nothing to do with what the movie was even about. It was just bizarre and wasn’t necessary to the plot at all.

I can go on, especially when it came to the mcguffin, but the movie as a whole is fine, maybe a little dull for some, but a generally decent movie if nothing super exciting about it. But they still could’ve had the same movie and not do the obligatory ‘The Federation must pay’ angle we saw in four straight films.

But as far as Cinemascores its really hard to take that poll seriously or they manage to find the most casual movie goers to rate these movies because its usually hard to get anything lower than a B lol. Take a look at this list:

https://www.cinemascore.com/publicsearch/index/title/c3RhciA=

Star Trek Nemesis also has an A- as Beyond lol. STID actually has an A (but I always believed STID is a bigger crowd pleaser for casual and new fans and mainly just turned off old fans). All the Star Wars prequel films has an A- too. The only Trek films that has anything lower than an A is GEN and INS and those still have a strong B+.

The critic and audience reviews are way more critical with these movies but on Cinemascore they all basically rate the same….high!

blackmocco

Man, I feel like I’m gonna get some flak for this but I just rewatched Nemesis yesterday and, despite a few hiccups, felt it wasn’t that bad. In fact, I honestly couldn’t remember why I’m supposed to hate it. Generations is waaaaay worse, to my mind.

ML31

Blackmocco, you are not going to get flak from me. I very much enjoyed Nemesis. Sure there were a couple of issues but WoK has issues, too. In the end we saw the crew move on to new things. Data’s story came to an appropriate end. And we get a more than satisfying finale. That 3rd act was quite good and totally saves a lot of other flaws. It wasn’t TUC but hey… TNG wasn’t TOS either.

ML31

Tiger, I agree. I very much enjoyed Beyond but ONLY for the main characters. The antagonist was VERY poorly conceived of. His desire to teach the Federation a lesson was ridiculous. Even if he succeeded it would not have worked. It would have had the opposite effect in fact. The story very much felt like Pegg wanted to make a statement about Brexit. So he came up with a bad guy with no clear motivation and a plan that was doomed to failure one way or the other. What they DID get right was the people. For the first time in the KU series they felt like TOS crew.

TG47

If we take a step back, and think of all the diverse stories/plots in Trek television over he better part of 1000 hours, revenge is a very tiny slice.

So it makes one wonder why anyone would think that this should be the basis for a Trek movie.

TWOK worked to a significant extent because it answered the ‘what if’ question after one of the strongest episodes of TOS, including bringing back the guest star. Kirk had to face the consequences of finessing a resolution for a group of genetically modified humans who were anathema in Federation society.

The more I think about it, the more Kurtzman is right. What would make a viable cinematic Trek offering? Who knows?

The cool scientific thing, understanding the alien worked somewhat in TMP and TVH, but no one gives either top ranking. TUC and FC had dynamics with long-standing opponent races, which were successful with fans, but didn’t draw in New people to Trek.

And with Paramount management divorced from the television production, I doubt that anyone there is capable of mapping out what would be the niche for successful Trek films.

A34

The biggest problem with Beyond is that Idris Elba was wasted in that movie.

Harry Ballz

Chris Hemsworth thought the script developed by Payne, McKay and Orci was not good.

Gosh, what a shocking revelation! :-)

Afterburn

Sounds more like the studio mandated the character’s return, banking on his more recent stardom, and he smelled it. Unlike Jennifer Lawrence, who became a star after X-Men: FC and so they made her the lead of the sequels, Hemsworth was not signed to a multi-picture deal and was not happy with their offer.

I’d agree this is probably more about salary, and he’s being diplomatic so as not to come across as greedy.

Tiberius Mudd

George Kirk got caught in a transporter pattern buffer and revived 30 years later was going to be the premise. Not a great way to undercut the sacrifice at the top of ’09 and mostly ancillary to the overarching plot of the movie.

Afterburn

The rumor going around was that it was a time travel story.

boborci

He didn’t read it. We are talking about trek 4 not Trek 3. Try and keep up.

Viking

Bob, how does that explain that he didn’t think the script was up to snuff if he didn’t read it? Was Hemsworth supposed to be in JJ Trek: III, and that’s what he was referring to? I am befuzzled. My default state of mind, these days.

boborci

Catch up. Hemsworth has nothing to do with Trek 3. Not in the draft I wrote. The article refers to whatever he read about Trek 4. Catch Up!

ML31

Speaking of what you wrote for Trek3… Any chance of that script, or even story becoming public? I’m super curious to see what studios allegedly referred to as being too “Star Trek-y”.

TG47

Yes Bob, I share ML31’s curiosity about what was viewed at the time as ‘too Trek-y’.

But understand that you are likely sharing all you can…

That said, it does make me wonder whether Paramount had mapped out the target audience well enough for writers, or was it just a general direction to get the base Trek audience on board while drawing in a broader mainstream non-geek audience?

It sounds as though some of the exploration of diverse niches that Kurtzman is doing for television may be a necessary first step towards figuring out what a successful big budget Trek cinematic feature might need to look like.

Josiah Rowe

To be clear: the studio rejected the script that Orci, Payne and McKay wrote for Star Trek 3. (I don’t think George Kirk was in that one, but I’m not certain.) Or, more accurately, the studio decided not to let Orci direct that film, and gave the director’s chair to Justin Lin with the freedom to use or reject the Orci/Payne/McKay script; he chose to abandon it, and hired Simon Pegg and Doug Jung to write a completely new script.

Payne and McKay then went on to write a script for Star Trek 4, without Orci. This is the script featuring George Kirk, and it’s this script that Hemsworth refers to in the interview. When Bob says “he didn’t read it,” he’s presumably referring to his Trek 3 script.

Got it?

Viking

Got it. I think.

Who’s on first? :-)

boborci

Correct. Paramount rejected our script. Too Treky.

Tom

So mad at Paramount for that. Huge mistake. Beyond wasn’t nearly good enough for the 50th anniversary

nasty man

agreed . and a possible fatal decision for the JJseries

Afterburn

I disagree that it was a bad film, and i’m not sure what one might consider “good enough for the 50th anniversary.”

One can like the first two, like Orci’s work, and still like Beyond. One can dislike all three, or like Beyond, 09, and not ID. Or any combination. It’s not mutually exclusive.

I am curious what Bob’s feelings on Beyond are, though I can imagine it’s hard for him to be entirely objective, when you’re proud of your own work and it’s rejected. I’ve worked on projects and had things similar to this happen (getting replaced after a few successful precursers) and found it challenging to look at the new material with an unbiased eye.

boborci

Haven’t seen it.

Tiger2

I still wish we got your movie Bob and I liked Beyond. But I have a feeling yours would’ve excited the fanbase more, even if people still didn’t love STID. One thing you can say about that movie, people were very interested lol.

Cygnus-X1

boborci

Haven’t seen it.

You’re not missing much.

I really do hope that you’ll make a JFK assassination movie that makes Oliver Stone’s look restrained by comparison. It seems like a waste not to, with as much reading as you’ve done and the passion that you have about it.

Cygnus-X1

Afterburn

I will admit that all three movies contain good scenes, the JJ movies perhaps more than BEYOND. Though one might argue that it’s hard not to make a compelling scene that involves sympathetic characters dying. And when you’ve got a protagonist dying while talking to his weeping pregnant wife who’s about to give birth to their child, it’s the trifecta of emotion-pandering scenes. But, in any case, you could take individual scenes from those three movies and splice them together into a reel that really makes one want to see each of the movies. I mean, go back and watch the trailer for STID, for example. It’s really good! And one of the things that was so baffling about the marketing of BEYOND was how poor the first trailer especially was.

In any case, the big problem with the JJ-directed movies comes when you consider each of them as a story from beginning to end. ST09 is a story where very little of significance actually happens over the course of it, beyond the plot details. A bunch of young Star Fleet officers find themselves on a mission to defeat a bad-guy who doesn’t have much of a reason for what he’s doing. There are some dramatic moments along the way, but there’s not much interesting about them in terms of how they affect the characters. STID is actually difficult to watch from start to finish. It’s really convoluted and the story actually doesn’t make sense if you stop to think about it for any length of time. But, there are some compelling individual scenes in the movie. Again, the big problem comes when you get out of any individual scene and consider the story as a whole. But, if you don’t do that, then maybe you won’t have any problems with those movies.

Marja

Cygnus, All villains are driven crazy by the event that causes them to want revenge. So it doesn’t seem to us that they have much good reason for doing what they are doing, but it makes sense to THEM, so they can perpetrate all kinds of terrible crimes like blowing up Vulcan. So there you have a vast canvas of explosions and crimes with a “reason.” It’s like explaining the Holocaust with, “Hitler’s mother was raped.”

It has so many limitations story-wise but for a two-hour movie is easily saleable to studio execs. Still it is a VERY, VERY tired trope.

Cygnus-X1

Marja

Well, there’s a difference between having a reason and having a good reason. I can accept a villain’s reason being irrational just fine. But, the villain having a weak or stupid reason just doesn’t make for a compelling story. TWOK’s Khan has it in for Kirk in a way that is both self-destructive and relatable. Khan’s reason for wanting Kirk to suffer is totally egotistical, hypocritical and narcissistic, but with respect to his character it makes sense and is compelling. Most importantly, it’s interesting and makes for an interesting story. Compare that with ST09’s Nero who decides to exterminate every species associated with the Federation because one member of the Federation, Spock, tried his best to save Nero’s planet but failed. Huh? That seems like a stupid and arbitrary reason to want to exterminate hundreds of billions of people and dozens of different species. It’s hardly better than Nero just waking up one morning, slipping on a banana peel on his way to the kitchen, and then deciding to take out his frustration by eradicating the United Federation of Planets. So, …because he’s CRAY-CRAY!! alone isn’t an interesting or dramatically compelling implied explanation for a character’s aberrant behavior, if the audience can’t relate and connect with it somehow.

Tiger2

I agree. I think Beyond is a good film but it had no big hook to excite people, especially for its 50th anniversary year. They needed to go big. To many the film feels like Insurrection felt, a big budget episode. In Beyond’s case a nearly $200 million episode lol.

But there was SO many reasons why Beyond failed, its not just one or two IMO. Its a perfect storm of reasons, even for a pretty decent film, but still kind of a bland one.

Marja

I swear it was the crappy trailer that they put into theatres only SIX WEEKS before the film premiere.

They should have, at least, had a Starfleet logo, the cast members, even in shots from previous films, and “2016” in theatres six MONTHS in advance. Then, started plumping “50th Anniversary” and had TV specials and so on.

Paramount screwed the pooch.

dmduncan

Nah, it wasn’t. It had some good beats. Started off strong but left me feeling like they had some inspiration for maybe 1/3 of the movie and then they were just winging it the rest of the way. Nice visuals, but not where I wanted things to end up after the great start ST.09 gave the franchise.

Afterburn

Which is ironic because the final product ended up a lot more tied to Trek canon than the first two. Curious what you’d have done. I feel like i’m one of the few who really enjoyed Into Darkness.

