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J.J. Abrams To Direct New 'Star Trek' Film 482

Posted by Zonk
from the that-sounds-juuust-great dept.
Tycoon Guy writes "TrekToday reports that Paramount has asked 'Lost' creator J.J. Abrams to direct a new 'Star Trek' film. The movie will be set at Starfleet Academy and will feature younger versions of James T. Kirk and Spock, chronicling their first meeting at the Academy and their first outer space mission. The movie is set for a 2008 release and will apparently be one of Paramount's biggest projects for the year."
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J.J. Abrams To Direct New 'Star Trek' Film

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:42AM (#15172091)
    Shatner doesn't make a guest appearance.
  • by beheaderaswp (549877) * on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:43AM (#15172095)
    Milk it.... Miiiiilk it.... Miiiiiiiiiiiilk it....

    Yeesh, talk about taking a good idea and turning it into a dogmatic commercial eggroll. Egads.

    What's next? "Is that a phaser, or are you just happy to see me"? I'll pass.
  • I like this idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WCMI92 (592436) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:48AM (#15172131) Homepage
    I like the idea of reviving the original characters in some way. That was what was really lacking from the later iterations of Star Trek, was the strength of characters. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were the perfect balance of differing personalities, one of the best sets of characters ever in TV or film.
  • Starfleet Academy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr_LHA (30754) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:49AM (#15172148) Homepage
    In my mind this could go one of two ways.

    1. The Star Trek equivalent of Animal House. Crazy co-eds, the antics of Star Fleet Academy's most crazy frat house

    2. Cadets save the world.

    I know which one is more likely, and it pains me to say it, I don't want to watch movie #2, but #1 would be awesome. ;)

    Seriously, who actually thinks a movie based in Starfleet academy is a good idea? Obviously the unimaginative producers think its an "angle" of Starfleet that hasn't been covered, and an excuse to "sex up" the franchise by having a bunch of 20-somethings in the roles.

    I especially cringe at the thought of "young Kirk" and "young Spock". Face it, Muppet Babies was terrible, Star Trek babies will be too.
  • by somersault (912633) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:51AM (#15172158) Homepage Journal
    you mean reviving the characters in the same way that the Star Wars prequels did? *shudder*
  • The big scene: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vengeance (46019) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:53AM (#15172170)
    Kirk, while waterskiing, jumps over a shark pen.
  • Weak (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:54AM (#15172184)
    Who on Earth is waiting for another Star Trek movie? The franchise is OVER. It will bomb so hard that it will put a huge dent in JJ Abrams' career.

    JJ, why don't you focus on, say Lost and What About Brian, and maybe do a decent film on your off time?
  • Re:Desperation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Disavian (611780) on Friday April 21, 2006 @08:59AM (#15172221) Homepage
    IMHO, the peak of the series was somewhere in TNG. From there... they beat it into the ground.

    Just gimme back my TNG, and I'll be happy. The actors are willing, I'm sure; even LeVar would be willing to step to the other side of the camera (not that directing precludes you from acting in an episode).
  • ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blob Pet (86206) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:02AM (#15172249) Homepage
    I don't have a problem with a new trek movie... I have a problem with Berman not being fired, and is it so hard to bring back Nicholas Meyer?
  • by aurum42 (712010) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:02AM (#15172252)
    Oh please, "First Contact" was one of the better films in the Trek franchise, I'd rate it 3rd overall. If there was a movie that deserves to be panned, it was the last one. "Insurrection"? The title was something along those lines. Truly awful, almost as wretched as the one in which Kirk sets off to find "Eden" and "God".
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:04AM (#15172266)
    For God's sake, let it rest for a while. Generate some fresh ideas. In this age of real war, and more gritty realistic fare like Battlestar Galactica and Firefly, Star Trek has become hokey and stale. Let it rest until its time comes around again.

    -Eric

  • by kryten_nl (863119) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:07AM (#15172291)
    ... or is my ST timeline completely off?

    Who knows, they fucked with it so much.
  • Sounds fine to me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:10AM (#15172309) Journal
    Hm, I'm one of those who grew up with the TOS reruns on german TV and watched every singele episode of Next Generation Deep Space Nine, and one of those to whom Star Trek is dead since ... I don't know 4th or 5th episode of Voyager? But this still sounds like a really nice idea to me. Just make sure that noone who particpated in the last movie and/or Enterprise is involved.
  • by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:10AM (#15172312) Journal
    there is no hope [wikipedia.org]
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:12AM (#15172330)
    I wouldn't rank it 3rd. It was a decent movie but I thought the early earth characters and setting was by far the weakest part of the movie. As much as I dislike the Borg, I thought the Enterprise vs. Borg situation really saved the movie. Just for kicks, here's my rankings:

