Shuttle Pod 70 – Star Trek Reunified At Last! and Star Trek Las Vegas 2019
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The Shuttle Pod crew reconvenes after Las Vegas to discuss the big the news this week, along with our reflections on the big Star Trek Las Vegas convention earlier in the month. Of course, the big news is that CBS and Viacom finally came to an agreement to merge, bringing Star Trek back under one roof. Brian, Kayla, and Matt discuss the history of Star Trek ownership and what the future of Trek could look like now that things are reunified. The other big Trek topic of late was what happened in Star Trek Las Vegas. The podcasters discuss the general vibe of the convention this year, and the top panels that they were most excited to attend: Star Trek: Picard and Lower Decks. Lastly, there’s a grab bag of news items since the last podcast to discuss.
As mentioned in the podcast, if you haven’t read it already, we recommend Brian’s interview with VFX legend Douglas Trumbull about making The Motion Picture.
Not so sure why this “Reunification” is such an exciting prospect for the authors, or Trek fans in general. Creative synergies between Paramount Trek (which, in the aftermath of BEYOND’s box office failure, is on life-support at best) and CBS Trek? How is that an obvious positive? I’d actually like to see the Tarantino movie in spite of my many reservations about how appropriate his talents are for such a project, but how does this merger ensure that it will be any more likely to get made?
CBS is poised to give fans five Trek series at minimum, and I’d bet good money that a Pike miniseries is at least a strong possibility as well. We have a return of one of the franchise’s most beloved characters being overseen by a Pulizer-prizewinning author. What promise does a merger between two corporate behemoths offer that can compete with that?
As a German I can say: reunification is a painful process.
A coherent business strategy is now a real possibility. TV shows and movies can be created to support one another, not compete with each other.
“I’d actually like to see the Tarantino movie in spite of my many reservations about how appropriate his talents are for such a project, but how does this merger ensure that it will be any more likely to get made?”
My hopes are that the merger will STOP pre-production on this illfated project and kill it. CBS wants to bring in the kids with that Nick show and even if LD is more adult-oriented (so was The Simpsons), it is still suitable for older kids and teens. Picard may be a different beast, focusing on both older fans and new mature audiences, but none of this works alongside a bloodstained Tarantino outing.
The Tarantino movie puts the entire franchise in jeopardy. This film maker cannot and will not adapt to the necessities of our franchise, he will try to deconstruct Trek from his own cynical POV. It’s not the R-rating per se I’m worried about, but who is at the helm of that disaster in the making…
Trek must tackle mature themes, it may even include grizzly, bloody imagery dealing with the dangers of space, it can include tasteful nudity, it can be full of spooky horror and colorful metaphors. None of that is an issue if it’s done in a way that agrees with the fundamental basics of Star Trek, i.e. a positive, hopeful, optimistic outlook into the future and a affirmative stance on the human condition.
Tarantino is not capable of that. He is a cynic who ENJOYS killing people on-screen in the most disgusting, overstylized ways. He bathes in the failure of humanity and exploits their vices and shortcomings with gleeful joy. His insane outbursts of violence in otherwise quite tasteful movies are unbearable.
That person has no business ever making a Star Trek movie. Hopefully CBS will kill that Paramount plan once and for all. If not, holy moly…
I hope for the exact opposite.
Tarantino directed the MOTHERHODD episode of the TV series, ER. Can you cite examples in support of your thesis from this episode where QT takes the story and its characters far afield from the series’ norm?
he also directed an episode of CSI. if I had to guess what a Tarantino trek movie would be like, I’d guess it would be how the cast of Spock, Kirk, etc would respond to a Tarantino-style villain, and a Tarantino style story. maybe some kind of weird heist, a or a bizarre situation they become entangled in, some quirky guest star arrives on the ship that propels the story like mud or something).
yes there would probably be more graphic violence than we’re used to but it would be handled with style and for tongue-in-cheek humorous effect, and not like a horror movie. in fact, I’d love to see the werid kind of violence he could do when he’s given alien anatomy, alien blood, and science fiction weapons to work with.
I think the characters themselves would be treated consistently as the crew we know and love, though.
I concur. About the only irrational QT fear that I can muster is that he’s such a TJ Hooker fan that that’s how he introduces Shatner, i.e. visit a planet where he’s a retired officer of the law. And have mixed feelings, at that, because it could also afford a return to SF for James Darren in a more substantial role.
“yes there would probably be more graphic violence than we’re used to but it would be handled with style and for tongue-in-cheek humorous effect, and not like a horror movie.”
At least most horror movies (except horror comedies) treat violence in an overall serious way. I’m not against graphic violence, but I’m against “tongue-in-cheek humorous” violence QT is known for. That’s exactly my point.
“in fact, I’d love to see the werid kind of violence he could do when he’s given alien anatomy, alien blood, and science fiction weapons to work with.”
Yeah, and that’s exactly what I’m worried about. The damage he could do with these new toys holds a horrifying prospect…
I dislike horror comedies and ultraviolent CBMs and shows like The Boys because they hardly give victims of violence the respect and dignity they deserve. Serious horror movies or war movies are fine with me, because they show the negative effects of violence in an uncensored, honest manner.