JJ Smith

The few? But the proud. I enjoyed Into Darkness the most of any ST movie since The Voyage Home.

I feel exactly that way. I rank ID alongside tWOK and tVH as the best of the ST movies.

Tiger2

I certainly have my issues with ID but I don’t hate it like so many others here. If they made BC anyone but Khan it would probably be one of my top 5 films.

ML31

I have a few issues with ID but I really do think the intent was correct. They said they wanted Kirk to earn the chair. And that was the right way to go. But to me, it got a bit too bombastic at the end. The crashing ships and such. And, of course, the Khan angle was the wrong way to go. It was way too distracting. They could have come up with some sort of stand in and not even mention the Botony Bay. I’m also not a fan of BADmirals in Trek. I’ve just seen it way too often. That is a well that they need to leave alone for quite a while. And I did not care for the Section 31 reference. All these things could have been written around and the story would have still worked. Also, Kirk need not had “died”. That was the wrong move for the 2nd movie.

Marja

The Khan thing led to a lot of parallels being drawn between ID and WOK, unfortunately. Worst element of the movie, IMO. What would have been wrong with keeping him as “John Harrison”?

Jemini

Adding to the discussion, Chris previoustly stated he had talked with JJ and the pitch with Kirk’s dad was ‘amazing’. Now he says a different thing, after the rumors there was a salary issue. Perhaps they scaled his role back to reconfigure his paycheck.

DIGINON

There are a few options here: The original pitch may have sounded better than the script that was delivered. It’s also possible that he just claimed to be very excited about the project when it still seemed like a sure thing. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an actor who’s going to tell you: “Oh, yeah, I got this movie offer. The story is kinda meh but the money is great so I’m going to do it”. Instead, they will generally talk very highly of a project before it’s out. When Paramount tried to renegotiate his salary his opinion may have gone from “boring but well-paid project” to a “boring and not enough money”.

Tiger2

Bob can you at least clear this up for us, but it sounds like elements of your Trek 3 script was going to be part of this movie. You worked with Payne and McKay for the third one, did they just take elements of what you guys made and add it the Hemsworth movie or did they just write a new script entirely?

A lot of people assumed the former because it sounded like it was basically written (or at least outlined) before Beyond went into theaters. But if you don’t know anything (or can’t say) that’s clearly understandable.

boborci

No idea. Not a part of Trek anymore.

Tiger2

OK, cool. If you don’t know you don’t know. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if they did though. Its still weird they already had a story to go before Beyond was even out. It took you at least a year or two to come up with the other films.

@ Tiger2 – When Payne and McKay were announced for the fourth outing, like so much other chatter that had no basis in fact, speculation just ran with the idea that Payne and McKay were going to just retool the abandoned Trek 3 script for Trek 4. No one, anywhere, actually said that. It really would be best to just assume that most of the information regarding Trek 4, and probably QT Trek, just isn’t accurate.

Tiger2

Well it may not be that black and white of course but it was telling they came up with a script less than a year when the first three films no one even bothered to come up with another movie idea until well after the last movie was released

But sure they can just write a new one in that time. Its just telling they kept these two guys on when they rejected two of their scripts for the third film. My ONLY guess was that they either liked some of the ideas they created with Orci had but wanted to remove Orci himself and some of his other ideas he was adamant to keep, but then yes I guess they could’ve just did that for the third film? Why not just have them write the third film then if they already there instead of bringing in Peg? Its all really murky and confusing lol.

Or they pulled a Nick Meyer and wrote it on the fly. Amazing what deadline pressures can do for job performance.

Tiger2

I’m sorry but the Nick Meyer script thing gets waaaay too much credit when there were various scripts already written before he showed up and he basically just took parts of those ideas to make his own. None of the biggest things in the movie: Khan, Genesis, Spock death and Kirk having a son came from him. They all came from other scripts and/or ideas that Harve Bennet already wanted. He just probably interpreted them better, made a stronger theme around them and had a tighter story but they weren’t his original ideas just the same. In other words he had a lot of help, they just weren’t credited.

Ironically this was my entire point lol. I have a feeling they just took ideas from other scripts, even if they wrote still wrote them to make this movie. Again NO proof of that at all, its just speculation obviously but thats where that speculation comes from. Many movies out there are just retooled stories from someone else’s script (or scripts).

Holden

I would hope that any Trek fan here willing to tell fellow fans to “try and keep up” would themselves try to stay engaged on a consistent basis, either with this site or with the larger Trek franchise. Otherwise, such an opinion wouldn’t seem to be relevant anymore . . . here.

boborci

Fair point. I only claim to know my involvement. Nothing else. I will go away and leave you in your echo chamber,

MerchantofVulcan

Thanks for your time!

Holden

@boborci. This isn’t my echo chamber. In fact, I probably disagree with folks here as much as I agree. That’s the appeal of this website. If you look through the history here, you’ll see I’ve defended your right to your opinion far more than I’ve challenged you. But my point, which I stand by, is that you should be held to the same standard as the rest of us. And if being a condescending “I know more than you and always will” jerk is the role you’ll play here, then, yes, I’ll call you out.

boborci

Last point, I have forgotten more about Trek behind the scenes then you will ever know.

Josiah Rowe

Please don’t go away, Bob! Your perspective is very valuable.

What else can you tell us about your script for 3?

boborci

It had Shatner and Nimoy, and both had verbally agreed to do it, or seriously consider it.

Tom

This is why it should have been the movie for the 50th Anniversary

Afterburn

I get Trekkies excitement for seeing the original Kirk and Spock together for the 50th, but the average movie goer does not care about the anniversary. Not to say they wouldn’t care about seeing the original Kirk and Spock, just that it being on the 50th anniversary means little to anyone outside the core fandom.

Frankly, I don’t care when a good movie comes out, just put out a good movie. I enjoyed Beyond. I don’t care that it didn’t have a “big hook for the 50th.”

I’d have enjoyed Bob’s Star Trek 3, most likely, given my feelings for the first two. But no more or less because of what date it might have been released on.

By the by, it’s also possible Nimoy would have passed before filming, anyway, sadly.

ML31

THAT is HUGE news to me. I’m more intrigued than ever about that story. Wondering if there is any chance someone could novelize it maybe? I haven’t read a Trek novel in a while but I’d read that one.

kmart

Such a class act, that maturity level and need to get a feeble last riposte in should land you a top slot in the Trump organization that took the place of our government.

Afterburn

What bob is trying to rebuke is the nastiness in the original post. He’s been generous enough to come into a fan site and give us the benefit of his behind-the-scenes knowledge, and is greeted with unwarranted pettiness. He’s rightfully pointing out that he is simply more knowledgable on this subject of what went on with the scripts.

Could he have been more polite? I don’t think so.

TG47

Agreed Afterburn. Bob’s being very gracious to weigh in and answer questions in relation to his own work.

But I suspect that Holden didn’t understand Bob Orci’s on this board is actually Bob Orci the screenwriter and director.

He may have just thought it was an alias of a fan, rather than a true name.

I know that the first couple of times I saw posts from Bob, I wondered…I hadn’t been around when he was a frequent participant at the time his movies were being made.

Holden

TG47: I’ve been here for years. I know about boborci’s role here. I thought the “try and keep up” comment was very condescending so I called him on it.

kmart

After,
Really? He came back ten minutes after posting to drop that little dig. How polite is that?

Afterburn

I’d call it a polite rejoinder. Not sure why you’re making such an issue of it.

Bob and Harry have some context you’d have to research a bit. Just to share a tongue in cheek observation, as far as parting shots go that was pretty weak. Any given professional in their field of choice will probably have forgotten more then I know about the given subject. I’m not terribly put off that my mechanic has (probably) forgotten more then I know about internal combustion engines….as long as he fixes my car.

Harry Ballz

Yes, Phil, Bob has a history of being petty, arrogant and mean-spirited to most of here. He doesn’t like to hear ANY constructive feedback (criticism) regarding his work.

boborci

Thank you for remembering,

boborci

Better than I could’ve said. Thanks.

Harry Ballz

Hey, what the?? Playing nice, Bob?? Well played, sir!

boborci

Thanks for calling me presidential!

I’m not singing Hail to the Chief….

dmduncan

Hahaha

Holden

Of course. And it sounds like most of it *was* worth forgetting. Point is, what are you up to these days besides trolling fan sites?

Viking

Well, Tarantino got snubbed at Cannes, after all the huffing and puffing abut his next movie. Hemsworth is going all A-List now, for whatever reasons, and it looks like the written script for J.J.-verse ST:4 is gathering dust on someone’s flash drive. Unless someone had an alternate script synopsis to polish off and get a good second look, it might be the perfect storm for Tarantino to step up to the plate and show us his version. You know, a little revenge and face-saving for the bust in Cannes with big-name actors, and a Trek film sent directly to theaters with his thumbprint on it will fill seats, regardless of ratings or fan reaction. It would be as much of a curiosity as anything. Like Werner Herzog directing a Disney movie.

alphantrion

Yes, Tarantino didn’t win anything in Cannes, but I read that most of the critics are praising his new film and considering it a big Oscars contender so I don’t think he is going to cry in his pillow all night for not getting anything out of Cannes. My bigger curiosity is not Herzog directing a Disney movie, but acting in that new Star Wars show :))

nasty man

yeh they saying its his best since Pulp Fiction and that is very high praise indeed (would make it his 2nd best or even his best movie). was going to see it anyway but now a must see.

imagine if his follow up movie is Star Trek 4. how utterly insanely fuking awesome would that be.

Garth Lorca

Or rather an utter, insane marthaf**king disaster. I can’t stand QT movies or anything in that vein. The praise for that man is beyond me. Yes, at some point, Trek deserves an R-Rated endeavour, but pleeeeeaze not coming from this man who has managed to destroy each and every half-decent story in his flicks by his insanely over-the-top bloodlust, cynicism and nihilism. To me, that guy is the cinematic Antichrist, or rather Antispock in our terms :-)

ML31

I’m not as vehement about it as you, Garth, but I’m not a fan of QT’s work myself. Perhaps if he’s not directing we might have something. But I still think this is just talk and said treatment will never see the light of day. Ever.

dmduncan

Herzog is in Star Wars? Huh. He was the villain in Jack Reacher.

Good movie. I think it flopped at the BO (don’t quote me on that), but it was quite a good action movie. Very good.

Garth Lorca

“…and a Trek film sent directly to theaters with his thumbprint on it will fill seats, regardless of ratings or fan reaction.”

I have to disagree. It might up the ante with public attention a bit but at what cost? An R-Rated Trek outing directed by the master of grindhouse sarcasm? Compared to that, any previous shortcoming on Trek might come off as a minor set back. This movie has the potential to split this community for good… And there might be no coming back from that this time!

TG47

Garth Lorca, I agree a Tarantino Trek movie would be divisive, but I don’t think it would be fatal for the franchise overall.