    1. Wrath of Kahn
    2. Voyage Home
    3. Undiscovered Country
    4. Generations
    5. Search for Spock
    6. First Contact
    7. Motion Picture
    8. Nemesis
    9. Final Frontier
    10. Insurrection
  • Re:Desperation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kemichail (965347) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:19AM (#15172389)
    I preferred DS9. The sterile atmosphere of the Enterprise with it's limited cast and crew and the expendable ensigns doesn't work as well for me. Also, the richer possibilities introduced with say the Defiant were fun, and the station used as a defensive outpost... That said, I think both Captain Picard and Commander Sisko wereoutstanding actors.
  • by matt328 (916281) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:26AM (#15172426)
    but I could watch probably about 100 more TNG movies. It doesn't get any better than Riker shoving a photon torpedo right through those klingon bitch's windshield, or Data exclaiming 'oh shit!' when he realized the ship would be in for a rough landing.

    Maybe I'm just too much of a TNG fan, but I've never seen an episode I haven't liked, nor changed the channel because I've already seen this one. IMO TNG was the pinnacle of Roddenberry's works, to go back and make a kind of spinoff/prequel of the original just isn't going to appeal to fans (and lets face it, who the hell else is going to go see it?)
  • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday April 21, 2006 @09:26AM (#15172428)
    Story could've been better, but Patrick Stewart's performance was incredible. And whoever played Lily wasn't half-bad either.
  • Re:Desperation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday April 21, 2006 @10:02AM (#15172806) Homepage Journal
    The peak was at The Best of Both Worlds, part 1.

    Indeed. I look back at BoBW, and I keep thinking, "Now this is how you build up the suspense!"

    Can you even imagine seeing a quiet but tense moment in a new series where you see a Borg cube in the distance, and the Captain merely states, "Contact Starfleet... (dramatic pause) We have engaged, The Borg."

    It would never happen today. The writers and producers see it as "not enough action". Which is stupid, because action doesn't mean anything if you don't care about the characters in the story. Getting to know each character, and entering a situation fraught with suspense is the best way to get something out of action sequences. Otherwise you might as well watch an hour of skydiver and bungie jumper clips.
  • by chrysrobyn (106763) on Friday April 21, 2006 @10:07AM (#15172877)

    For God's sake, let it rest for a while. Generate some fresh ideas. In this age of real war, and more gritty realistic fare like Battlestar Galactica and Firefly, Star Trek has become hokey and stale. Let it rest until its time comes around again.

    Battlestar Galactica. An excellent point of comparison. Graphics aren't fantastic, but they're good. What SFX shots are shown seem to appear to have some realism. Writing is interesting, although certain episodes stick out as forced. Certain SciFi appeal -- which limits the audience. While it's setting records fro the SciFi channel, it's not being bought out by bigger networks.

    Firefly. My personal favorite of recent fare. The SFX are a notch below Battlestar Galactica, but the writing makes up for it. There are some inconsistencies which as of yet stand to be reasoned away (like why Zoe really respects Mal). Certain SciFi appeal, although the movie performed like "a below average genre picture" [boxofficemojo.com] if I recall correctly. The show couldn't sustain the audience to pay the production costs.

    You've chosen to compare a hypothetical Star Trek prequel to modern underperforming SciFi. Nemesis, arguably the worst Star Trek movie, required back story and had trouble standing on its own. The appeal to the mass market was zilch, and the appeal to those who watched ST:TNG when it was first run was mediocre, because it seemed to imply that we'd never stopped watching reruns on TNT/Spike. I believe that movies can be an escape from realism. I think that's partially why Star Wars did so well in the face of terrible acting, groundbreaking but horrible SFX and wooden writing -- it was during the cold war. There was an epic story.

    How about a Star Trek that stands on its own? A few references here and there for the fans, but largely something that doesn't require a huge back story? Don't make me need to know why it's significant Riker and Troi are marrying (and don't make me remove myself from the story for a reality check, "What happend to Troi and Warf?"). There's no problem with a Kahn tossed in -- a minor character from a single episode to act as a nod to the fanatics -- as long as the movie briefly summarizes in all the right places the gist of the conflict.

  • by jpellino (202698) on Friday April 21, 2006 @10:18AM (#15173004)
    Please. Pretty please? Characters that have somewhere to go - rather than simply fulfilling our expectations of personalities long since drained of any originality. We know exactly how TOS characters will act, and we know that 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75 minutes into this film there'll be an excruciatingly obvious bone mercilessly tossed to us in the form of a promordial "Dammit Jim", "Highly illogical", "Must... not... give... in... to...", or "She kenna' take much more, Cap'n!" that'll just tickle those clever writers. Every character in Serenity did something previously unseen but that moved their character forward and thus the story too.
  • by sehryan (412731) on Friday April 21, 2006 @10:19AM (#15173016)
    I wouldn't put Search for Spock or Generations above First Contact.

    First of all, you just can't have Doc Brown as a Klingon. I know Search came before Back to the Future, but it just doesn't work after seeing both.

