In today’s New York Times, Battlestar Galactica co-creator and longtime Trek writer/producer Ron Moore offers his thoughts on Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary. In his editorial Moore details now Trek ‘literally changed’ his life. Moore elaborates on how the actions of Kirk and his crew served as a reference for him as a young man. “Star Trek” painted a noble, heroic vision of the future, and that vision became my lodestar.
Articles by Anthony Pascale
Don’t forget boys and girls…today is the day (for many of you) to see the first episode of the remastered Star Trek The Original Series: ‘Balance of Terror’. Our stations & showtimes list has been updated again. Showtimes vary from this morning to Monday morning, and if you dont find your showtime…check local listings and then let us know! Some stations will also air ‘Miri’ at a special time this weekend, but if your local does not it will repeate it repeats later in the year. You can check the full list of episdoes air dates here. TrekMovie.com will have reviews of both ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘Miri’ hopefully by Monday. StarTrek.com has put up a brief promo vid for Balance of Terror (click to launch player) What did you think of Trek Remastered?if you have seen Balance or Miri, feel free to share your thoughts with fellow TrekMovie readers (just make a comment to this article)
IESB is reporting that Matt Damon ‘was quick to say he hadn’t heard anything about it’ in reference to him playing Kirk in JJ Abrams Star Trek XI. Damon’s publicist also told IESB "We’ve never heard anything on our end. I even called Endeavor, Matt’s agency, to see if they had heard anything – they hadn’t. There has been nothing from Paramount and I haven’t heard anything from JJ’s camp." The Damon as Kirk rumor was started months ago by Mark Malkin of the Insider and grew to monumental proportions when (briefly) IMDB listed Damon as being confirmed for the film (story). When TrekMovie.com asked Malkin about this he was quick to point out that he never claimed that Abrams and Damon were talking; only that Abrams was interested. And these latest comments from Damons publicist are essentially the same ones she gave the Wall Street Journal a month ago. TrekMovie.com did talk to a source inside Paramount about this who noted that that no one has been appraoched becuase (as we have reported here in the past) there is no script, no budget and no greenlight yet. So essentially no one can be approached for Star Trek XI formally.
Today the folks at williamshatner.com sent out an email special announcement: "SPECIAL NEWS EDITION: William Shatner on the Star Trek Movie." William Shatner has released a statement on the new Star Trek MovieBill has posted a short comment on the Star Trek movie on his website that we feel is important enough to send out an additional bulletin this week…. What was the big deal? It turns out it is just the rather oddly worded ‘gas’ comment from his forums which was reported here yesterday. For some reason Shatner and/or his people feel this is so important that every knows his vews on ‘the gas coming from Abrams.’ It does seem a bit strange after weeks of Shatner talking up JJ Abrams every time he was interviewed or appeared at a convention that he feels this comment must get out to everyone.
The Akron Beacon Journal spoke to Leonard Nimoy yesterday mostly about is photography, but he dropped a couple of Trek bombshells on the way. On whether or not (if asked) he would reprise his role as Spock in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek XI he said he would be willing "if I thought they had a project of merit". One would also imagine that (as Nimoy and Shatner have recenlty joked about) Abrams would also have to ‘meet his price’. But the Beacon reports he wasn’t so optimistic on Trek Remastered: …he also worried about a newly enhanced version of the original series…Nimoy, who has not seen the new version, said at first that he thought the changes were simply sprucing up the colors and clarity of the show, and that was fine. Told the new version also had computer-updated images of the starships and other new details, he said, “Shame on them.”
