Apparently last week’s TrekMovie.com interview with Trek XI producer JJ Abrams is causing a bit of a stir. Both IGN and Cinematical have taken the interview to mean that Star Trek XI is ‘falling behind’ or running into ‘scheduling problems’. This is based on our discussion with Abrams about how the script is still in progress even though in August writer Roberto Orci said they planned on finishing the first draft by the end of October. This analysis takes things out of context and ignores other comments from the team. From the interview it was clear that Abrams wasn’t aware Orci’s ‘end of October’ estimate, and he didn’t seem to be worried that the script is still in progress. A source inside Paramount tells TrekMovie.com that the first draft should be in around Thanksgiving. Furthermore Abrams confirmed that they plan to start shooting in the Spring, which is actually an accelerated schedule based on Orci’s original estimation of a Summer start to shooting. The Paramount insider said that if things continue to progress there is nothing preventing Trek XI from being a Summer 2008 release, but cautioned that of course things can change. So it appears that IGN and Cinematical are just being a bit overly nervous about Trek XI’s progress.
A few days ago we reported the first part of an interview William Shatner gave to the Massachusetts Republican, but it appears they saved the best stuff for part two. Shatner reveals that he has indeed met with JJ Abrams (something he seemingly denied after we reported it weeks ago) and he apparently has confirmed there will be a new Kirk saying: J. J. Abrams is planning a movie. He has talked with me about it, but I don’t know what he has got planned. It’s likely there will be another Captain Kirk for certain. Click more to see the key excerpts from interview
(wmv) thanks again to my pal in Chicago
On Monday Microsoft announced a deal to make a number of movies and TV shows available in high definition (HD) on their XBox Live download service. The new service for owners of XBox 360 owners will be a first of its kind and CBS is one of the companies participating. One item from the press release in particular caught the eye of Trekkies: "CBS will deliver high-definition download-to-own TV shows including"CSI," "Jericho," "Numb3rs" and remastered "Star Trek" episodes". TrekMovie.com has reported that HD fans might have to wait until at least 2007 or beyond to see Trek in HD so this would be significant…if it is true. Although it seems definitive, we have heard about Trek in HD before only to find out that it was not going to be broadcast in HD. We do know that Star Trek Remastered is being made in HD both with and without the new CGI effects and it is possible that these unaired HD versions could be part of the deal. However, TrekMovie.com has not yet been able to get a confirmation out of CBS so don’t go rushing out to buy a XBox 360 just yet. Paramount Pictures is also partnering with Microsoft, but there was no mention of Star Trek films being part of the deal. TrekMovie.com will continue to monitor the story.
Trouble with Quibbles Working under a ludicrous schedule and forced to deliver unfinished work is no doubt a sore spot for the folks at CBS Digital. The first episodes of Star Trek: Remastered were uneven at best. Quality matte and live action replacement details were accompanied by poorly lit space shots, and a decidedly plastic looking Starship Enterprise. Such quality is usually only seen in test shots never meant to be seen outside the studio screening rooms. Years ago I had gone through the process of trying to find a style and look that was reminiscent of the original and yet still updated for the modern day. CBS Digital has been going through this same process as well, but with an audience watching their progression each week. We lived through the good, the bad and the mediocre. Now, at last, there is a lot more of the good in Star Trek Remastered.
In ‘Shatner is Kirk’ news: UPI reports that William Shatner told the crowd at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival that ‘there is a part of me in him…and Kirk in me’. The original Kirk also told the Massachusetts Republican that he is not going to retire anytime soon, saying "ss I shakily take my last breath, maybe that’s when I will whisper, ‘I quit.’"…did he just paraphrase Khan’s last words? Want to see classic Trek without all that Remastering and CGI?…well TV Land has got you covered.The home of retro TV starts airing the classic show later this month and have already started offering full episodes on their new Star Trek website (for one week only). The site offers a number of other Trek related video features and will host a live chat with Original Series stars Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei on Nov. 19th. Oh My.
