Kurtzman And Orci Talk Khan And Bringing In Another Writer On STAR TREK 3

Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman admit they read online fan responses and comments to projects they're working on, what it meant to write Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness and if they'll write or bring in help on Star Trek 3.

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By Mark Julian - 8/6/2013
Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have quite the impressive and extensive resume. The writing partners have teamed up on The Island, Mission: Impossible III, Transformers, Star Trek and of course Star Trek Into Darkness. They've also teamed up on the forthcoming Ender's Game, Edge of Tomorrow (formerly known as All You Need Is Kill), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. They are also involved with numerous tv projects as well. Point being, they're very busy. Which is why they brought in Damon Lindelof to help with writing Star Trek Into Darkness. Below, the duo discuss whether they'll bring a third writer again on Star Trek 3 and if they listen to online feedback from fans about the projects they're working on.

Kurtzman admitted that they do read online responses to projects they're working on, even films they're in the middle of writing. Said Alex"Bob will constantly say when we're writing something, 'Oh you know, I've been reading a lot online and people aren't liking X or Y or they're critical of this or that.' We'll certainly weigh that into the things that we write. We'll decide if we want to give that total merit or say, 'Okay, but still there's more to be explored here and we really like it.' So I just don't believe that you're ever really finished. I think you have to let it be an evolving process. There's all these articles that are being written right now about the summer tent poles, and why some work, and why some don't. We've had a very fortunate summer, but I can't exactly tell you why."

So were they aware of the media frenzy surrounding Benedict Cumberbatch's role, and whether he was or was not Khan and the more current topic of debate of whether Khan was accurately portrayed in Star Trek Into Darkness? "Khan is a whole different ball game," said Kurtzman. He continued, "We debated whether we were going to us Khan or not for a year before we started writing anything. Before we committed to breaking story, even. Khan is the Joker of Star Trek. Khan is the most memorable villain in Star Trek and probably the thing that got me completely locked in on Trek as a kid. And because it was also, really the most emotional Trek ever, we knew what we would be taking on by taking on Khan. And part of it was, 'Okay lets do it because of all of the reasons, because we're protective of him, because we know what it means.' At the same time we talked a lot about how we were going to make it really different. We did not want to do a remake of The Wrath of Khan. And yet there are certain things about our version of Khan that you recognize, that feel similar, but it's not the same story. We just didn't want to do that and I think so far, for the most part, people appreciated that. But it took a lot of thought. We gave it a lot of thought."

And on rumors that they'll actually hire someone else to write the film or bring on another writer to help out again? Said Orci, "We are currently talking to Paramount to see if we can make a schedule work where we can remain involved, but again, for example the second movie we teamed with Damon Lindelof, so on the the third film we may do something similar. [But] With anyone who's willing and able to come help out with the crew of the Enterprise [not necessarily Lindelof]."



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ALF9001 - 8/6/2013, 8:04 AM
I loved Into Darkness
Best summer movie so far, with pacific rim being a close second
bagadoosh - 8/6/2013, 8:09 AM
The use of khan was not my problem in fact for the most part they did a nice job reinventing the character . I honestly have a hard time judging Into darkness without bias , it made extremely angry when they messed with spocks death and after I got pissed it was hard for me to be anything but mad and disappointed with the entire film even though it did have some amazing scenes .

I have wanted to do an official review of the film but that would require me to see it again and I have no plans to do that to myself again .

