When it comes to making a sequel, Star Trek XI Co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have to decide in which one of several story directions they should go, but the pair have learned valuable lessons from Star Trek XI that should give them the confidence to know that whatever story they choose, the fans will be there and be open to acceptance of their work.
As reported by Sci Fi Wire, the main lesson was that the fans were more open-minded than expected. “I think the major lesson we learned is that fans were willing to accept differences and surprises, provided that they were somehow echoes or inspired by canon,” said Orci. “We still have to be true to Star Trek the next time around, but we’ve also been blessed with being able to be unpredictable.” Being unpredictable doesn’t mean that the writers have carte blanche to do whatever, though. “That doesn’t mean we can just be shocking for no good reason and just throw everything away,” said Orci. “It still has to echo everything that Star Trek has been.”
Kurtzman was surprised at the success of the movie. “Well, you know, it was sort of stunning for us, actually, because…we did not know how people were going to react to the movie in general,” he said. “The last version of Trek was fairly unsuccessful at the box office.”
The predictions, based on tracking, were that the movie would do well, but not be a blockbuster. “Usually, in our experience, tracking has been extremely accurate,” explained Kurtzman. “You know? Like within a margin of, like, a couple of million bucks. It’s pretty close. So we were told that we were probably going to be on track for, like, a &_#36;50 million weekend, which frankly was going to be a disappointment to the studio. And, you know, we were bummed. The movie was a labor of love for us, and we tried very hard to make it work. [But] The night before the movie came out, literally hours before, there was a thirty-six percent spike in tracking. It was, like, shocking.”
With the success of Star Trek XI, now the question turns to the sequel. Should they write an original story, take bits from the past and combine it for story, or even retell a past Star Trek story such as The Wrath of Khan? “Well, that is the debate, literally,” said Orci. “And that is going to be one of the first conversations that we have. But that’s exactly the question.”
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