We have the usual assortment of old versus new and remastered shots for your pleasure. Included is a comparison of the new CGI model to the older one, Tribbles has nearly all new shots, so there isn’t an easy direct comparison. Click the pictures for larger versions.
The Enterprise is brought to Station K-7 to deal with some Klingons…and a cute furry menace Video preview / Local Station & Showtimes / More at Memory Alpha This classic Trek episode is a whimsical fan favorite. In addition the CBS team are debuting their new and improved model of the USS Enterprise. CBS are going all out for this episode so make sure to check it out. Keep your eye out for… new K-7 space station brand new shots replacing repeated establishing Enterprise shots new Klingon Ship (not in original, first for TOS-R) cleaned up matte for view monitors new shots through windows on K-7 …and of course new nacelle caps so what did you think of Trouble With Tribbles Remastered…and the new Enterprise
William Shatner has told TVGuide.com that he has had ‘a long talk’ with Trek XI producer JJ Abrams, although he provides no detail on what they talked about. When asked who he thought should be the new Captain Kirk, he joked "I think it’s uncastable." TVGuide.com also reports that Shatner dismisses the suggestion for a cameo in Abrams Star Trek XI. This is a bit surprising since recently Shatner seemed to be chomping at the bit for a role in Trek XI. Of course with Shatner it is always hard to get a straight answer on anything. The actor does spill the beans on his new DirecTV commercial where he reprises his role as Kirk, saying "They’ve got me CGI’d…they’ve got a computer program trying vainly to make me look younger." TVGuide.com promisses a complete Q&A with the first Captain Kirk soon; TrekMovie.com will keep an eye out for that..
JJ Abrams was in Beverly Hills Wednesday to present an Atrios Award to his longtime casting director April Webster. TrekMovie.com was there and got a moment to talk a little Trek XI. Abrams confirmed our earlier story on the film’s current status and Spring 2007 production start. He also explained why he hasn’t yet committed to direct and talked a bit about why he thinks Kirk and Spock continue to endure…see the (shaky) video. video removed full transcript for the TrekMovie.com Abrams ‘mini interview’ below…
On Wednesday William Shatner appeared on G4’s ‘Attack of the Show’ to talk about the new game ‘Star Trek Legacy’. Shatner (along with all the other Trek captains) lends his voice to the biggest thing in Trek gaming in years. Host Kevin Pereira noted "there are five captains theoretically, but clearly you are the one", to which Shatner replied modestly "well I like to think that." After spending most of the segment discussing cigars, Shatner pimped Legacy a bit saying: "It is a wonderful game, I think your whole audience should buy it." He then declared: "Star Trek is coming back," seemingly referring to Star Trek XI. When asked what he thought of other ‘Kirks’ from the various internet fanfilms, Shatner replied "they are not me." Afterwards he gave some additional interviews, including one with Geek Magazine’s Jeff Bond. Jeff tells TrekMovie.com that he asked Shatner if he had any advice for a new actor playing Kirk. Shatner’s reply: "imitate me"…got to love the Shat! Go to G4 for the video By the way…here are the latest Legacy screenshots provided by Bethesda…
Two weeks ago TrekMovie.com revealed that the CBS Trek Remastered team were working on a new model for the Starship Enterprise..and it arrives this weekend. CBS Digital was kind enough to let TrekMovie.com visit their offices and we can say that the new model is a big improvement, here is a little peek. (click for a closer look)
Kirk and the gang find a planet where an alien odd couple has set up their own private house of horrors complete with spectral witches, a sinister castle, a black cat and zombified landing party members. All of this seems to be an elaborate ruse to discourage uninvited guests and/or evaluate their worthiness as a species, etc, etc. It’s a rare, Halloween themed episode of Star Trek with some fun and memorable moments, but mostly you’ll go home with a bag full of cheese instead of candy. With the new remastered ‘Catspaw’ you get more castle, more cat and no strings attached.
