Before JJ Abrams gets to bring the TOS era back to the big screen in Star Trek XI, CBS Paramount has a secret plan to get it back on the small screen, but with a makeover. Over a month ago it was announced that CBS was selling a new broadcast TV (not cable) syndication package for the original series. At the time it seemed a bit odd to try selling a 40 year old show to local TV stations, especially after it has just been sold to yet another cable outlet (this time TV Land…home of retro TV). The Trek Movie Report has now learned from trusted insiders, that CBS Paramount are actually offering an HDTV enhanced version of the Original Series with new state-of-the art CGI visual effects.
After leaving the world of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica co-creator Ron Moore has never been shy about his views of modern Trek. He often cites the many flaws within recent Trek shows as exactly what he is trying not to do on his award series. Trek Movie Report had a brief chat with Moore after Sunday’s BSG panel and asked Ron what he thought of Trek XI. He said he didn’t know much, joking “I only know what I read, you can probably tell me more”. When asked about his views in general he seemed quite optimistic about Trek’s new future, saying “I think it’s a great idea, and I am glad JJ (Abrams) is doing it”
The Toronto Star talked to Leonard Nimoy about Star Trek, Photography and his upcoming appearence at next weekend’s Fan Expo Canada. Nimoy was asked about Star Trek XI and the reported Kirk and Spock storyline, but he didn’t seem to know anything besides what has been previously reported. However when asked if he had any casting ideas, Nimoy said something quite intriguing I haven’t gone there yet. I think it’s premature. Although I do, by contract, have the right to approve the casting Want to Recast Us? Only After We Say So
One of the persistent rumors about Star Trek XI is that it centers on the life of Kirk and Spock at the Academy. The Academy story is not a new one, it was originally proposed by Harve Bennett as an idea for Star Trek VI; the studio eventually went with Nick Meyer’s Cold War themed ‘Undiscovered Country’. Last year the Academy notion came back when William Shatner revealed that he is working on a Starfleet Academy book series with his longtime writing partners Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. He also revealed at the time that he had pitched the idea as a series to ‘top executives’ at Paramount. The Trek Movie Report has learned from a studio insider that the Shat went right to the top and pitched it to none other than Viacom Chairman Sumner ‘Get Tom Cruise Off My Property’ Redstone. Supposedly Shatner went in to Paramount after Star Trek Enterprise became ratings challenged in it’s second year. Shatner believed that Paramount/UPN would replace Enterprise with his Academy show, but they stuck with Enterprise for 2 more seasons before pulling the plug. There are currently no known plans for new Trek on TV. But Shatner still plans on getting his story out there in book form,
In Hollywood, movies don’t truly get started until there is a script. Our studio sources have been telling us that only the ‘story’ (or ‘treatment’) for Star Trek XI has been completed. Now, according to Trek XI executive producer and co-writer Roberto Orci, it seems that Halloween is the target for the first draft of a script with filming starting as early as next summer. Orci revealed the schedule in response to an online query about the Trek XI time frame this Wednesday, saying: Just started writing it. First draft by end of October, second by x-mas and hopefully shooting in summer or fall. If all goes REALLY well.
It appears that William Shatner isn’t the only big star bucking for a seat on the next Trek enterprise. JJ Abrams pal and expected Trek XI castmember Greg Grunberg is concered about the compeition he is facing for a good part in Star Trek XI. Grunberg tells SciFi Wire: It would be great to have some great role. But people are coming out of the woodwork. Amazing actors are coming out from everywhere calling J.J. and saying, ‘I want to be in this movie!’
Last night it was revealed that Paramount Pictures has ended it’s long relationship with Tom Cruise and producer partner Paula Wagner. It has been reported that Paramount Chief Brad Grey and Cruise/Wagner were in negotiations for restructuring their deal (downwards), and most expected them to come to a deal. Now it appears that Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone (pictured with Cruise: right) has stepped in and cut off all talks and sent Cruise packing. Paula Wagner isn’t going down without a fight and has fired back regarding how much cash Cruise has brought in to the Paramount family, stated they have been responsible for 15% of revenue since they were brought on board. She also cited bringing in JJ Abrams to the Paramount family. Abrams’ work with Cruise and Wagner on Mission Impossible 3 convinced Paramount they wanted him for the long term; recently signing him to a 5 year deal with Star Trek XI as his first film.
