Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Abrams on Star Trek, Shatner

While promoting Fringe (which premieres tonight), JJ Abrams discussed next year's Star Trek movie and Shatner's lack of involvement with SciFi Scanner. The reason for the lack of Shat comes down to Shatner's desire to have more then a cameo and inability to fit him in and not violate previous continuity (Kirk's death in Generations).
Q: How does that [internet] feedback translate to films like Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek?
A: Obviously you don't have the ability to go back and adjust things based on online reactions. If you're smart, you're going to screen what you're working on to smart, constructive, and honest people who will give you more than some sycophantic response. With Star Trek, the audience point of view is very important to me. And you just have to think, "Well I hope I don't suck." A lot of times people say that they want certain things and they really don't -- they say they want all the answers up front, but then they don't. Ultimately you can't write a story or come up with an outline or direct a scene only thinking, "I think this is what they're going to want." Then there's no point of view.

Q: You've utilized viral marketing in the past, yet we've seen very little so far for Star Trek. Can we expect more?
A: The viral marketing I approach from the point of view of "What would be fun for me to go through?" I think there can be some great stuff with Trek that way; I just don't want to waste anyone's time. I don't want to do anything where you feel like, ugh, that wasn't worth it. It could be great, but it's all still in development.

Q: How do you react to William Shatner's ire at not having a role in the movie?
A: It was very tricky. We actually had written a scene with him in it that was a flashback kind of thing, but the truth is, it didn't quite feel right. The bigger thing was that he was very vocal that he didn't want to do a cameo. We tried desperately to put him in the movie, but he was making it very clear that he wanted the movie to focus on him significantly, which, frankly, he deserves. The truth is, the story that we were telling required a certain adherence to the Trek canon and consistency of storytelling. It's funny -- a lot of the people who were proclaiming that he must be in this movie were the same people saying it must adhere to canon. Well, his character died on screen. Maybe a smarter group of filmmakers could have figured out how to resolve that.


  1. Why not look into the Star Trek novels written by authors LIKE Shatner. Shatner was able to rewrite himself into Star Trek canon with his book entitled "The Return." For those not familiar with the book...Romulans beamed up Kirk's remains after the events of Generations and infused him with nanoprobes and brainwashed him into leading an attack on the Federation. If Shatner can bring Kirk back I'm sure Paramount could as well.

  2. Why bother?

  3. Thats exactly the point. Shatner brought Kirk back himself... how much ego does that show?!? And the way it was done sucked big time! Most actors who portray a character for so long usually know when its time to let go. Shatner doesn't.
    I for one am glad he ain't in the new one. It would just come off too goofy and tacky.

  4. Oh, and to add to it, his Trek novels that feature Kirk are not canon either. Like I said, its an ego trip.