In recent weeks William Shatner has been quite chatty about Star Trek XI and producer JJ Abrams. 10 days ago in Toronto he said he thought Abrams would revive the franchise and spoke about how Abrams wanted to talk to both he and Leonard Nimoy. Then last weekend in Chicago he told a convention audience he had indeed spoken to Abrams last Friday and was planning on meeting him this week. He repeated hints that he may be involved in Star Trek XI to another audience in Sacramento on Sunday. Just this Tuesday he posted the following on the front page of his offical website On Star Trek’s 40th: Forty years of age, as far as I’m concerned, is still a child. STAR TREK is in its infancy-wait until We Really Get Going.- My Best, Bill ‘we really get going’…is Shatner including himself in that future? But early this morning in his chat forums there is the following reply to queries about Abrams:
When word of Star Trek Remastered hit the web last week, very often discussion mented the name Daren Dochterman. It was a reasonable to speculate that Dochterman was inovled in the new project since he was the digital effects supervisor for ‘Director’s Edition’ of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and had recently launced TrekEnhanced a site dedicated to the notion of adding CGI effects to the original series. The speculation of his involvement was so rampant that after the official announcement from CBS, Dochterman issued an official statement to tell fans that although he had pitched, he wasn’t involved. TrekMovie.com decided to give Daren a ring and talk to him about his history with Trek and the new Trek Remastered project.
Recently some video popped up of Garrett Wang (VOY: Ens. Kim)talking at a con about the future of Trek and long-time Trek producer Rick Berman‘s place within it. Wang said of Berman "his contract is almost up and Paramount is waiting for that contract to end before they proceed with the next Star Trek television creation, because they don’t want him there anymore". Marina Sirtis (TNG: Cmdr. Troi) is also on the video and appears to be agreeing with Wang’s assessment. This meme is something that has been seen around fandom and is something that TrekMovie.com has heard from a few Trek insiders, but more as a ‘rumor’. When TrekMovie.com contacted a studio source who is working on Trek XI about this, the source said it is not true and and made it very clear that Rick Berman does not (and will not ever) have anything to do with Star Trek XI. TrekMovie.com has also confirmed with CBS that Rick Berman has nothing to do with Star Trek Remastered. It is true however that Rick Berman’s contract ends later this year.
TrekBBS friend Sean brings TrekMovie this new con report: Nimoy and Shatner Look Back, Express Hope for the Future Two legends, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, shared the stage on Sunday to celebrate Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary at Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Sacramento, California. As usual, they didn’t disappoint the sold out audience gathered to hear them share their memories of the franchise. Nimoy appeared first, looking fit and happy. He shared with the audience that he had “been contacted” by JJ Abrams, director of Star Trek XI. He did not go into anymore detail, except to express positive impressions of Abrams and hope for the film. One audience member asked him if the movie was supposed to be about a young Spock, would Nimoy consider an offer to play Sarek? After a brief pause, Nimoy said “Someone get Abrams on the phone right away!” Nimoy went on to say in all seriousness, that he was retired from the movie business, preferring to focus on his photography and spending time with his family. When it came time for Shatner’s appearance, he began with the statement that, although there was no Star Trek right now, “Something is in the wind. Something exciting.” He was referring obviously to the new movie, and also had praise for Abrams. “He seems to be a bright and talented young man.” Shatner said he did not know whether or not he would be asked to appear in the film, but did not rule out an appearance.
