Star Trek (film)This article is about the 2009 film. For the first Star Trek film, see Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This article or section contains information about one or more scheduled or expected films.
The content will change as the film's release approaches and more information becomes available.
Teaser poster Directed by J. J. AbramsProduced by J. J. Abrams
Bill Todman, Jr.Written by Screenplay
Gene RoddenberryStarring Chris Pine
Leonard NimoyMusic by Michael GiacchinoCinematography Daniel MindelEditing by Mary Jo Markey
Maryann BrandonDistributed by Paramount PicturesRelease date(s) May 8, 2009Country United StatesLanguage EnglishBudget $130 - $150 million (estimated) Preceded by Star Trek NemesisOfficial websiteAllmovie profileIMDb profile
Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is the eleventh Star Trek film and a prequel to The Original Series, featuring characters such as Kirk (played by Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). The film will also show Kirk and Spock's childhoods. Leonard Nimoy reprises his role as the older Spock, and Eric Bana appears as the villainous Nero. Star Trek will be released on May 8, 2009 in North America.
- 1 Cast
- 2 Production
- 3 Release
- 4 Marketing
- 5 References
- 6 External links
- Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. The actor dropped out of starring in a film
adaptation of White Jazz to take on the role. Pine said he wanted to evoke Kirk's characteristics, but not
completely replicate William Shatner's performances. He also cited Harrison Ford's performances as Han Solo
and Indiana Jones as an inspiration because of his "absolute
grumpy manner; the accidental hero. Not to say that I modeled my version of
James T. Kirk on anything in particular but I think I definitely have wanted to
bring that kind of Harrison Ford humor to Kirk."
It was widely rumored that Matt Damon would play Kirk in the movie. Damon, upon hearing the rumors (including William Shatner giving him a "seal of approval" for the role) contacted Abrams to ascertain the truth, only to be told that the Kirk in the film was a younger man and he was "too old" for the part. Damon commented that if sequels are made featuring an older Kirk than portrayed by Pine, he would be interested in playing the role.
- Zachary Quinto as Spock. For the role,
Quinto shaved his eyebrows and spent three hours a day having pointed ears and
large earlobes applied, so as to match Nimoy's appearance. Adrien
Brody had discussed playing the role with the director before Quinto was
cast. Quinto said, "One of the things
that drew me to this character is that he is constantly exploring that notion
of how to evolve in a responsible way and how to evolve in a respectful way. I
think those are all things that we as a society, and certainly the world could
- Leonard Nimoy appears as an older version of Spock. Quinto befriended Nimoy after being cast in the role. Bound by his non-disclosure agreement, Quinto only revealed "there's going to be a sense of guidance" regarding the nature of Nimoy's appearance. Nimoy's role is so significant that there would have been production delays had he disliked the script: Roberto Orci said Nimoy's presence would "resolve continuity issues" and give an "appropriate transfer" to the new version of the Enterprise crew. Nimoy was "genuinely excited" by the script's scope and its detailing of the characters' backstories, saying of Spock in particular, "We have dealt with aspects of [him being half-human, half-Vulcan] before, but never with quite the overview that this script has of the entire history of the character, the growth of the character, the beginnings of the character and the arrival of the character into the Enterprise crew."
- Jacob Kogan will play Spock as a child.
- Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. Like Pine, Urban said of taking on the role that "it is a case of not doing some sort of facsimile or carbon copy, but really taking the very essence of what DeForest [Kelley] has done and honoring that and bringing something new to the table". Urban has been a fan of the show since he was seven years old and actively pursued the role.
- Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. To perform Scotty's accent,
Pegg was assisted by his Scottish wife. Paul McGillion auditioned for the role, and he
impressed producers enough that he was given another role in the film.
- Chris Doohan, the son of the original Scotty, James Doohan, makes a cameo appearance in the transport room. Doohan has e-mailed Pegg about the role, and the actor has promised him his performance "would be a complete tribute to his father". He previously cameoed in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- Zoe Saldana as Uhura. Abrams had liked her work and requested that she play the role. Saldaña never saw the original series, but agreed to play the role after Abrams had complimented her. "For an actor, that's all you need, that's all you want. To get the acknowledgement and respect from your peers," she said. She met with Nichelle Nichols, who explained to her how she had created Uhura's background, and also named the character.