Although it has been expected, long time JJ Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino has confirmed he will score Star Trek XI. He tells IGN Filmforce that work is a long time off and that he hasn’t even talked to Abrams about it yet. Giacchino does say he may be picking up on some classic Trek cues, but then going his own way I think that ultimately you might pick the theme that you think is the important one and utilize that in a certain way and then go completely somewhere else with it…That would be I guess in the same way as Mission: Impossible was fun like that to take that and go somewhere wholly different with the score that the other two dudes didn’t do. Not that it’s better or worse but just different.
It looks like JJ Abrams can add ‘graphic artist’ to his growing list of credits for Star Trek XI. Recently our intrepid ‘VegasCon Correspondent’ DavidofLondon picked up an anonymous tip that the Star Trek XI teaser poster was designed by Abrams himself. Today the Trek Movie Report contacted David’s source as well as an additional studio insider who both confirmed this tidbit. One of the insiders pointed out that it is not surprising since Abrams is an experienced designer and even did some of the design work on his debut film Mission Impossible III. It is surprising when you consider that in July Abrams was co-writing Star Trek XI, signed two Hollywood megadeals, co-wrote a script for Lost, and put the finishing touches on the MI:3 DVDs. This shows a serious hands on approch for Abrams. The possible hints he embedded in his design truly make it live up to the description of ‘teaser’.
CNBC’s ‘On the Money‘ show took a trip to the Vegas Con to see just how much money there was in Star Trek. Their conclusion…A LOT. They estimate that the franchise has been worth $4 Billion for Paramount. A recent unnamed source from Paramount has caused a bit of a stir with his not too favorable comments to IESB about the Trek Franchise, but CBS Paramount VP John Wentworth goes on the record with CNBC: Star Trek is certainly more than a show, more than a movie. It is more than an auction, it’s more than a theme park, collectively it is just the most successful franchise I’ve ever seen in entertainment
One thing was clear from watching last night’s Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner, the classic series Star Trek still endures and is truely part of our social fabric. One really can’t imagine a roast of any other Trek actor…even Stewart. Shatner and Kirk are truely legendary. JJ Abrams is on the right track by bringing back Kirk and Spock. Speaking of Spock, the show started off with this taped bit with Shatner and Leonard Nimoy… (click ‘more’ for additional videos)
As expected, there was no real news from the Official Star Trek Convention in Vegas, but our friend ‘davidoflondon tips us off to what some of the Trek luminaries were saying about it. Captain Kirk himself William Shatner continued his fawning over Trek’s new master by saying “JJ Abrams is going to lift us on the wings of fantasy”…We get it Bill, you want to be in the movie. Shatner was joined by Mr. Spock himself on stage and Bill ribbed Nimoy about how the first pilot for Trek (shot with Jeffrey Hunter playing Captain Pike). Shatner referred to it as “the one you were in that didn’t sell”.
Ever wanted to do the ultimate Trekkie roadtrip? Want to know the best route from the Aquarium from Star Trek IV to the Vulcan’s landing spot in Star Trek First Contact? Well now you can with Google Maps Star Trek Places (You can also see think links on GoogleEarth) has been showing off their Trek related goodies at their booth at Official Trek Convention in Vegas. Google has also launched a special website for Trekkies that allows fans to share Trek related artwork. IT News Online has a full breakdown of the technology behind Google’s new Trek themed sites and projects. Google seems to really love Trek, this is from their press release: “Wherever and whenever science fiction fans gather, an appreciation of technology – and alien visitations – can’t be far behind…While in Las Vegas to help celebrate Star Trek‘s 40th anniversary, the Google booth will showcase these science fiction scenes and structures, created by users, highlighting intergalactic life.”
