Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman talk STAR TREK SEQUEL Villain Ideas and COWBOYS AND ALIENS

     June 19, 2009

alex_kurtzman_and_bob_orci.jpgJust a few hours ago I was doing every “Star Trek” fan a favor…I was asking screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman what they were planning on doing in the sequel to the biggest film of the year. Yes, you read that right. “Star Trek” is the biggest domestic release with over $235 million dollars at the box office!

Anyway, the reason I got to ask them some questions is not only did they write “Trek”, but they also wrote the first “Transformers” movie and co-wrote the sequel. So at todays press junket for the second “Giant F*cking Robot Movie”, I managed to land another exclusive interview with two of the busiest writers in town and we talked about everything. In fact, we covered so many subjects that I’m breaking the interview into two parts.

In today’s post I’ve got everything they said on the “Star Trek” sequel and “Cowboys and Aliens”, and in the next one, expect info on their other movies, “Fringe”, and “Transformers Revenge of the Fallen”.

But let’s get to why you’re here…”Star Trek”. And it’s all after the jump:

Star Trek movie image Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto (1).jpgWhile I can often sum up everything that was talked about, if you’re a fan of director J.J. Abrams “Star Trek”, this is one of those must watch interviews. Especially seven minutes in till the end.

But if you just want to know some highlights…

  • They don’t know if J.J. is directing the sequel – he’s still undecided
  • They want to finish the sequel script by Christmas
  • Paramount wants to make the film as soon as possible
  • They’ve been reading what the fans have been saying online

And here’s the big info:

star_trek_movie_image_kirk_and_spock_with_nero.jpgIf you watched my “Star Trek” video blog with Peter from Slashfilm, we discussed what we wanted to see in a sequel. I brought up what we talked about and asked Bob and Alex what kind of villain we’d get in the sequel. I also asked if they’d set anything up in part two that might pay off in another film. They say they’re debating between “the exploration sci-fi plot where the unknown and nature itself is somehow an adversary or the villain model. That’s an active discussion we’re having right now. In terms of thinking about more than one movie, we want the movie to be self-contained in a way, but we’re discussing the idea of having a couple of threads where if the second movie works, you could pick up into a cohesive whole. No thread more exciting and shocking for me when in “Star Trek III” you realize that Spock grabbed Bones and downloaded his Katra into him. When I saw “Star Trek II” I was like, “What’s going on here?” and two years later, you’re watching it and you’re like “They’re geniuses! They’re geniuses!” So we’re trying to think is there a version of that but again, “Star Trek II” does not rely on that thread, even though it turns out to be a thread. So we’re thinking in those terms.

star_trek_movie_image__3_1.jpgWhat that means is, we might get the “Star Trek” film I so desperately want. I’m tired of the typical “Star Trek” movie villain. The person bent on destruction and not willing to listen to reason. I want the crew of the Enterprise to have to use their ingenuity and skill to solve a big problem and the way Bob and Alex were talking, that might be the direction they’re going. Obviously they haven’t written anything yet, so who knows. But the fact that they’re even putting the idea forward is awesome.

The other movie we talked about is “Cowboys and Aliens” and they gave me a brief update on the status.

Finally, right before “Star Trek” came out I spoke to Bob and Alex and we had a great conversation. If you missed it, you can watch it here. We reference that interview at the beginning of this one.

Here’s Bob and Alex. Below the interview are the bullet points of every subject we discussed. Look for the next part Sunday or Monday.

two quick things. Give it time to load and you might have to raise the volume in the player to 100%. It’s set to 50% right now.

  • How great does it feel to have Star Trek so well received?
  • Do they feel pressure going into writing the sequel – they talk about what they are going to do to get ready to write the script
  • They say they’ve been reading what all the fans have been saying online
  • I ask if the studio wants the script by a certain date
  • They say if J.J. is going to direct the film they need it by a certain date. And if J.J. isn’t going to direct, it’s a different one.
  • They want to finish a script by Christmas
  • Cowboys and Aliens talk – they say they’ve finished a draft and then sat down with Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg and they gave them a note and now they’re incorporating the note
  • They talk about getting notes and how collaborative they are
  • I ask if there is a date J.J. has to decide if he wants to direct the sequel
  • They say the studio wants the sequel as soon as possible and J.J. is waiting to see what idea they come up
  • I ask if they’ve already thought about the villain for the sequel and are they writing the film with a set up for future films. Is it easier to work after hitting such a home-run or more pressure
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