What it might be though, is fatal for the cinematic side of the franchise. Paramount needs to answer Kurtzman’s question of what can a cinematic feature offer that streaming TV can’t.

I don’t think I would watch a QT Trek movie, despite having watched other Tarantino movies and appreciated them for what they are.

I didn’t like what happened when he guest wrote and directed a two parter in the Alias TV show…and I stopped being interested in that show not long after. It seemed the beginning of taking the show in a direction that I didn’t like.

Trek in a Cafe

Seriously: did we ever in any universe need to know anything about Jim Kirk’s father ever? Nope. And Nope. And still Nope.

Jack

Ha. I kind of agree. I think it worked for Trek 09, but yeah, I think Kirk works just fine as a character without shoehorning in some daddy issues.

Trek in a Cafe

And I say this as a kind of Chris Pine fan: if I was him and they tried to make me make a film about Jim Kirk having daddy issues this late in the game, I would have been tempted to walk also. Glad it wasn’t just about money.

Tiger2

Exactly lol. No one seemed excited about having him in the movie other than all the people who wrote it. But most of the fan base seem to have a big shrug with Hemsworth coming back to the role. No one seemed really excited about it at all. Paramount only cared because they thought bringing a now big A-list actor would generate more excitement over it but I’m not convinced the movie would do anymore than what Beyond did if the story didn’t grab people enough. And I think Paramount felt that way too and why they offered them less.

I personally think he turned it down for money reasons but maybe I will give him the benefit of the doubt the story wasn’t very good. If that was truly the case then he saved us another mediocre Trek movie.

nasty man

i think Paramount were pushing for the Hemsworth movie and mustve been adapted it from Orcis Shatner ST3 (Hemsworth instead of Shatner) becuz a) everyone loves the opening to ST09 so why not do a movie about that guy and b) Avengers (and Thor) making billions and billions of $s

im still trying to get my head around someone wanting Hemsworth over Shatner in a star trek movie..

Corylea

I don’t think adding Hemsworth had anything to do with the fan base, because the fan base mostly goes to Star Trek movies anyway. Adding Hemsworth was an attempt to attract OTHER people to the movie, ones who don’t usually go to Star Trek movies.

Paramount has never really understood Star Trek, so they keep wanting it to be a broad-based and accessible SF franchise like Star Wars, instead of being a more thoughtful, less action-packed film that appeals mostly to people who actually think. :-)

Tiger2

Good point Corylea!

That said I still don’t know if that would’ve made a big difference and possibly Paramount thought that too. And let’s be more honest, when they first wanted Hemsworth, most of his work had been playing Thor. He had been in five Marvel movies up to that point. Since Beyond though, he’s been in a few other big budget films including Ghostbusters and all failed. My guess is Paramount realized what a lot of people have, he just doesn’t bring a lot of attention outside of Marvel and didn’t want to risk it.

His next big franchise movie, Men In Black, is already slated to have the lowest opening out of the franchise. It could still be a hit, but no one is really flocking to see him in other movies, as hard as they try.

ML31

The thing is, MIB is already a bit of a franchise. No way to tell if any BO it gets is more because of MIB or because of C Hemsworth. If it does pull in decent numbers then my guess will be more because of MIB than because of Chris.

DIGINON

Actors will sometimes accept a pay cut to make a movie happen if they like the project. I guess Trek 4 just wasn’t a passion project for him.

Georgiou’s Sass.

This, very much this.

It was such a cynical ploy to get people to see a Star Trek film based off his success in Thor. In all honesty, I’m glad he walked away from it. I find him to be a very, very wooden actor.

Tillsy

THIS!

PEB

Say what you will but the short bit in Trek 09 made me want to see more with him. Even it was a prequel.

Trek in a Cafe

Sure. Making a film about Hemsworth as George Kirk with no son is fine. Making a film about dead dad coming back to life to haunt a son who is supposedly one of the greatest starship captains is really dumb– especially if there is some kind of stupid techy reason to make it happen. I can see that it is another thing if Daddy Comes Back as an illusion, say like Aliens playing with Kirk’s mind — like in The Savage Curtain. But that does not seem to be what JJ had tried to place in our minds.

Corylea

Actually, I would love to know something about TOS Kirk’s father. But then, I’m a clinical psychologist, so I’m always highly interested in how people became who they are and what their parental influences were like…

Was TOS Kirk’s father also in Starfleet? What kinds of things did Jim’s father teach him when Jim was growing up? What did he get from his mother? From Sam? How did his family react to the tragedy on Tarsus and how did they support Jim during and after that trauma?

I’ll always take character development over action. :-)

Trek in a Cafe

I think the difference between development and overkill for Jim Kirk is that TOS Kirk is a man whose character is defined by the fact that he does not need a father. Not only am I fine with that, I think it’s his secret ingredient, it’s everything. And also, it’s why his ignorance about David Marcus works so well. He doesn’t know how to be a father.

Kelvin Kirk’s development from ’09 through Beyond showed that he really needed to not think about his father. He could not live up to the dead man whose flaws he knew nothing about.

Sybokssecretbrother

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has given me reservations about doing Kirk & Son story…

Tiger2

Yeah GOTG 2 is a decent film but doesn’t have nearly the repeat value as the first one did for me. It was focused too much on that dynamic. I watched it twice in the theaters but never watched it since and its on Netflix right now.

Afterburn

Agree to disagree, I find the exact opposite. I enjoy the second more than the first (but love both) and find the second to have more rewatch value. The fact that you paid money to see it in theaters a second time speaks volumes, I can’t remember the last time I saw a film twice in theaters because I just wanted to see it again (the only one I can remember at all is Memento in 2000).

Tiger2

Yeah we can agree to disagree.

As I said I did’t hate it or anything, it simply didn’t have the repeat value of the first one, which I saw four times in the theater. ;)

And I went a second time because I was hoping to like it more on a rewatch. I really wanted to like it more than I did. And I’ve seen every MCU movie at least twice in the theater for the last five years with the exception of Captain Marvel. I was not impressed by that one at all.

Afterburn

Ironically, even though I agree with you on Captain Marvel (a thoroughly middle-of-the-road movie), it’s the only movie in the MCU I saw twice in theaters, simply because my girlfriend hadn’t seen it yet.

Not to get too sidetracked, but I have a feeling Marvel intentionally didn’t swing for the fences on that one: they intentionally created a bland movie for mass appeal, and they pulled it off perfectly. It was just good enough to get everyone to go see it.

ML31

” but I have a feeling Marvel intentionally didn’t swing for the fences on that one: ”

It felt like Marvel stopped caring a couple of years ago. They had a string of middle of the road not very good movies. (something like 6 of 7 were tiresome and the other was merely mildly entertaining) Yet the public still ate them up. It was perplexing. I feel like they could make nearly anything these days, slap the Marvel logo on it and it would rake in at least a half billion dollars.

Afterburn

I’m not sure i’d agree there is any string of “middle-of-the-road movies. I can say I actively dislike Hulk (Norton), Thor 1 & 2. Ant-Man was like Captain Marvel, Ant Man & The Wasp was better. Iron Man 2, Avengers 2, Iron Man 3, and Doctor Strange are really good but unspectacular. Black Panther was very good but missed a chance to be great. I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming. Infinity War may be my favorite MCU flick. EndGame is very good with moments that elevate it, but is not truly great.

Captain Marvel was the one where it REALLY became clear they are aiming for the middle.

ML31

Take a look. Dr Strange was pedestrian. Guardians 2 was tiresome. Homecoming was surprisingly tedious. Ragnarok was mildly entertaining. The highlight of the stretch. Black Panther was repetitive silliness. Infinity War was an improvement over recent efforts. But still came up short. And A-Man and the Wasp lacked the whimsy and fun of it’s predecessor. Captain Marvel was pretty good compared to what came before it. And yet every single one of those releases did tremendous box office. So yeah, Marvel could just release an hour or their logos and make a ton of money it seems.

Afterburn

Guardians 2 is one of the best entries in all of the MCU, and Spider-Man Homecoming is easily the best Spider-Man film ever made (sorry, Bob).

ML31

OK. I admit that Guardians itself didn’t speak to me in any way whatsoever. But come on, Homecoming was the best? Are you kidding me? Sam Raimi’s first two installments are by FAR the best out there. Even Tony Stark couldn’t save Homecoming. And he has traditionally been the best part of the Marvel U.

Marja

They are a bit repetitive. Last ones I really enjoyed: “Ragnarok” because of the humor; “Black Panther” because of the vision of Wakanda and the performances, with a nod to a good [if not great] story; and “Endgame” because of Tony Stark’s story. “Ironman,” “Thor,” and “Spiderman” are, for me, the best of the franchise.

I think Marvel is going to make some major blunders in the next few years. They should step back on cranking out the movies and put out better quality ones twice or three times/year. But they will probably not be content until they can beat the opening weekend receipts of “Endgame.” Ha. Fools!

tony

any MCU involving the russos bros and writers mcfeely and markus are top of the range.

ML31

I would say that the Joss Whedon MCU films have been pretty top notch. He should have been involved in Justice League from the start. Maybe it wouldn’t have been nearly as tonally jumbled as it was.

Marja

Marvel prob went for blandness bc they didn’t want to further p1ss off a lot of already p1ssed-off Marvel fans.

I liked the movie but found it average. For me the best moment was when Carol remembered her own determination to succeed from girlhood to womanhood. That, and Nick Fury crooning “Please Mr Postman,” and the Flerkin scratching his eye, LOL.

I admire Brie Larson’s stand as a woman in Hollywood. However I have never warmed to her as an actress. I can’t say why. There are some actors who simply leave me cold, and unfortunately, for the most part, she is one. In a few scenes I could forget she was *acting!*, but not all.

Sam

I too enjoyed the second GOTG more. First one was definitely a GOOD movie, but the air battle was underwhelming in places.

Afterburn

I thought both were A+ movies, but I enjoy the 2nd sliiightly more because of the strong character arcs everyone had.

Cub

One father and son adventure story I can recall enjoying was The Last Crusade, but Pine and Hemsworth ain’t Ford and Connery. Glad Hemsworth passed on it.

ML31

Yes. That was quite well done. Hard to come up with good father-son features. The only other good one I can come up with is Field of Dreams. And Ray’s father was dead!

Cub

Yes, that is a good one too.

albatrosity

I ain’t losing sleep over the lack of any new Trek movies in development. I would, however, appreciate if we can know officially whether or not they’re moving forward, not that I think they’d tell us what they don’t know.

You seem to have a handle on the situation, there isn’t anything in development at the moment. That could change tomorrow, but for today, zip. Nada.

Michael Hall

Not sure if it even is set there, but the only Kelvin ‘verse film I’d be the least bit hyped to see at this point would be Tarantino’s. Bad Robot had three tries at bat, and while the films had their moments in the end they failed to produce anything more than overpriced tentpole schlock that bore little resemblance to what I’ve loved about this franchise.

Tiger2

How could you be the least hyped about something you literally know nothing about other than Tarantino pitched an idea for it? Thats ALL we know lol.

