Despite raking in a worldwide gross of $465 million and nabbing an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek Into Darkness has been facing some considerably loud negativity over the past few months. Of course it doesn’t help when one of the writer/producers lambasts fans with a “fuck you” or when Paramount botches the Blu-ray release by spreading the special features out over various separate “exclusive” retail versions, but now director J.J. Abrams has spoken up about a different aspect of the film’s release that he felt personally affronted by: the loosely-related video game Star Trek. Hit the jump for his surprising comments on why the game “hurt” Into Darkness.
Digital Extremes released a third-person action-adventure video game called Star Trek this past April that used the likenesses of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto for Kirk and Spock, with the actors lending their voice talents to the roles themselves. The game didn’t follow the same story of the film and instead focused on the Gorn, but it was released to universally negative reviews.
“To me the video game could have been something that actually really benefited the series and was an exciting, fun game with great gameplay and instead it was not and was something that I think, for me, emotionally it hurt, because we were working our asses off making the movie and then this game came out and it got, this isn’t even my opinion, it got universally panned and I think that it was something without question that didn’t help the movie and arguably hurt it.”
Not only did Abrams feel personally hurt by the Star Trek video game that no one played, but he also thinks that its negative reviews somehow contributed to the negative perception of Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s tough to see how Abrams made the connection between the two, but to my mind the video game came and went almost unnoticed.
The fact that Abrams and Co. were initially involved in the development of the game and subsequently backed out over creative differences may have colored the filmmaker’s perception of said game, but it’s still a curious bit of commentary. Abrams will be too busy with Star Wars to direct the next Trek film, but he will still be involved as a producer and says he’d love to see the series go in a new direction with a different filmmaker. Hopefully we hear word on that front soon, though keeping Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman on to write the screenplay for Trek 3 does not bode well for a “fresh” or improved take.
Watch the video in which Abrams discusses the Star Trek video game below.