Interview: Composer Jeff Russo Says Fans Would “Lose Their Minds” Over Noah Hawley’s Star Trek Movie

A year ago, the active Star Trek film in development at Paramount was a new concept from writer/director Noah Hawley. A script had been written and the film was in the early stages of pre-production. Star Trek: Discovery and Picard composer Jeff Russo was also on board, as he is a longtime collaborator of Hawley’s and has worked on many of his previous projects, including his Emmy-nominated (and winning) scores for Fargo.

But last June, the Hawley Star Trek project was put on “pause” by Paramount’s new head of motion pictures. And earlier this month, Paramount staked out June 2023 as the release date for their next Star Trek film, although no details on the “top secret” project from producer J.J. Abrams have been revealed.

Over the last year, Hawley has revealed a few bits about his Star Trek project, but it mostly remains a mystery. TrekMovie spoke with Jeff Russo about the release of the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 soundtrack and more for this week’s All Access Star Trek podcast. During that chat, podcast co-hosts Laurie Ulster and Anthony Pascale took a diversion to talk to Russo about Hawley’s Star Trek movie, and how it could still fit into Star Trek’s big-screen future.

The full podcast will be released on Friday. The following transcript preview covers the Hawley Trek portion of the interview…

Last April when you’re doing your last round of interviews for Star Trek you were talking about your pal Noah Hawley and his exciting Star Trek movie. He was in pre-production and everything was great. Two months later Paramount put that project on “pause.” Do you know if it is still paused, or dead, or still in the mix?

If I knew I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you that I have no idea. I really don’t. And Noah and I are close friends as well. And I don’t know that he knows. Somebody says “pause” and you pause.

So, it’s definitely not the project Paramount just announced that is coming in June 2023 then. Did you hear about that?

I did. I heard something about that. I don’t know what it is they announced because they didn’t say what they announced. They just said we’re going to release a Star Trek movie in 2023. So somebody knows something… I can tell you that I was extremely excited and had already started writing themes for Noah’s Star Trek movie. Themes that may or may not end up in season four of Discovery. But, who knows?

So you read Noah’s script and saw storyboards and that kind of thing?

I hadn’t seen any storyboards yet. But I did read the script. And I had already started talking about what the music was going to be. We talked pretty in depth. We always do that before a project.

And you liked the script?

Yeah, it’s great. It’s interesting. Noah, as a writer, is extremely visual. So whenever I read one of his scripts, it’s always extremely inspiring to me. It’s how I’ve always ended up starting to write anything for Fargo. That’s how I always ended up starting to write seasons of Legion. So when we work together, it’s from a very early point in the process.

Noah Hawley and Jeff Russo at Legion season 3 premiere

You are a real Star Trek fan. You have said you were excited about the project. He has described it as something different. It wasn’t going to be another Kelvin movie, but his own thing. And it sounded like it was going to be a smaller movie, and so not trying to be a big action Marvel-type movie. So, how do you think Star Trek fans would have reacted to this? Is it really that different or just a little different?

From a story perspective? No. From a story perspective, I would say it was not all that different. I mean it was different in its voice because Noah has a voice – his writing voice. So in that way, it may have had a different feel. But it was a very Star Trek story. And it was a very interesting way to tell that Star Trek story, which is what made me so excited about it and had me inspired to write music already for it. The way he explained it to me made me feel like the fans are going to lose their mind. It literally felt like that, to me. Lose their mind… I read the script and my call to him was the fans are going to lose their mind, because of just what the story was.

Well with Star Trek fans, “lose their minds” can go either way. So in a good way or bad way?

I would say in a good way. Because it would have been telling a story that they hadn’t heard, that hadn’t been done in a way that would have been very fulfilling. Finding out answers to questions that have never been answered.

That sounds exciting, especially for Star Trek fans who are also fans of Noah’s, and it being something different.

That’s kind of what I mean about the voice here, too. The voice made it different. It made it different, because of the telling of the story was through someone with that voice, which is what made it so interesting to me.

Paramount may be moving forward with multiple Star Trek films that aren’t necessarily all related or direct sequels, as other big franchises are doing. So does Noah’s movie require being part of a series or could it just be its own one-off movie? Like, let’s say the 2023 Star Trek movie is its own thing with a whole new cast. Could Noah’s movie coexist with other Star Trek movies?

Without a doubt. It stands totally on its own. It’s one of those stories where yeah, it can drop right into the middle of the whole thing. It could work if they just made one and never go back to it, and it would be totally fine. It can just be like a story in the middle of this universe, right?

So, not unlike how Joker is its own thing, while they also go on and do other things within the DC Universe.

If you liked that kind of movie.

Not everybody likes Joker, but as we have talked about all the [Star Trek] possibilities, [Noah’s] movie is one we all the most interested in.

Right, because all of a sudden it was like, ‘Oh wait, can a story like this be told by this type of storyteller?’ And my answer would be: yes. Let’s see. How fantastic would that be?

Russo recording the main title theme for Star Trek: Discovery

More from Russo on Friday with All Access Star Trek podcast

Check back on Friday for the full interview with Jeff Russo on TrekMovie’s All Access Star Trek podcast where we talk about the past, present, and future of music for Star Trek: Discovery, Picard, and more.

You can subscribe to the TrekMovie Podcast Network at Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyPocket Casts, and Stitcher.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Soundtrack available now

Lakeshore Records released the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Original Series Soundtrack digitally on Friday, April 16. The new soundtrack features 40 tracks from the original score by Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Russo. A limited-edition vinyl edition will be released later.

Keep up with all the news on upcoming Trek films at

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Give us this movie gosh darnit!

Still love the idea we FINALLY would’ve gotten brand new character in a Trek movie instead of a TOS or TNG reboot. Oh well.

Yes. I must admit, it’s the idea of something NEW that I’m particularly looking for, and find to be the most compelling reason for a new film.

Not revisiting existing characters, or seeing alternative versions of them, but rather a brand new ship with a brand new crew, undertaking a new mission of exploration…with all the wonders (and dangers) that come along with it.

By all means, tie it into one (or more) of the current shows in some way, but let it be it’s own thing.