was it a horrible movie ?? No not all but they messed with something I consider sacred to science fiction movie history , nice attempt to tribute the past but it was huge fail in my opinion . And for that these writers will never be trusted by me again .
Phinehas - 8/6/2013, 8:09 AM
The Khan story was introduced too quickly. The emotional connection between Spock and Kirk was also rushed. The reversal of roles where Kirk (SPOILER ALERT) dies also was pure corn. The emotion development of these guys from the original stress developed over decades.
They need to work on subtlety.
Phinehas - 8/6/2013, 8:11 AM
*The original show
InfiniteMonkey - 8/6/2013, 8:13 AM
They should just fire these two.
Copy and paste does not make a good movie and most especially delaying it for several years and it showed.
Need a fresh take and a new set of perspective and eyes.
Into Darkness was cool but not good and hardly thought provoking except the rehashed bit got one thinking why, why, why they decided to do it.
We're they bribed?
wcwpoet - 8/6/2013, 8:14 AM
What's so crazy is with all the movies I've seen this summer I totally forgot that I saw Star Trek Into Darkness LOL. I thought it was good yes I groaned a bit with the last frame by frame recap of Wrath of Khan just switch roles of Kirk & Spock but it was still a really good movie. But so far shockingly enough World War Z has been the best of the summer bunch, that is until Elysium hits.
RamonSuarez - 8/6/2013, 8:15 AM
The ruined the hell out of Khan. He resembled nothing of the charming, charismatic sociopath we remembered from the TV show and movie. Somehow I am to believe that Cumberbatch's character is supposed to be a madder, more physically imposing version of Montalban's Khan because the Federation blackmailed him to kill Klingons for a year. This was a warlord who was responsible for igniting a world war that massacred millions of 'inferior' people. Total fail.
IM53 - 8/6/2013, 8:22 AM
Anyone else sick of these two rascals?
4thDoctor - 8/6/2013, 8:23 AM
Bob & Alex,

Listening to what "they" are saying on the internet is one thing. Taking it to heart is another.
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I wonder if you actually let an intelligent fan read your script for Into Darkness before sending it to be filmed. I would volunteer. I am one of those guys, along with thousaned upon thousands of others that LOVE Star Trek. I know the details. I know the history. I know what can be done and what can't be done with the history.
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Of course it's easy for me and "them" to point out your flaws after the fact, but what about getting assistance BEFORE you inflame the fanbase with poorly thought out connections and plots, but, we still know what works, what would work, and what could work.
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Contact me when you read this. Send me a PM or email. You won't be disappointed. I'd really like to help you make the Trek movie that will please EVERYONE.
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Thank you
JettJagguarrr - 8/6/2013, 8:25 AM
I was Stunned.
MrCBM56 - 8/6/2013, 8:29 AM
Star trek 2 is the best summer movie so far.
Scooby - 8/6/2013, 8:44 AM
To both of you:

IM53 - 8/6/2013, 8:52 AM
Exactly bags
cosmicman - 8/6/2013, 8:56 AM
Thats why Lindelof is gone.
Lhornbk - 8/6/2013, 9:27 AM
*sighs deeply" more fanboy whining. Star Trek fanboy whining instead of comic book fanboy whining. Yeah, there were a couple of things that I thought could've been better, but overall I really liked it. (And it's some little stuff that bothers me, which is why I don't make a big deal about it, because it is little. The way phasers and shields work, for example.)

The last thing, absolutely the last thing I would want is some fanboy who thinks he's the ultimate Star Trek expert to become some kind of adviser on a film. Yeah, he might fix some of those little things that kind of bug me, but he would probably end up ruining the movie. Fulfill some fanboy wish to have the Enterprise travel to the other timeline and meet their older counterparts, or something else like that. Worry so much about the Star Trek canon that he ruins what would be a good story (let's face it, no Star Trek fanboy would have ever approved, in advance, destroying Vulcan, but doing so was integral to that movie and helped make it a very good story.)

