Payne: New Star Trek 3 Writer



J.D. Payne, the new writer on Star Trek 3, is a Trek fan himself.

Payne’s love of Star Trek dates back to his teen years.

Payne’s work with J.J. AbramsBad Robot over the past few years led to the call to help write the new Star Trek movie. “I’ve done a few projects with J.J. Abrams’ company Bad Robot now,” he said. “We’ve developed a really solid working relationship. A friend over there came to us and said, ‘So we’ve got a new project to discuss with you guys. It’s very preliminary but…’ And we were just sort of waiting for it, and then they said, ‘It’s Star Trek Three.'”

The secrecy on the new film begins early. When asked about the next movie and what fans can expect, Payne said “I can’t really talk about much of what it is. At its core, Star Trek has always been about adventure, exploration and wonder, with an optimistic sense of the future, and all its possibilities. It’s a massive playground; we’re so excited to be diving in on it.

Star Trek is unique in that it often grapples with complex ethical and moral dilemmas — we’d love to create a situation like that where you really could be a person of any background, and come down on both sides of how you should respond. Where you can walk out and say, ‘You know, I really don’t know what I would do. What would you do? What’s right to do?’ And get the audience to really engage.”

Star Trek 3 will be released in 2016, to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek‘s television debut.

Source: LDS Living

What do you think? Chat with other fans in the Star Trek Kelvin universe movies forum at The Trek BBS.




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  • Rad

    “…back to his teen years”…. when “Enterprise” was still on…

  • Jon

    Encouraging words from Mr. Payne…from his statements, he does appear to “get” ST and what it is supposed to do. I hope he can help ensure that #3 adheres to these core ST traits to produce a much better ST movie than #2 was…

    Welcome aboard sir! 🙂

  • Bob
  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Er, well, we’d heard similar words from K&O before ST 2009 (when they were true) and again before STID (when they were utter bullshit).
    These fellows seem to have a lot of things in development, but nothing that’s hit the ground yet.
    I’ll keep phasers set on “cautiously optomistic” for the time being.

  • sith priest

    fuck star trek long live star wars

  • Fy

    I’d feel a little more comfortable if I could actually judge these guys’ work for myself, and if their IMDb pages weren’t otherwise completely blank. I’m not sure ‘JJ Abrams thinks we’re good’ is a particularly glowing recommendation these days.

  • milojthatch

    Gee, now that I know these guys are LDS, I wonder if I can meet up with them via the LDS grapevine? If so, maybe I can talk sense into them personally so we actually get a JJ-Trek film that “feel” Star Trek! 😛

  • Theragen Derivative

    “I think he did a little too much LDS.”

  • Theragen Derivative

    The funny thing is that these days there’s less difference between the two than ever before.

  • Jon

    Cautiously optimistic is a great way of putting it…I’m with you on that. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed! Maybe all of our collective posts throughout the various prominent Trek websites decrying how terribly disappointed we all were with STID are having some impact, even on a subconscious level 😉 .

    Hey, I just caught a recent quote from a very famous TOS writer (whom I shall not name) that solves all of the problems created by STID wherein he suggests how to end the next movie:

    Kirk wakes up in bed next to Bob Newhart and relays to Mr. Newhart that he has just had a most horrific dream :). For those of you who remember the series ending of the Bob Newhart show from years back…

    Repeated here with respect to the original writer…Let it be known that I practically busted a gut when I read this post…it could not be more perfect!

  • bydefault

    Since Bob O. the conspiracy nut slipped in a reference to “Nibiru” in the last movie, devout Mormon Payne will no doubt include “Kolob” in the next film.

    BTW, this is his selfie and YouTube user icon:

  • trekfan

    “Star Trek has always been about adventure, exploration and wonder, with an optimistic sense of the future, and all its possibilities.”

    Yeah, none of which is present in those movies.

    Welcome to Bad Reboot, Payne.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Slow clap.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    I always wondered what happened to you after that sad little lightsaber video stopped being amusing.

    Nah, just pulling your leg. I never even thought about it.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    That is just too perfect! Give David or Dorothy (has to be one of the two) a big wet kiss for me.