- John Cho as Hikaru Sulu. Abrams was concerned about casting a Korean-American as a Japanese-Fillipino character, but George Takei explained to the director Sulu was meant to represent all of Asia on the Enterprise, so Abrams went ahead with Cho. Cho acknowledged being an Asian-American, "there are certain acting roles that you are never going to get, and one of them is playing a cowboy. [Playing Sulu] is a realization of that dream — going into space." He cited the masculinity of the character as being important to him, and spent two weeks fight training. Cho suffered an injury to his wrist during filming, although a representative assured it was "no big deal". James Kyson Lee was interested in the part, but because Quinto was cast as Spock, the producers of the TV show Heroes did not want to lose another cast member for three months.
- Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov: As with the rest of the cast, Yelchin was allowed to choose what elements there were from their predecessor's performances. Yelchin decided to carry on Walter Koenig's speech patterns of replacing "v"s with "w"s. He described Chekov as an odd character, being a Russian who was brought on to the show "in the middle of the Cold War". He recalled a "scene where they're talking to Apollo [who says], 'I am Apollo.' And Chekov is like, 'And I am the czar of all Russias.' [...] They gave him these lines. I mean he really is the weirdest, weirdest character."
- Eric Bana as Nero, the film's villain. Bana compared his screentime to a cameo appearance, but said, "It's a really well-written script, great part. Couldn't say no. I don't actually look at the size of parts ever." Bana is a fan of the franchise, since being "a huge Trekkie when I was a kid", and felt "if I get compared to any of [the classic villains], I’ll be doing well". His scenes were shot later in principal photography.
- Clifton Collins, Jr. as General Ayel, Nero's henchman.
- Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike.
- Chris Hemsworth as George Samuel Kirk, Sr., Kirk's father.
- Jennifer Morrison as Winona Kirk, Kirk's mother.
- Spencer Daniels as George Samuel "Sam" Kirk, Jr., Kirk's older brother, who appears in a scene with Jimmy Bennett.
- Ben Cross as Sarek, Spock's father.
- Winona Ryder as Amanda Grayson, Spock's mother.
- Greg Ellis as Chief Engineer Olsen.
- Faran Tahir as Federation Captain Rabu.
Sonita Henry, Randy Pausch, Darlena Tejeiro, Pavel Lychnikoff and James Cawley have unnamed roles. Cawley appears as a Starfleet officer. Rachel Nichols plays an Orion alien. Tyler Perry is playing the head of Starfleet Academy. Lucia Rijker will be playing a Romulan communications officer. Kelvin Yu is a Starfleet medical technician. Paul Townsend will be playing a security officer. W. Morgan Sheppard, who played a Klingon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, appears in this film as a different alien. A tribble will make an appearance in the film.
William Shatner has repeatedly said he would like to reappear as the old Kirk, despite the death of the character in Star Trek Generations. He suggested the film canonize the novels where Kirk is resurrected, but Abrams argued, "You and I could come up with dozens of ways [to resurrect Kirk], but every way that we came up with felt like it was transparently fanboys trying to get Shatner in the movie." Nimoy disliked the character's death in Generations, but felt resurrecting Kirk would also be detrimental to this film. Greg Grunberg, who is Abrams's "good luck charm", had to turn down a part in the film because he was busy doing another movie. Abrams approached Timothy Olyphant for a part.
In September 2007, Star Trek fan and Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch gave a lecture as part of a series designed for top lecturers to impart their most important life lessons "as if it were their last". Pausch, who suffers from terminal pancreatic cancer, gave an "inspiring" talk to 400 students. After a video of the lecture went viral, it was subject to worldwide media attention, and came to the attention of Abrams. Abrams was so moved by the lecture he offered Pausch a small role as an Enterprise crew member. At first Pausch thought it was a joke, but he ended up flying to Los Angeles, meeting the cast and crew, and filming his part, which included delivering a line of dialogue.