Whatever the 2023 film proves to be, and whoever is behind it, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will be embracing the idea of something new. Most of all though, I’m just hoping it will be something good :)

I disagree slightly. When it comes to tv, yeah, I would want to see new characters. As long as you were doing something interesting and not just because. As for the movies, I was glad when they announced the 2009 movie. It had been almost 19 years since we had seen anything new about Kirk and his crew. They’re my favorite Star Trek characters. For me, they ARE Star Trek. So I want to see more of these characters.

If they did go with another crew. I would like to see a reboot of the Next Generation (just maybe a little less bland). Mostly, because I think they deserved better movies, with the exception of First Contact.

As for any other crew beyond that, whatever happens, in my biased opinion, no ship other than a U.S.S. Enterprise belongs on the big screen. Well, as long as not those F and J from Star Trek online or Enterprise.

I definitely see your point, and I certainly don’t think you’re alone in that view.

I suppose, for me, when I think about Kirk and his crew, I will always gravitate towards Shatner and the cast of TOS and the original films (I-VI). Likewise with the TNG crew.

I enjoyed the Kelvin films for what they were, and thought the cast all did a good job of re-imagining the characters for the ‘blockbuster’ style Star Trek that resulted.

I TOTALLY get the love for the characters themselves, and will always understand any desire to see them again, so can completely see where you’re coming from here.

Ultimately though, reboots always provide us with a different version of the characters, rather than revisiting those we know and love. If we’re going to get a different ‘take’ on a character, then I’d rather just have something completely new. But that’s just a personal preference…

As I see it, if they’re not planning a DIS or PIC film, then that leaves 3 options:

1.) Continue with the Kelvinverse
2.) Do another reboot (e.g.TNG)
3.) Come up with something new

Personally, I find option 3 to be the most exciting. And am hoping that, if that’s what they choose, they can successfully tie it into the ‘Prime’ universe, so that the movies no longer feel ‘divorced’ from the TV shows.

Sticking with the USS Enterprise, the voyages of any of the F – I could be interesting. As too could the experiences of another ship in something like the TOS movie era.

Although it might not be what I myself am looking for, I hope that if they do go for another reboot then fans like yourself will have your expectations met. I’ll likely still enjoy it, in a sort of detached way.

I don’t dislike them as much as some, but I definitely agree with you that (on the whole) TNG deserved better movies.

I mean people were criticizing the fact that all the Star Wars movies were about the Skywalkers and lo an behold they put out The Mandalorian and people accept that unequivocally. I think we need something similar with Trek, a brand new crew, brand new characters, a next, next generation maybe. You can have similar aliens, but the Star Trek universe is supposed to be huge. Let’s see this vastness.

And that’s the thing, we’ve gotten that for literally 30 years now, just on the TV side. But I don’t understand this weird argument apparently you can make any characters on TV and people will flock to it in droves because it simply has Star Trek in the title. But for some odd reason people seem to think they have to know the name of the Star Trek characters in the movies or they won’t bother. It makes no sense to me, especially if we are talking newbie fans here, which is what we are. If they didn’t care to watch any of the characters on TV for years,(and most likely free) then why would they suddenly care to watch them in a movie they have to pay for???

I understand it helps better in marketing but newbies still don’t care about any of these characters if they never bothered to watch the shows in the first place. Just because they know who Dr. Spock or John Luck Pickerd are still doesn’t get them excited to watch. They are just going to go if they are told it’s a fun movie and not too nerdy basically.

Agree, wholeheartedly. Then again, it’s show business. A genre TV show is expensive and takes long to produce. DSC, I think, at the beginning decided against bringing legacy characters in. At the end of season 1, we were all clamoring for Prime Lorca. Then season 2 with Pike and Spock? DSC grew some legs and got a season 3 and 4 order due to the bump from Pike and company. Don’t get me wrong, I like the new characters, I like being stretched by learning about the LGBTQ characters. The scene between Stamets and Culber as the Discovery was headed into the wormhole hit ALL the emotional spots for me. They weren’t ” Hey, a gay couple! I actually care about them!” They were JUST a couple who BELONGED there.

I think Secret Hideout originally didn’t want to bring in legacy characters and setting it 10 years before TOS hindered that. But they DID leave themselves that safety net by giving their main character a link to a legacy character. A very popular one at that. Obviously it was a string they weren’t going to pull unless the show was in trouble. And they pulled on that string right away. Not only did they pull THAT string but they started to evoke the other characters they could in Pike and Number 1. And they may not be wrong. So far it seems the episodes that have resonated the most with many of the fans are the ones that harkened back to yesterday’s Trek. People seemed to like the appearance of the Guardian. They loved it when Picard went to visit his former first officer. They liked LDX because it was just a full on 10 episode fangasm.

Personally, I wish they would keep that stuff to a minimum but when their main product is not working it’s no wonder they run back to that stuff.

As much as DSC has been changed over the first couple of seasons, I’m under the impression that directly linking Michael to Spock was a pivotal decision from day one. Otherwise they could have just started with that Sporedrive 20 years after VOY… The only reason to chose that strange setting in the timeline is the strong link to TOS. It was supposed to be a visual reboot with a strong tie to the very basis of Trek.

Originally they wanted to introduce new setting and new characters every season so this was the Season 1 setting only first: Spock’s stepsister, link to Mirror Universe, strange sporedrive experiments prior to TOS and of course a Klingon War at this point (Axanar wanted to do something similar)… The Sporedrive is not that much of a stretch after all… Even VOY mentioned mid-23rd century experiments on new technologies totally gone wrong… and Tesla vs Edison is a historical example for a technology that was actively worked on but for some strange reasons wasn’t persued any further….

That’s an interesting theory. I think you are giving them way too much slack when it comes to benefit of the doubt. The Spock link may very well have been there from the start when it was meant to be more anthology. But that concept was abandoned quite early in the process. Which also explains the pre TOS time frame. They could have ditched that concept at anytime in production but didn’t. They WANTED to keep that because they saw it as a safety net.