But tongue-in-cheek, humorous bloodshed for entertainment purposes I cannot condone…
I could easily binge-watch the entire GoT series, Band of Brothers or the whole twelve-movie Alien/Predator anthology because of the serious undertone the violence is depicted.
The Boys, Zombieland or those infamous Troma movies on the other hand leave me in utter disgust.
Tarantino is close to the latter type of movies when it comes to his over-the-top violent outbursts, whereas the rest of his movies are normally quite tasteful. That inherent dichotomy in his movie-making style is what I’m worried about the most. 90% of his Star Trek could be Star Trek at its best, carefully written, beautifully scored, but then he unleashes his Grindhouse craze onto the movie and autodestructs everything accomplished.
Sorry, I’ve never seen an episode of ER or CSI so I cannot comment on that. But given these were minor TV stints, I wouldn’t compare those to a big-screen incarnation he almost completely controls as producer, director and co-writer.
The closest thing to a glimmer of hope is how he was able to restrain himself in Jackie Brown which was an adaptation of a pre-existing literary property. But his comments on how he wants to make his Star Trek movie “Pulp Fiction in space” turns this into a very unlikely scenario.
Since Star Trek is regarded as some sort of “wagontrail to the stars”, he will most likely treat the property like he treated the Western genre in Django and Hateful Eight. From his POV, this deconstruction of what Star Trek is supposed to be makes absolute sense…
My irrational QT fear is that, because he’s such a big fan of TJ H00KER, that H00KERish is how he introduces Shatner in his film, i.e. they visit some world where Shatner is the retired police officer. I have mixed feelings about it because it could also be a way to reintroduce James Darren to SF in a more “solid” role.
Tangent: I’ve always been curious as to Irwin Allen’s explanation as to why Doug Phillips and Tony Newman were such competent pugilists, fencers, spear tossers, etc., i.e. the best over-all fighters the field of science has ever known?
In TV directors have much more limited say and are generally tasked with executing the vision of the producers.
In film directors are responsible for a lot of the broader creative vision like producers on TV are, as well as being involved in the filming process.
The two are quite different.
I’m not interested in CBS having the temerity to stop it.
I’m in the camp that believes Tarrantino’s Star Trek is more likely to happen now. He’s a huge Star Trek fan and it would be a huge ‘get’ for Paramount. It’s also very possible that the final product may not actually deliver as an R.
I see Tarantino-Trek as a risky desperation move for a studio in deep trouble, that looking short-sightedly and cares nothing for its impact on the value of the rest of the franchise.
Exactly the opposite of strategic.
CBS, by contrast has the big strategic vision and plan, and the merged entity is pitching the brand as a key message bullet to investors.
So, not a ‘huge get’ for ViacomCBS.
I see QT Trek as the kind of outside the box thinking the franchise needs. Safe, empty films make a few bucks but don’t even guarantee a franchise’s survival because they are so instantly forgettable. There is no long-term downside here. Trek is going on sixty years old now–it’s survived worse (and that’s assuming the worst). And it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
(That said, I still don’t believe it’ll happen, so this is probably all irrelevant).
Re: risky desperation move(s)
Par for the course.
If you had the benefit of being alive at the time, as I was, that’s all Paramount did since Bludhorn “dumped” STAR TREK on them as they regarded it. And they kept it up right through desperately changing directions on launching movie Trek.
Disinvited I was alive at the time LOL, but I can’t say that I was at an age to track industry news closely.
I’m one of those on this board that saw every series in first run – even if I was in kindergarten for TOS.
My parents were of the generation that thought that anything broadcast in hours children were awake must surely be OK…although the American network nightly news broadcasts from the Vietnam war brought them to revisit that.
In terms of desperation moves at Paramount, they don’t seem to have had the better strategic minds and investment discipline of the two sides of the house. I’m hoping that CBS senior executives will steer the ship ViacomCBS, because Paramount seems to be like the gambler that is always betting on dream of a jackpot. This is not what the markets or owner should respect.
Looking at it from a perspective of CBSAA, reunification allows the combining of both libraries. CBSAA or whatever the streaming channel morphs into will not only have the countless tv show episodes currently on AA but also the thousands of movies owned by Paramount/Viacom. This makes CBSAA (or whatever it will be called) a much bigger player in the streaming universe and IMO a healthier CBSAA is good for Star Trek. As for the movie side of Trek, it seems like the franchise was at death’s door even though there was recent renewed talk about the Tarantino movie. Now you know it is not a question of IF there will be more movies, it is now a matter of when and who will be in them. Of course as someone above said, this might be a little painful to sort out – at least now we know there will be Star Trek 14(4), 15(5) and most likely more.
I agree Michael Hall that for synergies to happen, both sides of the merger need to be bringing something to the new organization.
But I’m surprised that you see any potential in a Tarantino project.
It’s very unlikely to make financial sense when evaluated either on its own or in terms of a broader investment in the growth of the franchise.
Tarantino’s films don’t generate more than trivial revenue outside the United States. So it wouldn’t be adding to the global brand.
Tarantino’s offerings don’t align at all with the values that are core to the brand, so it won’t build an audience for future Trek offerings.