You really want to do something good with Star Trek? Put it back on TV where it belongs. Make a new series with new characters, maybe set another 25-40 years after the Next Generation films (which I think would put it in the 25th century.) A new Enterprise, the Enterprise-F. You can keep doing these films too, but to truly explore characters and storylines you really need a weekly TV series, not just a movie every 2-3 years.
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 9:44 AM
IT WAS LITERALLY THE WORST TREK FILM EVER! WOK-LITE. THEY ARE NOT CREATIVE!
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 9:45 AM
predictable trite!
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 9:48 AM
worse than INSURRECTION and and a statement like that speaks volumes
Arrowhead77 - 8/6/2013, 9:56 AM
Into Darkness was the secone best movie of the Summer to me. I cant wait for number 3!
jerryblake - 8/6/2013, 10:03 AM
i just don't know how it's happened but it did.
Into Darkness sucked.

First Star trek movie was tight, intelligent, and funny piece of cinema.

Second one was just ... lazy. It's got lazy writing written all over it. Don't know how it got passed JJ control point.
I got a same problem with DKR. It felt like Nolan didn't even red the script.
Ceejay - 8/6/2013, 10:05 AM
Dumbest writing ever, they turned Khan into some Marvel Superhero level genetic being for the sake of having him be hit a billion times in ridiculous scenes.

Where did Khan come from if before the timeline was disrupted, he was already marooned in deep space from 1997. The original timeline Enterprise only discovered his ship during their first year exploring deep space, in this timeline they hadn't even begun exploring till the end of this movie.

Then we have the all intelligently written Star Fleet officers who magic Khan out of nowhere, force him to make weapons for them or they'll not free his 72 crew-mates in cryogenic sleep. He makes 72 torpedos and these dumb asses don't put two and two together..

72 torpedo's.. 72 crew men...

Worse than that they don't even realize the crewmen are missing until they've given all 72 of their arsenal to the enterprise and ask Kirk just to fire one!

And what was Khan's genius plan, once these guys had even tried testing a torpedo? Watch it fire at a target and have the crewmen inside squish against the hull of a Klingon ship or turn into street pizza at ground targets?

And now they've turned the character into Wolverine and brought Kirk back to life by replicating its properties. How does anyone every die again in Star Trek? How is it a breakthrough in medical science like that happened in 1997 and 300 years later they're clueless despite every massive advance in technology?

Dumb writing, Dumb movie for dumb audiences!
jerryblake - 8/6/2013, 10:13 AM
p.s. if a little girl survived thanks to Khan blood, shouldn't she be like ... immortal ?
Same goes with Kirk.

That's the main thing that bugged me after seeing the movie.

Or is it possible that Khan's blood can only cure you ?

If it's so, than why didn't they use his body to create a cure for all of the diseases ?
yingyangpalms - 8/6/2013, 10:14 AM
Kurtzman And Orci need to talk about why they suck.
yingyangpalms - 8/6/2013, 10:21 AM
@Ceejay That's a great point I hadn't thought of. I must be getting slow or maybe the movie sucked so bad I didn't bother to give it thought.

Why is the Star Trek Universe dumb even before Nero came back in time made it dumb?

What is the true origin of the Dumberverse? Could it be that Nero changed nothing and Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman went into the future and made it a Dumberverse?

bagadoosh - 8/6/2013, 10:24 AM
STTNG
STDS9
Voyager
Enterprise

they already oversaturated the TV market so I vote no on that Idea , just make better movies .
Alvahnomicron - 8/6/2013, 10:29 AM
I enjoyed, "...Into Darkness", but, it had a bevy of issues. The BIG one, the one that took me out of the movie sometimes, was Kahn. Out of all the actors they could've chosen for Khan Noonien Sing, why a pasty-white Englishman? At least Montalban was generically, "of color". It bugs the HELL out of me.
Why, oh, why, couldn't they have gotten the actor who played Mohinder Suresh???
yingyangpalms - 8/6/2013, 10:33 AM
@bagadoosh Not really. STTNG was a great series. Voyager shouldve been great but it was a network show and so it was dumbed down and was the precursor for Abram's "Star Trek: The Dumbass Saga"

Star Trek needs to be a syndicated TV show made by someone who loves the real Trek. And it should be progressive and take place after STTNG.

