Friday, November 20, 2009

Secrets of 'Star Trek 2'

Now that 'Star Trek' has entered the last phase of its first mission (DVD this week, next up TV), it's time to look ahead to the next chapter in the franchise, 'Star Trek 2.'

To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release Tuesday of J.J. Abrams' 2009 blockbuster hit, Paramount held a gala party the night before at the Griffith Observatory overlooking a sparkly Los Angeles. Though revelations from the fortress of notorious creative tight-lips -- Abrams, his creative partner and producer Damon Lindelof -- were slow in coming, there were some tips as to where 2012's 'Star Trek 2' may be heading.

1) Writer Roberto Orci is revisiting 'Star Trek' novels for inspiration.

"I go back and read the original material -- I like to read the novels too," Orci told Moviefone at Monday's party. "(It) helps you get a strong feeling of which way to go."

2) The tone will stay positive.

"It's this idea that there is this very optimistic view of the future," Lindelof said. "I think we are used to the 'Terminator' movies, or the 'Matrix' movies, or 'Mad Max' movies, where the future is where there has been an apocalypse, and we couldn't resolve our differences. 'Trek' was (about) what if everybody on Earth said let's stop having wars and explore the galaxy (instead). I think that idea of optimism still exists for us, and 'Trek' taps into it."

3) Research and inspiration books have not been cracked for Abrams yet.

As to the "future of franchise, we are in the very early stages of figuring out what we are going to do next," Abrams said. "We're beginning to talk about what the story would be, but we're not in a research stage, or a 'looking-for-inspiration' stage. I am sure there will be plenty of homework to do."

"I know the goal is to come up with something that's going to be as much fun, if not more so, and will hopefully be as robust as possible in terms of story and character," Abrams added. "Hopefully (we'll) dig a little deeper and make a movie that is worthy of an audience."

4) The expectation is to make it a relationship-based story.

"It's going to be something that strengthens (the characters') relationships and puts them all to the test," Karl Urban, who played Bones, said at the party. "I just want to see them go (on) their most (important) mission. I think whatever Robert Orci, (writer and executive producer) Alex Kurtzman, J.J. and (executive producer) Bryan (Burk) come up with is going to be phenomenal."

Echoing Urban, Abrams added: "I think that the challenge, the advantage, and the opportunity of this world is just how unlimited it is in terms of what we can do. Having said that, I think the first movie was very much just about the characters meeting. So you can only go so far in terms of the depth of experience, and it's all pretty urgent. Now that they've gotten to be together for a period of time, whether it be a day, weeks, months, or years, that next chapter feels sort of like there are some roots that have grown. So it won't be meeting new people as you go ... it will be going on this adventure with this pre-established family. That just means a different set of challenges. I'm very excited to play that out."