When planning the next Star Trek movie, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci want to recreate what they loved about Star Trek when they were children watching the show.
One of the common elements of a good movie sequel is when a character or several characters are tested in some way. “Every franchise has a different need, so you have to look at them differently, based on whatever the mandate is. You need to be able to not have seen the first movie to appreciate the second one,” explained Kurtzman.
“So, there’s Empire Strikes Back, Superman 2, Aliens, Terminator 2, Star Trek 2,” said Kurtzman. “What do all those movies have in common? Well, they’re amazing stories, all on their own. You didn’t have to see the first movie. And, there was some incredible, emotional test of character, in all of those movies. Superman has to give up his powers for love. The Spock and Kirk relationship is tested by Khan. Ripley finds a daughter. All of those things are such big ideas, in and of themselves, and you really can’t tell those stories in movie #1 because movie #1 is very much about establishing a world.”
It’s possible that the next two Star Trek movies might be made back-to-back, but Kurtzman is more concerned with making a good sequel first. “It’s very, very important to us to make sure that each movie is good, not ‘Hey, let’s do as many as possible.’ We feel like we’ve inherited this incredible honor and this mantle of Star Trek, and the most important thing is to make sure that we’re protecting that first.”
“So, if the studio wants more than one, great,” added Kurtzman. “But, our thinking is going to be very much about the story and whether the story prescribes that there will be more than one. Part of what is great about Star Trek is that it’s a continuing adventure, so you naturally think that there will be many, hopefully, but we only focus on what comes next, and then build off of that. Right now, we’re not thinking specifically about making 2 and 3. It may come up, but it’s not where our heads are at right now.”
The writing duo haven’t figured out a specific story yet, but discussed having the events of the Star Trek future represent what’s happening in the world today. “The torture thing was just a for instance,” said Orci. “Someone asked, ‘Modern day issues?,’ and we said, ‘Yeah, sure, modern day issues.’ But, we’re not doing a story about Gitmo. I read on some site that it was going to be about Guantanamo Bay. But, now that we’ve established the characters, we can have a more philosophical allegory, where what’s happening in the future represents our world, like the best versions of it in the ’60’s did with women’s rights and racial equality.”
What about Khan? “Where we’re starting is, ‘Okay, where are our characters now? What are interesting complications that we can put in their lives? What feels like an organic emotional place for us to get to? How do we want to test them?,” said Kurtzman. “And then, you look at everything and start asking, ‘Who would be the best foe?'”
” There are mental exercises we play,” said Orci. “You can’t be a fan of this and not sit around and wonder.”
Kurtzman and Orci are also working on remakes other than Star Trek. They will be teaming with CSI:NY producer Peter Lenkov to work on a new Hawaii Five-O for CBS, where the pair will be executive producers.
Hawaii Five-O aired from 1968 to 1980. The reboot is said to center on the son of Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) from the original series.