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July 16 2024


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Kurtzman, Orci Find Trek Has Different Challenges Than M:I

By Michelle
June 25, 2007 - 12:41 AM

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci discussed how they have worked together on such previous projects as Mission: Impossible III and the upcoming Transformers film and their plans for the eleventh Star Trek feature film.

In a report at from The Dialogue Series, part of a workshop for writers in Santa Monica, California, the two discussed how gratifying it was to have their Star Trek script greenlit the day after they delivered it and said that they expected filming to begin in November for a Christmas 2008 release.

"I remember a period when we were writing 'Trek,' and we were looking for [an emotional] moment, and I went to The Insider," recalled Kurtzman, explaining that the pair often read other screenplays for inspiration. "I was like, 'Okay, what was the moment where he's standing looking out on the water and how did [the writer] describe it,' and there was an emotional truth to that moment that struck me for something we were doing. So, it's not necessarily that I have to be genre-specific, it's just whatever is inspiring you emotionally."

Orci said that action is their last concern, because with projects like Alias and Transformers, the missions and robots come with the package. "From the minute you get on there, okay, we're gonna have a car chase...that's the easy part," he said. "All that is meaningless unless it's coming out of some story tension or some character tension...not just come in on everybody in a room fighting or whatever." His partner agreed that the best action movies are based in character, such as Die Hard or Lethal Weapon.

Kurtzman also said that the pair always use outlines: "We never work without a structure...TV teaches you that for sure. Especially when you're doing action movies which are so much about architecture, you have to make sure that your structure is really intact, and we always know generally where we're going." Typically, Orci explained, it takes six or seven months to produce a screenplay, though Star Trek was an anomaly in that regard, as Kurtzman explained. "We locked ourselves away for a good two months actually, and just kinda didn't take calls, and finished it. And then, you know, they got the script, and it was greenlit the next day, which was...the most satisfying [result] we ever had, I think."

Writing MI3 was less difficult in Kurtzman's eyes because their film was very focused on character, which was not true of its prequels. "In the case of 'Trek' it's different because, you know, there's so much deep, deep mythology in the movies and the television show and the novels and, y'know, that's more challenging." Orci agreed that Star Trek could not have been written without a great deal of knowledge about the franchise. we could not have written without knowing a whole mess about Trek. The pair is attached now to produce a movie about cowboys and aliens.

The original article is here.

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