I didn’t even get into the spore drive but when that was introduced we knew it couldn’t possibly work because of the time they set the show in. It provided no dramatic story element. When the show fell apart what they were going to do became extremely obvious. Send them away and claim it was due to a malfunctioning spore drive. That’s neat but foolish. Curious people would continue working on it to figure out why it didn’t work. I cannot believe no one would return to work on the concept. Even today people go back to failed experiments that showed potential.

“That’s neat but foolish. Curious people would continue working on it to figure out why it didn’t work.”

Not exactly. Da Vinci had elaborated thoughts about flying machines. It still took another 400 years for the Bros. Wright to take off. The Spore Drive is the next step of tech evolution in Trek lore. Coming up with that technology about 200 years after the warp drive makes sense, giving up on it also makes sense, given they already had a functioning propulsion system.

All about Spore Drive and DSC has Da Vinci written over it. Just look at the main title sequence. It’s a 100% derivative from Da Vinci’s drawings. If that is done on purpose, it absolutely makes sense to treat the Spore Drive like Da Vinci era flying machine: a long-term neglected possibility….

Plus VOY does explicitely mention mid-23rd century propulsion experiments gone south… Sporocystean life plays a pivotal role in sending VOY to the Delta Quadrant… The Caretaker’s Array is something like an advanced spore drive and Janeway knew about the basic concepts behind both sporocystean tech and 23rd century Omega experiments. It isn’t that much of a secret, those experiments were just abandoned…

Just like Transwarp Drive after TSFS… and don’t give me that lame excuse of TNG using transwarp drive under a different warp scale… They don’t! Transwarp Hubs reappeared with the Borg on VOY… not a second earlier…

So yeah, they had Sporedrive and Transwarpdrive experiments in the 23rd century, both having been abandoned… like the Soliton Wave a century later…

Transwarp hubs did yes, in the Voyager finale… but transwarp DRIVE came back in a primitive form, if you follow the pattern later attributed to Borg transwarp drive, it first appeared in TNG’s ‘Descent’.

If anything the transwarp under a different warp scale/name would apply to the kelvin timeline films, as both the warp effect and the speed of ships in the Kelvin movies support that intention (like 25 minutes to get from Earth to Vulcan? MAYBE a couple hours to get from Klingon space to Earth? Not even TNG-scale warp drive could do that. But transwarp speeds could.

I think you are reaching awfully far to try and make sense out of nonsense. The DaVinci comparison is a tough fit because he came up with something far ahead of its time. No one else followed up on it because the conventional thinking at the time could not comprehend of such a thing. In Star Trek Discovery, the spore drive was not dismissed out of hand. It was studied by many and followed up on, obviously. It could not have gotten as far as it did in development without a number of scientists investing in the project. When Discovery vanished it makes ZERO sense that NO ONE followed up on the science. Even if abandoned it’s not the kind of idea that others down the line wouldn’t try again or even dream it up again on their own. Much less 900 years later. So, no. That theory doesn’t hold water.

The main title artwork looking like a DaVinci drawing doesn’t support the theory either. Even if they wanted to evoke DaVinci it still doesn’t support the fact that SOMEONE would have followed up on the science. If not immediately (which is more likely) but eventually. Yet in Secret Hideout Trek no one anywhere for 900 years even dreamed it up again.

So no. The spore drive as a plot device in a prequel was a tremendous mistake. And it makes zero sense it would be abandoned 100% FOREVER. Human nature would forbid such a thing. Not to mention some other alien out there dreaming it up.

Simple logic: Starfleet probably buried all the data relating to the spore drive just as they classified everything regarding Discovery, so deep, as time went by everyone forgot about it… until soon before Star Trek Picard, which explains why Riker’s ship the Jheng He had a bridge almost identical to Discovery’s… maybe that undercover Romulan agent in Starfleet found the Discovery data and began to leak it out in pieces… first bridge designs and tactile hologram displays, new forms of viewscreens etc., with intent to keep the spore drive info for the Romulans…

Yeah. Not a fan of the “Classify everything” trope. It’s overused and even if no one involved in the project kept their mouths shut (unlikely) eventually SOMEONE would have dreamed it up again. It happened before. Why would it not come up again?

So no. Trying to make sense of the spore drive thing requires twists and turns that even the worlds greatest contortionist would have a tough time with.

I agree. I don’t think Spock and the Enterprise were a “backup” plan at all. I think it was something that, once Fuller departed, they had planned to introduce for a second season regardless of the reaction to the show.

Part of their plan, if you ask me, was to do a full visual reboot of the classic era, but you can’t sell it if you don’t show the Enterprise reimagined.

It’s been 5 years since the last movie and I don’t like any of the current shows. I’ll take anything, even another JJ film is starting to sound appealing.

Yeah. Sad but I completely agree.

I like what they have done with DSC in S2 and S3… S1 was an attrocity and PIC, while having its moments, was far too dark, pessimistic, brutal and foul-mouthed to be a TNG follow-up. Maybe Q and Guinan can give it some direction.
LDS ist just weird, it doesn’t really work for me.

But I see so much potential in SNW and upcoming DSC seasons… and also PROD… It could still become a great era for Trek.

Fans lose their minds anyway.

I lost mine a long time ago

 “I don’t know what it is they announced because they didn’t say what they announced”

Yep. That pretty much sums up what we know about the next Star Trek movie. People like to toss their takes around here with the air authority, but we’re pretty much in the dark.

I suspect with Abrams attached we’re getting something more along the budgetary lines of the last three. Looks like the days of glorious Trek B-movies that drove Wrath of Khan through Nemesis belong to the past.

I don’t think anyone believed we will get a low budget Trek film. They said that they still saw the movies as tent pole films, so it will probably have to be at least $100+ million. But it still can’t be what the Kelvin films cost and obviously the entire issue. That’s why Pine and Hemsworth walked, because they were trying to cut the budget and that included their salaries.

But it sill has to be a decent priced film to compete with the others.

That’s the trap they’re stuck in. When it comes down to it, the current film cast is expensive. Perhaps prohibitively. The film has to look as slick as any Marvel film, and that’s pricey.

They’re best best may be a big name lead and a big name villain. Then scale back on the way down the cast list.