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry considered making Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) a prequel to the television series. He later opposed Harve Bennett's prequel proposal in 1991 after the completion of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. In 2003, Rick Berman, then-executive producer of the Star Trek franchise, began quietly discussing the possibility of an eleventh Star Trek feature film. However, because of the failures in 2002 and 2005 of the franchise, including the tenth film, Star Trek Nemesis and the cancellation of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, these statements were widely ignored. However, in February 2005, Berman told Variety that screenwriter Erik Jendresen, among others, was involved in pre-production of a new film.
Despite being tangled up in rumors of other screenplays under consideration, the Jendresen script was widely believed to be in pre-production. It was believed that the story, titled Star Trek: The Beginning, would revolve around a new set of characters, led by a man named Tiberius Chase. It would take place in a time after Enterprise but before Star Trek: The Original Series, possibly during the Earth-Romulan War. These rumors have since been verified in large part by Jendresen.
However, on February 25, 2006, Douglas Mirabello, a personal assistant to Rick Berman, made an extensive posting at the Something Awful forums in which he denied that production on The Beginning was going forward, and claimed that Star Trek was dead for the time being. "The franchise needs a totally new creative team, some time off, and a cool new approach", he said. In Jendresen's words, "Essentially, what's being said is true. This is 'dead' because it's not moving forward. It's like a shark. It has got to keep moving or it's dead."
Star Trek began development in 2005 while Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman were filming Mission: Impossible III, and Paramount asked Orci for ideas to revive the franchise: he wanted to write a prequel. On February 23, 2007, Abrams accepted Paramount's offer to direct the film, having been only attached as producer. Steven Spielberg had discussed the project with him while Abrams was visiting the Transformers set, and was impressed by the script (Spielberg later visited Abrams on the Star Trek set and gave advice on the action sequences.) Abrams's wife Katie also convinced her husband to direct, as she felt it had strong female characters. Abrams also signed on when he heard Orci and Kurtzman were lining up other directors, admitting "I would be so agonizingly envious of whoever stepped in and directed the movie and I just thought I've got to direct this."
Star Trek will be the first film in the franchise in which Paramount has collaborated with other production companies to finance the film. J. J. Abrams' company, Bad Robot Productions, and Bill Todman Jr.'s Level 1 Entertainment are developing the picture alongside Paramount.
Answering questions over whether the film would modify continuity, as either a retcon or a reboot, screenwriter Roberto Orci said Star Trek is "in some senses" a prequel, but that the terms he and producer Damon Lindelof prefer are "re-invigoration" or "re-vitalization". Abrams has saluted both the fans and the continuity. "Being involved with a series that has a passionate and vocal following makes me incredibly sympathetic. They have put up with so many incarnations along the way. These fans, they are a smart bunch. They are an intelligent group. We are very respectful and we have no intention of subverting the material." Later, to Empire, he said, "As someone who works on a show that has a very loyal and vocal fanbase, I do understand the need to be respectful ... I think we can do the fans proud." Orci has indicated that where issues of canonicity are ambiguous, a "Supreme Court" consisting of Kurtzman, Abrams, Burk, Lindelof and himself acted as the final arbiters and that they did not "sweat every little detail [...] either you buy [our interpretation] or you don’t".
Abrams has not seen Star Trek Nemesis, and claims that the franchise eventually "disconnected" for him. However, Roberto Orci claims "immediate recall" of all things Trek, and has made comments indicating that he considers even some of the line of Star Trek novels to have canon value, although Gene Roddenberry never considered the novels to be canon. Abrams has labeled Bryan Burk as being "relatively fresh" to the Star Trek universe. Abrams labeled himself as a "big fan", but not a "Trekker" or a "Trekkie". Orci and Kurtzman said they wanted the general audience to like the film as much as the fans, stripping away "technobabble" and not giving the film's title a subtitle, while complementing the drama with more action.
The film's shooting script has also been fiercely protected, even with the main cast. Actor Simon Pegg said the script is "very hush-hush; when I read it, I read it with a security guard near me - it's that secretive." The film is known within the industry by the code-name Corporate Headquarters.
Following the commencement of the Writers Guild of America strike on November 5, 2007, Abrams, himself a WGA member, told Variety that while he would not render writing services for the film and intended to walk the picket line, he did not expect the strike to impact his directing of the production. In the final few weeks before the strike and start of production, Abrams and Damon Lindelof polished the script a final time. The strike was stressful for Abrams during filming, as lines could never be changed, whereas normally the actors would have been able to improvise and collaborate on new ideas. Orci said there will not be any reshoots or rewrites after the strike ended. Lines may still be altered with dubbing.
