Respectful Insolence

New Star Trek movie to be released in 2008

According to Trek Today:

Paramount Pictures announced today that Lost creator J.J. Abrams will co-write, produce and direct the eleventh Star Trek film, set for release in 2008.

According to an article in the Daily Variety, the new film will be a prequel to the original Star Trek series, featuring younger versions of characters like James T. Kirk and Spock. The movie will chronicle events such as their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first mission into outer space.

The as-yet untitled new film will be written by Abrams together with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Abrams is the creator of television series such as Felicity, Alias and Lost, and will soon be making his debut as a feature film director with Paramount’s Mission Impossible: III. He’s also written the scripts for films such as Regarding Henry and Armageddon. Kurtzman and Orci cooperated with Abrams on the MI: III script, and were previously part of the Alias writing staff, as well as writing the scripts for films such as The Island and the upcoming Transformers movie.

This is an idea that’s been floating around for many years. I was never very enthusiastic about it when it first came up, and I’m not really any more enthusiastic about it now. On the other hand, the Trek movie franchise had been about tapped out. Indeed, I never went to see Star Trek: Nemesis or even rented the DVD (making it the only Trek film I haven’t seen multiple times), and that movie did very poorly at the box office for how much it cost to make. Clearly it needs a serious reimagining, but whether this is it I’m not so sure.

As for J. J. Abrams, I’ve tried to get into Lost, but never could, having watched a few episodes last season. In fact, I think the show’s overrated, at least from the episodes I did see. It sort of reminds me that I also think that The X-Files was a similarly overrated show with a huge cult following. It’s rather odd, given my love of SF. You’d think I’d be really into these shows. I’m not. I don’t dislike them, but Lost just doesn’t do enough for me to make the effort to watch it every week.

Comments

  1. #1 Nicolas Demers
    April 23, 2006

    Oh. Hell. No.

    Please, the Star trek franchise has been dead since the early days of Voyager, it just didn’t know it. Let’s not dig up the corpse and bring it to some cursed Indian burial ground to make it live again.

  2. #2 afarensis
    April 23, 2006

    Nemesis wasn’t bad, a little darker than the other TNG movies but still watchable. I started out watching Lost but lost interest because it moved so slow. Personally, I think the need to leave Star Trek alone for awhile. Between DS-9, Voyager, and that other show it’s been overexposed.

  3. #3 TheProbe
    April 23, 2006

    Lost lost me in the first three episodes. After that, I did not bother to watch for a few episodes, and then, when I watched again, it was too much effort to get back into the story line for the meager return.

    As for the new Star Trek movie, I hope that they go back to some of the fundamentals in the production aspect and do not rely solely on gadgets and gizmos. Using Andy Probert as a designer would encourage me to spring for the movie. By trhen, it will probably be $15, and with popcorn and soda, $30.00.

  4. #4 Sean Foley
    April 23, 2006

    …making it the only Trek film I haven’t seen multiple times.

    OK, I have to ask: what possible reason could there be for watching Star Trek V more than once?

  5. #5 Orac
    April 23, 2006

    OK, I have to ask: what possible reason could there be for watching Star Trek V more than once?

    Insanity.

    However, take comfort in the fact that, besides Nemesis, Star Trek V is the only other Trek movie that I don’t own on video, and that I only watched it a couple of times.

  6. #6 Ahistoricality
    April 23, 2006

    Oh, I’ve watched V a few times, though hardly ever all the way through. Every couple of years I forget just how bad it really is and watch a bit of it on TV… then I remember.

    One of the bloggers on my regular reading list is a devoted Lost fan, and reading his comments, I’ve never been the slightest bit interested in starting to watch it. I don’t have a problem with large and complex problems, but I really don’t like television — X-Files was like this — which is structured so that the problem is never really soluble, because to do so would mean the end of the show. (Then, when they don’t get renewed, they rush a solution in at the end, or leave you hanging and get a mini-series deal, which doesn’t solve the problem, either, because they want to milk it for more…. think Pretender, which at least had the virtue of being fun to watch even when nothing got solved)

  7. #7 ParanoidMarvin
    April 23, 2006

    Lost is a horrible, horrible excuse for a genre show. It starts out beautifully but by episode three you realize that the writers have no idea of where to take it, or even what’s going on. I quit after Season I when it became clear that consistent characterization and any plot movement which involves planning more then one episode ahead were never going to happen.

    Also, I’ve heard from a friend that they are removing all SF elements little by little, since this scares viewers.

    In short, really no great loss.

  8. #8 Katie
    April 23, 2006

    Ok, maybe Star Trek has been overdone, but with so many fans (I’m one of them), what else can be done when learning for more? Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised at the new one? Let’s hope so! I want to see the glass as half full on this one…

  9. #9 tim gueguen
    April 23, 2006

    Add me to the “Star Trek Academy is a stupid idea” list. As has been pointed out elsewhere Spock had already a commisioned officer when Kirk would have started at Starfleet Academy. So you can bet the new film will screw with continuity again and upset a lot of people.

