Story’s Been Broken, Film Not Seen As ‘A Second Act’
To this day, we’re still kind of stunned as to how much we enjoyed last summer’s reboot of “Star Trek.” Sure, it had its fair share of plot holes and silly moments (not that we want to kick this one off again — our post on our issues with the film still holds the record for most comments over at the old site), but its energy and sheer enthusiasm made it easily the best tentpole of last year, thanks to pitch-perfect casting, and outstanding direction from J.J. Abrams.
A sequel was greenlit fairly swiftly, with a June 29, 2012 release date set earlier this year, and thenwriters of the first film, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, have been working away on a script with producers Damon Lindelof and Abrams for some time, and spoke to Hero Complex yesterday to update on their progress; it all sounds fairly promising.
The writers share that, understandably, they feel more pressure than on the first film, with it having proved a success, but they seem to be embracing it, with Kurtzman saying that: “Part of what we have to do is listen to it all, ask a lot of questions about what people’s expectations are — and then let all of that go when we sit down to write. We need to find our way back to the same kind of vibe that we had when we wrote the first one: What do we want to see here? What moved us about “Trek?” Where can we go from where we left off?”
As we said, the original was a triumph of casting as much as anything, with the rather motley collection of TV veterans and relative unknowns, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana and John Cho, all proving to be not only perfect picks for their roles, but also to work like gangbusters together, and the writers seem to understand that their interplay is what’ll make a sequel work, with Orci saying: “So now you want the character stories to be good for everybody but also not just be there to be stories but also fit into the plot and be organic.”
Kurtzman continues, “We spend a lot of time talking about how — now that everyone is together — they all need really clear, defined moments. Moments that are specific to their characters, specific to the way they interact with each other and also build on the dynamic of those amazing, amazing actors. It’s going to be joy for us.”
It’s also refreshing that the film isn’t being seen as the middle chapter of a trilogy, as so many sequels are these days — when asked if the sequel would be a second act, taking its cues from “The Empire Strikes Back,” Orci responds “if you were thinking of this movie as a second act, yeah, you would think of it as an “Empire Strikes Back” sort of story, but I’m not sure we’re thinking of it as a second act,” while Kurtzman adds “[With the second] it becomes about this family that’s together, so now it becomes about the thing that shakes them up and challenges them.”
While we’re not fans of everything that Kurtzman & Orci do (they were, after all, credited on the heinous “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen“), they do have an undeniable knack for big-scale tentpole storytelling, and it sounds like they’re making the right moves on this one. The only concern is how early the script seems to be — the film’s meant to start shooting next summer, and Kurtzman’s making his directorial debut on the drama “Welcome To People,” with ‘Trek’ star Chris Pine in the lead, in the new year, so it’s possible another writer (pleasenotEhrenKrugerpleasenotEhrenKruger) will be brought in to put on the finishing touches.
It’s also worth noting that Hero Complex post a clarification at the bottom of their post, saying that “An earlier version of this post identified J.J. Abrams as the “Star Trek” sequel’s director. No director has been named.” While it certainly doesn’t mean that Abrams won’t direct it, he’s been very non-committal, and it seems increasingly possible that, as with the fourth “Mission Impossible,” the busiest man in Hollywood may hand the reins over to another helmer.