So, given that you seem to be a finance type, I take it that you’re interested in watching it personally, but aren’t arguing that it makes sense.
On the other hand, a Pike offering would be on-brand, rebuild the core base and profitable. It’s a clearly positive business case.
“Tarantino’s films don’t generate more than trivial revenue outside the United States. So it wouldn’t be adding to the global brand.”
I hate to defend QT, but that statement of yours is not true. QT is very popular in most other countries. The international revenue is on par with what Star Trek makes internationally.
Django made 61% of its gross abroad, Inglorious Basterds 62% overseas, Hateful Eight made 65% internationally, Pulp Fiction about 50%, the Kill Bill movies about 58%.
Compared to that, Star Trek is pretty US-centric. Beyond made 46% internationally, STID 49% and ST09 66%. The Next Gen movies each generated about 35% internationally and the TOS movies had rarely any international revenue.
However, a very large portion of Star Trek’s interntional revenue came from China. About one third of Beyond’s overseas gross was made in China. And there lies the problem: if Paramount goes ahead with Tarantino’s R-Rated movie, it won’t be playing in China, Star Trek’s most pivotal international market. I’m not sure Tarantino fans in Europe can compensate for that loss, especially because most European countries exclude teenage viewers from Tarantino movies. Even Trekkie parents can’t take their kids if they wanted to, unlike the R-rating in the US.
Got it Garth. It’s not that Tarantino doesn’t sell outside the United States, it’s that he doesn’t sell to some of Trek’s demographics or markets.
One problem with your marketability assesment of QT’s Trek is you incorrectly assume that he doesn’t tailor cuts of his works to the market he plans to exploit.
For example, his most graphic cut of KILL BILL was not for the US market as your exposition appears to compel us to assume, but for the Japanese market. For the US, he had to tone it down to get the, what he regarded as more marketable, R.
He most certainly IS capable of cutting his works to play China.
Then hopefully that China cut will be available in Europe as well, because – while I’m against censorship in general – cutting Tarantino Trek to a PG-13 level – would be exactly what I would like to watch then…
PG-13 is teen friendly NOT family friendly. If Trek fans find that the new minimum, I’m beginning to understand why Kurtzman feels he needs a niche Trek for Nickelodeon
Cutting a film for China won’t matter a jot if he’s viewed as racist or at minimum disrespectful of the contribution of Chinese martial arts stars like Bruce Lee.
One notices that all the actors speaking positively about being in a Tarantino Trek project are straight white males.
Setting aside the questions of whether nihilism or reveling in torture or graphic violence have any place in Trek, Tarantino’s questionable respect for diversity or at least deep unconscious bias makes him a poor fit for the franchise.
I’m shocked that you didn’t know that Lucy Liu was Chinese-American.
Disinvited… if Lucy-Liu has said she wants to be in a Tarantino Trek project, I must have missed it.
Not to my knowledge, but she had a prominent role in a big QT project that you are maligning by inferring it lacks Chinese diversity and mischaracterizing its homage to Bruce Lee (one of several that many of QT’s works pay to him) as racist just because you believe one of his films, which it is not clear that you have even seen, is wanting in these regards.
Disinvited, you are correct that I haven’t seen OUTIH at this point.
But I have seen a fair amount of Tarantino.
Clearly, Tarantino is familiar with Chinese martial arts films, but I can’t see that he understands them. That’s one of the places unconscious bias seems to be coming into play. I also think it’s important that those who knew Bruce Lee well, don’t find Tarantino’s effort either respectful or an homage.
Tarantino also seems to take inspiration from Blaxploitation films, but doesn’t totally get them either.
Certainly he has in some films put women and people of colour in non-traditional roles. I’m not hearing that they come off in the end as empowering by the groups he may be reaching to include.
Basically saying that intends it in a positive way is pretty meaningless if those he’s intending to represent feel stereotyped – can’t see how that will get more people in seats in theaters globally.
Now, I feel with his auteur approach it is fair to say that QT can at times be clueless, but that is a far cry from being racist or not empowering.
I certainly have not heard of such claims from Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Pam Grier, Lucy Liu, etc. who were there collaborating with him.
Disinvited I understand where you’re coming from.
We are hearing calls of racism from those close to Bruce Lee currently. And Tarantino’s responses have been one-day and have escalated the situation – which is what I’m referring to.
I have said that I can see what looks like unconscious bias – which is a more subtle thing, and likely to happen when there isn’t representation at the creative end – a challenge in general in art.
His films are his interpretations of Chinese martial arts films among other traditions. But the time when fashion designers or film makers could risklessly integrate (or appropriate depending on one’s perspective) are gone.
The Chinese market is very sensitive about this – or we wouldn’t have seen major fashion houses making formal apologies for insensitive advertisements or designs.
But Tarantino is the kind of auteur who responds to critics by doubling down.
And while the actors of African-American or Asian background who have worked for him haven’t called him out for bias or racism, they’re not coming to his defence or saying that they’d love to work with Tarantino again.
You need to do better research. Both Jackson and Thurman have defended QT and mustered praise.
