Tuesday, February 27, 2007

JJ Abrams To Direct Star Trek Relaunch

Everybody knew he was producing it, and co-writing it, but he had an option to direct, and on Friday night, he exercised that option. This means that a) he's happy with the script and b) Paramount--also happy with the script--has agreed to pony up a budget in the $125-150 million dollar range (similar to MI:III).

In other words, they're basically doubling the budget of the last, most expensive Trek film -- Nemesis -- which flopped miserably at the box office. (Only 'cause it sucked.)

Anyway... Christmas *Day*?

Interesting release date, one usually reserved for Oscar qualification -- but obviously, that's not why they put it there. This is not one of those kinds of pictures.

Maybe they put it there because they wanted a big Holiday weekend to open -- but also wanted to limit their risk by avoiding the competition it would face on Thanksgiving, or Memorial Day of July 4. I'm sure this will be the only big budget genre picture opening on Christmas Day.

Then again, what kind of January will it have?

And I don't know if I can get to the movies on Christmas Day. #*&#$@!! I suppose I'll have to find a way. (It'll be a good excuse to get away from certain family members, that's for sure.)

Still no word on plot--beyond the fact that it will feature Kirk and Spock's first meeting and first mission together--but we should hear about casting in the next couple of months. I'm still hoping for Matt Damon as the new Kirk, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Bones. Spock is a rough one to cast. Christian Bale would be great, but he's a little busy with that *other* franchise. What do you guys think?

Below is the press release.

J.J. ABRAMS TO DIRECT STAR TREK FEATURE FILM FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES IN THEATERS CHRISTMAS DAY 2008

HOLLYWOOD, CA, February 26, 2007 – “Star Trek,” one of the most popular and successful franchises in the history of movies and television, returns to the big screen under the creative vision of J.J. Abrams, the force behind “Lost,” “Alias” and “Mission Impossible III” for Paramount Pictures.

The team behind the film will include Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (‘Mission Impossible III”) who wrote the screenplay and will executive produce with Bryan Burk. JJ Abrams and “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof will produce. The film will begin shooting this fall for a Christmas Day 2008 release.

“If there’s something I’m dying to see, it’s the brilliance and optimism of Roddenberry’s world brought back to the big screen,” said Abrams. “Alex and Bob wrote an amazing script that embraces and respects Trek canon, but charts its own course. Our goal is to make a picture for everyone — life-long fans and the uninitiated. Needless to say, I am honored and excited to be part of this next chapter of Star Trek.”

Brad Grey, chairman and CEO, Paramount Pictures, said, “We could not be more thrilled to be back in business with J.J. Abrams. The revival of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is an important part of Paramount’s turnaround.”

6 Comments:

Blogger Mark G. said...

If I remember correctly, Star Trek IV opened around Thanksgiving and went on to do very good. Maybe Christmas will work out for ST:IX. If they can pull off this new ST flick, I'll be surprised.

3/1/07, 10:03 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

It's Star Trek XI, actually -- Can you believe it?

>>If they can pull off this new ST flick, I'll be surprised<<

Do you know this team's work? They're very, very good -- Abrams is particularly strong with pilots (Alias remains my favorite pilot of all time), and that's what this will be: a pilot in feature film form. A lot of what Abrams, Lindelof, Kurtzman & Orci have done on other shows is directly inspired by Trek (and Spielberg), so this is like them getting to play in the source sandbox.

If they *don't* pull it off, I'll be surprised.

3/3/07, 7:35 PM  
Blogger Mark G. said...

Oops! XI. Damn Roman numerals! ;-)

I recall Harve Bennett wanting to do an Academy days Kirk and Spock movie. This was either during the filming of Star Trek V or shortly after. Those in charge wanted to keep using the regular cast and didn't want younger actors so Bennett's idea was shot down. Bennett did so much good for Star Trek so I wonder what might have been had his ideas been accepted.

Anyway, I'll try to keep an open mind about the next film, but ever since Nemesis and the Enterprise TV series, I've become cynical about Star Trek. I remember everyone thinking Nemesis was going to be a such a wonderful film since Stuart Baird and John Logan were involved. They had the TNG cast and the Romulans to work with yet they still managed to produce a dud.

I would think the biggest challenge the new producers face is trying to find two actors who have the same on screen chemistry as Shatner and Nimoy.

3/4/07, 2:26 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I agree, casting will be huge for this. They shouldn't go with unknowns, they should go with A-listers who can open movies on their own.

I think Matt Damon would be perfect as Kirk, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Bones (Abrams is the one who convinced Hoffman to play the heavy in MI:III, so this is not as outlandish as it sounds. I think Hoffman is ready to make some money.)

But nobody jumps out at me for Spock -- Nobody available that is. (I'd love Christian Bale, but something tells me he's busy.) A lot of people are suggesting Adrien Brody -- which I think could work.

BTW, none of these interviews or press releases have said the movie will be set at Starfleet Academy (in fact, Bennett has said he will sue if it is), only that the movie will show us how Kirk and Spock, et al, first met at the Academy.

They also say that the story will feature their first adventure together -- but I doubt the movie will be about the adventures of Cadet Kirk. It's a *Star Trek* movie -- It has to, IMO, be set on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, with Kirk in the center seat.

In order to do both, they'll have to use flashbacks -- and bear in mind, this crew has always been flashback-happy. Look at Lost.

I think the Trek film will be very similar, structurally, to MI:III and the Alias pilot.

3/4/07, 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Huntington said...

Besides, if it's going to stick to the canon, it will have to work in the fact that Spock had been on the Enterprise years with Pike before Kirk was captain.

3/19/07, 4:56 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I don't think it *is* going to stick to canon. I think it's a remake, and they're saying what they're saying about it "fitting into established continuity" to placate the fans and avoid negative buzz of media stories talking about how upset the fans are. ('cause nobody else cares abotu that -- and even a lot of us fans don't).

3/28/07, 10:47 AM  

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