Filming began on November 7, 2007. The shoot was to last eighty-five days, taking place on 11 sets built at the Paramount backlot, as well as two weeks of location shooting in Iceland. Filming was also done at Long Beach, California, and at California State University, Northridge (which was used for establishing shots of students at Starfleet Academy). Principal photography was completed on March 27, 2008, although second unit filming took place during early April in Bakersfield, California, standing in for Kirk's childhood home Iowa.
The design work for the film is being primarily done by Transformers designer Ryan Church and Trek veteran John Eaves. NASA Imaging Science leader Carolyn Porco is a consultant on planetary science and imagery for the film.
The production team has maintained heavily enforced security around the film. Karl Urban revealed, "[There is a] level of security and secrecy that we have all been forced to adopt. I mean, it's really kind of paranoid crazy, but sort of justified. We're not allowed to walk around in public in our costumes and we have to be herded around everywhere in these golf carts that are completely concealed and covered in black canvas. The security of it is immense. You feel your freedom is a big challenge." Actors including Jennifer Morrison were only given the scripts of their scenes.
Michael Giacchino, the composer for several other Abrams projects, has confirmed that he will score Star Trek. The composer will keep the original theme by Alexander Courage (a portion of which can be heard at the end of the teaser trailer released in January 2008, as well as on Paramount Picture's official film website). Giacchino admitted personal pressure in scoring the film, as "I grew up listening to all of that great [Trek] music, and that's part of what inspired me to do what I'm doing... You just go in scared. You just hope you do your best. It's one of those things where the film will tell me what to do."
In February 2008, Paramount announced they would move Star Trek from its December 25, 2008 release date to May 8, 2009. The move was not due to the end of the WGA strike, but to the studio feeling that more audiences would go see the film during summer than winter. The film will still be practically finished by the end of 2008. They chose May 8 because it avoided competition with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Angels & Demons, out in the same month. Paramount's decision came about after visiting the set and watching dailies, as they realized the film could appeal to a much broader audience. Even though the filmmakers liked the Christmas release date, Damon Lindelof acknowledged it would allow more time to perfect the visual effects.
MarketingThe USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) under construction on Earth
The first teaser trailer debuted in theaters with Cloverfield on January 18, 2008. The teaser depicts the Enterprise being built on Earth, which Roberto Orci acknowledged would cause debates among fans regarding canon. Explaining that the concept came from their own creative licence and the precedent set in Star Trek novels, he said that the idea that some things have to be constructed in space is normally associated with "flimsy" objects which have to be delicately assembled and would not normally be required to enter a gravity well. He said that this did not apply to the Enterprise because of the artificial gravity employed on the ship and its requirement for sustaining warp speed, and therefore the calibration of the ship's machinery would be best done in the exact gravity well which is to be simulated.
The voices of the 1960s which play over the trailer were intended to link the film to the present day; John F. Kennedy in particular was chosen because of similarities with the character of James T. Kirk and because he is seen to have "kicked off" the space race. Orci explained that: "If we do indeed have a Federation, I think Kennedy’s words will be inscribed in there someplace."
On January 21, 2008, a link on the official site brings users to a viral marketing website which is not unlike those created for Abrams's other works, which shows footage of the ship under construction. Three screens of the four feeds shown can be adjusted for a clearer image by changing the frequency in the bar below each one. The fourth will show static and the caption "Searching for Signal" but will display a very brief corridor scene if left long enough. This site can be accessed by clicking on a red dot to the right of the words "under construction".
Master Replicas will create collectible items for the film, while Playmates Toys will create action figures and toy ships for the film. Playmates had previously owned the toy license to Star Trek until 2000. Diamond Select/Art Asylum will still own the rights to items based on previous incarnations of the franchise.
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- Official site
- Star Trek at the Internet Movie Database
- Star Trek at Allmovie
- Star Trek (film) article at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek wiki
- The Trek Movie Report: Independent website dedicated to XI news coverage and commentary.
- Official website of the Star Trek franchise
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