A new TrekCore interview with Star Trek 3 writers Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne gives fans some background on and insight into the writers, as well as their thoughts on where Star Trek 3 will go.
McKay and Payne, who met in junior high, were Trek fans from the beginning. “[My parents are] true fans, so I grew up around them, loving all of the classic episodes, and going to see the movies in the theater,” said McKay.
“I always thought Patrick’s house was the most awesome place because they had that telephone that was shaped like the Starship Enterprise,” said Payne. “That was just so cool.”
Although a villain often makes a good movie, it’s the characters and the relationship between them that counts the most. “You know, people always talk up ‘Wrath of Khan! Wrath of Khan!’ – and while I love Star Trek II, and I’ve seen it so many times, I also really love Star Trek III and Star Trek IV,” said McKay. “Those are movies that have a little bit more of the character relationships and the humor and some more of the speculative sci-fi elements. And sure, there are certainly a lot of problems you can point to in The Motion Picture, but I love that movie too. I think it’s a cool movie, and it’s totally Star Trek.
“There are big, ambitious, complex movies that also have a huge audience. Take The Dark Knight – certainly, that’s a very villain-centric movie, but that’s also very ambitious movie. Inception – does that one even have a villain? That’s such a complex picture, and that ended up doing like $800 Million worldwide. There’s a lot of ways to do it.”
The pair was asked if Star Trek 3 will be a new story, or one based on an existing Trek story. “Well… we’re trying to make the best Star Trek movie we can,” said Payne. “That’s probably the easiest way to answer that one. The first two films did really, really well, and they really brought Star Trek to a much larger audience. It sort of expanded the tent a little bit out into pop culture, and put it out into the public consciousness a little more than it might have been with the previous incarnations.
“The first two have now set us up to be out on the ‘five-year mission,’ to go out and have the coolest adventures we can come up with.”
“We’re very much thinking about a movie that would stand alongside the first two, in a general sense,” said McKay, “but more specifically, I would say that in working with our wonderful co-writer Roberto Orci, it began very much as a conversation “Well, what would you guys like to see in the movie?” “Is there an area we all want to explore?” Nothing was off the table – all along, it’s been about the coolest, best movie we can write. There’s no sort of requirement saying we have to do this or that, I think it’s very much been a blank canvas.”
“What we keep on coming back to is the basic credo of Star Trek, that opening prologue you hear at the beginning of each original series episode,” said Payne. “That’s our mantra for what we’re trying to accomplish here.”