I am with Comic Book Guy when he says “of the four Star franchises: Wars, Trek, Gate and Search; Gate is easily my third favorite”. But Stargate has its moments, and in Simpsons-like fashion they celebrated their 200th episode with a very Treehouse Of Horror type set of stories and parodies…here is the Trek one The episode also parodied Team America, Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, and Farscape . One admirable quality of Stargate is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously (like that other show on SciFi Channel…Hey Ron I Kid I Kid…love BSG). vid thanks to rdascrapbook
As reported yesterday, Star Trek XI Writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman held a live chat about their next film The Transformers Movie. Unfortunately they did not take any questions regarding STXI. However they did reveal quite a bit about their writing process. Although Transfomers is based on a cartoon, they said they wanted the film to be ‘realistic’ and wanted it be accessible to fans and non-fans alike. Orci said: “we want everyone to be able to enjoy this film, young, old, girls, whoever”. It is likely that a similiar approach will be taken with Star Trek XI to expand it’s audience beyond the ‘Trekkie base’. One thing that was quite clear is that is these two are hardcore fans of the Transformers franchise and have loved it since they were kids. The pair discussed how they had originally pitched the idea to director Michael Bay (who they worked with on last year’s The Island). If these guys approach Trek with the respect and passion that they demonstrate with Transformers, then Trek XI is in good hands.
Tipster ‘davidoflondon‘ sends us a Trek XI tidbit from Yesterday’s events at the Official Star Trek Convention in Vegas. Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek: The Next Generation co-stars Brent Spiner (Data) and Jonathan Frakes (Riker) spoke to the fans and took some questions. As expected the subject of the next movie came up. When asked if Spiner’s character Data was really dead they said that it was up to Trek XI producer JJ Abrams. Well known for being jokesters, Frakes and Spiner put their tongues in cheeks when asked if Frakes would direct Trek XI. David reports: He (Frakes) said he was definitely going to and he wanted Brent to play every role. He said Brent does a particularly good Picard and Brent, of course, obliged with an impersonation of Patrick Stewart.
IESB‘s Robert Sanchez is reporting some inside info on how Paramount really view the Trek franchise and its future with JJ Abrams. The report starts off with a roundup of the latest Statements from William Shatner. If their sourcing is to be trusted Paramount is very up on Abrams, but not so much for Shatner. The unnamed ‘studio source’ is quoted as saying “Absolutely not” to there being a chance of the Shat showing up in Star Trek XI. IESB’s source went on to say quite a bit about the state of the Trek franchise and how Abrams’ Star Trek XI can bring Trek back: This is not just another Trek movie but instead a total reboot, we will see things that are similar to what is known in the Trek Universe but we will not be held to every aspect of the last 40 years. We are going to introduce Star Trek to a whole new generation and many more generations to come. We have total faith that J.J. and company will take Trek to a whole new level. Trek has been going downhill for the last 10 years and if we expect it to be around 20 years from now we will have to take some bold steps that might be controversial at first but we are sure to bring new fans to the dying franchise
It is really becoming Shatner Week around here isnt it? William Shatner talked to the Toronto Star about Star Trek XI and his latest novel. When asked to comment about rumors that JJ Abrams is planning on bringing back Kirk and Spock he had this to say: I don’t know about that…I’d heard a rumour that Matt Damon was signed (to play Kirk), but we don’t know if he is signed. I know nothing.” …but if Abrams phones him, Shatner would certainly take the call: Oh yeah…I would love to do it.”
