More From Kurtzman, Orci On Writing Young Kirk and SpockBy Michelle
June 25, 2007 - 11:06 PM
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who met in a high school cinema class, had intended to make "really revolutionary independent movies" before moving from projects like Xena to Mission: Impossible 3 and now Transformers and Star Trek.
"The emphasis we were given was in viewpoint and living inside the mind of your characters," Kurtzman told The New York Times. "You have to take your genre seriously. If you write it tongue-in-cheek, the audience will see it, and they’ll feel they’re being talked down to. And they’ll kill you."
The pair were always genre fans who watched Back to the Future and Close Encounters of the Third Kind while studying cinema. The pair met J.J. Abrams writing for Alias. But they fear that now that they are creating Star Trek, they have lost some of their fan credentials.
"You can never be just a fanboy in the eyes of other fanboys," said Orci. "You’re also, in a way, the establishment...you’re accountable for all your decisions, and inevitably you can’t please everybody." They only agreed to write Transformers after making certain that producer Steven Spielberg "really wanted a character story and it wouldn’t just be a giant toy commercial...it’s all the things that a car represents in this country"
The writers had to reconcile the mythologies of the Transformers toys, comic books and television series, which is akin to what they need to do to reinvent the Star Trek franchise. The pair confirmed that the film concerns early adventures of Kirk and Spock, though they found it intimidating that posters advertising a release date had already been printed before their script was written.
Producer Damon Lindelof said that they "can have a tremendous amount of respect for the source material, but they know that a studio is bringing them in because they can make it understandable to [a new] audience." He believes the franchise will be well served because Orci was a fan of The Next Generation while Kurtzman stopped paying attention after Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The full interview is here.