But to go the OTHER way with the argument (and to show I’m not getting on your case) I don’t understand people who are ‘hyped’ over it just because Tarantino pitched an idea. Yes, I get people love the filmmaker and his movies so they are intrigued by it, but there is no guarantee about anything, especially since he doesn’t have a science fiction background at all. Of course he doesn’t need to but I can’t get excited either way until I at least know what the story is. I remember how excited people were about Rian Johnson directing a Star Wars movie and yeah (for the record I didn’t think TLJ was that bad either).

For me, its hard to know what to feel until we know what its about, whose in it, when it takes place, etc.

alphantrion

I think this is based on the idea that certain directors have certain visual styles that they use in almost all of their films and therefore make it easier for people to kind of guess what they will see with their films. This is especially true for big name directors like Hitchcock, Spielberg, De Palma, Lynch, Cronenberg etc…Imagine my surprise when I learned that back in the day George Lucas asked both Cronenberg and Lynch to direct Star Wars Return of the Jedi. That would have been something very interesting to see.

Sam

I’m hyped by it just because it’s almost guaranteed to be different. ST starves for different. It doesn’t get enough of it. And when it does Circumstance seems almost determined to not let it succeed (as has been the case so far with STD). The last ST movie prior to 2009 that really stood apart stylistically was The Undiscovered Country. This is a problem.

There’s also a lot to be said for sci-fi filmmakers who lack a sci-fi background. I honestly think Nick Meyer’s irreverence towards ST was very much to his benefit. And I believe Ridley Scott is one of the best sci-fi directors ever, providing he’s not in charge of the writing. As for Rian Johnson, I actually think he ended up making the very SW movie fans were anticipating. They just weren’t ready for it. But more than a few critics said they loved it second only to Empire. I dare say I believe they’re right.

Afterburn

It’s hyped because the idea of a Tarantino Trek film, whether you like Trek or not, whether you like QT or not, whether you think he and the franchise are a good match or not, you can’t deny that the pairing is fascinating, whether you think it’ll be great or a trainwreck.

Tezna

I don’t think theatrically released Star Trek movies are really viable. In order for them to make money, serious money, they need the International and especially Chinese market onboard.

It just never really happened. They weren’t even able to crack $US500m, and yet movies like Hotel Transylvania can do it.

Cinema will likely be extinct in 10-15 years. The major studios are already set to offer same day cinema releases for $30-$50 each. Once the big budget films are released to your TV and you can pause it to pee, cinema is done.

kmart

Oh yeah, and theater will die when movies and TV arrive in the 20th century. See how that worked out.

Afterburn

They are VERY viable, the problem is the production budget they seem to think is appropriate. They don’t need to spend 175M+. If they kept the budget under $125M they could do well, as even Beyond pulled in $345M. This is why Paramount wanted to cut salaries, as Pine, Hemsworth, Saldana, and Quinto, all were due about $10M each (if not more).

I am all in for Idris Elba to be the next Bond.

kmart

Then get a time machine, because he is too old to start playing Bond, older than Moore was when he started even.

Assuming that you have to do another origin story, Elba is too old. But Moore was 46 when he assumed the Bond role. Elba is 46, granted he may age a year or two prior or during filming.

kmart

The earliest Elba’s possible Bond would be out is 2022, and I doubt that timeframe to be honest.

Today’s 50 is yesterdays 35.

Tiger2

Elba looks as fit today as he did ten years ago. He looks like he’s going to be a fun villain in the new Fast and Furious spin off movie. He could pull off Bond no problem.

If Harrison Ford can still play Indiana Jones at freaking 70 years old, I think Bond would be in good hands.

kmart

ANYbody is going to be an improvement on Craig, but going with somebody above 35 or 40 is just not a long-term investment. If they’d just hired the director’s choice, Cavill, instead of Craig, they’d’ve had somebody who could have stayed in the role indefinitely and was actually the right age to play the bratty Bond they tried for in CASINO. Plus he might not have gotten all musclebound and ruined his look, which seems to have happened due to SUPERMAN.

Cub

Bond isn’t an indefinite role. Nor should it be. It’s not a TV series.

kmart

Which explains why Brosnan and Craig started piling up injuries in the role before they closed in on 50, and Moore was busting himself up from day one, crashing a motorboat at 40mph and chipping his tooth.

Datamat

Elba could just do a one off film like Lazemby did. Its be a fun one off diversion and maybe Elba could squeeze in a second film like Dalton did. I don’t think age should stop the producers from casting what they feel is the best actor to play Bond at the time.

ML31

Lazenby was not intended to be a one off. He got himself fired by the Broccoli’s. Dalton was intended to do more than two as well. But there was that legal thing they got entangled in and his 3rd film got delayed. And delayed. Until he finally just said I cannot keep waiting around for this. And quit. When things started to settle producers came back to him but Dalton would not commit beyond one more film. They wanted him to do three more. And that was that. They hired Brosnan. Who famously got the part in 1986 but contractual obligations to Remington Steele meant he had to decline.

Mel

Seemingly most of the time age does matter when it comes to the female love interests though. So I rather have a younger Bond to avoid the practically inevitable 15+ years age gap we would get otherwise. I have enough of these old guy/much younger woman couples in movies. Most of the times they are not believable at all and their huge numbers in movies is just sexist.

And a character like Bond should also be played by a younger actor as the action and fighting scenes are more believable then. A top secret agent should be young and super fit. Elba would be already too old for his first movie in my opinion and they like to cast an actor for multiple films.

Just Another Salt Vampire

J.J. Abrams stewardship of the Trek movie series started out great and has sputtered out into embarrassing lameness. It is clear that once he got his dream job of becoming a Star Wars honcho that Trek became an annoying afterthought to him. If it is true that his relationship with Paramount and Trek formally ends in 2020 then hopefully somebody more suited to Star Trek can revive the movie series.

Tiger2

My guess is if the Tarantino movie doesn’t work out (which is rumored to have the Kelvin cast and already maybe DOA if they can’t get Pine back), they will be moving on with another Trek series entirely.

CBS is making 12 different Star Trek shows, I think Paramount can risk something different with new characters and settings.

Tezna

I think it would be smart for Paramount to just wait till the inevitable re-merger with CBS in 2 or so years before moving onto a movie.

Barley

Unfortunately, Star Wars was worse.

Paul

Payne & McKay script was clearly a leftover from their aborted ST3 probably a contractual pay or play deal where they get paid regardless if the movie gets made or not so they had a crack regardless. QT has almost finished with his current movie now so he will get the next chance to make a Trek movie if he wants to do it & Paramount think its worthwhile doing. I think no other Trek movie is in active development right now or likely to be unless its on a lower budget. Hemsworth would not had been in ST4 for long just an extended guest star cameo.

Janice

Please you two “Chris’s we trekkit’s are a very large fan base and WE WANT YOU !!! Now is NOT the time to count your pennies after all….we your fans put you where you are today! You two are excellent actors so Come on Guys!!!!!!

Cygnus-X1

And I’m thankful that Hemsworth has taste.

JJ’s carnival-barking about a sequel before audiences even had a chance to complain about the many shortcomings of the weakly performing BEYOND seemed ridiculous at the time and even more so now.

As long as audiences continue paying to see movies with weak writing, studios will continue to regard scripts as afterthoughts.

ML31

“As long as audiences continue paying to see movies with weak writing, studios will continue to regard scripts as afterthoughts.”

This seems to be particularly true of Marvel films.

Afterburn

Captain Marvel aside, I think most Marvel features have very good scripts. I think the execution suffers a bit in something like Black Panther, and End Game where the action is actually weaker than the story and plot.

ML31

Agree to disagree. It seems that most Marvel films follow the same formula to the letter. Black Panther in particular hit nearly every tired trope imaginable. The last truly good Marvel film was Civil War. Which did suffer from Tony being an over-emotional baby but if he didn’t there would be no movie.

Afterburn

Please point out why that makes it a bad script/bad movie.

ML31

Are you seriously asking why following tired old tropes makes for bad scripts or movies? You don’t realize how lazy it is to write something that has been written time and time again before? Don’t you think the audience would like to get a surprise or two? Super people duking it out can be fun to watch. But if there is no decent story or emotion behind it, it’s just boring stuff we’ve seen before over and over. If repetitive sameness is your cup of tea, then who am I to argue what you like. But many Marvel films are at best VERY similar. Nearly identical at worst.

tony

the best thing about marvel is they vary the format in their films with ‘winter soldier’ as spy drama, ‘ant man’ as heist movie and ‘avengers’ as war movie.
they even critique the third act collateral damage of some of their movies in ‘civil war’

ML31

IMHO, Civil War was one of the few MU films that broke free of most of the tired tropes. (There was still one that stuck out but as I said before, the film needed that or it wouldn’t work. I just wish they came up with something else to get Tony so riled.) That made it REALLY good.

Cygnus-X1

tony

Those are all plot details, and they’re fine. But I literally couldn’t make it past the midpoint of ANT MAN, it was so boring. The movie is all plot. If I’d never seen a heist movie before, then maybe that plot alone would have been enough to hold my interest. But I’ve seen dozens of them, and most were better than ANT MAN. Same thing with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. If I’d never seen a movie about a motley crew chasing a MacGuffin, then maybe that plot would have been enough to hold my interest. But I literally couldn’t make it past the mid-point of the movie, it was so boring. CIVIL WAR…I’m not sure if I’ve seen that one. I know that I saw the first CAPTAIN AMERICA, and I found it OK. Watchable and entertaining enough to sit through. I’d rate it as one of the better Marvel movies that I’ve seen.
I don’t think I’ve seen the sequel.

Afterburn

Similar, even identical, does not equal bad. When well-done, quite the opposite in fact. For the most part, Marvel has created a formula that largely works every time.

Doctor Strange found something new to do with it, Captain Marvel didn’t, and that is where my opinion on the two differs. Black Panther, for all of it’s similarities to previous films, has something unique to say.

Nothing is ever wholly original.

Cygnus-X1

ML31
Black Panther in particular hit nearly every tired trope imaginable.

Afterburn
Please point out why that makes it a bad script/bad movie.

I haven’t seen BLACK PANTHER, but I’ve seen plenty of Marvel (and other) movies that are based on hackneyed tropes. They’re not satisfying because they’re merely references to themes that we’ve all seen compellingly developed in other stories. It’s as though the writers and director are saying to the audience, for example in STID, Remember how neat the whole revenge thing was in TWOK? Well, this is just like that!, but without actually showing us how it’s the same thing. It’s like the movie is quoting the superficial aspects a previous, better written movie, and trying to pass off that quote as its own expression. Imagine, for example, that you watched a movie in the theater today which involved a villain dressed all in black with a long mustache that he twirls as he laughs maniacally. And it’s NOT a comedy. You’d think to yourself, “Jeez, this seems like a joke.” That’s because the mustache-twirling villain-in-black is a hackneyed trope. It’s a cliche. It’s been used SO many times in the past that it’s mainly used nowadays as merely a reference — a stand-in for a generalized concept. That’s how the themes in Marvel movies are. And in Bad Robot Trek movies.