William Shatner told "Extra" this weekend that ‘he’s ready to go’ if asked by JJ Abrams to be involved with Star Trek XI. Abrams may be looking for a new actor to play Kirk, but is rumored to have spoken to Shatner on at least one occasion. Shatner spent the rest of his evening being ‘roasted’ at a taping for Comedy Central. Lots of Trek at Shatner’s RoastIt seems that even though he is on a hit TV show and has a varied career, Shatner is still most known for his role as Captain Kirk. The Shat (see pic) was roasted in his captain’s chair from original series Star Trek. The show started off with a taped comedy video featuring Shatner trying to talk Leonard Nimoy into coming to the show…
One of the fanboy wet dreams for Star Trek XI is to have a single film with every single TV Trek Captain, something never done on big or small screen or even in book form. It appears JJ Abrams isn’t going to provide that wish fulfillment for the Trek’s return ot the big screen, but Bethesda Softworks is going to do it for Trek’s return to gaming this fall. Bethesda just announced: Surrounding the 40th Anniversary of STAR TREK, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew to Reprise Captain Roles for STAR TREK: Legacy™
JJ Abrams may be working on the New Kirk & Spock for Star Trek XI, but ‘Kirk & Spock Classic’ are still trekkin. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy showed up this week at TV Land to promote that network’s launch of Star Trek: The Original Series this fall (starting with a 40th anniversary Marathon on September 8th). Here are some photos from AP and Reuters:
Variety first announced Star Trek XI with this sentence “J.J. Abrams is becoming the next Gene Roddenberry.”, referring to the late creator of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as producer and co-writer of the first Trek feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In the recently reported debate, Free Enterprise producers (and big time Trekkies) Rob Burnett and Mark Altman agreed on one thing: Paramount did the right thing by bringing in a new team headed by JJ Abrams. Burnett went on to say that Abrams and his team “bring Star Trek creative blood not seen since Nicholas Meyer“. Meyer is the writer and/or director of the Trek classics Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. So which is he…the new Roddenberry or the new Meyer?
Paramount has chosen Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams’ debut film to make a bit of Hollywood history. According to the industry trades, Mission Impossible III (which Abrams directed and co-wrote) is to be the first film to be simultaneously released on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray as well as regular DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment honcho Meagan Burrows has high praise for Abrams’ film: ” ‘M:I-3’ set a new standard for action films and is setting a new standard for the home entertainment experience.”
Last month we reported highlights of a TV Guide interview with Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams. The full interview is now online at TVGuide.com. A few websites are picking up this interview as a new, but it is actually the same interview from last month (just now in web form). If you saw the earlier report, then there is no new information. Regardless, it is a good read to get a bit more insight into the man who has Star Trek’s future in his hands. The following are the highlights in easy to digest bullet points: Scifi show influences: Twilight Zone and The Prisoner Favorite: Twilight Zone (fave episode: “Where is Everybody”) Considers Lost to be ‘Scifi’…kept this secret from ABC Will be more involved in Lost Season 3 than Season 2 Describes being involved with Trek ‘surreal but wonderful’ Fan of Star Trek (Original Series) and Star Trek: The Next Generation, not so much others (DS9, VOY, ENT) Has all DVD’s of all Trek series Would only take Trek if Paramount had ‘open mind’ Still wont talk specifics yet In the middle of “breaking the story” (NOTE: at time of interview last month) Wants to start film production sooner rather than later, but not until ready STXI Story ‘honors canon’ but is ‘nothing seen before’ Respects Trek fans, has learned a lot from Lost fans Believes Trek endures because of ‘it’s characters and emotional connection’
Some Star Trek XI numbers 2…ranking of ‘TOS’ for preferred setting of STXI on new SciFi Wire poll (#1 ‘something new’) 2…ranking of ‘Matt Damon’ for the preferred new Kirk in a StarTrek.com poll (#1 ‘total unknown’) 5 (out of 5)… STXI’s level on Cinemablend ‘excite-o-meter’. 7…ranking of STXI on Cinescape top 10 movies in development Did someone mention Matt Damon? According to Moviehole, he has pulled out playing the title role in the Lance Armstrong biopic, to be replaced by Jake Gyllenhall. The reason given is ‘his busy schedule’. Matt will be filming Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum through the winter. Leaving his spring wide open…JJ Will Paramount bring back the Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest at the same time its bringing back Trek itself? Tim Allen tells the SciFi Wire that a sequel idea has been presented to Dreamworks (now part of Paramount). Never give up, never surrender Tim.