It's doubtful though that the real Star Trek will ever be seen again. What we have now is a simple minded romp BASED upon Trek.

Abrams Trek is eerily reminiscent of old SNL Star Trek sketches. It never feels serious and just comes across as an imitation.
charlie2094 - 8/6/2013, 10:40 AM
Into Darkness was fantastic!! Easily the best film of the year so far, don't get how so many people "hate" it. The general consensus is that it's great, though maybe not quite as good as the first, though I preferred it. They done a brilliant job with Khan, everyone who remotely knows Star Trek guessed it, but still worked really well and Cumberbatch was fantastic.

Glad to see these two back. They're clearly passionate about the franchise. Just hope there's some way of having JJ direct the film, though it really doesn't seem likely or possible.
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 10:44 AM
theyd revolutionize STAR FLEET MEDICAL making medical officers obsolete. just carry some pints of KHAN blood no one will ever be seriously injured or die ever again. why didnt a studio exec catch that plot hole?
grifdeadpoolteabag - 8/6/2013, 10:45 AM
yingyingpalms:

"Abrams['s] Trek is eerily reminiscent of old SNL Star Trek sketches. It never feels serious and just comes across as an imitation."

Precisely. Coming out of "J.J. Trek II: The Search for Kirk," I said to myself, they've successfully made a 2+ hour movie filled with caricatures of the original characters, even worse than the first flick.
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 10:46 AM
the name and lineage are the same and yet he is a white pastey faced british dude. not even a passing explanation
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 10:47 AM
it was the most poorly written TREK film to date
dellamorte1872 - 8/6/2013, 10:49 AM
when the story you WROTE falls in on itself under scrutiny; you know you wrote a horrendous film
BeeMo - 8/6/2013, 10:50 AM
I completely stand with Alvahnomicron. The thing that bugged me the most too was the choice of actor for Khan. Granted, Benedict is a marvelous actor -- but the Khan character was essentially a man of color. Middle Eastern to be exact. It's in his name AND in the original series they listed the region of his rule to be middle-eastern or asian.

That one casting choice ruined the character for me, because it just made no sense. Personally, I didn't like Into Darkness, and I'm a HUGE Star Trek fan. I loved the first Trek in 2009 -- but this one left me so flat, I'll be wrought to go see the next in the theaters now.
fettastic - 8/6/2013, 11:07 AM
I had two problems with Cumberpubicpatch as Khan. First off that the entire cast and crew LIED about it for years. We knew when they first started production that it was about Khan, then they flat-out denied it. Over and over and over they lied to our face. Did that ultimately make the film better? Nope, it just pissed me off.

Secondly, in a continuity that includes Leonard Nimoy referring to Ricardo Mantalban, it makes no sense whatsoever to have a pasty Brit as Khan.

Other than that I thought he nailed it and I thought it was a good time at the movies.
Oxbow - 8/6/2013, 11:19 AM
Why didn't they use the blood of any of the other 72 rocket men on Kirk? Why did they need khan for that? That was the only problem for me.
bagadoosh - 8/6/2013, 11:19 AM
I'd watch a star trek TV show if Ronald D Moore wrote it
bagadoosh - 8/6/2013, 11:21 AM
@charlie We have our legitimate gripes and have not been shy about sharing them you may not agree with our reasons but I believe most of us have spelled out exactly why we hate it .
bagadoosh - 8/6/2013, 11:24 AM
But I understand your attitude because I can't figure out why a start trek fan could walk out of into darkness in a good mood much less like the movie at all . just hard for me to comprehend
fettastic - 8/6/2013, 11:32 AM
Another thing that bothers me more over time is Quinto's HIGHLY EMOTIONAL Spock. Every 'single line he speaks is laced with emotion. Nimoy just NAILED that so well and I have frankly seen other actors get that Vulcan demeanor down well too, but Quinto just can't seem to get it, or maybe Abrams just doesn't like it, I don't know.
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