Afterburn

Sorry, you’re not convincing me. A good movie is still a good movie, even if it borrows themes and concepts. Every movie, book, tv series, is inspired by, borrows from, or has similarities to, other works.

It’s whether they can execute well that is the deciding factor. Nemesis borrowed heavily from TWOK but that wasn’t the problem. A bland script, bad acting, bad FX, and poor direction make it a bad film.

Likewise, TWOK itself has a lot of “tired old tropes” from other classic films, but it’s the charm of the cast, the charisma of the villain, and the well-paced, tense story and well-executed quality script that make it good.

TUC is my favorite Trek film, and it too is filled with some tired tropes, but again, it’s well made, well written, and superbly acted, so you overlook them.

Sorry, Afterburn, but they don’t. If you’ve seen one Marvel movie, , you’ve seen them all. It’s well made spectacle, but if you’re looking for an engaging story, well, keep looking.

Afterburn

Sorry you feel that way. I’ll be over here enjoying good movies while you can be a cantakerous old clod.

Cygnus-X1

Afterburn

I haven’t seen all of the Marvel movies, but I’ve seen a bunch of them. And I can’t think of any that stand out as being about anything other than their plot. When I think of a Marvel movie, I think of a person who gets super powers and then has to defeat a villain who also has super powers. There’s some minor character drama along the way, but it doesn’t really bear on the outcome of the story. In other words, it’s not as though, for example, the outcome of IRON MAN was ever in question because of Tony Stark’s inner struggle with some issue or foible. I can’t even remember what the character issues of Tony Stark were, and IRON MAN is my favorite of all the Marvel movies. That’s not what I mean by a strong script. Sure, for a comic-book movie, one might say that IRON MAN has a relatively strong script, because you’re judging it based on the typical form of a comic-book movie.

Superhero comic-books typically don’t have overarching themes. They’re all plot and pictures. Superhero discovers wrongdoing. Superhero intervenes. Villain gets away…this time. If you try to sum up what a movie is about in a sentence or a few words without referring to specific plot points — Protagonist does this and that — and you find yourself unable to do so, that means that either that the movie doesn’t have a strong main theme or you’re not picking up on it. What’s TWOK about? Revenge. What’s GOODFELLAS about? The hermetic bubble that forms around twisted mob values. Or simply, mob values. What’s THE TERMINATOR about? The danger posed by A.I. What’s ALIENS about? The danger posed by extra-terrestrial life and to a lesser degree The lengths that corporations will go to in exploiting people for profit.

This is not to say that a movie can’t be good without having a strong overarching theme. There are movies that comprise compelling character studies and interpersonal drama that don’t have strong main themes. And there are movies with great plots and minor themes that work very well. I’d put DIE HARD in this category. It’s a mostly plot-driven movie, with the minor theme of the narrow-mindedness, inefficiency and other shortcomings intrinsic to bureaucracy. This sort of ratio of plot-to-theme is along the lines of what I’d expect from a comic-book movie, but they don’t even have it. They’re all plot with some minor character moments that don’t really bear upon the outcome of the story. Comic-book movies are formulaic, and the formula is inherently weak.

Cygnus-X1

(continued) Themes in Marvel movies are introduced but not developed to satisfying ends. The bureaucracy side-theme in DIE HARD, for example, is developed enough to be satisfying. It drives the plot to a significant degree and bears upon the outcome of the story. The main plot of DIE HARD could be told without the FBI being narrow-minded bureaucrats, but it wouldn’t be as interesting, fun or dramatically satisfying.

tony

the damage done by the heroes in previous marvel movies led to putting the avengers under UN control, an action that eventually splits the team just as thanos comes knocking…
both that and thanos are themes developed over the course of the films so far

ML31

Tony, you are referencing the events in arguably the best of all the Marvel films. What is going on in Dr. Strange? Guardians? Thor? Not a whole heck of a lot aside from really neat visuals.

Cygnus-X1

tony

OK, but that’s not even a theme. Putting The Avengers under UN control and splitting up the team are plot points. Why does it matter that the team is split up? Does it show us anything about the human condition? Does it represent anything beyond the fact of being split up? Does it mean anything to the characters that a viewer would connect with emotionally and finding meaningful or at least relevant? Is the movie about how the characters are affected by their break-up? Or is that mostly just a plot point that separates the action at the beginning of the movie from the inevitable final battle?

I’m not saying that the Avengers movies are totally devoid of themes. I’d have to go back and watch them again. I know that I saw the first movie, which was OK, and the second one — I think it was AGE OF ULTRON — was terrible, but I haven’t seen any beyond that. And those first two, at least, are not about much of anything beyond good-guys vs. bad guys. I don’t even remember anything about their plots other than just a bunch of CGI, running around, flying and fighting.

tony

stark tends to have deal with blow back from his actions and behaviour as villains come looking for revenge, have been committing crimes under his watch or when he created ultron which will lead devastation and the split up of the avengers.

boborci

not bad analysis.

dmduncan

What’s Iron Man about? Guilt. Tony Stark carries on his father’s legacy of being an iron monger until he becomes a witness to all the innocent deaths that his weapons are causing, including–sometimes–killing the American soldiers they are meant to help.

Tony Stark is also the only major Marvel character whose superpower is…his MIND. At the end of Iron Man 3 after he loses everything except the robot he built in college and a stubby screwdriver he finds hiding under a weed in the rubble of his once spectacular home:

“My armor was never a distraction or a hobby, it was a cocoon, and now I’m a changed man. You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys, but one thing you can’t take away – I AM Iron Man.”

Jon Favreau made a great movie. Iron Man is still my favorite MCU production.

ML31

Just a note… IM3 was not a Favreau film. He was in it but it was directed by Shane Black.

Cygnus-X1

dmduncan

So, the first IRON MAN is a movie about guilt? OK, maybe… I don’t remember much about the story, and I’ve seen it two or three times totally sober. I do remember that I found it the most satisfying thematically of all the Marvel movies that I’ve seen. I’ll have to go back and re-watch it to see why it’s such a forgettable movie. IRON MAN is the best of the comic-book movies for me, and I’d rate it an average movie on a general cinematic scale. I found it enjoyable to watch but obviously not very memorable. My biggest complaint, based on my general impression of the movie now, is that it was formulaic, and I never felt as though there was much at stake or that something really unexpected might happen. It seemed a fairly typical Disney movie experience. You can bet your life when watching a Disney movie that certain things are just not going to happen and certain things definitely will. There aren’t many surprises, if any. I do remember Tony Stark struggling with some sort of issue, but I feel like it was all resolved very easily, neatly and in short order. Like we were given just enough of an inner struggle to check off that box. But, I will go watch it again to see how my memory of it compares with the movie. By way of comparison with the BR Trek movies, though, IRON MAN is certainly more cohesive (and better) storytelling.

Cygnus-X1

dmduncan

OK, I re-watched IRON MAN. It’s not a movie about guilt.

Guilt is an emotion that the protagonist is briefly shown to experience, which he immediately resolves upon returning home by holding a press conference to announce that he’s changing the focus of his company from weapons to something non-violent. This happens at the beginning of Act 2. The rest of the movie has nothing to do with guilt. It’s about a man with super-suit, guided by his conscience, on a mission to prevent bad-guys from doing evil — like the typical superhero. There’s a mission-statement scene at the beginning of Act 3 that spells it out to the audience: “I finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it’s right.” If it were a movie about guilt, there would be scenes showing Tony struggling with guilt, torn because of his guilt, Tony’s behavior being affected and motivated by guilt (probably in a self-destructive way), and a sort of inner, emotional journey that Tony goes through on his way to finally resolving his guilt (being that Tony is the good-guy, I’m assuming that he’d resolve it in the end). But, there’s obviously none of that in IRON MAN. We’re shown a few seconds in Act 1 of Tony realizing that his company is responsible for atrocities, followed by Tony resolving that issue in the form of the press conference at the beginning of Act 2. From there on through to the end of the movie, it’s a typical comic-book story about a superhero up against a bad-guy with equal or near-equal super-abilities who’s bent on taking over the world.

The best part of the movie, for me, is Act 1, where Tony is captured and creates the suit as a means of escape. Tony has a clear and compelling motive as he’s obviously in a world of danger. We feel for his translator friend when he dies. And the action is all very exciting. After that, we see Tony back home working on his Iron Man suit for no explicit reason. He just seems to want to perfect the thing, but he’s got no compelling motive. This makes up the bulk of Act 2. It drags and is kind of boring. Then, we’re shown that Obidiah is actually the mastermind villain, and the rest of the story becomes about Iron Man vs. Obidiah, with the Pepper/love-interest thread running throughout the second and third acts. It’s mainly Act 1 that caused me to remember this movie so fondly. That’s what got me invested enough in the main character and story to care about the outcome and ride out the rest of the movie.

What kmart said about the music is right. There’s no memorable musical theme. The only memorable music is the Sabbath tune over the closing credits. Also, there’s a number of cliche scenes in the Act 1 exposition that would have totally put me off the movie if not for the effectiveness of the parts in Afghanistan. It’s like the script says, OK, here we’ll have a typical “cool guy” scene. And here we’ll have a typical “smart guy” scene. And here we’ll have a typical “lady’s man” scene. I’m not sure if it’s owing to poor writing, poor directing or both, but it’s really lame. On a positive note, there’s not too much CGI cluttering up the frame, which is a pleasant surprise for a comic-book movie. I’m guessing the CGI is tastefully sparse because it was an early Marvel movie, as the later ones get much worse in that respect.

So, why is the movie so forgettable? I basically had it right at the outset. The most compelling and interesting element of the story — the moral dilemma about manufacturing weapons — is resolved very quickly and early on in the story, at the beginning of Act 2. This leaves about 2/3 of the movie left with not much going on thematically. We’ve got a superhero vs. a super villain. None of the other people getting hurt have faces or identities, so we don’t care too much about the action, and we know that the superhero is going to win, anyway. And there’s not much else at stake. We care about Pepper, mostly. And once she’s out of danger, it’s just action on through to the end. Why is IRON MAN forgettable? Because most of the movie isn’t about anything interesting. Why is it one of the best Marvel movies? Because the first Act is about something interesting and compelling. When I think of IRON MAN, I think of the scenes in Afghanistan at the beginning. The rest of the movie is fairly stock.

