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'Trek X' Looking Better - But Does It Still Matter?

By Christian
August 17, 2001 - 6:53 PM

While an earlier version of the 'Star Trek X: Nemesis' script was received with praise by reviewers, today a second review of the late-June draft called for extensive rewrites. Paramount may well have enough time for that, as new rumours today also suggested casting problems may cause the project to be extensively delayed.

"If someone were to ask me to quickly sum up my thoughts on the new film's script," Dark Horizons webmaster Garth Franklin wrote, "I would say the last half hour of this movie has arguably the coolest starship battle Trek has ever done. In many ways its a LOT like the battle at the end of 'Star Trek VI' but even more brutal to both people and machinery, and with an 'Alien'-esque gunfight in the turboshafts too. In fact the entire last act, aside from some dialogue, makes for a killer Trek film - its a shame about those pesky first two acts."

Franklin wrote his review only two days after another review of 'Nemesis' appeared, which criticised the film mostly for its apparent similarities with other Star Trek films (story). Franklin, who described his own review as "mixed/slightly negative," saw some more positive points in the film, including its strong third act, its explosive action scenes and its interesting subplots.

"The basis of a cool story is there that's accessible to fans and non-fans alike, and there's some good emotional storylines and action along with some great moments which would go like gangbusters on screen," Franklin wrote. However, he felt that the script needed to solve its pacing problems and go through some drastic rewrites to succeed. "What really needs to be decided now is a direction, at the moment its above all else a rather introverted drama that's not sure what it wants to be.

"As a political thriller it falls down pretty badly with the [...] lack of background and use of the Romulans. As an action film the pace is too erratic with long slow periods of quiet before going absolutely crazy in the final act. As an emotional drama about looking back and parenthood there's too much talking but not enough being said if you catch my drift. [...] This is a very serious, very talky drama when it should be a action-packed tense thriller to send off the gang in style."

The full review also contained a small number of new spoilers, including a description of the Reman as having an ashen skin, finger claws and very dark features, all due to having been forced to work in the Romulan dilithium mines. Please follow this link to read the review. Thanks go out to Murray Clack for this!

Meanwhile, it may turn out that Paramount may have ample time to work on possible rewrites, if rumours posted on movie news site Ain't It Cool News turn out to be correct.

Talk of possible casting problems first surfaced when Michael Dorn (Worf) was rumoured to not be signing on for the film due to a disagreement over the script. This situation was apparently recently resolved, but Ain't It Cool News suggested that "the rest of the cast" will still be a problem. "Seems the principal players are making demands," the site wrote, "and Paramount isn't meeting them. And there are power games being played."

According to Ain't It Cool News, Paramount will need to know within the next ten days whether the cast agrees to sign on, or production may have to be postponed until late next year. The main reason for this would be Patrick Stewart's commitment for 'X-Men 2,' which also starts shooting later this year.

Whether the situation is indeed as serious as Ain't It Cool News suggested is uncertain. Paramount has said that both Stewart and Brent Spiner (Data), who also co-wrote the story, have already signed on for the film. With the two principal actors contracted, the main casting hurdle would seem to be out of the way. The film is also not scheduled to begin shooting until October, so it is unclear why Paramount's deadline would be only ten days away.

For the original report from Ain't It Cool News, please follow this link. As usual, please be aware that Paramount Pictures has not released any official plot or production info on 'Star Trek X: Nemesis' yet, and until that happens, all such information from unofficial sources should be treated as you would any rumour.

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