Berman Still Pondering Failure of 'Nemesis'By Michelle
February 25, 2007 - 9:13 PM
"I still believe that Nemesis was a very good film and I, to this day, don’t quite understand what went wrong," former executive producer Rick Berman said, explaining that studio tracking information had suggested that the film would perform much better at the box office than it actually did.
Speaking to Star Trek Magazine (via Sci Fi Pulse), Berman also explained that Leonard Nimoy was his first choice to direct Generations, but Nimoy was unhappy with the script (in previous interviews, mainly with Spock's small, generic part) and did not want to take part in the project.
"I felt it was important to bring members of the original cast into the story to pass the torch. Now, obviously, because there was a century time difference we had to come up with a story that would allow that to happen. And we did," Berman said. "When it came time to select a director, after everybody was happy with the script, the first person we agreed we would go talk to was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was not pleased with the script. He wanted to do some pretty dramatic work...let it be said there were disagreements and the end result was that there was a bit of a falling out."
Though Generations received mixed reviews, its sequel, First Contact, did very well both at the box office and among critics. Its successor, Insurrection, was well-liked by many fans of the original Star Trek, but was not quite as successful. Berman felt that Insurrection "was classic Star Trek and one the reasons for that was [late executive producer] Michael [Piller]." He felt that the movie "was true to Star Trek in a way that Michael felt was essential to his story."
When Nemesis went before the cameras, it was with a director who did not know the Star Trek universe - a situation Berman said had been encouraged by the studio, but which many of the actors are on record as feeling was a problem all through shooting. Berman noted that Star Trek was a franchise in transition, with Deep Space Nine and Voyager gone and Enterprise earning sluggish ratings.
"There was a sense I was getting from the studio that perhaps the next film we produced might be better off if we did it with a new cast," said Berman, who felt that it would be a mistake to introduce a new film cast so close to the premiere of Enterprise. "I felt since it had been awhile, four years I believe, since the audience had seen Picard and company."
Nemesis earned less than $45 million domestically and would be the last Star Trek film produced by Berman. "The reviews of the film were, I would say, 80 per cent miserable," admitted Berman. "The film did nowhere near as well as the tracking results had predicted."
The complete interview with Berman is in the current issue of Star Trek Magazine. Thanks to Sci Fi Pulse for these excerpts.