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
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.
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)
A few weeks ago the Insider’s Marc Malkin reported that Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams‘ wife Katie Mc Grath pulled off a last minute surprise party for JJ’s 40th Birthday. Guests (who varied from Don Rickles to Richard Lewis to the Tom Cruise himself) weren’t told where it was until just hours before it was to start. That story focused on the Tom/Katie/Suri angle so Malkin left something out, but he has sent it our way since we are all Trek XI all the time! Marc tells the Trek XI Report that in order to keep JJ from finding out about the party; he was told that he was going to a meeting with none other than William Shatner (Star Trek‘s original Kirk). Although that was just a ruse to keep Abrams from finding out about his party, it is intriguing that his people used a Shatner meeting as their choice for distractions. This is even more intriguing when one looks at the various comments being made by Shatner regarding Abrams and Star Trek XI.
[Trek XI Report Exclusive] Since their first announcement over 3 months ago, StarTrek.com hasnt had much content for Trek XI. Well that is all starting to change according to CBS Digital’s Sandy Stone (Content Producer for Star Trek.com), telling the Trek XI Report that StarTrek.com has been deemed the official site for Star Trek XI. The first evidence of this was last week when the first Star Trek XI teaser poster was announced on the site, as well as being made available for download. ‘StarTrek.com’ features prominently on the poster and will also adorn all future promotional materials, trailers, etc. This is all part of a new coordinated effort between CBS and Paramount Pictures (now separate companies after the split up of Viacom) . In addition the Trek XI section on ST.com has already been expanded to include some news and interview reprints, bios & photos of the creative team as well as some downloads. .. “and this is only the beginning” says Stone promising much more in terms of exclusive content.
In a live chat with fans on her official site, Marina Sirtis (TNG: Troi) didnt seem too happy with the direction Paramount is taking for Star Trek XI. "I agree with you all about the prequel, Gene Roddenberry always said that Star trek should go forward" she replied to the sentiments that the next Trek film should be set after Star Trek Nemesis, despite its disappointing box office. Her fans seem to want the new Trek film to focus on the Rikers abourd the Starship Titan. Star Trek Nemesis established that Sirtis’ Troi and Jonathan Frakes’ Riker were married and went off to have their own adventures. The Titan has become the basis for a series of popular Star Trek books.
IMDB is a fantastic resource for fans and film industry people alike. For films that have been completed it extremely accurate and can be relied upon. But for films development that is another story. People should remember that IMDB is like wiki in that most of the content is submitted by users (just like you). And it appears that Trekkies are a bit overzelous in their contributions because the IMDB entry for Star Trek XI is riddled with wild speculation and rumors and it appears to be getting worse. continue reading to get a full breakdown on what is real and what is myth…
Lost and Trek XI producer Damon Lindelof (pictured in the middle) was asked for a reaction on Lost not being nominated for Best Dramatic Series Emmy for its second season (after winning for its first season). Lindelof exclaimed “Battlestar Galactica didnt get nominated either and thats a great show”. Fellow Lost and STXI producer Bryan Burk (pictured on left), along with Lost producer Carlton Cuse (pictured on right) joined in on the praise agreeing with Lindelhof’s assessment…as did the crowd of Losties who applauded the mention of Galactica.
Todays Daily Variety has a 3 page spread on the 40th Anniversery of Star Trek with a number of articles. Most cover the history of the franchise, the fans and fanfilms. They also got Mr Abrams to talk about Trek XI. Abrams starts of by telling Variety that he started off working on Trek at his Bar mitzvah…because none other than Nicholas Meyer was in attendance! He again confirms that he will be working with his usual suspects (Burk, Lindelof, Orci, Kurtzman, etc) and again says that it is too early to talk about plot details and again cant confirm if he will direct. He reveals that Paramount has flooded the team with ‘every published Star Trek work’ including the books…now that must have been a big delivery. The team he says has a variety of levels of Trek fandom, calling himself a ‘big fan’ (but wont go so far as calling himself a ‘Trekker’), Orci ‘has immediate recall of all things Trek’ and Burk seems to be a newbie…giving them as he says ‘all points of view’
After months of not hearing anything now JJA is talking to everyone! This time it is TV Guide’s turn, but of course he is still being cagey about details on plot… refusing to confrim or deny ‘young Kirk and Spock’. He did reveal that he is a big fan of TOS and TNG, but no so much DS9, VOY and ENT. While die-hard Trekkies may balk at this, lets face it…that is pretty much standard based on the ratings. Here is the moneyshot: “We’re in the middle of breaking the story, and it’s coming along great,” Abrams said. “We have an incredible beginning of a really dramatic story, and it very much honors the canon of Star Trek. On the other hand, it won’t be like anything you’ve seen before.” He adds, “I’d be happy to start sooner than Paramount thinks, but not a moment before it’s ready.” So there you have it…soon, canon-friendly, but different…what more can you ask continue reading for the full text of the TV Guide interview and a comment JJA gave to Cinefantastique …
News of the JJ Abrams deal with Paramount and Warner TV hit the wires and the trades on Monday (2 days after your humble blogger brought you the news). For the most part the reports focus on how amazingly rich and powerful Mr. Abrams is about to become, but our favorite topic (Trek XI) is mentioned in almost every report…most like this tidbit in The Hollywood Reporter Abrams already is attached to direct and produce a revival of the "Star Trek" film franchise for Paramount, which is his first project under the new feature deal. but Variety (who were first with Trek XI news in April) has a bit more info on how Paramount views the Trek franchise and Abrams place in it:
Much has been made about the recent rumor reported by the Insider that JJ Abrams wants Matt Damon to be the next Captain Kirk. The original report specifically said that JJ Abrams sought and recieved Shatner’s blessing. Since then USA Today reported Shatner as OKing Damon as young Kirk, quoting him “”I think it’s great. The tragedy is that when somebody else is playing you younger, you’re really old.” Now StarTrek.com is getting into the mix saying sources ‘close to Shatner’ claim Abrams seeking his advice is ‘news to him’ going on to say he hasn’t heard anything from Abrams or the producers of Star Trek XI. So there you have it…clear as mud.
Was Trek the clincher? It has been reported that Paramount’s Brad Grey has been actively pursuing Lost co-creator and MI3 Writer/Director JJ Abrams to sign on with Paramount after his deal with Disney ended this summer. Although Abrams had many suitors (Sony, Disney, Warner, etc) Grey had something the other studios didnt…Star Trek. Grey went so far as sheving another scifi project (Jon Favreau’s John Carter of Mars ) in the pipeline for 2008 to make room for a new Trek feature. Getting hold of this venerable (but now dormant) scifi franchise was a fanboy dream and something it appears that Abrams and his band of brothergeeks couldn’t resist. On Saturday the LA Times is reported (reg required) that Paramount had finally got their man for Trek XI and beyond.