Cygnus-X1

P.S. On a more technical note, there are relatively few close-up shots or shots of any kind lasting more than a few seconds, both of which I think are unconducive to getting the audience emotionally involved in the characters. I started counting shot length for a bit, to see how long it would take to get a shot that lasted 10 seconds. I gave up before reaching one. The longest one I measured was eight seconds, and the average was about four seconds. I got into a rhythm of expecting a cut about every four seconds, and most of the time that’s what came, unless it was an even shorter cutaway or reaction shot. If the shots lasted longer, even if they were all medium shots, then I think we could get more into the characters and their relationships to each other. But the constant cut-cut-cut-cut-cut I think creates an emotional detachment, if only because you don’t have time to feel anything before you’ve moved onto something else visually. Constantly moving off of the actors in a cut-cut-cut fashion is visually jarring. It interrupts your thought process by giving you a new package of visual information to process every few seconds. This editing style may be visually titillating, but I think it’s trading long-term emotional gratification for short-term sensory stimulation. You don’t feel like you’ve spent much time with the characters, even though their total screen time might be high, because you never see them for more than a few seconds at a time. It’s comparable to the difference between an acquaintance and a close friend. An acquaintance is someone that you’ve had superficial conversation with. You may have had many years’ worth of interactions with them — like the receptionist at your doctor’s office, for example — but every interaction was brief and superficial. That’s the feeling I get with the cut-cut-cut editing style. It’s like I never get a chance to get to know the characters, even though they have a lot of screen time.

dmduncan

Cygnus, you’re not giving Tony Stark the complexity he’s due. He’s no Steve Rogers. Tony comes late and unexpectedly to the game of heroes only after being rudely awakened and after having lived a lifetime of doing things he has to atone for to be whole, whereas Steve Rogers has always been a hero, even when he was a a scrawny little guy. You were looking for succinct descriptions of what movies are about and regarding Iron Man the word “guilt” instantly popped into my mind. Related to guilt about things done wrong (for a good man (which Tony is)) is atonement. And I could just as easily have used atonement to describe the movie. A two word description would be even better: *guilt and atonement.* As long as we can detect what the protagonist’s motivations are we can also say what the movie is about whether the storytellers dramatize it perfectly or not. I’m not going to argue comparisons between comic book action movies and dramas. Consonant with their generally simpler characters and greater demands for us to suspend disbelief, comic book movies appropriately scale down the sophistication of everything. So, it’s comic book movie guilt and atonement. It’s not going to be Angela’s Ashes or Gran Torino, and yet Robert Downey Jr. does a remarkable job of making Tony an interesting human being, more so than he was in the comics. RDJ went above and beyond the call of comic book movie duty. I once tweeted @ Downey that I’d always loved the character of Iron Man, but HE made me love the character of Tony Stark. True story. Namaste, Robert Downey Jr. You say: “If it were a movie about guilt, there would be scenes showing Tony struggling with guilt, torn because of his guilt, Tony’s behavior being affected and motivated by guilt (probably in a self-destructive way),” Torn apart? Motivated by guilt in a self destructive way? Check! Tony wrecks his shop after seeing what’s happening in Gulmira with HIS weapons. It’s not just anger. It’s anger BECAUSE it goes directly to his conflict of being a weapons manufacturer who doesn’t want to make weapons anymore. He feels responsible. He’s at war with his own company, and therefore himself. An apt metaphor for the battle he must fight to be a new person against those who want him to stay the same. Conscience is necessary but not sufficient to explain his rage and death defying behavior. That comes from a deeper rift. The shame is on him and he uses it to propel him forward on to “the next mission.” It’s not just his conscience, it’s an obsession which threatens to spoil his relationship with Pepper: “Are those BULLET HOLES?” Pepper asks him after he returns, horrified. She threatens to quit when Tony tells her “the next mission” is all that matters to him. So yeah, it’s making him do self destructive things, including risking losing Pepper, and the change in Tony freaks Pepper out. Then you say: “From there on through to the end of the movie, it’s a typical comic-book story about a superhero up against a bad-guy with equal or near-equal super-abilities who’s bent on taking over the world.” No way, the press conference is the beginning of the new Tony and the first expression of his guilt, not the resolution of his guilt. It resolves nothing and instead creates more problems that are going to test his determination. Nor is Obadiah trying to take over the world. His aim is more modest and realistic: He’s trying to take over Stark Industries. Obadiah doesn’t even have a suit until the last 20 minutes of the movie. Until then, the struggle between Tony and Obadiah is a chess match. Obadiah isn’t even exposed as the real villain until Act Three. Act One: 0 minutes — 42 minutes. Act One gives us the history of Stark Industries, Tony’s life as a hard partying billionaire tech genius who needs to be babysat by more responsible people, his capture and imprisonment in the cave, his witness to the evil the company with his name on it is doing, and finally his development of the Mark 1 suit, escape from the cave, and recovery/return to America. Crucially, we meet Vanity Fair reporter, Christine Everhart (played by the gorgeous enough Leslie Bibb), soon to become his Inquisitor. She attempts to shame him, calling him a war profiteer and citing his nickname, “merchant of death.” But Tony pushes back justifying everything his company does, feeling no guilt at all. To emphasize how guilt-free he is, he sleeps with this would-be tormenter in the next scene. Soon after: Tony is almost killed by a bomb with his name on it. The terrorists have stockpiles of his weapons. Dying, the doctor who… Read more »

Cygnus-X1

dmduncan

I commend your attention to detail. These sort of explications about ankle-deep movies always amaze me to some degree. You’re right that I don’t like comic-book movies, and the reasons why are all in my complaints about IRON MAN and (the BR Trek movies, which are basically comic-book movies.) above. I think some people just have the kind of imagination that tends to fill in gaps in a meaningful way from very broad strokes, whereas people like me go to movies to be shown meaningful things. The story you tell is more interesting than what’s on the screen in IRON MAN, I’ll give you that. I can’t prove that the emotional events you attribute to Tony aren’t happening when you say they’re happening; I can only point to the lack of supporting dialogue and visual context. If Tony is really fighting a battle against himself because he’s being torn apart by guilt throughout Acts 2 and 3, then he might just as well be frustrated about his legacy and motivated not by guilt but by ego. Or, maybe throughout all of his actions that you reference in Acts 2 and 3 Tony is really just pissed off that Obidiah betrayed him. The point being that a guy smashing his stuff, while it might be clear that he’s feeling anger, doesn’t show me much if anything about the human condition without a more meaningful context and perhaps some supporting dialogue.

You say that the press conference is the first expression of Tony’s guilt and not its resolution. I agree that the scene shows us Tony turning over a new leaf, but there’s nothing subsequent to that scene, either in dialogue or in visuals, that necessarily shows us the emotional events that you ascribe to Tony. I provided one counter-example above and I could do likewise for all of your other claims regarding Tony’s emotional events and motivation. Sure, one could say that IRON MAN is about guilt and atonement. And I don’t necessarily disagree that one couldn’t interpret it that way. But, the final 2/3 of the movie — everything after the press conference — one could just as easily interpret in different ways, and it’s not because the material is so deep and rich; it’s because it’s so bereft of depth and detail. If one is in the right mood, one might feel something when reading a Bazooka Joe comic strip: Oh, man! Joe really stepped in it this time! But, I probably wouldn’t give the comic or its writer much credit. We’re all human and are familiar with the same sorts of emotional states, more or less.

Consonant with their generally simpler characters and greater demands for us to suspend disbelief, comic book movies appropriately scale down the sophistication of everything.

I would disagree that the supernatural elements of a story necessitate simplified, hackneyed storytelling. LOTR is a good counter-example. You don’t get greater requirements to suspend disbelief than being in a magical world of wizards and flying dragons, and yet the trilogy shows us a compelling myth about power corrupting. LOTR is ultimately a very simple story with one thematic arc, but the details are all working together, pushing in the same direction to paint a rich tapestry that doesn’t suffer from lack of sophistication.

I do agree that comic-book characters are simple. And that’s one of the reasons why comic-book movies are so boring. I think it’s great that you’re able to fill in the gaps in a meaningful way, but I don’t watch movies to tell myself a story; I watch to be told and shown a story. And the story of IRON MAN largely ends with the press conference. After that, it really is just about superhero vs. super-villain running around and stuff. Tony’s motivation, whether it’s guilt (as you say), or ego, or anger about betrayal, or just frustration about having his intentions (to turn his company in a different direction) checked and his actions thwarted by Obidiah — whatever Tony’s feeling doesn’t really matter in the end. Tony could be feeling any or none of those emotions, and the outcome of the story wouldn’t change. Because Tony’s emotional struggle, beyond not getting his way (to change his company) is not really the main point of the story. A guy gets frustrated when things aren’t going his way, so he smashes some of his stuff and acts out to make things go how he wants them to go. That’s really all we’re shown and told. And if it ain’t on the screen or in the soundtrack, then it ain’t in the movie.

Cygnus-X1

I’d cite THE REVENANT as an example of great storytelling that doesn’t rely much on dialogue. It’s got a simple overarching theme, the protagonist’s motivations are straightforward and uncomplicated, and yet the movie is compelling throughout and doesn’t suffer from its lack of complexity. It’s the details that make the movie. Are the shots and dialogue motivated by a theme in ways that are unmistakable because their meaning and implications are clear? Take TWOK as an example. When Khan insists on chasing Kirk into the Mutara Nebula, does it mean something beyond Khan just being mad and hating Kirk? Yes! Khan’s governing psychology and emotional state are fully exposed like a raw nerve in that one decision. This is a man who can’t live without proving that he has dominated Kirk and justly taken his vengeance from him. When you watch that scene, you’re not just watching a man who’s mad at another man. You’re watching a man whose sense of self-worth is totally wrapped up in the man he’s chasing. Do you see what I’m getting at here? The character’s motivation in the scene is clear, there are layers to it and what it means, and it’s ultimately all relatable in a compelling, interesting, thought-provoking way. A psychology professor could easily give a lecture based on that scene, just as an example of its depth.

That kind of depth just ain’t there with IRON MAN. And it’s not because the character has to be kept simple. What I like about IRON MAN is that Tony is a more layered character than other superheros. There’s enough to Tony that IRON MAN could have revolved around Tony’s emotions and psychology. But, to make that kind of movie, the writers would have had to let the theme drive the plot and inform the content of the scenes, as opposed to letting actions drive the plot. They’d had to have kept attention detail. Why is Tony doing this? What does it tell us? That sort of thinking.

The best action movies are the ones that do have meaningful thematic development. Look at the interesting character dynamics in ALIENS. The original SW trilogy is rich in thematic development. The requirements to suspend disbelief certainly don’t limit those movies in that respect. It’s all about the writing.

dmduncan

“I would disagree that the supernatural elements of a story necessitate simplified, hackneyed storytelling. LOTR is a good counter-example.”

That’s Tolkien. Source material is very different from a comic book. Comic books are very basic. When I was a kid I read sophisticated stuff and I also read comic books, and I liked all of it, each thing according to what it was.

But comic books (and good movies based on them, like Iron Man) do still have an emotional depth. There’s a style of water color painting where the artist creates a beautiful scene from relatively few well placed lines and strokes, and you get the idea in an emotionally impactful way. They do the same.

And it’s not much different than what we do for literature, it’s just not as complicated as say, Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot.” A good author with a few words engages you to create a scene in the book that feels real to you, not because every detail is painstakingly described, but because he triggers your imagination. The author’s words can only do so much–you have to put effort into understanding them or you will understand nothing, sort of like when we find ourselves reading a sentence over and over again because we are not paying full attention. Attention = effort.