    Second, Generations was just...rough. I admit it has been a while, but I remember being fairly dissatisfied with it. Shatner was forced obviously forced into the plot, and it didn't work. I also remember being unimpressed with the "crash landing" scene.

    And I would also move Final Frontier down to the end. The others might be crap, but come on. Of all of the movies, Final Frontier was the least plausible, as it were. And to top it off, you could tell no one making the movie cared.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday April 21, 2006 @11:06AM (#15173552)
    There are a number of things that you could do in the Trek universe to make it darker, more honest, more realistic, etc. The problem is that Trek comes with so much baggage that this would be all-but-impossible. Paramount would balk and fans would howl.

    It was all they could do just to get DS9 made, much less something even FURTHER away from the "Goody-two-shoes, happy-go-lucky-perfect-communist-state, Federation-always-right, let's-make-a-self-righteous-speech-now" mentality of traditional Trek.

    There was a line in DS9, I can't remember it exactly, but it pretty much summed up everything that's wrong with Trek, and why it's grown so tired. Some Cardassian so other alien is talking to Quark and says something along the lines of "That's the Federation for you", to which Quark replies "I know. Doesn't it just make you sick?"

    -Eric

  • Re:Desperation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lidocaineus (661282) on Friday April 21, 2006 @11:16AM (#15173662)
    Damnit, and I just ran out of mod points! B5 also had some of the most painful, atrocious acting I've ever seen. The only good point about B5 was that it had an overarching plot over the entire series (not too common at the time, though not the first either). Unfortunately, the plot was extremely hackneyed. DS9 built its characters so well that it was amazing to watch... and this coming froms someone who doesn't even LIKE Star Trek.
  • by SamSim (630795) on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:34PM (#15174445) Homepage Journal
    Letting the franchise rest for a decade or two is exactly what is needed. It worked for Doctor Who, it worked for Battlestar Galactica... I have some of my own ideas [qntm.org] about the future of Star Trek (two words: Mirror Borg) but I'm sure everybody else does too...
  • Re:Desperation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jherico (39763) <bdavis@sai n t a n d r e a s.org> on Friday April 21, 2006 @02:27PM (#15175647) Homepage
    even if DS9 was a ripoff of B5, that doesn't detract from the fact that DS9 was better executed.
  • I have a problem with Berman not being fired

    Hear, hear!

    I was going to say something similar, that is, that the only real way out is to pull a Dallas [ultimatedallas.com].

    Star Trek's big contribution to the world is not about space stuff, it's about humanity:

    It's not just the little morality plays of the first series. When they went to the big screen, they made the huge mistake of assuming we just all wanted to see a rehash of the same old faces, without the substance. The result was a seriously bad movie, unquestionably the worst of the Star Trek movies and arguably bad by many standards. Then they followed with one of the best movies of all time, not just best of Star Trek, best of any movie. It's in my all-time top-10.

    Wrath of Kahn is not only an outstandingly well put together movie, but it broke ground on movies in a new way that, to my knowledge, had not been seriously done before, or not that effectively. Instead of treating the aging of a character as a weakness (as in Bond or Superman movies where they eventually replace the actor but always behave as if he does not age), they turned it to a strength and taught us about aging. They let the character's wisdom grow and they presented not just seasoned actors but characters befitting those seasoned actors.

    To do it in reverse, is to return to the Bond/Superman fallacy--that what we want is more of the people. Sure we do, if we could. But their time has largely come and gone and we cannot go back. That was the message of the Star Trek movies. Life moves on, and you live with it.

    To try to restart those characters is to ask for too much. It is to take no risks. Gene took a risk with Next Generation in going to a new crew, and showed the formula could survive the transition. But those entrusted with Gene's legacy didn't stick to formula in Enterprise, and now the studio has learned nothing and wants to simply return to clinging to straws rather than analyze the mistakes.

    It's not inconceivable that a trip to Star Fleet academy could make an excellent series, but it's handicapped by trying to lock into Kirk and Spock. Get new characters.

    What really killed Enterprise was a lack of purpose. I hope they reanalyze the purpose, or the "motive" as so many actors would say... "What's my motive?" The studio's motive seemed to be money and greed and milking a thought-naive audience, and the not-so-naive audience called them on it.

    Star Trek took risks, but could reinvent itself weekly. Another thing Enterprise blew was that the new framework was so constraining (the long-arc time-travel story) that when it didn't work, there was no easy out. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Solicit stories from the community. Take some chances.

    An academy might be about the unwritten future, except that we've already read the future. We know who will live and who will die unless there are new characters. That eliminates suspense. Enterprise also missed a huge chance to be funny. It presented a world before everything technological was debugged, and where the storylines might be as much about technical failure as success. But then it never used that. Will this new series really use its campus to its capability? It won't if it ties its hands too much with constraints of other series... Let it go free.

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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