Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman on Canon, Spock Prime and Star Trek XII

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BLOCKBUSTER Blog posted an interview with Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and here are excerpts.

BB: The time travel device allowed you to deviate significantly from known Star Trek history/canon. How did you decide how much to turn the dial in terms of changing back-stories and characters?

Bob: We tried to change as little as possible. There had never been an origin story of how these characters came together. So while there was canon established by a single line here or there about how they all met, this story had never been done. So that automatically gave us a degree of freedom. And then whenever we were violating something we knew absolutely had dimension, we knew we had the time travel element to get us through it. But theoretically they could have met the same way in the original universe - Kirk and Spock in the Academy - theoretically many things that happened in the movie could have happened in both continuities. It was just a matter of not changing anything just to reinvent it, but also not being hampered by anything because it had been mentioned once before.

BB: Related to that, Simon Pegg tweeted this the other day: "What blew me away about Alex and Rob's script. New Trek cannot exist without old. Nothing is discounted. Spock Prime validates all. So smart."

Alex: God bless Simon Pegg, is all I can say.

Bob: And God bless Leonard Nimoy, because he's right: that's what allowed us to do what we did. You know, Leonard came out of retirement on that character to do that for Star Trek. So, God bless Leonard Nimoy.

BB: That was obviously the pivotal point of the movie premise. How early in the process did you come up with that, or did JJ Abrams have that vision from the beginning?

Alex: No, not at all. We knew from the word go that we had to have [Nimoy] in the movie, and that if he said no we weren't going to have a movie. So when we presented our take to JJ and [Producer] Damon [Lindelof] about needing Spock, it became a conversation between all of us about how we were going to get to him, because we knew he had said he was never going to play that part again. And we explained why we felt like it was a necessary move; not only at a story level, but also because without Leonard Nimoy telling Trek fans that it was okay to move into this iteration, I think we as fans would have felt a little bit dubious. So we just knew that it was all about him, and JJ got on board immediately.

BB: Finally, we all know there's going to be another movie, and I believe you'll be working on it. What stage is it in right now?

Bob: We're all figuring out the story together. We're in what we call the coffee shop stage, where you go to a coffee shop and you talk about the story.

Alex: Until all the themes land and all the big ideas land, and you then start building the bricks on that.


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