Like Star Trek XI, the Halo movie was one of the more anticipated films planned for 2008. Now the film is in limbo, and apparently Trek is partially to blame. After losing financing from Universal and Fox, the Halo producers (Peter Jackson and Microsoft) pinned their hopes on Warner Brothers and Paramount. According to IESB, Abrams and Trek factored into Paramount’s decision to say no. IESB quotes a Paramount exec as saying Why share a franchise with other parties when we own Star Trek and have a real director doing that film?.
Paramount chief Brad Grey recently described JJ Abrams as a ‘triple threat’ because he can write, produce and direct. However so far it looks like Para is only getting a ‘double threat’ for the first project under his new multi-mil deal. Abrams is down as producer and (co)writer for Trek XI, but tells MTV that it is still ‘too early to make the call’ on directing. He also talked again how ‘cool’ Trek XI is going to be, saying… we’re all ridiculously excited about it. It’s hard to talk about at this stage, because there’s so much still left to do, but I can say that the story is incredibly cool. To be honest with you, I haven’t been a follower of the more recent "Star Trek" films. I got to appreciate them and like them, but this is the movie I would be in line to see.
TV Guide has an interview with JJ Abrams that focuses on M:I:3, which is released this week on DVD. However, they do throw in a couple of Trek questions TVGuide.com: Changing topics, where do you stand on the Star Trek feature? Is there any framework in place, a setting, characters…? Abrams: The framework is firmly in place, the script is being written now, and we are incredibly enthusiastic about it.
Details on the new Shatner hosted game show ‘Show Me The Money’ are starting to come out, and it sounds pretty cheesy. Variety reports… After answering a trivia question, a contestant will choose one of 13 dancers, each of whom has a scroll with a dollar figure to be added to or subtracted from the player’s winnings. Contestants must answer at least six questions. ABC is calling the hoofers the "Million Dollar Dancers" and says they’ll always be "ready to break into any style of dance, while audacious master of ceremonies William Shatner spontaneously boogies with the beauties onstage."
Just in time for Halloween, LA Theatre Works present the classic radio play ‘War of the Worlds’ performed by a whole bunch of Trek stars. Lending their voices are John de Lancie, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Dwight Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner: and Wil Wheaton. de Lancie, a LATW regular, directs. It was originally aired last night on KPCC in Los Angeles. No word yet how many Angelinos thought aliens were actually attacking Grovers Mill, New Jersey. It is available online for free until Nov 4, after that it will be available for purchase. [Listen with RA ]
We have the usual assortment of old versus new and remastered shots for your pleasure. Click the pictures for larger versions.
The Enterprise and her crew are held captive by some spoooooky aliens Video preview / Local Station & Showtimes / More at Memory Alpha This rare ‘themed’ episode is yet another one with few opportunities for new CGI crew. We already know there is a new matte painting for the castle. In addition keep your eye out for… new planet and Enterprise in orbit shots new witches maybe? maybe some new magic flashes? …and for the aliens…no strings attached! so what did you think of Catspaw Remastered
Robert Picardo, Star Trek Voyager’s lovable Holodoctor, seems to have a nuanced view of Star Trek under the command of JJ Abrams. According to an interview from Trek Magazine (via SciFi Pulse) the actor seems to be supportive of Abrams helming the franchise, but isn’t too sure he likes that rumored prequel idea. Look they’ve re-launched the Batman franchise and that worked out. I’ve heard that they may re – launch the franchise with a story about Kirk and Spock as younger guys, back in the day, but I don’t know whether that’s the way to go because it seems to remove some of the jeopardy to know what happens in the future. On the other hand, they did kill off Spock four times and bring him back to life. I lost count!
Bryan Fuller is certainly one of the more successful Star Trek almuni in Hollywood. Since his time as a writer on Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Voyager, Bryan Fuller has been very busy with shows like ‘Wonderfalls’, ‘Dead Like Me’, and this year’s breakout hit ‘Heroes’. Comic Book Resources interviewed the writer/producer on his various projects, but spend quite a lot of time on Trek. Fuller said he got into the business because of Star Trek and he could talk about it all day. He certainly seems to be optimistic on Trek’s future under JJ Abrams, saying: I think the status right now is very encouraging, and I’m referring to the J.J. Abrams-helmed reinvention of the franchise, which it’s desperate for.