In their recent press call, CBS said they would give Star Trek Remastered a promotional push. Well that push has started. At a number of Con this weekend (more on that soon), CBS showed a new trailer that they have also put up on YouTube. UPDATE: TrekMovie.com now has a higher res version available as a download …and stations across the country are also starting to show promos…here are a couple from WWME (Chicago)
As mentioned here earlier, CBS was planning on putting more behind the scenes stuff up on YouTube…the two short vids up so far are taken from the same source as the vid put up on StarTrek.com, but some is new
As mentioned in a previous article, the Emmy Award winning team at EdenFX love Star Trek. Although CBS decided to go in-house for Star Trek Remastered, the team are still inspired to play with their Enterprise models. Eden sent over some of their ‘fun shots’ as a 40th birthday present for their fellow Trekkies…try not to drool. NOTE: These are shots being done independently of CBS and Star Trek Remastered. (click on the pics to see them full sized)
There are many things being said today about the history of Trek…I won’t bore you with another, just a quick personal reflection I have had a lifelong affinity and connection to Star Trek, we both arrived in the world in 1966, and since I can remember I have loved Trek. I know for many that Trek was an inspiration to become an engineer or even an astronaut, and others learned valuable life lessons from it’s vision of the future. For me, however, it has always been an escape, in a way the United Federation of Planets was a home away from home. Whether it was watching an old episode or film, reading a book, or playing a game, I always had a place to go for a couple hours and leave the world behind. In recent years it looked like there might not be any new additions to my ‘other home’; Trek was disappearing from gaming, comics, the big screen and the small screen. I must admit that I feared for Trek’s future, but just recently it has shown new life and proved that it still endures. I look forward to visiting my ‘other home’ in Star Trek Online and Star Trek Legacy, watching the remastered Original Series, and reading the new books and comics. And in 2 years a fellow 1966 child JJ Abrams will bring me and you Star Trek XI, and Trek will be back in a big way. And that is what this site is all about: the future of Star Trek; it is merely 40 years young. – Anthony Pascale, editor Trek Movie Report Star Trek at 40 Celebrations at:TV.com, StarTrek.com, Ex Astris Scientia, Soul of Star Trek, SyFy Portal, TV Land, the BBC, TV Squad, Wired and more
CNN have put up an article including 3 video clips of an interview with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. It appears the interview was done a few weeks ago at the time of the TV Land Launch. One of the questions was about younger audiences accepting the original effects, to which Shatner said that ST audiences “ignore the primitive effects” and Nimoy quipped “the audience is in it for the stories and we had good stories.” Ironically, just yesterday the President of CBS Paramount Television said that it was ‘imperative’ to update the ‘primitive effects’ for the younger audiences. For the most part it seemed hard for the interviewer to get a straight answer out of the pair, but the subject of Star Trek XI did come up. When asked if Paramount should just ‘declare victory’ and stop making new Star Trek, the actors mocked the question saying sarcastically “so you want Paramount to say we’ve made enough money?”. On the notion of Paramount recasting their characters, Nimoy said “I think they should” and again Shatner responded with a joke saying “I on the other hand, resent it totally.” When asked specifically about Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams, Nimoy commented “he is very talented,” going on to say “We will help anyway we can.” Shatner added “as long as they can meet Leonard’s price.” Again it is worth noting that Shatner and Nimoy continue to talk up Trek XI and take it as a given that their original characters will be recast. They also had some good anecdotes about the animated series and even John Wayne. Check out CNN for the article, partial transcript and links to video. .
It seems that there may be a rocky road ahead for Brad Grey, the man who brought JJ Abrams into the Paramount family and agreed to hand him the keys to Star Trek. If you haven’t heard already, Viacom Chairman and part-time Cryptkeeper Sumner Redstone fired Grey’s boss, Viacom CEO Tom Freston yesterday. It was Freston who had brought Grey on board a year ago and the word on Wall Street is that the axe may continue to fall…possibly into Grey’s neck. This has not been a good year for Paramount Pictures and Viacom stock has been falling (it fell 5% yesterday alone). It appears the split up of Viacom hasn’t worked out the way Redstone had planned, and he is pinning the blame on Freston. And it appears he isn’t too happy with Grey, recently Redstone cut Grey’s negotiations with Tom Cruise off and kicked Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner off the lot. Cruise and Waner were the ones who brought Abrams to Grey’s attention after hiring him for MI3. The question for TrekMovie.com is, what is the shake-up at Viacom and Paramount do to the Star Trek XI project. Sources inside Paramount tell us that technically the project is not officially ‘greenlit’ and does not yet have a budget. This is not unusual because the script is still being worked on, but so far work just falls under Abrams overall 5 year deal and not part of a full-blown Trek XI development project. The project is still at a stage where it wouldn’t cost the studio a lot to put it on hold or kill it outright.