I like the cast of the last three, but I don’t think they can afford them all at once if they’re looking to take in about 400 million or so.

If JJ is making a 200MM magical mystery movie, 400MM WW is likely a failure. Seven years between movies is a long, long time. 100MM would be marginally successful. However, JJ has been pretty vocal that a Trek movie needs to be near a 200MM budget. What I suspect is going to happen is this 6/23 “unnamed Star Trek feature” is, at some point in the future going to become an unnamed science fiction feature.

Beyond made less than that. I know they’re aiming higher, but I don’t think it’s likely to pull much higher unless they put Dwayne Johnson in it or something.

Yeah much less. That’s the problem. Star Trek is not a big blockbuster franchise. It’s a middle tier one which they were really hoping they could turn into something bigger. But I think Beyond killed that strategy.

As much as we love the franchise, it will probably stay either a niche franchise or just does better on TV which doesn’t need a huge audience to succeed like films; just a consistent one. And which explains why there are now 5 Trek shows in production while it’s taking literally 5 years just to get another movie made.

Trek is and doesn’t have to be a blockbuster franchise. It all depends on how much money they spend on making and advertising them.

The teens have shown there is plenty of a potential audience for slower paced, more cerebral sci-fi… Oblivion, Arrival, Annihilation, Passengers, Interstellar… All of these genre movies made a reasonable amount of money on a reasonable budget… There is no need for wasting an entire movire’s budget on turning the saucer section upside down… A Trek movie could still find an audience at a $80 million budget…

We agree. Unfortunately the brain trust at Paramount doesn’t seem to share that sentiment. They hired the director from the Fast and Furious franchise and then marketed that fact for a reason. For some reason, they don’t seem to think a cerebral Trek movie will bring in the masses. Of course the only cerebral Trek movie we got was TMP and it didn’t do as well as they wanted.

But we know it wasn’t because it was cerebral, it was because it was plodding, dull, bland and humorless, which could be said for pretty much all the characters in it as well minus McCoy. I recently rewatched it a few weeks ago after not seeing it for 20 years. And it’ll probably be 20 years before I watch it again lol.

Those movies you describe are both very entertaining and thoughtful movies (although I didn’t love Passengers, but decent). We agree, but Paramount apparently thinks what really excites Star Trek fans are more explosions and another one-note supervillain that is even more angry at the Federation than the last one was. To this day I wonder why they never tried to get Vin Diesel in Beyond as the villain since he and Justin Lin are good friends, but he probably wanted too much money. ;)

Say what you want about Justin Lin, but he was responsible for the film which gave us the most intelligent Enterprise destruction ever in Trek (NOT self-destructed, NOT destroyed to due some delusional scientist hacking Geordi’s VISOR, but legitimately overpowered by a fighting force legit way too powerful and fighting a form of warfare no Federation ship could counter using traditional defenses, and that force attacking all the ship sections that were always strategic weakpoints on any ship (the nacelle pylons, the protruding deflector and the neck of the ship),and a film which gave us more new alien races than ever seen in all of Trek history combined, with some of the most impressive makeup ever seen in Trek, as well as one of the most incredible space stations ever seen in science fiction (Yorktown Base).

Where Beyond failed is it rushed the crew finding the Franklin and leaving Altamid. The film could have used another half hour to 45 minutes to show a much more difficult time surviving and questing to find the Enterprise crew… like instead of a day or 2 on Altamid make it a couple weeks or a month or so…silly though people think using radio from our time, and the Sabotage song specifically to disrupt the swarm ships, it makes sense. Much in the same way Picard finding out weapons from our time were more effective at killing Borg in First Contact. Sometimes old fashioned approaches work.

That and predicably making the villain be some pissed off human from the past. ALTHOUGH that plot did carry a moral allegory most people missed; the morality of how America treated soldiers who came back from Vietnam only to be treated like vermin when they got back, or worse yet, abandoned completely. And what PTSD, festering for a very long time, can turn someone into psychologically.

This being said, what really doomed Beyond was a lackluster, verging on non-existent marketing campaign. Even Simon Pegg had said awhile back in interviews as much.

I’m not trying to dis Justin Lin and I’ve said Beyond was my favorite movie out of the Kelvin trilogy easily. In fact, what’s so odd about Beyond is it actually comes off a bit ‘slow’ when compared to the other two lol. There is still lots of action, Kirk jumping off things like he’s Ethan Hunt, etc, but yes it was a more ‘thoughtful’ overall.

And I did like how the destruction of the Enterprise was handled. Unfortunately I think that’s what killed a lot of the vibe for people.

And I will admit, I never thought about the Vietnam analogy before until now. But I don’t know if I fully agree with it, because didn’t they basically give Krall a promotion to Captain and his own ship as well? He started out as a MACO during the Xindi incident and Romulan war and in the end he’s basically celebrated, isn’t he? He only got upset when he crash landed a ship in an area of the galaxy where communications was non-existent and for SOME reason blamed the Federation for abandoning him.

If anything, that was the one real problem with the movie, Krall’s motives are so odd and once again we got another angry villain blaming the Federation for something that was basically out of their hands.

But overall I still agree, Beyond was a decent made film. I’m only saying Paramount didn’t want a ‘cerebral’ movie, they wanted one with a lot of explosions, fighting and comedic stuff. That’s why we got that first trailer which made it clear how they wanted the film to come across.

Just want to jump in and say that while I did like Beyond overall, the weak point in it was Krall. His motivations made zero sense. Less so once one realizes he was a transformed human from the “Enterprise” days.

Yeah I still wish to this day that Simon Pegg or Justin Lin just sit down in an interview and clean up Krall’s back story a little more. They said a lot of the movie was supposedly cut, seem like there would be some deleted scenes that explains him better. For one thing, why is he called Krall and not just his actual name? Would’ve been nice if he gave us a reason beside the fact they just wanted another name reveal at the end, ala Khan. Just so many oddities.

I do like the fact he was part of the NX-01 crew though, but everything AFTER that is a bit shaky character wise.

Ah…. A reply that has nothing to do with The Motion Picture…. thank the prophets….