Richard Gere in the movie “Breathless” is a Silver Surfer fan and he gets philosophical about the character and his troubles. That’s what comic book fans do. If you take lines of dialogue from a comic book out of the comic they often just become ordinary lines that you won’t ever see quoted like Tolkien, but IN the comic book, with the art and the story, they become emotional triggers to deeper thoughts about life. (I do want to be clear, however, that all the details I noted in my long post are THERE in the movie. It might take some effort to understand them all, but those things actually happen and we are not required to imagine them.)

Comic book writers are smart people and they debate stuff just like Star Trek fans do on this site.

Simple doesn’t mean bad. Sometimes it even means better.

Cygnus-X1

dmduncan

That’s Tolkien. Source material is very different from a comic book.

Well, my rejoinder to this is twofold:

Firstly, the source material could serve as a basic outline of the characters and story which screenwriters could then flesh out into something more substantial.

And, secondly, citing the shallowness or simplicity of the source material doesn’t make the experience of watching the film adaptation any more enjoyable. At least, not for me. I went through a brief stint in middle school of collecting comics, and while I did enjoy them, I’ve never thought that they’d make for good movies. They’re comics, and I appreciate them for what they are. And I actually think that in their original form, comic books convey their emotional substance (what there is of it) better than their film adaptations. The limitations of the comic-book — the limited space for dialogue, particularly — work well with the limited depth of their stories. It’s clear what the makers of those things are trying to achieve with that medium.

A feature film is a much more complicated, complex, large-scale form. And if you’re going to adapt a story from a simple form (like a comic book) into a complicated and complex form (like a feature film), then I would expect the substance of the story to be likewise adapted, which is to say fleshed out and augmented. If you’re arguing that IRON MAN is a great movie for a comic-book movie, then I don’t really have much to say in response: yeah, I mean, I guess so. It doesn’t really matter to me as a viewer how the experience ranks based on the handicap of being an adaptation of a simpler form. As I said, I never had any desire for these adaptations, to begin with. As far as I’m concerned, their proliferation is one of the reasons that movies in general have declined in quality over the past decade.

I can see that you and others find comic-book movies deep and interesting. And, good for you, I guess. They don’t do much for me. And it’s not for my lack of attention. I just don’t find anything in there worth thinking about, nor anything that connects with me emotionally. When I watch IRON MAN, I’m not thinking or feeling that it’s showing me an illustration of what it means to feel guilt and the desire to atone for it. I can obviously see those motivations in Tony Stark, but their exploration (if you will) and depiction are so basic and shallow that I don’t find the story very compelling or interesting beyond Act 1. As I said previously, it’s all about detail. I will add that WONDER WOMAN is actually my favorite of all the comic-book movies. That’s one that I consider a real movie that will hold up over time. And, not surprisingly, look at what leans on: Greek mythology, a rich body of meaningful stories, allegories and applied metaphor.

Afterburn

And yet they’re all still fun, enjoyable, good movies with good performances, strong characters and satisfying action. Funny how that works!

Sam

The MCU has no turkeys in it on the movie front. Even the most disappointing installments (THOR 1 and 2, HULK, Capt America 1) are still decent-to-good movies. Their lowest score on Rotten Tomatoes is a 66% and it goes to THOR: The Dark World. Sixty-six percent of critics still found it at least “favorable”.

For a 22-film series that is unprecedented. Even Bond can’t claim that. SW has at least one certified turkey (I would have counted three, but critics were feeling generous). ST has no less than five. The X-Men are all over the place. What Marvel is doing on the TV front I don’t even know, but the MCU is the only film franchise that pumps out consistently GOOD movies, even great ones on occasion, and still watch-ably decent ones at the very worst.

ML31

“but the MCU is the only film franchise that pumps out consistently GOOD movies, ”

Yeah, that’s a bit much. They have had a number of mediocre films in their arsenal. For a while, in the beginning, anything without Tony Stark was just dull. But as I said earlier, even that magic has worn off. Even RDjr couldn’t save the tired Homecoming.

Afterburn

And you speak for yourself. For the majority of the audience, the studio’s output has been fairly consistent in terms of quality. A few clunkers, a few mediocre films, but what other studio can put out 22 films, and have a track record as strong as that?

ML31

If you are talking about box office then you are correct. I was talking about quality. Which is not connected to box office. In fact, more often than not high box office means tired overused crowd pleasing plots.

tony

the MCU guys are obviously trekkers.
see what happens in the end credits to ‘endgame’….Join the discussion…

Afterburn

Kevin Feige has made no secret of his love for both Star Trek and Star Wars, and cited “All Good Things” as a conceptual inspiration for the Infinity War/Endgame story.

Tiger2

Yes Feige is a big Star Trek fan, specifically TNG. And I loved they used All Good Things as a template for End Game (also the name of Voyager series finale but I’ll just strike that one as coincidence ;)).

ML31

Where was the similarities between All Good Things and Endgame? I never saw some god like being spoon feeding the Avengers everything. Or did I miss that?

Disinvited

ML31,

Well, presumably the role of some god like being spoon feeding the Avengers the route to prevailing was being filled by Dr. Strange or did I miss the part in INFINITY WAR after he informed them of the overwhelming number of universes of defeat except one where they decided “F’ it, let’s just wing it!”?

ML31

But Dr. Strange never gave out details of what that one scenario was. If he did he did it off screen and no one ever spoke about it ever again. If Strange was going to play the part of Q he would have been there with our guys telling them what to do every step of the way. Instead, Paul Rudd came up with concepts and Stark found a way to make it work. And they pretty much winged it from there.

Disinvited

ML31,

You are simply misremembering AGT, Q was absolutely NOT with Picard every step of the way. He had him floundering around jumping through time trying to figure out which move was the best move to have his various assembled “Avengers” do to avert an impending disaster before he’d pop in dispensing a cryptic clue.

ML31

Disinvited, Q, I think, was hoping Picard would figure all this out on his own. He constantly pointed him in the right direction but Picard never worked it out. He had to keep coming back until he actually pretty much spelled everything out for him. I could be remembering just the impressions the episode left. I did only see it the one time 25 years ago. But I recall being massively disappointed in it for many reasons. The fact that Q held Picard’s hand pretty much the entire way was one of them.

Disinvited

ML31,

You are simply misremembering it. He didn’t give anything useful to Picard. Picard figured it out.

ML31

Dis, I do not think so. Q spoon fed him everything. He practically held his hand throughout the entire ordeal. It was pretty sorry writing, to be honest.

Disinvited

ML31,

Hmmm…I suppose it just seemed with all the time travel that it had to have been Strange’s plan?

But then again, I can’t figure out why, if Thanos thought the universe wasn’t big enough to sustain all the life present, he didn’t just snap his fingers and make it big enough?

ML31

That is a good point. The stones did seem to give make god-like abilitis. To play the devil’s advocate perhaps the size of the universe is a constant that even the stones cannot change?

Disinvited

ML31,

Well, currently the universe is expanding, so its size most definitely is NOT constant. In fact, matter, which is very essential to our existence, is actually a small part of it so there’s plenty of room for Thanos to fill it with enough to sustain life.

ML31

But I never said it was constant in that it remained the same size. I just said it was a constant. That could mean the rate of expansion was a constant, too. Anyway, perhaps there was a reason why the stones could not create something from nothing? Destroying is one thing. Creating is something else.

tony

actually marvel has had some brilliantly written films like ‘iron 3’, ‘winter soldier’, ‘civil war’ and the ‘infinity/endgame’ duo.
‘trek’ movies would love to have a villain as nuanced as thanos.

Cygnus-X1

tony

I haven’t seen the Captain America sequels, but I’d be willing since I found the first one OK. I haven’t seen INFINITY or ENDGAME, either. I did see IRON MAN 3 in the theater, and it was just terrible. I remember Iron Man’s magical suit flying from Tennessee to Boston or whatever in about 10 seconds, which was the final nail in the coffin for me. That movie in particular I would cite as a good example of why Marvel movies are such poor entertainment. But, I would be interested to know what you found nuanced about Thanos as a villain. I don’t know if I’m familiar with that character.

dmduncan

California to Tennessee, but it wasn’t 10 seconds. Tony is passed out inside the suit. When he wakes up he finds that discombobulated Jarvis has taken him to Tennessee. So however long it takes the suit to get to Tennessee is how long Tony was out for.

Sam

Thanos believes in his cause absolutely. He obtains the Infinity Stones for the sole purpose of randomly eliminating half of all life in the cosmos so that the other half might achieve utopia. He then destroys the stones so they cannot further tempt him (and so nobody can undo his work). Absolute power is meaningless to him outside his one purpose. When he witnesses his fated death at the hands of Thor, he is merely satisfied to learn that he will succeed in accomplishing his goal. When the Avengers still appose him, he realizes he must instead wipe out ALL life and start anew, creating a “grateful universe” that is innocent of the violence he will inflict.

He respects his adversaries (especially Tony Stark) and sympathizes in their (supposedly) misguided belief that they are “right”, but admits later that he will enjoy incinerating the Earth after it’s been such a thorn in his side. His motives are compellingly compassionate, and he’s an absolute monster.

All of this development is shown over the last two films, and just when we were starting to REALLY wonder how any MCU movie was going to pull off using a CG Purple Guy as its primary threat.

I would have loved to see some of Thanos’ comic book history, in which he takes half the universe in a hopeless plight to win the affections of [the anthropomorphic female personification of] Death, who does not (WILL not) love him back. But I’ve never read the comics, and probably won’t start now. The post-credit tease from the first Avengers suggests Marvel at least toyed with using this storyline at an earlier stage of development.

kmart

Cygnus,

WINTER SOLIDER is very good IMO, though it suffers at the end from the usual CG overkill, but that is the only thing I remember not liking about it (and I saw it twice, which is pretty rare for Marvel — only did that for first IM and first GUARDIANS and DR STRANGE, and like you have skipped a few, like THOR2.) There’s an interesting push-me/pull-you going on visually, because the filmmakers clearly worship 70s political-paranoia thrillers, and yet have to balance that with the MCU requisites of giant setpieces and elaborate VFX. CIVIL WAR is pretty good, but also bogs down at end because ‘dramatic revelation #_ forces character to _’ — which is true to comic books but you can only go there so many times with movies, at least for me.

This is only a hunch, because I have not made a study of these films, but I think part of what makes most of them so instantly forgettable is the style and content of film scores written this century, which, however well orchestrated, seem more about big noise than melody. I can’t whistle or hum the theme to any of these things, not even the music that plays over the Marvel logo, but I can for the music from the 2000 X-MEN, when the x-jet takes off and then again when Wolverine and Anna Paquin are atop the Statue of Liberty — and that’s even without ever owning the soundtrack, and for a movie I only watch every five years or so.