This morning CBS Paramount held a telephone press conference with Star Trek Remastered producers David Rossi, Mike Okuda and CBS Paramount Domestic Television President John Nogawski. Although the call covered a number of issues, the CBS team wanted it to be clear that Star Trek Remastered was about improving quality and not about changes to the narrative of Star Trek. “We are not changing the story,” said Okuda “We are passionate about Star Trek and are just enhancing the experience”. Nogawksi discussed their reasoning behind the project saying that with a new generation being brought up with HDTV it was ‘imperative’ that they update the classic series. Mike Okuda said that like Rossi he was initially reluctant, but after he was assured that CBS wanted to preserve the shows original intent he became very enthusiastic. Okuda and Rossi went into detail on how every new CGI shot will mimic the original choices made the original editors and director, right down to the placement of stars. “We think of the original show like a period piece,” said Okuda. The producers said that they have been checking out fan response on various Trek boards and felt that their respectful approach has gone over well.
As with anything regarding Trek, news of the newly remastered Star Trek: The Original Series with new CGI effects has sparked much debate amongst Trekkies, pitting enhancement advocates against Trek ‘purists’. Today on G4’s Attack of the Show, Star Trek Remastered producer David Rossi debated the project with Geek magazine editor (and contributor to the new ‘Star Trek Constellations‘ book) Jeff Bond. Rossi began by saying that he considers himself a ‘purist’ and would have been against the project years ago, but after seeing how younger audiences ‘snicker’ at the old effects he feels the show needs a facelift. “There is no reason why a ten year old shouldn’t be able to to sit down and get immersed into the show and realize that Captain Kirk and the crew and the Enterprise are kick ass,” argued Rossi.
It would appear the answers to questions about the future of Star Trek Enterprise in syndication and where one can find the newly remasted Original Series are related. The Trek Movie Report has confirmed what many have suspected, CBS Paramount Television will no longer send Enterprise episodes to stations currently running the show. Staring Sept 16th CBS will begin providing remastered Star Trek The Original Series episodes. Star Trek Enteprise began it’s life in syndication in September of 2005, 4 months after the end of it’s fourth and final season on UPN. In it’s first year CBS Paramount ran 26 episodes, the last of which ‘Regeneration’ will air this upcoming weekend. CBS Paramount will be sending out 35-40 episodes of the remastered Star Trek: The Original Series in each of the next two years allowing them to run through the entire series by the end of the original 3 year syndication deals. Stations that were airing Enterprise were informed of the coming change over the summer. Although it is leaving broadcast syndication, fans of Star Trek Enterprise will be able to find the show on both HDNet and SciFi channel staring this fall. And of course all 4 seasons are availble on DVD.
I’ve got a few con reports from today’s Toronto Fan Expo regarding Abrams, Nimoy and Shatner. At the con, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner stated that their representitives have been contacted by the office of Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams. Apparently JJ wants to to talk and has requested their home numbers. Nimoy said he gave his out and is awaiting JJ’s call. Shatner, who had brought the subject of Abrams up, joked that he wasn’t ready to talk to the man who was ‘going to revive the franchise’. Shatner in recent weeks has made many glowing comments about Abrams and about wanting to be in Trek XI…we suspect he will take Abrams call.UPDATE: Video from inside the room from John at the MovieBlog
Since breaking the story on Star Trek going HD, TrekMovie.com has been trying to get more and more updates to keep answering the questions coming from the fans. One burning question was about the ratio, will it be formatted for HD TVs in 16:9, or as originally formatted in a 4:3 ratio, or both. Many thought that after seeing the Eden test it might be in 16:9 widescreen, but the official CBS photo is in 4:3. Now we have that info and some more directly from CBS Paramount: Ratio: 4:3 (no letterboxing on regular TVs, ‘windowboxing’ on HDTVs) Countries: USA only Episodes/yr: 40 (one new episode per week, with some repeats) First Episodes: “Balance of Terror”, “Miri”, “The Devil in the Dark”, and “The Naked Time” Station List: TBA (only ‘handful’ will broadcast in HD) Runtime: TBA (not original 51 minutes, will be edited down for commercials) New TOS In HD Section There is a new “TOS In HD” page which will have all the details on the new project, it will be updated regularly.