“Black artists think they are the only ones allowed to use the (N) word. Well, that’s bull. This film (JACKIE BROWN) is a wonderful homage to Black exploitation films (of the 1970s). This is a good film. And Spike (Lee) hasn’t made one of those in a few years.” – Samuel L. Jackson
“Quentin Tarantino, was deeply regretful and remains remorseful about this sorry (KILL BILL) event, and gave me the footage years later so i could expose it and let it see the light of day, regardless of it most likely being an event for which justice will never be possible. he also did so with full knowledge it could cause him personal harm, and i am proud of him for doing the right thing and for his courage. THE COVER UP after the fact is UNFORGIVABLE. for this i hold Lawrence Bender, E. Bennett Walsh, and the notorious Harvey Weinstein solely responsible. they lied, destroyed evidence, and continue to lie about the permanent harm they caused and then chose to suppress. the cover up did have malicious intent, and shame on these three for all eternity. CAA never sent anyone to Mexico. i hope they look after other clients more respectfully if they in fact want to do the job for which they take money with any decency.” – Uma Thurman
“Certainly he has in some films put women and people of colour in non-traditional roles. I’m not hearing that they come off in the end as empowering by the groups he may be reaching to include.”
That may not help his case, but I feel obligated to point out that his film “Inglorious Bastards” was immensely empowering to Germans. Not pro-Nazi but pro-German, with a lot of nods, knowledge and appreciation for German Cinema before and after the war. And an instinctive understanding of the German nature and character that I seldom experience in American movies.
Garth, exactly. This idea that QT isn’t a marketable global brand is puzzling (especially this summer). I think the global market will be there. Along with maybe Nolan, I can’t think of a director who has such a built-in audience despite her/his idiosyncratic films (yes, there are other profitable directors, but they trade more in conventional genre fare). From a strictly financial standpoint, I don’t see the downside. And I don’t what to oversell the potential here (because it’s not realistic), but the only comparison I can see here would be Nolan’s take on Batman: a modern auteur wading into established franchise territory.
Business-wise a Tarantino Star Trek would lose:
– conservative Trekkers not into R-Rated violence, both domestically and abroad
– all revenue from China (one third of Beyond’s international gross)
– some revenue from US families who deem the movie not suitable for their kids
– all revenue from kids and teens in most international markets outside France
All of this may be compensated by curiosity and media attention and by die-hard Tarantino fans. But is this really the audience Star Trek should be catering for?
even if all that is true its still a smart business move and would do wonders for the franchise. it’s not catering to anyone, its making a movie that is almost guaranteed to be great, get awards attention, media attention, and bring in large audiences that would otherwise not see a trek movie.
they are fools if they don’t do it.
Wonders for the franchise? If it’s really such a big hit, it would become the new blueprint for future Trek, the next TWOK, to be emulated time and again by far less talented people! Star Trek would end up as a B-movie series of grizzly Grindhouse movies that needs to be hidden from kids and sensitive adults alike.
If it isn’t a hit and remains a one-shot, it will still ruin the franchise as a family-friendly entity and end the movie series for the time being…
It’s an absolute lose-lose situation. If it’s a hit, it changes Star Trek into something else, if it’s a bomb, it ends the series on an all-time low…
Terror Agony Revenge Annihilation Nudity: Trek In Name Only
That’s all there is to say…
Family friendly? Trek abandoned that, long ago, when the movies abandoned the G rating.
Regarding the “G” rating… It may not mean what it once did. I was astonished to see the DVD of the extended Directors edition of TMP was rated PG in 2001. Yet in 1979 that same film was rated G. Yes, some effected were added and there were added scenes but was that really PG worthy? The rating system is nuts.
The term Trexploitation comes to mind. Maybe I should just give in and enjoy it as long as it lasts. But then, Trek was a lot more than cheap, cheesy entertainment once…
How can it attain that moral highground ever again after QT has painted it red? I dunno.
Urban Turf : show us the #s.
What evidence for ‘brings in large audiences can you find and share for Tarantino?
Please compare Tarantino to ‘niche market’ Trek cinematic features of the past and show us how the audience numbers compare.
show us the #’s that a QT trek movie will ruin the franchise forever.
all you have to do is look at the box office for tarantino movies. Big numbers globally. the only assumption I’m making is that Tarantino fans are probably not a huge crossover with trek fans.
I don’t think that’s an unfair assumption.
As for garth’s doom and gloom scenario, I’d say if it does huge numbers (and I didn’t said it would, just that it would be successful), the only way it would become a pattern for Trek is if the studio began thinking that the way to make successful trek movies is to hire auteur writer/directors and give them complete creative control. but there really aren’t many out there.
but how cool would it be if QT’s trek was a big success and they turned to edgar wright, or david fincher, wes andersen, or darren arnonfsky, and said “go make a star trek movie”.
I think that would be awesome.
not sure why this is an argument. you seem to not want a qt trek movie, i do. it would be successful, I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with that right?. your paranoia and sky is falling belief that it will ruin the franchise is unfounded and purely your own fear
Urban Turf – I am arguing precisely that I don’t see the evidence from Tarantino’s track record that a Trek film from him would be successful.