Yeah, Star Trek is caught in the middle. Too high end for for Battlestar Galactica or Stargate, but not in the same league as Batman or Marvel. It was a difficult movie market back in the 80s and 90s and it’s a less forgiving market now.

Honestly, if it were up to me I’d stick to the streaming strategy where they seem to be doing well for themselves and allows them to have a variety of tones.

Your first line confuses me? Is that a compliment or a dig lol.

Agreed with the rest though. Star Trek seems to be in the middle. It’s just above most sci fi fare, especially on TV, but not at the level of the bigger movie fantasy and sci fi franchises.

And that’s something we have to remember as well, Star Trek is a pretty successful TV franchise (from TNG on ;)) but just an OK movie franchise. MOST TV franchises don’t really transfer well to movies UNLESS they are just rebooted in a big movie way with new actors portraying old characters and giving it a modern feel, which of course what they tried to do with the Kelvin movies. But most of those don’t last more than 1-2 movies.

It’s very very hard to make a TV show into a successful movie series in the first place. For every Transformers and Mission Impossible out there, there is also Power Rangers, Bewitched, Brady Bunch, Get Smart, Baywatch, Dukes of Hazard, X Files, Lost in Space and on and on.

Some shows simply do better as shows and nothing beyond that.

So all in all Star Trek does pretty good against most shows that tried to become more successful in films, just not at blockbuster status like others.

Which is ironic, because before he branched out into Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson guest starred on Star Trek Voyager lol

God, not another mad man with a WMD and a grudge

I also hear the next Mission Impossible movie involves a betrayal from within. Sometimes the formula is what it is. Television allows Star Trek to show its range. Films… not so much.

Don’t get me started on that….
Another ‘mole hunt’!!!!!???

“Television allows Star Trek to show its range. Films… not so much.”

Sorry, but that’s complete and utter ….

Just because the writers / producers decided to exploit the TWOK formula on many occassions doesn’t mean they have to do that. And it certainly doesn’t mean it’s what “the” audience expects them to do. The first six movies were VERY different from one another, only TSFS seemed like a direct follow-up to TWOK. The rest was very uníque…

FC did also not fall into that pattern… Star Trek CAN show its range and the most likely will embrace that… those TWOK copies have to stop.

As far as M:I. movies are concerned… that’s spy movies… they have to be formulaic… 007 always does the same as well, but nobody does ist better :-)

The thing with Trek is… we CAN make a 007 style action flick and an ARRIVAL-style cerebral alien encounter movie in slow motion…and we can go full Star Wars on a galactic war… and we can do time travel to any era, we can explore the afterlife, the big bang, we can do anything… cause we got faith of the heart :-)

No really, Trek IS virtually everything, It can attain THE ALL, it is the Allspark, and the Aether forever and ever…. Amen…

So several ideas that come to mind:
1. Khan from earth to Botany Bay
2. The creation of Genesis
3. Enterprise B & or C
4. Ilia and Decker after ST: TMP
5. The Borg from Vger to First Contract
6. Kirk: The Return
7. Young lives of DS9 or VOY crew
8. Mirror Universe
9. Young DR. McCoy or Scotty
10. Guardian of Forever

#3 would be fantastic

There’s pretty much no chance it’s any of those, I’d say.

“Guardians of Forever” still sounds like a very good idea for a Star Trek title… It has that “Guardians of the Galaxy” / “Legends of Tomorrow” vibe that fits with modern CBM audiences and it could become Trek’s take on Doctor Who / Legends of Tomorrow / Time Tunnel… but it should be a TV show…

Exploring Trek history has so much potential: Future Earth history, Klingon / Romulan / Vulcan history, T’Kon, Iconians, First Ones, Genesis of the Borg, you name it…

TMP had a tentpole-style budget in 1979 dollars, and while it drags in places, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable and character-driven, no mustache-twirlers in sight. It performed well at the box office and was critically better than all of JJ Abrams’ work, hands down.

TMP was a bigger hit than it deserved to be. It has aged poorly.

Star Trek has to compete with action movies and super hero movies. It’s not 1979.

TMP is a masterpiece… Of course the FX are no longer on par with nowadays standards but it is exactly the kind of movie I want to see. Slow-paced, mysterious, awesome, audiovisually trippy… great score and sound FX… Not a rollercoaster crash, boom, bang festival…

Look at movies like Contact, Arrival, Annihilation instead of Star Wars or The Avengers for Trek inspiration…

You like what you like, and that’s fine. But in 2021 Star Trek has been an action/sci-fi franchise for decades and has to compete with other action adventure films. Yes, that means looking at Star Wars and Avengers for inspiration.

We’re not going back to TMP. It’s wasn’t that popular in the first place. I didn’t even bring it up but people are talking about it my in my replies for some reason.

That’s the whole problem. It DOESN’T have to be “that popular”. If it’s made on a moderate budget, it can still become a niche hit. You say those low-budget Trek outings belong to the past. I beg to differ. You could still make an 80 million movie for a niche audience or even produce streaming TV movies for 20 million each. They don’t need to compete with Star Wars or CBMs… and no, Trek HASN’T been an action franchise “for decades”. That transition happened in 2009 and no, it is not irreversible… Not that I dislike the KT movies, but it shouldn’t be the future… It was nice having them as Trek’s answer to the CBM wave but now it is time to embark on a more cerebral journey.

The era of those uberblockbusters is over… The CBM genre will evolve or die and Star Wars needs to reinvent itself on the big screen, too. There is no need to extend the blockbuster era… It was a thing from 1999 to 2019… It has been brutally aborted by the pandemic and it’s not going to be back…

I shouldn’t have to say this but it has to be popular to make money. When you say you want a niche hit, you’re saying you want them to make movies just for for you. Paramount doesn’t have time to make comfort food Trek for an aging audience. They’re in the blockbuster business. They need a new generation to survive.

The original series was an action adventure series. Every film since Wrath of Khan has been an action movie. The 2009 film series was just bigger, less b-movie. Marvel changed the game. Before that the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter changed the game. Star Trek can’t go back into theaters looking like a Harve Bennet or Rick Berman production. Star Trek had a Stanley Kubrick inspired phase briefly in the late 70s and they switched gears immediately because most of us found it dull. TMP was the anomaly. TWK became the norm.