Trekkies want to know: when and where exactly is Star Trek XI going to be set? The teaser poster and the few comments from the film’s creators have led us to expect a prequel to Original Series, but that leaves a lot of room. Much of the speculation to date has focused on the rumor of a ‘Cadet Kirk’ and an Academy setting. When the Matt Damon as Kirk rumor surfaced many scratched their heads tyring to put the two rumors together (eg: a mid 30s actor playing a cadet) . Well the Trek XI Report might be able to clear that up with a little tip from a trustworthy insider who reports: Star Trek XI will feature the first voyage of Kirk as captain of the Enterprise. This report makes the Matt Damon report make a lot more sense (he is about the same age as Shatner was during the Original Series). This could also fit within Star Trek history since Kirk’s first mission on the Enterprise was never depicted on either the Original Series or in any of the 7 movies with the Kirk character.
The new Star Trek movie is still two years away but it has already has it’s very own ‘dancing baby’; in the form of a very angry Captain Kirk. Wherever people are talking about the new movie, invariably you will find a link to the ‘Shatner Is Kirk’ page at ytmnd.com (a community-based site where users upload various humorous animations and videos). Since its creation 3 weeks ago, the vid has been viewed over 65,000 times. You will often see links to the ‘Shatner Is Kirk’ page posted by those arguing against any actor (including Matt Damon) filling William Shatner’s space boots. Clearly it’s maker was sending a message that he joins in their ‘anti-recasting’ cause…or does he? The Trek XI Report talked to the man behind this internet hit, and he wants to “set the record straight”.
Trek XI Report’s campaign for IMDB accuracy pays off As reported here yesterday, the Matt Damon rumor went into overdrive after IMDB seemingly confirmed Damon would be the new Kirk. The internet feeding frenzy surrounding this got picked up by the Wall Street Journal who contacted IMDB, JJ Abrams and others involved in the story (including yours truly at the Trek Movie Report). The Amazon spokesman (IMDB’s parent company) claimed they usually get their info from studios, but when pressed he admitted that for Trek XI they were using ‘published reports’ (aka ‘rumors’). IMDB couldn’t even identify what reports they used for their Star Trek XI page, and the studio refused to confrim the cast and plot IMDB published (as Stephen Colbert would say: “Nailed!”). As a result, IMDB have downgraded Damon to ‘rumor’, removed the reference to ‘Captain’ Kirk, and removed the rumored Starfleet Academy plot summary…exactly as suggested by the TMR. Unfortunately the other errors we noted (compser, SFX, etc) haven’t been fixed…so IMDB you are still ON NOTICE.
Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett (the team behind the 1998 cult hit Free Enterprise) may be friends but they don’t see eye to eye on Star Trek XI. Their semi-autobiographical indie film about two struggling filmmakers who meet their childhood hero William Shatner (who plays himself) demonstrates that these two take their Star Trek very seriously. In the latest issue of CFQ (of which Altman is a co-Publisher) the pair square off…
The Matt Damon buzz keeps on going, just today Slashdot and Metafilter are ‘reporting’ that IMDB is ‘reporting’ that Damon will play Kirk. Astute readers of both quickly put up links to The Trek Movie.com IMDB Corrections article. To our knowledge it is still officially a rumor…if that changes, Trek XI Report readers will be the first to know. Star Trek Enteprise vet and avowed Trek fan Daniel Dae Kim tells IGN that he gave some advice to Trek XI producer JJ Abrams: "Dont blow it" and "make sure the ships are cool"…we agree. Lost co-star Jorge Garcia suggests he, Kim and Abrams’ pal Greg Grunberg can all don alien makeup for a ‘star wars style cantina scene’. Garcia as a Horta anyone?(tip to TrekWeb)