I do not see that he has the kind of global box office numbers that can support a sci-fi film with a moderate amount of vfx. Thinking he will make a Trek film for < US$ 100 is just not credible.
Just because folks of a certain age who live in the United States think 'It would be cool!' is not in any way a formula for box office success globally.
Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who saw Pulp Fiction in a theatre in first run. So, I'm not anti Tarantino. I'm just very conscious that he represents a very different idea of cinema, and may alienate as many as he attracts.
What I am fretting about is that the last two times there was a desperate effort 'to make a different kind of Trek movie' we got Nemesis and Into Darkness .
These were both very damaging for the brand.
Regardless of the success of the television rollout currently, I don't believe the franchise in the position of strength needed to take a risk on an offering that is off-brand.
The way I see it, if Trek movies were doing well and Tarantino wanted to make his one-off Trek film, it probably wouldn't be profitable but wouldn't be harmful either, and could be a risk worth taking.
But that's not where Trek is on the cinematic side now.
“What I am fretting about is that the last two times there was a desperate effort ‘to make a different kind of Trek movie’ we got Nemesis and Into Darkness.”
Sorry, friend, but I don’t see the evidence to support this. Nemesis and Into Darkness were both pretty solidly following the formula that came before it (and I actually like Nemesis).
I also reject the idea in the CBSAA era that any single film destroyed the brand.
yep. they’ve never tried to make a “different kind of trek movie.” the most different film of them all is the first one.
you could say the first JJ Abrams film was a departure, but when you boil it down, how different was it then say, the third movie? the same kind of action-adventure, but just like more of a modern take on the genre.
Nnemesis was even said to be in the mold of wrath of khan even at the time, so not sure how you could say it was a desperate atemmpt to do something different. and into darkness was just more of the same of the first Abrams film.
and the trek brand was not ruined by either of them. insurrection wasn’t very successful either, and into darkness made tons of money and was pretty well received.
Nemesis wasn’t a “different kind of Trek”. It wasn’t even marketed as that. Darkness perhaps, given that it was a sequel to a film that was actively marketed as a different Trek. But Nemesis was just more of the same TNG. It was just done a little better.
But your point is well taken as the only Trek movie that was truly of a different tone was The Voyage Home.
Help us to understand the significance of this by showing us the evidence that indicated that the director of TIME AFTER TIME would make successful Trek film?
Well if you’re arguing a Tarantino directed movie Star Trek or not wouldn’t be sucusseful than we should end the discussion here. starting from a false premise.
“All of this may be compensated by curiosity and media attention and by die-hard Tarantino fans. But is this really the audience Star Trek should be catering for?”
I don’t make assumptions about the audience. But I do think that a Trek audience will be there as long as there are interesting stories to be told.
TG47: I agree that QT has a limited appeal beyond the US. But his uniquely lucrative domestic box office success, plus the global appeal of the Trek brand is too crazy for the studio to pass up, if he’s interested at working at his usual budget.
But the global appeal of the TREK brand is based on the extreme opposite of what Tarantino stands for. Trek is a positive, almost utopian outlook into the future and that is what kept it going for 50+ years. Tarantino is a cynical harbinger of nihilism and contempt for the human condition.
Mathematically, combining these two brands has gloom and doom written on the wall. Plus into minus is equal to minus. It cannot be a positive.
Garth Lorca: I think this is the key point.
Most of the ‘Why not Tarantino?’ boosters here are thinking that the Tarantino fans will add to the Trek fans to increase the audience and revenues.
You and I are seeing the potential audience as the small intersection of those two audiences.
Last, I also think that those who just can’t see how likely this is to fail, and fail hugely are those who haven’t learned the lesson of Nemesis and Into Darkness.
Those films showed that:
1) yes, many Trek fans will come out to see a movie ONCE no matter what
2) BUT fans will not come back to see an off-brand movie twice
3) AND the number of new viewers attracted by ‘something different’ will not overcome the loss of repeat revenue from the core
4) Last, Trek fans may not show up for the next film even if it is on-brand.
I’m all for Kurtzman’s strategy of different offerings for different niches, but now is exactly not the moment for a Tarantino film.
They need something on brand to get Trek fans convinced there’s something they can get in theaters that they can’t get on streaming. For most, Tarantino won’t fo that.
“You and I are seeing the potential audience as the small intersection of those two audiences.”
Respectfully, this is one big flaw in the argument. It’s based on the idea that only people who love QT *and* Trek will watch the film. Even a basic understanding on the industry would revel the opposite.
As a comparison, I’d point out the casual filmgoers who bailed on Trek as soon as JJ did. Two different audiences.
I get that some people really hate the prospect of QT Trek for personal reasons, but from a financial standpoint, there’s no downside. Sorry.
(And I say this as someone who continues to think this film will never happen).
Uhm Holden, Trek films have never made money because a lot of people come out to see them once.
They are profitable because there’s a core fan base that sees them over and over.
Most of us recognize that Trek films have been a niche market – trying to expand that market by shifting the product to fit another niche isn’t really the strategy to give it broader appeal.
Nemesis and Into Darkness were pitched at the time as being ‘Trek like you haven’t see it before’.