I know you guys want Trek to make a certain kind of film, but it clearly isn’t interested in being that kind of film. I want a Batman movie that feels like a Sherlock Holmes movie, but I’m not getting it so I’ll just cope and try to enjoy the James Bond style Batman films for what they are.

Streaming shows allow the franchise to have range. Action movies have to action, and the bar has been raised. Go big or go home.

ST 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 all followed their Star Trek heart. Even Generations strove for it with a singular Khan-lite enemy. First Contact had Zombies, time travel comedy, and a weird Chartlon Heston-like moment of inspiration by Picard. Insurrection mostly feels like an episode with a budget and a less than mind-altering concept. But it doesn’t abandon Trek values.

It’s Nemesis that sucked the most, was an embarrassment when it opened and still impacts the franchise’s perception. Why? Because it was designed all around action. And it uses the “use of force” by Picard to re-enslave the Remans. What could be less Trek than that? Even a casual audience member can feel that. And the betrayal of the Remans (from a Rodennberry POV) still haunts us today.

Trek films have (for the most part) followed whats popular in blockbuster s like the Bond films have (remember when they quickly switched FYEO with Moonraker after Star Wars) – TMP obviously became a movie due to SW but went for the slow moving 2001 adult scifi of the early/mid 70s (when it probably shouldve been more action based like SW), TWOK was abit influenced by SW action (by way of Hornblower) and Alien (the eels), TSFS was abit like an 80s Lucas/Spielberg Trek film (Force like vulcan mysticism, puppets, cantina/backward speaking aliens, fights over lava/temples), TVH was like Trek does BTTF meets Croc Dundee, TFF i guess was abit like an Indiana Jones quest film (by Way of Eden), TUC: Hunt for Red October, FC: Aliens meets Terminator meets ID4, Nemesis: SW Clones/Gladiator, ST09: SW77 and the Batman/Bond reboots, STID: TDK, STB: Avatar/Guardians

Re: TMP obviously became a movie due to SW

Not at all, obviously in the flippity-floppity Paramount 70s” boardroom, TMP became a movie, instead of a Paramount Network launching tv series, because of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD and perhaps a dash of SUPERMAN.

“It’s wasn’t that popular in the first place”

It was. It made a fortune in 1979. It just cost too much.

@new kid: You are just plain wrong about that. Just so wrong and you don’t even realize that… Marvel has changed the game for a limited time. That time is expiring… The old blockbuster died in the pandemic. Star Wars 9 was the last of its kind. Marvel will never be able to repeat its success they enjoyed up until 2019… that’s over… the follow-up movies will just not be that successful anymore…

Whatever comes next, it will be very different, other sorts of movies and franchises will play game changer once again…

That said, no “niche hit” does NOT mean movies for me and an aging audience… it means Arrival, Gravity, Interstellar, Annihilation, Oblivion, Passengers, The Martian, Life, Covenant… most of those were huge hits for their budgets and none of them did Marvel or Star Wars…

So yeah, you don’t have to tell me that sth. has to be Marvel-League-popular to be successful… Because you are simply wrong about that and you should know that…

Sorry, New Kid, re-evaluating my words, I have to say it came off overwrought and far, far too aggressive. No bad blood intended. I just want the Trek movies to go into another direction after the blockbuster era. Content-wise I stand by my words, but I overshot tonally… Sorry…

It’s okay, Garth. I just…. don’t care about Star Trek the motion picture that much….

Sometimes replies go in directions that don’t have a lot to do with what I said in the first place.

I think you are selling TMP short. It was never intended to be a shallow, shoot em up, militaristic take on Trek. In fact that movie had the core values and philosophies of Trek, philosophies about birth and meaning of life. I still say its one of the best Star Trek movies both visually and philosophically.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture was never well received by fans. It was the first release after the TV show was cancelled and fans were not impressed. It seems like it has been better received in later years by newer fans than original fans and believe me, Star Trek fans were over the moon when TMP was announced, filmed and released.

On it has 6.4 rating, one of the lowest rated Trek films there. The only other film that is rated lower is Star Trek V, which is the lowest at 5.5. TMP rating is on par with INS and NEM IIRC. Not exactly great.

So yes it probably has a cult and loyal following (like Trek in general), but it’s not ‘popular’ the way something like TWOK, ST ’09 or FC is.

And after rewatching it a few weeks ago, I’m definitely not one of them. I still think it sucks, even if it’s not my lowest rank film…but definitely hovering at the near bottom.

disagree. tmp has aged better than a lot of movies of that time – and still looks better these days than st V, VII and, yes, even better than jj’s trek.

no, st does not have to compete with marvel and so on … absolutely no. thats the mistake of the kelvinverse-movies. st is not about superheros fighting or bang boom bang action. no. think what someone like nolan could do with the core of trek … or what meyer did … what hawley could do if they let him …
i’m so through with uberblockbusters, noisy rollercoaster-trek, crying spocks.
i think the jj universe doen’t age well – let aside the special effects.
but, well, special effects is just special effects and will never compensate a poor-written story.

@treweis: Totally agree with most of your points but well, TMP does not look better than JJ movies, technically that is. You can tell its day and age first glance but for its time it was incredibly well-done. I love it to death…
As a 13-year-old I simply didn’t get it first and prefered all the other movies but it has become one of my favourites, if not THE favourite… It’s the only one that truly fulfills its intital Trek mission, exploring mysteries and the unknown… and I prefer the slow pace a lot over the shakey cam and lense flare orgies of today’s cinema…

And Spock DID cry in TMP, the Director’s Cut :-)

In all fairness, the Star Trek V we got was nowhere near what Shatner wanted. Between the studio giving a pathetic budget even by late 1980s standards, to ILM backing out on the special effects, to Shatner’s original concept requiring CGI tech that wouldnt be available for another decade, to the studio overly interfering, Star Trek V became a hollowed out shell of what Shatner had intended.