TMR got a tip that was so outlandish yet so detailed that we had to follow it up. We were told that a San Antonio modern rock band called ‘Electric Crush‘ were signed on to provide music for Star Trek XI, and specifically that they would be recording a Star Trek XI music video in L.A. on September 30th. This seemed like a joke and of course Trek XI composer Mike Giacchino has said he wont start working on the score for quite some time, but the tip’s specificity was curious. TMR contacted the band’s manager Keith Chester just for the hell of it and got a big shock when he asked “how did you find out?”. He went on to say, “yeah it’s for the new movie called ‘Of Gods and Men’”…and then it all made sense. Of Gods And Men is the much anticipated new independent (unlicensed) Star Trek movie with a cast and crew that includes a number of former Trek stars and writers. The Trek Report has confirmed the story with Sky Conway the producer and co-writer of the new fan film. Electric Crush will be filming a music video of their song ‘Taking Away’ on the set of ‘Of Gods and Men’ in late September. The song will also appear in at least one of the webisodes and any possible ‘behind the scenes’ DVDs. The first of three Of Gods and Men webisodes will be available in December at an internet near you.
Over the last week The Trek Movie Report has got a number of tips regarding an article in the new Star Trek Magazine titled “Blank Slate / New Film Producers Deny Kirk and Spock Recasting Rumors”. Coming from the officially licensed Star Trek magazine this at first did seem like significant news. A few other websites ran ‘news’ that the Kirk and Spock recasting rumor had been ‘officially denied’, but the Trek Movie Report noticed something a bit familiar to the story and decided to dig deeper. After speaking to one of the editors at Titan Publishing it is clear that the headline was not based on any recent conversations Star Trek Magazine had with any Trek XI producers. Although Titan (who also publish the official magazines for both Lost and Alias in addition to the Star Trek Mag) work with Trek XI and Lost producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof regularly, the editor confirms that they were not contacted for that particular article. “As far as we know Paramount have a policy to not confirm or deny any plot details on Trek XI and our article was trying to convey that” said the editor.
Four days ago we reported Leonard Nimoy had told the Toronto Star ” I do, by contract, have the right to approve the casting” (for a recasted Spock). Well this bombshell ran around the internet and raised 4 key questions: Is this true? Does it apply to Shatner too? Is this an old contract? What power does he (do they) really have? Yes/Yes/No/Some According to a Paramount source it is indeed true: “I can tell you what Nimoy said is accurate, and it applies to Shatner too”. The source also confirmed that no other Trek actor (including ones no longer alive) has the same deal, just Nimoy and Shatner. For the third question, a reasonable assumption would be that these must be old contracts from their heyday in the 80s or maybe during the run-up to Star Trek VI (the last time Paramount considered recasting Kirk and Spock). As it turns out, according to the source, the contracts are brand spanking new and related specifically to Star Trek XI. Which begs the obvious question…why on earth would Paramount and JJ Abrams go out of their way to hand over casting veto power to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy?
One company that vied for the CGI effects work on the new HDTV Trek project was EdenFX. The L.A.-based digital effects house has a long relationship Paramount and Star Trek dating back to the 90s. The team has racked up a couple dozen Emmy’s for their Trek work, most recently in 2004 for Star Trek: Enterprise. Last year when Eden created a digital version of a ship from Kirk’s era for the ‘In A Mirror Darkly’ arc, fans got a taste of what the classic Trek might look like with state-of-the-art visual effects on HDTV . When word of a new HD Star Trek: The Original Series project started going around town, EdenFX was on the scene immediately. The company quickly put together a bid including test footage (see below). In the end CBS decided to do the initial CGI work in-house. However, EdenFX owner John Gross is still optimistic they can be part of HDTV Trek as the project goes along. CBS Paramount has committed to deliver ‘new’ episodes on a weekly basis, so it sounds like there is a lot of work to do over the next two years. EdenFX Test video (QuickTime – opens new window)