This led to fans coming to the theatre once, and not enough others to make them really successful financially. It also impacted fan willingness try the next Trek project.
So, I’m going to turn this on its head : I understand why people would personally like to see a Tarantino Trek cinematic feature, but none have you have shown me any financial math that suggests it could be profitable.
“Uhm”, TG47, that kind of language is incredibly condescending. Please show more respect for your peers.
Yes, Trek is a “niche” market. I’ve argued for that as much as anyone here has. As a core fan whose watched several Trek films in theaters more than once (including ones I was ambivalent about), I’ve always defended Trek.
But “uhm” . . . TG47, you haven’t made a compelling point about your complete QT hatred.
If you are looking at the BO objectively, his films are way more impressive at the BO all told than Trek’s been the last 20 years.
Again, I think I understand your severe hatred of the person. But I haven’t seen any convincing financial math to support your argument that a Trek/QT mashup would be a failure either.
Sorry, Holden …never ran into people taking exception to ‘uhm’ before. I’ll take your perception under advisement.
The thing is, I don’t hate Tarantino.
You and others seem to be projecting that on me since I’ve sincerely said that I don’t see the financial/business case, and because I think he’s too far from core brand for this point in their strategy.
Nothing emotional about that at all.
In fact, I wouldn’t have paid to see his movies in theatres if I objected to him that personally. I haven’t seen his latest, but as I’ve mentioned about other films, I’m in a time in family life where I don’t see much in cinemas.
What I can say is that whenever Trek leads in its messaging by saying that they are going to bring out ‘Trek like we haven’t seen it before’, it has turned off a large portion of the core fanbase – Nemesis, Into Darkness, Discovery S1…
Now, I happen to agree that Trek needs to take risks, and offering a menu or portfolio of Trek offerings on television is great strategy.
I also happen to think that down the line, as Trek movies draw a broader audience, risks like a Tarantino movie might make sense. But not now.
On Tarantino’s box office – up to now Django Unchained was his top revenue on a global basis at US$ 425 M on a production budget of US $ 100. So, he’s profitable but also making relatively low budget movies compared to typical Trek movies.
Into Darkness made US $ 465 M on $ 190 million. Beyond made US $344 M on $ 185 M.
No one here has really made the case that Tarantino would do a lower budget, minimal vfx Trek.
So, basically a Tarantino Trek movie would need to be among his top 3 films in box office of all time to be more profitable than Into Darkness.
Meanwhile, he’s not showing the PR discipline needed to avoid a huge backlash from either core fans or nationalities, or diversity groups.
That’s why I’m finding the many voices on this board saying that it would be so successful completely unrealistic.
“Meanwhile, he’s not showing the PR discipline needed to avoid a huge backlash from either core fans or nationalities, or diversity groups.”
These kind of comments are why people make the assumption that it’s more personal for you than objective. So that’s why I feel you have an irrational hatred for QT.
I’ll take your acknowledgment under advisement.
The first problem with your argument is that every example of “different” Trek you mentioned sucked. There is no correlation between your conclusions about old Trek movies and future ones.
The second problem is that you, like many here, treat QT’s box office as separate from Trek. If you honestly think QT+Trek, strictly from a brand standpoint, wouldn’t “be among his top 3 films in box office of all time” then I have nothing else to add.
Again, I understand your deep hatred of the individual. So there’s no point in continuing this conversation.
I see you’re signed off.
I’ve generally found you’re a reasonable poster here with who I frequently agree.
So, I’m surprised that you are determined to say that I hate Tarantino. Not so.
I’m sincerely regretful that you are taking my best efforts to rationally late out my assessment purely emotional.
Would you consider that my comments about lack of PR discipline or lack of solid business case is based in work experience or expertise before giving it as an example of an emotional reaction?
It’s tricky to say too much on a board much without giving too much personal information away. So, I’m finding it’s somewhat condescending as you put it, to assume I lack expertise and therefore must be making an emotional judgement.
I can’t speak for others, but let’s just say I have had a long enough career to have gained extensive experience outside my core area of expertise.
Oh, and your argument that Disco season 1 somehow threatened the franchise is pretty laughable.
That season is a testament to *exactly* what I’m arguing for.
It can only turn Star Trek into something to be ashamed of.
Remember “Encounter at Farpoint”? The Q trial was trying to prove that humanity was still a “grievously savage race”. That Tarantino flick has the potential to prove him right once and for all. It is the one hard piece of evidence Q needs to judge us guilty, UNprovisionally…
I respect your position, Garth, but there are just too many assumptions in your criticism. We have no idea, beyond potential rating, what the film would look like. We also have no idea how audiences would respond.
Holden, I’ve said on a previous thread that – while I can imagine a possible Tarantino film that wouldn’t be a turn off for fans like Garth Lorca – I don’t see Tarantino accepting either tight creative or budgetary constraints in developing the film that would mitigate the risk of it not being that happy outcome.
Paramount can’t afford a Baron Munchausen, and Tarantino has not given any comfort that he would accept CBS or Paramount’s close oversight to ensure it stays on brand and profitable.
It’s a narrow target, and Tarantino is a big personality who insists on creative freedom and is adverse to PR discipline.
