Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Director Tweet Confirms Star Trek 3 Title

In a tweet that shows off the new Starfleet uniform patch, Star Trek 3 director Justin Lin confirms that the official title for the movie will be Star Trek Beyond. The title was rumored over a month ago, with Simon Pegg and a website domain purchase essentially confirming it but this removes any remain doubt. The movie, set for release next year, starts principle photography after July the Fourth holiday and is assumed to take place at some point during the 5 year mission into unknown space for the Enterprise crew.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pine, Quinto Re-Up for Raise and Star Trek 4 as Star Trek 3 Nears Production Start Date

Star Trek 3 stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have signed contracts that give them significant raises for Star Trek Beyond while also locking the pair down for Star Trek 4. Chris Pine went from under $1 million for the second Trek to $6 million while the the raise for Quinto was not mentioned but The Hollywood Reporter estimates that raises added an additional $10 to $15 million to the film's budget. The news comes just as Quinto and Zoe Saldana recently posted images of them going to costume fittings and what may be the beginning of principle photography based on some reports. However Star Trek 3 producer David Ellison spoke with Collider and said "we start shooting in 10 days and we're shooting in Vancouver and Dubai." More likely set and costume prep has begun in Vancouver as it seems unlikely filming would begin now to just have to close up shop for the Fourth of July weekend so the week of July 6th start date is more credible.

I have to admit I am very surprised by Chris Pine signing on to another movie as he and Zoe Saldana just seemed to really begrudge being part of Star Trek. It always felt like they were going through the motions, faking their interest but really only interested in the higher profile it brought them and it was just a matter of the order they bolted once their 3 film contract ended. Of course part of Pine's re-up could be because his other movie attempts have all fallen way short of expectations as the two Star Trek films are his most successful films to date. Meanwhile Saldana has Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar 2 and 3 on the horizon. The article doesn't mention the state of her Trek 3 pay or a potential Trek 4 contract so I think its safe to assume she still has at least one foot out the door. Let's put it this way, if rumors start of a character death, I am just going to assume its hers (and nope no such rumor current exists and I am not trying to start one). Star Trek Beyond is set for release on July 8, 2016.

Star Trek's Return to TV Remains Unlikely Due to Rights Issues

One of the hopes for Star Trek fans is that the franchise would return to TV at some point in down and take advantage of what is being called the "golden age of TV" with the volume of high quality shows on the various networks. However current Star Trek movie producers David Ellison and Dana Goldberg explain to Collider that currently the forecast is not any time soon.

ELLISON: It’s something that we would love to be involved in. As I’m sure everybody knows, the rights situation given the CBS and Paramount divorce on the Star Trek rights is very, very complicated. The exact status of it is absolutely something being worked on. We would love to be involved, but all to be determined at this time.

GOLDBERG: You’re preaching to the converted. We would love it, both as fans and as people who would want to be involved in the making of them. We would love it. Everything you just said is right. It goes with what we were talking about before with television is you can just take more time to tell very specific stories and it would be fantastic. It’s not something we control, sadly.

ELLISON: Just for example how much we love it is when we were talking about Terminator recently and the episode we kept referencing was obviously whether or not they argue if Data actually doesn’t wanna get transferred, if he actually has a right and has free will and is a human being and switches him off. It’s amazing, the television show explored these incredibly deep phenomenal themes that we would absolutely love to do and be a part of, and we wish it was entirely up to us.

ELLISON: It’s wildly, wildly complicated. Just speaking towards going to something we do control, not trying to get myself into trouble by answering this bluntly, because you said it appropriately, is the Terminator rights were scattered all over the world prior to us getting involved. And it’s when a franchise has been around for 30 or 50 years, different people make different deals at different points in time, and it really took for Terminator the previous owner actually going bankrupt and going through obviously bankruptcy court, and then even after that it took a year to clean up the straggling pieces that that process did not clean up. We’re very thankful that the rights now all revolve under our house so they are now all at Skydance so we can control all assets of the property. That’s not always the case with franchises, and when they’re 50 years old, there’s a lot of complicated deals that have been made that sometimes prevent things that might seem obvious that need to happen from happening.
Exactly who has rights to what aspects of Star Trek are unknown but at the very minimum CBS Entertainment (who is considered the majority owner of the TV rights) and Paramount (owner of the movie rights) would have to agree on many aspects of the TV show. That alone is a massive hurdle to clear without the other unknown rights variables. Supposedly Paramount did hear a TV series pitch from the previous owner of the Star Trek Beyond website but that likely was just part of the negotiations to buy the website for the Star Trek 3 and is unlikely to lead anywhere. As it has been for the last few years, for whatever reason both Paramount and CBS Entertainment do not believe Star Trek can maintain both a movie and TV presence simultaneously and expressed little interest in pushing for a TV series. Basically any hope for a return to TV will have to wait until the current JJ Abrams executive produced movies have run their course which means at minimum after the 2016 release of Star Trek 3 but more likely not even this decade.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Star Trek II Composer James Horner Dies in Plane Crash

Oscar winner and decades long composer James Horner died Monday when his plane crashed near Santa Barbara. The composer, probably most famous for the score to Titanic, was 61. He probably wasn't world famous but should have been for his music was some of the greatest created in the modern era. His scores include Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (whose queues continued to be use for decades after), Avatar, Aliens, A Beautiful Mind, An American Tail, Fields of Dreams, Apollo 13, The Rocketeer, and many more. Some of my favorite music includes his scores including Searching for Bobby Fischer, Glory, Bicentennial Man, and Braveheart. He really was one of Hollywood's great composers and a loss to music in general. Even without you knowing it he probably helped play a strong part into why you enjoyed some of your favorite movies as his beautiful music accompanied a favorite scene. Condolences to his family.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Story Behind Best of Both Worlds

The Hollywood Reporter has posted an interesting article based on interviews with the writers, producers, and some cast members of Star Trek: The Next Generation as they discuss creating Best of Both Worlds Part 1 cliffhanger and the impact it had on finally getting old and new fans to take the series seriously as a successor to The Original Series. To this day the episode is usually at or near the top of best of Star Trek lists and best of cliffhanger lists for all of TV with an argument to be made that it helped kick off what has become the norm with season finale cliffhangers. If a fan of TNG, be sure to read the article here.