We've reported scattered comments about the Star Trek sequel development ever since Star Trek came out. Throughout the summer, director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have hinted at their early development as they promoted their show Fringe and the writers' movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Now we've got them all in one place talking about Trek. Abrams spoke to a group of reporters on Oct. 8 in Santa Monica, Calif., and Orci and Kurtzman gave another press conference later that day. We've compiled the eight directives, if you will, that they gave for their sequel to the biggest Star Trek film of all.
They'll do classic Trek, but not inside baseball
The reboot of the Star Trek canon inspired fans to imagine the possibilities of this new, young cast revisiting classic Trek missions from their new perspective. Perhaps another Khan, or Mudd's women. The fan fic writes itself. While the script is still in early development, Abrams promised the best of both worlds. "In going forward, the fun of this movie series is that we will have the opportunity, given its alternate timeline, to cross paths with any of the experiences, places and characters that existed in the original series," Abrams said. "We have to be really careful, obviously, doing that. I don't want to do something that is so inside that only die-hard fans will appreciate."
They're thinking big
The best Treks addressed philosophical, ethical or social issues that made sense even if you didn't understand future technology or alien cultures. That's where they want the sequel to go, but don't worry. They're not doing Gitmo. "It is the job of the next film to go a little bit deeper," Abrams said. "It shouldn't be any less fun or take itself too seriously, but consider who these people are now and grow with them, and just examine them a little more closer, now that we've gotten through the pleasantries and introductions."
They could go anywhere, but they're focusing on one story
With such a strong jolt to the franchise, a studio would certainly want to think of back-to-back sequels. Even the fans would want to see them crank out Star Trek 2 and 3 as quickly as possible. The writers said they won't, but for a good reason. "It's very, very important to us to make sure that each movie is good," Kurtzman said. "Not 'Hey, let's do as many as possible.' Part of what is great about Star Trek is that it's a continuing adventure, so you naturally think that there will be many, hopefully, but we only focus on what comes next, and then build off of that."
Missed Trek 1? You can still catch up in Trek 2
Being the biggest Star Trek in the franchise's history, it's doubtful anyone was meaning to catch the flick but just couldn't work it into their schedule. Still, if there were any holdouts, you can just wait for the sequel. "I guarantee you, whatever the story is, and whatever the final movie ends up being, I know it will be something that will work on its own terms and be something that you don't need to know and study Star Trek to get," Abrams said. "But, if you are a fan, there will hopefully be gift after gift of connections, references, characters that you hold near and dear. At least, that's the intent."
J.J.'s up for one more, he thinks
Abrams has been discussing the Star Trek sequel as if he's guaranteed to direct it. However, in an unrelated question about the possibility of shooting in 3-D (that's a big maybe), Abrams phrased it interestingly. "If I, in fact, direct the Star Trek sequel, 3-D could be really fun," Abrams said. If? Well, he's certainly investing a lot of time in prepping the sequel. "It's obviously just movie-to-movie," Abrams said. "The fact that we are now actively discussing the second film is surreal and very nice, and I'm thrilled. I hope that that results in something worthy of your time. But it's one of those things that you just don't know."
Mr. Nimoy, you are still Spock
Perhaps Leonard Nimoy was just being modest when he said Star Trek doesn't need him anymore. Abrams and company still welcome him. "I can't imagine a Star Trek movie not needing him," Abrams said. "I'm sure that what he's saying is a combination of modesty and honesty. He may actually feel that way. Working with him again would be a joy. It is clearly too early, given that we are just now talking story, to conclude whether or not Spock Prime is in the film or not. Do I want to work with him again? Of course, 100 percent. I'd love to."
This time, there may be a part for Kirk!
Abrams explained that the on-screen death of Capt. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations made it impossible to work him into the new Star Trek storyline. However, now that the new actors are established as the crew, maybe now he can focus on a way to bring back Kirk. "I feel like the first movie did some of the heavy lifting that needed to be done, in order to free us to continue, going forward," Abrams said. "Maybe there's less of a burden and there's going to be more opportunity to work with him again. I would love to work with him."
Oh yeah, and it still might be in 3-D
Abrams shunned 3-D on Star Trek purely out of insecurity with his own filmmaking chops. Now that he's seen his contemporaries use it, he's more ready to jump on board. "Paramount talked to me about doing the first one in 3-D," Abrams said. "Having it only been my second film, I was petrified just at the addition of it. I thought it would be another dimension of pain-in-the-ass. I was so worried that, instead of being a decent 2-D movie, it would have been a bad 3-D one. I'm open to looking at it because now I feel a little bit more comfortable. What I've seen of Avatar makes me want to do it, because it's so crazy cool-looking."