What I don’t get is why you and others are so keen to roll the dice when at best one can say ‘we have no idea how audiences will respond.’
Trek seems to be on the threshold of a new golden age, but a box office flop in the near term could really undermine that.
TG47, you too make too many assumptions. Trek is already in another golden age. It’s happened. It’s not going anywhere regardless of what happens. Period. Full stop.
What I don’t get is people who think one film or series will make or break one of the greatest franchises of all time. 7 decades and going strong.
But, oh no, one of the few financially viable auteurs living today WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING! Give me a f@#ing break.
The only reason QT Trek would be *perceived* as a BO flop would be because haters like you would be whining about it nonstop.
look at what dc is doing with their movies, getting scorsece and to do joker, and it’s about to make tons of money, and win awards.
I know it’s not the same, I know joker/batman make perfect sense for a crime director, but the point is that when a director of tarantino’s caliber wants in, you don’t say no. full stop. and I don’t think he’s as wrong for trek as a lot of people think. he’s known for making high energy character films. sure, more violence than trek is maybe used to, but he’s not as wrong for it as a lot of folks like TG think. lots of directors do different projects and prove themselves more than capable.
if it’s a success it would do wonders for trek. if it fails, you simply shrug and admit he wasn’t a good fit, and move on.
it may not be win/win, but its also a no-lose scenario.
I’d say that it is very likely that QT Trek will suck. I hope he surprises me, but I’ve never enjoyed any of his movies, and everything he’s said about this project suggests that he doesn’t understand Star Trek. That being said, this movie will not destroy the franchise. The movie might suck, and it may kill the (already dead anyway) movie franchise for a few years, but the TV shows will be unaffected by it, and they will probably make more movies based on one of the TV shows eventually anyway. The worst that Tarantino can do is to ruin his own movie.
Correction, Paramount did NOT buy Desilu. Gulf Western bought financially struggling Paramount. Then GW bought Desilu and assigned Paramount to manage it.
What keeps getting lost in these discussions is that all were properties were under the same roof at a time when, at its peak, Star Trek was thriving but Paramount the property reached a point of saturation by delivering too much product and interest began to wane. There’s a real risk of repeating the same mistake since we’re looking at a current series, due to limited distribution, is reaching far few people than Enterprise did.
If Star Trek is truly going to break out CBS AA may not be the right home for it and they may need to slow things down a bit.
That’s merely a concoction, invented by Berman, to explain away why he couldn’t get out of the way of the obvious roads to its continued success.
Berman fatigue in no way is the equivalent of STAR TREK fatigue.
Denny C – I get the sense that TPTB are trying out a few of these series to see how they work with new audiences, while fully aware that they can’t stretch one sense of the universe to its financial limit. They may never have the money to try this stuff again.
Shorter seasons can make the distinction between the shows a secret “fresh” sauce to grow what soon may seem like too much.
The relaunch hasn’t even fully begun yet and you are talking about “saturation”? Between 2005 and now, we only got three movies and two seasons of one series. That’s not very much compared to what the competition has set up during that time frame (Marvel, DC, Star Wars, TWD, you name it).
“Franchise fatigue” – at this point – is simply not possible. Maybe in 10 years from now, after five movies and ten (mini)series, that might be an issue.
If anything, there could be “genre fatigue” in general. Given that some audiences think of Star Trek as just another sci-fi/fantasy/comic-bookish brand, the enormous number of Marvel, DC, Star Wars outings COULD have a negative impact on Star Trek as well.
The biggest challenge however, will be the upcoming recession / depression, which might be the worst since 1929. Back in 2008/2009, the last recession killed a number of franchises for good, among them the entire Stargate franchise and the Knight Rider reboot. The economic situation may bury lots of properties shortly. We can only hope, Star Trek will be strong enough to survive this blight…
Seriously, Garth! Star Trek: Grapes of Wrath
DennyC, I think we need to look at where ViacomCBS’ streaming is heading, not where they are today.
Today they are a niche streamer, but ViacomCBS is setting CBSAA to be one of the ‘big three’ dominant disseminators of content to the United States audience.
Within a few months they will be a streamer with access to a bigger library than Amazon Prime and Hulu. It will likely be one of two preferred streamers for families with children.
Within a few years CBSAA – or whatever its branded name might be – will pull back its content from Netflix and Amazon Prime, as will Disney.
Bottom line: this is in no way analogous to Voyager and Enterprise being marginalized by carrying the lea for the Paramount network in the 90s.
This just cemented me feeling like maybe I dodged a bullet when my plans to go to this con fell through. Never been to STLV before. But going to try again next year.
Yah, I would have been disappointed if I’d made a push to get to STLV 2019.
It actually sounds like a great con, but not a place to get news.
I used to love the regional CreationCons of the 1990s – and STLV seems like a big version of that in some ways.
That said, the numbers at STLV don’t exceed the audience for some of the local and regional Comic con clones that don’t have many panels, guests or content.
More than that, it seems like many of the cool behind the scenes and technical presentations that used to go on the road to the regional CreationCons, are now targeted at the industry media, and drumming up support for awards. PaleyFest, sessions at SDCC etc. It must be cool for those who live proximate to LA, but they’re not a destination event for a fan on a holiday.