I’m not saying you need to hew to some old ‘rule’ about each character needing his own theme — honestly, I find well-regarded classic scores from Alexander North to often be unlistenable owing to their excess — but some sense of personality that makes each film its own thing is a worthwhile effort, especially with genre stuff where the action beats all run together as tropes unless you’ve got a Bond budget (along with old-school Bond craftsman to execute.)

For somebody who has been collecting soundtrack scores since well before I could even drive a car, it’s amazing to me how little interest I have in film scores from the last 15 to 20 years. To one degree or another I enjoyed all of the Bond scores from 62 through to 2002, but except for parts of QUANTUM, haven’t appreciated anything since. Part of my problem with scoring might owe to the fact Jerry Goldsmith is dead, but even his work in the 90s wasn’t all that inspired. Outside of ‘duel of the fates’ I don’t think I’ve like any John Williams since JFK or PRESUMED INNOCENT. And there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent to Elmer Bernstein out there today either. On the upside, I can’t remember anybody doing stuff as consistently awful as Dave Grusin (who I have been calling Dave Gruesome for forever), who often passed off happy musical chiming to create award winning ‘scores’ that were schmaltzy garbage. (Except for IT TAKES A THIEF, that was at least catchy.)

Cygnus-X1

kmart

I will check out Winter Soldier. I did enjoy the first one well enough. You make an interesting point about a forgettable score contributing to the movie not being memorable. I think that’s true, but I also think the forgettability owes largely to the movie’s pace and lack of memorable or iconic scenes and dialogue. You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Well, there ain’t no one else here. Who could forget TAXI DRIVER after that scene? I can’t recall any memorable scenes or dialogue from any of the Marvel movies that I’ve seen. I can recall memorable scenes from the BR Trek movies, but they’re all associated with some sort of distastefulness, like the “KHAAAAAAAN!” rip-off in STID, which made me feel like walking out of the theater. Or the shameless emotion-pandering of the George Kirk death/wife/baby scene at the beginning of ST09. The pace might also be an issue in terms of lack of memorability. One of the basic lessons of writing non-fiction is that you should tell your readers your main point three times — open by telling them what you’re about to tell them, then tell them your point, then close by summing up what you told them. I’m not suggesting that movies should follow this format, but the time spent on a concept or point of thematic development is one attribute that makes it memorable. Squeezing in a 30-second scene about some emotion that a character is feeling, and then not following up it with anything else on that point, won’t really hook my interest in it or make me think about it afterward. But, I think the music is also part of it. Music does heavy lifting in action movies, and if the music is not memorable, it will impact the memorability of the scenes and movie as a whole.

kmart

Contrarily, I also adore movies with the guts to forego a score completely, like a lot of Sidney Lumet pictures (NETWORK, DOG DAY AFTERNOON) and THE CHINA SYNDROME. But that only works when you’ve really got the thing nailed, and don’t have to rely on underscore to put the movie over the top, which is what most less-than-adequate filmmakers relied on Goldsmith to do for them.

Most memorable scene in all Marvel for me is the aftercredits eating scene in first AVENGERS. Something filmed as an afterthought should not be the most memorable thing out of 20 movies!

ML31

That is actually my favorite of the Marvel post credit scenes!

ML31

Regarding Civil War, which I find to be the best Marvel film thus far… I did not like the way Tony reacted to the “you killed my mother” news. It felt cliche and out of character for someone as smart as he is supposed to be. That said, if he didn’t overreact the movie would not have worked as well. So I just accept it as a necessary evil to the plot.

I do agree with you about the scores to those Marvel films. Apart from the sameness that permeates all of them, there is no musical signature to any of them. Henry Jackman wrote something OK for Civil War but it was by no means as good as some of this other work. First Class being my favorite. Alan Silvestri wrote an OK Avengers theme as well. But he’s done better, too. It would be nice if some of those films had a better voice. A good score can really lift a mediocre movie for me. Those are getting more and more rare these days. Maybe it’s just me getting older….

dmduncan

Thanos was sure good for some hilarious memes on Twitter. They cracked me up.

Melllvar

… the ‘4’ in the title image is a cut up job of the ‘A’, just in case anyone didn’t notice :p

Tom

The new studio head only talked about a Tarantino Trek movie. Seems like that would be where the focus is. The 2 leads and the director have left this project so it is basically done. Maybe the stars align and JJ and QT hook up for Trek. QT is done with his film and JJ will be done with Star Wars IX.

Tom

Wasn’t there supposed to be a Part 2 to the Bob Orci interview?

What is it with you?

Such a shame we never saw Orci’s script or directorial effort. It would have been epic to see a film directed by a real trekie. I wish Bob was still involved in Trek.

Danpaine

Agreed.

Datamat

Didn’t Orci write Into Darkness?
The movie that did a direct rehash of Spocks death in TWOK?

What is it with you?

He was one of the writers. I’m not certain who was responsible for that scene, though. In the end, it doesn’t matter. The only part I didn’t enjoy was Spock yelling “Khaaaan!!” I enjoyed Kirk facing his death, and, let’s be honest, it was handled better than in Generations. I’d still love to see Orci involved in Trek again. It’s odd to me that Kurtzman has the reigns. Orci always seemed far more knowledgable. Would love to hear the inside scoop on that someday. Hit me up if you want to vent, Bob!

ML31

Kirk’s “death” could have been handled much better. There were a few things working against it. First, it was a mirror image of Spock’s death in WOK. Sorry, that just doesn’t work. Fans who are aware of WoK are too busy thinking, “This is just like WoK!” than they are invested in Kirk’s “final” moments. Next, regardless of how much time has passed on screen between the first and 2nd films, the audience has only known these guys for not quite two movies when you “kill” Kirk. There is much less emotional investment in the characters than there was in WoK. The Kirk-Spock friendship really didn’t feel earned yet. If this was done in the 3rd film and done in different circumstances with different lines it would probably have resonated better. And 3rd, the very fact that this was only the 2nd film! We KNEW a 3rd film was coming. These things come in 3’s. So we KNEW there was no way Kirk was dead. All those things helped ruin what could have been a very moving scene. And then, of course, the topper was the Khan yell. If anyone was still invested in the scene they weren’t any longer when Spock screamed it. The Khan yell have become something of a joke over the years and seemed to be an odd choice for that moment.

Datamat

I just cannot like that scene whatsoever. Its doesn’t work at all for me and actually sours an otherwise watchable film. The Spock scream is cringe inducing.

DIGINON

I would rather see a Trek film directed by someone who knows how to direct than someone who just happens to be a Trekkie. Maybe Orci would have been both, who knows? But unless his IMDB record is wrong he hasn’t directed anything.

CHARLES MARTIN

It is a shame when money comes up for an actor.I hope both these guys won’t let money kill the Trek UNIVERSE.

Mark Calcagno

Not really. Everyone should know their worth and be paid for it. The ball is in Paramount’s court.

skyjedi

How can you turn down a film that was already canceled because of Captain Kirk refusing to be in the movie. When Chris Pine said he wanted to be paid what the contract had promised that ended the Kelvin timeline.

DIGINON

I don’t think it was ever clarified which Chris walked from the film first. The original report here at Trekmovie was for both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth.

nasty man

ST4 shud have the whale probe turn up and the JJcrew go back to 1986 to get sum whales but have to hide from their alt-future selves doing the same.. & they meet and get help from Eddie Murphy as a UFO believing college prof. and Kelly Rohbach as Kirks 80s aerobic instructor love interest. and Alexandra Daddario as Lt Saavik. Title – Star Trek Voyage to the Future Past

Mark Calcagno

I’d watch it!

nasty man

but kelvinverse Kruge (Gerald Butler) who they were battling when whale probe turned up has followed them back in a BOP but Pine Kirk dosnt know this until Trek IV Kirk (CGI deaged 1986 Shatner) runs into Edith Keeler (present day Joan Collins) in 1986 San Fran who tells him hes got to go back to 1930 to stop Kruge (who went back to 1930 instead) from Thanosing up the timelines and so Pine and Shatner go back to 1930 NYC and have to hide from City on The Edge Kirk & Spock and prevent kruge from killing Bones which would create an interdimentional paradox and destroy the multiverse. ShatnerKirk and Kruge fight in the street and Kruge gets hit by the truck. Then they go back to 1986 and take a whale each and then get back to their 23rd centuries. and becuz of the interferences City on the Edge Kirk (CG 1966 Shatner) gets the chance to take Edith (CG 1966 Collins) back to the TOS 23rd century via the Guardian. And last shot is them in his quarters slow dancing to 30s music..

Harry Ballz

Everybody got that?

There’s a reason adult beverages are available in theaters now.

Harry Ballz

Yes, Phil. One would HAVE to be drunk to understand THAT plotline!

dmduncan

wut?

the pains of launching superstars. They can be ungrateful

unhappening

this from the guy who did 2 huntsman movies… blackhat… red dawn… 12 strong… and a 4th MIB movie? hahahahaha… and what changed since he had agreed to do it 2 years ago? but i’m actually fine with it… discovery is awesome… picard’s gonna be fun… and if the next movie is a Tarantino one i’m not complaining… and there will be another one… i’ve been hearing about the death of trek movies for 2 decades… in fact there’s little to complain about these days as a trek fan… oh ha that’s funny too actually considering that’s all trek fans do but i stand by my love of all trek… (sans voyager, enterprise, 3 weak yet watchable tng movies)

Disinvited

unhappening,

Re: what changed since he had agreed to do it

What changed is Paramount reneged on their promise to offer him a contract for X amount of dollars when they chose to exercise his option for a TREK 4 production. Instead, they tried to renegotiate for X/2 dollars. Paramount breaking the deal and attempting to renegotiate is what changed and allowed Hemsworth to demand that for half the money the script needed to be twice as good.

bill_d

I was excited about Star Trek 4 but I read that they want to include the Black Panther people in it so i hope it ST4 is dead for good. Enough damage done with Star Trek Discovery which is a waste of resources and opportunity. Keep your politics away from our movies!

NCC Lincon 1785

Paramount is a collapse studio

skyjedi

Mission Impossible Fallout was one of the biggest films last year. How is the studio in collapse. I mean it did not make Disney MCU money, but 791 million is still a lot of money.

dmduncan

Just saw the trailer for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and it looks gooood. I hope Tarantino follows up on his Star Trek idea after this movie is set.

Jonathan

Best solution for George Kirk is for me to show he did not die when hitting the Narada and was captured ans imprisoned by Klingons on Rura Penthe which gives a possibility to build a new wild personality of an old man – not the one we saw in 2009 movie! The time trevel arc is not necessary in this case at all, period.

nasty man

and age up Thor into a 65 year old? I doubt it

Methuselah

I just applied the Universal Translator to Chris Hemsworth’s comments, and here is the translation:

“They didn’t offer me enough money.”

nasty man

and ‘im too big a deal for star trek after Ragnarok/InfinityWar/EndGame ‘

Adam

I would LOVE a ST4 i hope this happens so much! They are my favourite films of all time… please make it so!