Star Trek was featured in last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, including a nice cover photo Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) which you can check out on the right. Director J.J. Abrams told the magazine that they “weren’t making a movie for fans of Star Trek,” he said. ”We were making a movie for fans of movies.” More after the jump.
Transforming a defunct old property into a cool 21st-century event flick may seem like business as usual for Hollywood (e.g., Superman Returns, Batman Begins), but Trek presented Paramount and Abrams with a much heftier challenge: how to make this hunk of retro sci-fi cheese meaningful as mainstream entertainment, as relevant pop, as big business. ”Every studio in town is searching for these kinds of franchises, so it was important for us to reboot,” says Brad Weston, Paramount’s president of production. ”But we needed a clean, fresh take on this thing.”Enter Abrams, 42, whose knack for mainstream genre fare (see: Alias, Lost, and Mission: Impossible III) has elevated him to visionary status in Hollywood. His Trekker credentials? Nonexistent. ”I don’t think people even understand what Star Trek means anymore,” he says, sitting outside his editing suites at Paramount, sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with a cartoon question mark. Abrams saw the first Star Trek film in 1979 with his father, veteran TV-movie producer Gerald Abrams, at a theater on the Paramount lot. But he feels no warm-fuzzy nostalgia about it. In fact, Abrams can sum up his regard for Trek in two words: Galaxy Quest, the 1999 hit starring Tim Allen that satirized Trek with painful precision. ”It’s so ridiculous, so accurate, so sophisticated, it spoils the Star Trek universe,” he says.
Abrams made his perspective clear: ”We weren’t making a movie for fans of Star Trek,” he said. ”We were making a movie for fans of movies.” From there, the team hashed out the specifics. Exact plot details are top secret, but there are a few things EW can tell you.
Star Trek’s time-travel plot is set in motion when a Federation starship, the USS Kelvin, is attacked by a vicious Romulan (Eric Bana) desperately seeking one of the film’s heroes. From there, the film then brings Kirk and Spock center stage and tracks the origins of their friendship and how they became officers aboard the Enterprise. In fact, the movie shows how the whole original series crew came together: McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoë Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). The adventure stretches from Earth to Vulcan, and yes, it does find a way to have Nimoy appearing in scenes with at least one of the actors on our cover — and maybe both. The storytelling is newbie-friendly, but it slyly assimilates a wide range of Trek arcana, from doomed Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to Sulu’s swordsmanship to classic lines like, ”I have been, and always shall be, your friend.” More ambitiously, the movie subversively plays with Trek lore — and those who know it. The opening sequence, for example, is an emotionally wrenching passage that culminates with a mythic climax sure to leave zealots howling ”Heresy!” But revisionism anxiety is the point. ”The movie,” Lindelof says, ”is about the act of changing what you know.”
Photos below. Be sure to click here to read the rest of the feature over at Entertainment Weekly.
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Source: Entertainment Weekly