As for who could revolutionalize Trek, I put forth an unexpected name: J. Michael Straczynski, creator of 90s Trek competitor Babylon 5. He, pre-JJ films, had pitched a great Star Trek reboot concept.

Put Shatner in charge of a fourth Kelvin Timeline film, give him the latitude he needs, and make it a Kelvin Timeline merging of TMP and his original STV concept with a bit of DS9’s supernatual elements and grittiness in it, and you got yourself a potentially incredible Star Trek film.

LOL sounds like the lines from The Boondocks:

Gin Rummy: (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson)
I always say the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
Gin Rummy:
Simply because you don’t have evidence that something does exist does not mean you have evidence of something that doesn’t exist.

After which the Samuel L. Jackson character descends into a tirade identical to the one Samuel L. Jackson did in Pulp Fiction… which, due to cursing which is too intense for this forum, I cannot post as part of the quote…

and after that he goes on to say:

Well, what I’m saying is that there are known knowns and that there are known unknowns. But there are also unknown unknowns; things we don’t know that we don’t know.

SIDE NOTE: Star Trek First Contact was hardly a B movie. Maybe by today’s ‘a film must have a $150 million – $200 million budget and make close to a BILLION dollars to be considered a success standards it is, but in the film era Star Trek First Contact existed in, before films like Armageddon and Titanic forever changed the scope of films, it was a decently successful film even looking from a general public (meaning external to Trek fandom standards) angle

I think I see where I got everybody riled up. I don’t mean B-movie as an insult. I liked those films, but they were essentially mid range blockbusters. Something that doesn’t exist so much today.

Sounds like Star Trek: Rogue One.

Quinten Tarentino gave basically the same interview a year and a half ago, basically trying to drum up a little interest from the bottom up. There’ll always be a website to lap this “news” up.

Yeah, yeah, eyes melt, lost minds, exploding heads. Ask anyone associated with a dead project, and they’ll always tell you some studio hack has deprived the world of the best movie since Citizen Kane.

Make no mistake, this isn’t paused, it’s take it out behind the barn and shoot it dead.

the mere fact the absolute film legend that is Quentin Tarantino wanted to make a Trek movie is still mind blowing to me

It’s open for debate just how badly he really wanted to do it.

I worked on a Tarantino set years ago. He likes to claim he’s a Trek fan and he does talk about the show a lot, but it’s always very surface-level, like the kind of thing you’d hear teenagers talking about–the hot girls, the Kirk fistfights, that sort of thing. I never got the feeling he had much of an understanding of the franchise. He just likes the girls and the action. That’s basically what we got with Abrams’ take. Now, I like the Abrams films for what they are, but they’re really not very deep–they’re hot girls and fistfights, and a LOT of people dangling from a LOT of precipices. I have a feeling QT wouldn’t have given us something much different, other than dropping a lot of F-bombs.

But at least Abrams’ version wasn’t a tasteless “Kill Bill” in space blood orgy… I can’t stand Tarantino’s style, that out-of-thin-air bloodsoaked mass killing… He probably would have done a sequel to “A Piece of the Action”, with loads of blood and guts…

Re: blood and guts…

Please don’t tell us with all the machine gun fire in the episode, that you supposed all the planet’s various mob enforcers were just lousy shots or using rubber bullets?

“Hits” were not bloodless affairs for Earth’s Chicago mobs, and it is intellectually dishonest to pretend just because NAB censors didn’t allow accurate visual depictions of machine gun fire damage that sounds of machine gun fire is somehow less gut wrenching in invoking images of mass carnage?

Wow this explains so much about Tarantino lol. Keep this guy as faaaaaar away from Trek as possible. Or have him write and alt universe episode on Discovery or something.

And I’ll defend Abrams here (don’t throw stones at me people) but I do think his movies were a little more than that. They did try to ponder interesting questions and themes. They weren’t just pew-pew-pew and explosions every ten minutes (OK, every twenty minutes ;)), they actually tried to give us a message and the importance of Federation values. Yeah, nothing that we didn’t see in a typical TNG, DS9 or VOY episode every other week, but they were there.

But yeah, I lost count how many times Kirk is jumping off something or running in these movies like he’s Ethan Hunt in the 23rd century. And Abrams makes those movies too. ;)


JJ for all his many faults knows how to at least produce a Trek movie with a global appeal. Its clearly not going to be a reboot (too expensive for new ship & crew setup time) so as they are aiming for a theatrical release it means the Kelvin crew get another chance & with better marketing its easily going to earn $500m (Beyond would have done $500m with a better less crowded release date in Sept 2016 & no beastie boys trailer!).

Yeah, I really think a more cleverly and deliberately scripted Kelvin film with a smarter budget is their best bet. Anything else is riskier.

I have said this before and i will be the first to admit that I know nothing about the making of movies but it just s

Sorry about the incomplete statement but my 2 rear old grandson decided to hit a key and entered the incomplete statement. Was going to say that it just seems like there is not enough time to write a new script, hire a new cast, film and do all of the post production work and still meet the June 2023 release date unless you already have a script or you have your actors lined up.

Beyond would have done $500m with a better less crowded release date in Sept 2016 & no beastie boys trailer!”

and if theyd gone with Orci’s Shatner script

It’s a good thing so much time has passed since Beyond. They might approach this as the KT version of TMP…. an older, more seasoned Kirk and crew. Not a remake of TMP, but in that vein…

That’s what I’m looking for and more of 1701A

this is the pandemic movie right

I seem to recall a while back there was an article that said Hawley’s script revolved around some kind of galactic virus, but given the current times that we are in bringing out such a movie might not be what we need.

I always have huge curiosities about abandoned scripts and concepts. Really wish I knew what the original 3rd KU Trek script was. And this only makes me more interested in what this was. You never know what you are going to get. Sometimes, like what I heard about Duel of the Fates, it sounds like it could have been WAY better. Other times, not so much.

Bob Orci was in one of these discussion forums a few months back and said that his 3rd Trek script was about TOS Kirk and Spock and KU Kirk and Spock working together to stop a bad guy from rebooting and thus destroying the universes, or something like that. He declined to say what species the bad guy was, but did mention that he had talked to Bryan Cranston about playing him.