It is great to see Trek return to the world of gaming, but perhaps the new publisher Bethesda could have chosen a better game than ‘Star Trek Encounters’ to be the first entry. IGN gives the game a 4.9 out of 10. From the review: "Encounters suffers from a dire lack of Star Trek. There’s very little point in using the Star Trek license without exploiting its greatest assets"…ouch. Bethesda has just started shipping the 2nd game (Tactical Assault for the PS2 and DS), hopefully the reviews for that are better. For the third and most anticipated game, ‘Star Trek Legacy’ it appears we will have to wait even longer. Gamespot reports the bad news that the game is being delayed until the end of November due to quality assurance issues. There is a bit of good news, Bethesda recently announced a deal with Ubisoft to distribute all the new Trek games in Europe, story here. While we wait for Legacy, Bethsoft has provided some screenshots to tide you over… (Xbox 360)
Yesterday we reported that the Tom Cruise in Trek XI rumor appears to be bogus. But of course it is hard to keep a good rumor down, and anything with Cruise in it is ‘good’ to the tabloids. The British tabloid Daily Star has picked up the rumor but morphed it into ‘Cruise Will Be Spock‘. That story is now being cited by others including ITV a British TV Network, but so far this is our favorite… Original ‘source’ (TV Guide Canada) denies ever running the story…
(download WMV / pics of the new spooky castle) thanks again to our ChiTown Reader for scaring this up for us
It looks like Tom Cruise won’t be beaming up. As we reported yesterday there is a new rumor about Tom Cruise and JJ Abrams being in talks for a cameo role in Trek XI. TrekMovie was skeptical so we looked into it and so far cannot find any corroboration. Paramount insiders say they know nothing about it, and Arnold Robinson, a publicist for Mr. Cruise, tells TrekMovie.com "that story is not true." As yesterday’s article stated, WENN (who first reported the rumor) don’t exactly have the best track record on these things. However WENN’s Editorial Director Kev Lewin tells TrekMovie that they stand by the story, but also stated "we are not on that story anymore, that is yesterday’s news."
According David La Fountaine, exec-producer on Trek Remastered and Exec VP at CBS Paramount, there there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the Star Trek Remastered project. As everyone knows, each week the CBS digital team send out a new digitally remastered CGI-enhanced version of the Star Trek: Original Series for broadcast syndication. La Fountaine tells TrekMovie.com that what we are seeing is only one of the many different versions of each episode that the team is making. The first version they make an unedited or ‘network’ version without any CGI enhancements but with all the digital remastering from the original source. Then they make the CGI enhanced version of the full length version, and then edit it down for syndication. This means that some of the new CGI effects being done are not being seen in the syndicated versions. Plus all 3 versions are being done in both High Definition and Standard Definition. In addition all the new CGI space shots and matte paintings are being done in 16:9 wide-screen, so every time you see a new shot in Trek Remastered there is a bigger HD version waiting in the wings.
When I was about six my father sat me down to watch a show with a guy in a yellow and black uniform fighting it out in the desert with a big, ugly, green skinned lizard. He told me it was called ‘Star Trek’ and I was hooked. I voraciously devoured every episode and, in through my formative years, the show and its characters became a central part of my worldview. My childhood hero was Captain James T. Kirk, and few episodes of the original series epitomized who and what he was better than my first episode: “Arena,” Now the Remastered version brings back all those memories and created some brand new ones…if you are looking close enough.
This week Trek Remastered has a Halloween theme with ‘Catspaw’…check out the brand new spooky castle… click to supersize it
The WENN entertainment news service is reporting TOM CRUISE is in negotiations to reteam with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 director JJ ABRAMS for the next STAR TREK movie. The movie superstar is reportedly a huge fan of the sci-fi franchise and jumped at the chance to play a cameo role in the new film, which will be directed by Abrams. An insider tells Canada’s TV Guide magazine, "He didn’t even need to be begged to appear in it.".