It seems like the Star Trek global branding team needs to take a step back and think through how they want to roll out this content and what kind of events will build the franchise.
Calm down. They blew their load at Comic Con because the big studios had backed out of the Saturday Hall H. CBS made the call to say take advantage of this time slot which usually goes to Marvel and DC. One time and now you’re supposed to condition yourself that nothing of substance is going to happen? That literally makes no sense. Even before Picard the panels were better and bigger, the convention itself felt bigger. This year was more low key. It happens. Next year there’s more reason for a bigger event. It’s a little bit of an overreaction to cry foul. I get the disappointment but a lot of the disappointment I heard from fans were not about Picard but about the convention as a whole.
PEB it seems like lousy public relations strategy.
Usually, good PR campaigns dribble out complementary messages to ‘give legs’ to a story.
I think Kayla hit it right on the head when she said that TPTB should hold back a few tidbits that are in PR parlance ‘inside baseball’ for the Trek fan community.
STLV follows closely on SDCC. It totally would make sense to save some embellishments on the key messages for STLV to keep the positive social media and Sci-fi media buzz going for another week. More, putting so much out at SDCC risks some useful messaging being lost in all the detail.
Instead we got fairly downbeat social media reports out of STLV, including on CBSAA’s own Star Trek Twitter account after a firehose of announcements at SDCC.
That said, I suspect that with the CBS Viacom merger pending, the PR folks were locking down what they would view as extraneous or distracting stories about Trek.
Let’s hope they can do better going forward.
Yeah I get the mild disappointment, but this podcast seemed to devote way too much oxygen to a minor grievance.
I like the shuttle pod, but sometimes they get into these extended gripe sessions.
I like their idea of at least showing a few new images from ST:Picard, or maybe concept art or blueprints of a new ship design. You know, some little nugget for the fans that won’t spoil anything in a big way.
Maybe having a year break is a good idea. Star Wars took a break in 2018 for example and did their next Celebration for 2019.
Tried to listen to this but holy d@@@ am I tired of people declaring what Trek can’t do. That’s your opinions guys and I truly hope nobody in charge of Trek pays any heed. What happened in the 90s was not “Trek got too big and crashed” what happened was skinflint budgets and hunger for returns from higher up leading to ever decreasing standards, recycling plots, and so forth. This lead to decreased viewers and throw in bonehead moves like UPN and there you go. None of it was a matter of “Trek was too big”.
The Tarantino Movie may be the best bet for the studio to put Trek back on the feature film map. TV has always been a great medium for Star Trek. CBSAA has done a nice job in re launching Trek. However as good as these shows are or may be, they may not be enough to sustain a tent pole Movie franchise. Discovery ? Doubt that would make it to the big screen. Picard looks to have the potential for a great series but would it be enough for a movie series? Have to wait and see how the new characters play out.
Paramount has been struggling and could really use a boost from a successful Trek feature. Produced by JJ Abrams, Directed by Quentin Tarantino would be a nice draw to start. If rumor is true for a list of Chris Pine, Patrick Stewart and William Shatner, that would also be marketable. The issue would be what budget would make it profitable and what can springboard from this film should it be a hit. Cant count on Shatner and Stewart long term. Perhaps having Pine and company play Prime timeline versions of themselves for a few more films. Would that work considering their Kelvin entries lost steam after the first movie? First thing is first is to have an event film to put Trek back into Moviegoers minds. Having Tarantino Trek would be unique and a gamble worth taking. However does he really want to finish his self imposed 10 film max with Star Trek? Can it start a sustainable movie franchise? If he is willing then hopefully he makes a great film and the powers that be can figure it out from there
Well I’m glad I did not go to the STLV convention this year. Last year’s Picard announcement sounded very cool and they should have followed that up with something this year just for the Trek fans. Stills of the cast would have been fine.
Anyway, good Podcast. Due to the 40th anniversary of TMP I’m hoping for a future podcast dedicated to that movie, maybe after it returns to theaters.
A TMP episode is coming in the fall!
Huzzah! I’m going to try to see this in theater since I was only 5 when it came out.
I watched it on video as a kid but was not crazy about it. As I got older I appreciated it more.
Definitely looking fwd to that one! I’m guessing December-ish since you’ve just knocked out two movies on a row. Take your time; would rather have both you and Matt available. Transmittheimageofalientostarfleetadviseweareattemptingfurthercommunication.
I cant find this on Google Play. are podcasts still uploaded there too?
Another slow news week?
Not just in new news but in the fan threads too.
Yeah… we were spoiled by having SCDD and then STLV i’m fairly quick succession. Even if the former got most of the real “news,” there were enough tidbits from the latter to keep us going for a while. But now, a week with no new posts on TrekMovie, after such a feast earlier in the summer, is hard to take!
FWIW my living in SoCal where I travel roads that’ve seen mass gunfire, recent large magazine discharge news has tended to get my focus over Trek.
The awfulness of the news is one reason some of us might be looking for an opportunity to escape into an optimistic future. But I understand that isn’t an option for everyone.