You heard it here first CBS Paramount are now confirming that Star Trek: The Original Series is coming to a HDTV near you, a story first broke by the Trek Movie Report earlier this week. TV Guide has the details, but they are pretty much what has been reported here: TOS remastered for HDTV Syndication No DVDs New CGI effects for space shots and static paintings Static paintings will add some new animation and details Will ‘honor original’, but fixes some ‘goofs’ Original title music re-recorded Starts Sept 16th First episode “Balance of Terror” One episode per week (out of order) over next two years
Star Trek’s return to video games this fall has been shaping up to be a fanboy fantasy. Not only will ‘Star Trek Legacy’ feature a story written by Trek vet DC Fontana, it includes voicework from all 5 Trek Captains (Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). Fans could have reasonably assumed that the epic story spanning the entire Star Trek timeline would include some or all of the classic battles from the Movies and TV shows, such as Kirk’s epic battle with Khan in Star Trek II. In fact, the game’s publisher Bethesda has used the Wrath of Khan battle to demonstrate the game at E3 (see video). But Bethesda developer ‘Gary’ has thrown some cold water on this notion, from the official forums:
It should be no surprise that people want in to Star Trek XI, here are this week’s entries: Star Trek: Voyager‘s Kate Mulgrew (Janeway) told a crowd at Vegas Con that not only does she want to play ‘Admiral Janeway’ again, but she thinks it will happen. Totally Kate reports her as saying: "I think maybe they will do it. This is the fortieth anniversary. Who knows? By the sixtieth all the captains may have come together in some motion picture. With any luck they will." Keep sitting by the phone Kate. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes (Riker) seems to be a fan of Trek XI prodcuer J.J. Abrams, telling Star Trek magazine "I’m addicted to Lost". He also put in a pitch for another shot at the Trek director’s chair, telling the mag that he hopes Abrams is too busy to direct (Abrams has said he will probably direct, but he does have a lot of stuff on his plate). After Star Trek: Insurrection, not sure Paramount is ready to hand back the keys.
News of Star Trek: The Original Series coming to HDTV with new CGI effects has swept the interweb today from G4TV to Slashdot to dozens of forums in the geekosphere. The news is promting a lot of questions and speculation; The Trek Movie Report has learned some more details that should answer some of those questions: Broadcasts start in mid/late September No DVD (or HD-DVD or BluRay) release in the near future Episodes will NOT air in the original production order (nor original airing order) First episode will (probably) be “Balance Of Terror“ CGI Trek Videos on YouTube (here and here) are not related to this project TV Land and G4 will continue to show ‘classic’ Trek in standard 4:3 ratio Again since this is not official some details may change when finally announced by CBS Paramount, which should be soon (they only have a few days until Trek’s 40th B-Day!)
Star Trek XI honcho JJ Abrams got the notice of Paramount after his deft work on Mission Impossible III. Although it made $400M a sequel seemed highly unlikely after Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone very publicly booted Tom Cruise off the Paramount lot last week. However, in an interview with Newsweek, Paramount chief Brad Grey offers an olive branch. “I still admire Tom Cruise, he is a huge movie star and a great actor and I’m sure we’ll work together in the future,” said Grey. Even stranger, the Cruise camp seems open to working with Paramount and even an ‘MI4’. Cruise’s producing partner Paula Wagner tells Newsweek “If it’s the right script why not?…we created that franchise”. If this ever happens one could assume that all parties would want Abrams back in the big chair, Cruise himself delayed MI3 for over a year to wait until Abrams was ready for his big debut. Let’s just hope that any MI4 project does not bump into Star Trek XI…that other little Paramount franchise Abrams is working on.
Leonard Nimoy spoke to the Ottawa Sun about his upcoming appearance at Fan Expo Canada and took the opportunity to expand on his recent comments about Trek XI. As someone who has been around the block with Trek, he sees a lot of similarities between today and the 70s before Star Trek: The Motion Picture, telling the Sun “there was this great demand and no product.” Nimoy now reveals that both he and William Shatner have been contacted by Paramount regarding Star Trek XI, and he speculated as to why they have been showing renewed interest in the original Kirk and Spock. The head of production at Paramount called my agency to tell them about this project and they are aware of Bill’s and my contribution to the franchise, and they’d like us to know they might want some involvement. It was all very, very general…They might possibly want Bill and I to set up the story as a flashback. But that’s just conjecture on my part.