  10. #10 John Wilkins
    April 23, 2006

    I don’t like Lost either, but X-Files was witty, interesting and despite a total lack of scientific knowledge (I remember on case where Mulder zooms in using an analogue video to find detail that couldn’t possibly have been embedded in the magnetic signals), was worth watching for a couple of seasons’. When the informant went, so did the overall purpose of the show.

    I wonder if producers insist on a grand back story before they actually start writing episodes? They really should. On the other hand, Buffy was all over the place, and I was willing to let it be it was so well written (most of the time).

    Why won’t someone take one of the grand operas of SF, say, Le Guin or Bradley, and use *that* as a backstory or even plotline?

  11. #11 wolfwalker
    April 23, 2006

    John Wilkins wrote: “I don’t like Lost either, but X-Files was witty, interesting and despite a total lack of scientific knowledge (I remember on case where Mulder zooms in using an analogue video to find detail that couldn’t possibly have been embedded in the magnetic signals), was worth watching for a couple of seasons’. When the informant went, so did the overall purpose of the show.”

    I agree. The great, cosmic irony of X-Files is that it hit the big time audience-wise at almost precisely the same time that it lost many of the elements that made it deserving of a larger audience. Anyone who started watching it after second season missed most of the best episodes. Some of the first-season episodes are among the best TV I’ve ever seen.

    I’ve never watched Lost and haven’t watched any ST series regularly since about early fifth season of ST:TNG. It had gotten so bad that it was physically painful to watch, and a horrible betrayal of what the original series accomplished. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  12. #12 Xerxes1729
    April 23, 2006

    You mentioned a “reimagining” of Star Trek, and I think you’re absolutely correct. The idea of reimagining a sci-fi show naturally brings to mind the stunning success of Battlestar Galactica. Now, I wouldn’t hold out hope that any reimagining of Star Trek would turn out be equally successful, but it probably wouldn’t make things any worse. Significant changes will, of course, anger some hardcore fans, but they would also make it possible to bring Star Trek more in line with contemporary thinking about space travel, the future, and all that crap, and therefore introduce it to a new audience. Plus, it would let them get away from having to deal with ridiculous continuity details like explaining why certain gadgets from TOS are less advanced than things you can get at for a couple bucks at Circuit City today.

  13. #13 AndyS
    April 24, 2006

    I haven’t really enjoyed a SF TV show since Voyager went off the air — with the exception of some of Battlestar Galactica. BG, however, was just too dark and too narrow in focus to grab me like Star Trek did, even though in many aspects of it were higher quality. Guess I just buy the Roddenbury vision.

  14. #14 Lord Runolfr
    April 24, 2006

    Star Trek has been so hideously abused since Berman and Braga took control that I have no hope for anything coming out of the franchise for the forseeable future (unless of course they were fired).

  15. #15 Kurt
    April 24, 2006

    I’ve generally found that Usenet can often come up with better plot twists than the series writers… (must be some sort of monkeys with typewriters thing.)

    A wit pointed out that the “best” twist for _Lost_ would be a really solid hint that the island was R’leyh arisen.
    >:)

  16. #16 JoeB
    April 24, 2006

    And then the eating will begin. How lucky those who are devoured first!

  17. #17 DouglasG
    April 24, 2006

    Star Trek has been so hideously abused since Berman and Braga took control that I have no hope for anything coming out of the franchise for the forseeable future (unless of course they were fired).

    I couldn’t agree more with this statement! I guarantee Spock will be portrayed completely wrong! Nimoy created the character and has been the only one to portray a Vulcan correctly save for Mark Lenard. Most play Vulcans as angry rather than stoic. This is one of the reason why I couldn’t watch Voyager. Tim Russ portrayed Tuvoc as angry.

    The Star Trek fans know too much about Captain Kirk. Probably more than these writers do. Thus, they are going to get way too much wrong for this to be even watchable. I wish it would be good, but there is little possibility of that!

    Nemesis wasn’t as bad as ST-V. It was Okay. Not great, but Okay. You should try and watch it and make up your own mind.

  18. #18 Blake Stacey
    April 24, 2006

    The Star Trek universe has the potential to incorporate “re-imaginings” without too much stress. Just think of all the different parallel-universe episodes! I’d love to see a movie where Q or the Guardian of Forever sends the heroes over into the Evil Empire timeline, where they meet wicked and bearded versions of themselves.

  19. #19 Lord Runolfr
    April 24, 2006

    I must say, I haven’t even seen Nemesis, and after reading Mike Wong’s synopsis of the movie, I don’t really intend to. Based on his review, Nemesis promised to be as good as The Wrath of Khan but ended up worse than The Final Frontier.

  20. #20 justawriter
    April 25, 2006

    SciFi Channel advertised one of the TOS movies (I think it was “Scottie Saves the Whales”) with the tagline “Because Even Numbered Star Trek Movies Don’t Suck!”

  21. #21 Lord Runolfr
    April 25, 2006

    Of course, Nemesis blows the “even numbers” theory, since it’s number ten, and there’s good reason to believe that it sucks.

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