An interview about his ST3 is coming (hopefully)

That’s what the studio said was “too Star Trek”? I was thinking something else completely.

Interesting plot. Too Star Trek it isn’t… It’s one of these DC Crisis plots that most audiences should be largely familiar with at this point.
We are probably getting plenty of those multiverse plots in the upcoming Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and The Flash movies… So this would be a more than fitting plot… but then, that might be exactly what kills the CBM genre, because it’s too geeky :-)

I am a lifelong Trek fan and not a hater or a troll. I must admit that I am losing faith. Now I did like all three JJ films – especially the first, so I am not averse to a more modern take, but TPTB seem to be completely against a thoughtful, character oriented version. They also seem unwilling to let one of the MANY very talented people who have expressed an interest in Trek have a shot. All these ideas by fresh faces and the next film will probably be about a villain who feels wronged and is out for revenge.

There should be a Trek movie without a (main) villain… Natural phenomena, non-humanoid Lovecraftian alien creatures from other dimensions, disasters and diseases, maybe a villainous side character to take advantage of that, but not the main focal point… S3 of DSC did a good job on that… Ozyra was a villain but she wasn’t really the center of things… The Burn was exactly that sort of threat I’m talking about… a mystery, a surprise revelation, visually endearing images from Su’Kal’s holosimulation…almost like a dark fantasy tale…

Something we haven’t seen much on Star Trek would be an intergalactic paper chase. Imagine a natural phenomenon threatening to destroy Earth. According to ancient scrolls, the T’Kon or Iconians had developed a device to render that threat inert but because that device could be abused as a major weapon, they dismantled it and hid its parts all across the galaxy…

You may still have a villainous faction that also wants the device as a weapon but they would be a side plot. The movie would be NOT about the villain on a blaze of revenge but about saving Earth, with the villains only as a secondary aspect…

Now THAT would also work for DSC S4… that gravitational anomaly, a legendary T’Kon solution and Disco on a trip around the galaxy to assemble the parts… They would encounter all sorts of planets and other hideouts, do some major exploration…

This might also work as a movie for any Trek crew… It’s Indiana Jones in space… high adventure, high stakes, action and yet not your average villain hellbent on taking revenge…

Sounds like a proper star trek to me

Okay, wasn’t that Star Trek Beyond?

I already lost my mind over the last three Bad Robot Trek movies.

Oh, wait, that wasn’t my mind that I lost; it was my faith in hype like this.

Two of them were okay, more than okay, only STID was a total stinker. I’m grateful we got those because it was Trek’s answer to a specific era of movie making.

But we need to leave that behind now. Even if they stay in the KT, there is no reason a more seasoned Pine-Kirk shouldn’t experience a very different sort of adventure.

I liked the Uss Franklin and the uniforms in Beyond. I liked Bones and Spock’s scenes, i like Scotty and Jaylah. The revenge story was weak. The promise of exploration was exciting though they did nothing with it, destroying the Enterprise again was unnecessary. The Starbase stuff was kind of cool looking. I liked the story with Sulu and his daughter. There were some nice touches. Didn’t like the whole Kirk daddy issues stuff. That felt like a retread. The beasty boys song destroying the hive was ridiculous. Kirk on the motorcycle reminded me of Picard driving in Nemesis. Pointless really.

Many possibilities for an interesting variety of stories to be told, and worth turning up to a
cinema for.

I was really hoping to see this and not another bloated Abrams movie. I guess we’re SOL for the foreseeable future.

haven’t seen any story here about ds9 remaster happening. Yet it is days old on, from a story posted back in late March on something called the vulcanreporter.

And what lessons can we learn from that, hmm?

would love to see what hawley could do with trek. much more than a fourth kelvinverse-instalment. give it a chance.

Thing to remember about TMP is that ’79 release version was the one rushed to the premiere.
Wise was not able to do proper post on it until the director edition years later.

Yeah, but even if it was totally rushed, it is still a major masterpiece! And that’s even a bigger achievement. They made this masterpiece under extreme pressure… Goldsmith composed this celestial score in almost no time!

I think I recall reading something about they had a Dec. 7 release and Goldsmith was recording the score around Thanksgiving!

Steady on.
It could still do with a shorter running time, pruning away some more of those v’ger FX shots

say what you want about TMP, Jerry Goldsmith’s score for it was one of the best film scores of all time.

What he did years later was pretty far afield from a proper post. Seems to have relied on others to fill in on his notions for trimming and adjusting, and certainly didn’t act on the parts he said he would have changed shortly after the film released, when he was quoted as mentioning drydock being one of the scenes that required substantial cutting.

And the fact he didn’t bother cutting some of the worst stuff (like the shot of the guy fleeing EpsilonIX, one of the great wince-making shots of that whole decade) seems inexplicable, as does the horrific new sound remix, which actually makes things like the wormhole seem boring rather than threatening, and reduce the film’s ‘procedural’ feel, like lopping out the computer voice.

And all this isn’t even getting into the VFX changes, which just swap from one kind of weakness to another instead of improving things.

The scope of that film was immense, truly a motion picture not an extended tv episode. The Enterprise has never been more beautifully filmed, painted or detailed as it was in that film. Whatever ILM did in the sequels wasn’t as stately or majestic. The film wasn’t a Space Revenge movie with a villain hellbent on revenge. The material was treated like serious high brow science fiction, which also never happened again on screen. It wasn’t a Star Wars style action flick and was seen as boring. Its still my favorite Star Trek film.

While I’m certainly excited about whatever the 2023 film is going to end up being, I’m also hoping to get the Hawley film at some point as well. I was so disappointed to find out it was put on hold.

Not sure how Russo could have been more vague.

As an X-Men fan, some of the choices Hawley made on Legion just didn’t sit well with me. It’s possible Hawley’s Trek film would be good, but it’s also possible that not having it means the franchise dodged a quantum torpedo.

Kirk and Spock reaches the Final Frontier. Of Love.

What about another Star Trek film you know with Captain Kirk and his crew. You know Star Trek. They haven’t made one of those since 2016.

No we’re not allowed another one of those