  • I like what Mr. Payne has to say in this interview; some of the best TOS scripts had interesting moral questions, and I’d love to see some actual intellectual content in the new script and not just explosions.

    Exploration, a positive future, and a sense of wonder all sound like important parts of what made the original series so compelling. Please, Mr. Payne, don’t let Mr. Abrams talk you into another empty “mystery box” script; give us a script like “The Devil in the Dark” or “Journey to Babel,” one that has those elements that you talked about in this interview.

    Oh, and go talk with Leonard Nimoy, if you can. He directed #3 and #4 and understands a lot about making Star Trek movies. Pick his brain all he’ll let you. 🙂

  • sith priest

    5 bucks says that star trek 3 will be the last trek movie and that their wont even be a new tv show. I say that in the near future we will see a new live action star wars tv show and that star trek will officially die out once and for all. star trek has been out way before star wars and star wars is more popular then star trek will ever star wars is timeless.

  • Daniel Ireland

    Woa! Spoiler alert!

  • JWPlatt

    These things usually go from the optimism of freshness to being realistic to total disappointment and flaming the entire production as an epic fail. Let’s all just save some time and cut out the middleman.

  • trekfan

    Que será, será…

  • Would love to see Dorothy Fontana hired to help write #3. It might actually be Star Trek if SHE were involved. 🙂

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Gods yes. Or George Clayton Johnson or John D. F. Black or David Gerrold or Richard Christian Matheson or Peter S. Beagle or Harlan, if they can stay on the full eight seconds; or John Povill, Ira Behr, Ron Moore, Melinda Snodgrass, Michael Pillar, Jeri Taylor, Gar and Judy Reeves-Stevens, even Brannon Braga, more and more, all writers of proven, quality drama filled with action and imagination, and all still working in the industry–
    But noooooo, these are all television people, we need big league players now, heavy hitters who bring in tons of cash–
    Say, are those knuckleheads who wrote Transformers available? Well shoot, son, get ’em on the horn!

  • trekfan

    I’m afraid Mr. Pillar wouldn’t be available. He died 9 years ago.

  • Kang the Unbalanced


    Alright, slingshot effect time. We’ll pick up everyone.

  • Jon

    Matheson also passed last year 🙁 .

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Alas, yes. Richard Christian is his son. They worked very closely together, and have similar styles and delightfully twisted thought processes.

  • LukeF

    In what way were they true for even ST2009? This crap, excuse me, notion that ST2009 is somehow the *good one* has to go. They’re both equally bad and un-Star Trek, but ST2009 was so un ambitious it pulled off its abysmal nonsense a little more tidily.

  • LukeF

    This is obviously an attempt to throw a bone at disgruntled fans, like hey, you wanted more intellectual content? Here, we’ll make the right noises. This is damage control because the first two movies were so aggressively dumb that even non-Trekkies noticed, and the overall credibility of Abrams and Paramount has started to suffer as a result. A belated but welcome outcome.

  • Jon


    I guess I’m more of the opinion that while ST09 was by no means a great ST movie, it was at least watchable and had some Trek-like feel to it (i.e. the death scenes for Kirk’s father and of Spock’s mother gave it some emotional weight), which is considerably more than I would say for STID. ST09 definitely had some problems, but it held out the promise that the next one could recover from the mistakes made and be better.

    Sadly, this was not to be the case…I think only the Newhart style ending as proposed by the original TOS writer that I mentioned above will save any future Trek…

  • Blue Thunder

    More like long live 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

    This constant infighting between Star Trek and Star Wars fans takes the fun out of both franchises.

  • I’ve come to the conclusion that these two movies are what the Hollywood of the United Federation of Planets would make of the “Real Life Adventures of Captain Kirk” after the end of the careers of fhe Enterprise crew. It has everything…. bad writing, overwrought action, distortion of what “really” happened, while vaguely throwing nods at the truth (truth, as per this scenario) …. “Featuring cameos by one of the actual crew of the Starship Enterprise- Mr. Spock of Vulcan!”