JJ Abrams saves Star Trek!

I hardly think that TNG can be considered hardcore geek-only fodder. Hell, it lasted what, 8 seasons? 9? My girlfriend even refers to Xavier in X-Men as “Captain Picard” and she’s no geek. If you ask me, TNG has more than legitimized itself at this point.

One day in the first season of shooting, Nichelle Nichols relates that she went up to Roddenberry and said, “I know what you’re doing… these are morality plays!”

“SHHH!” he hushed her. “Don’t tell anybody else!”

The whole idea for ST was to be a vessel (pun very deliberate) for the kind of SF morality plays that worked so well in SF short stories. Id, Superego and Ego are given starring roles (McCoy, Spock and Kirk respectively). Some of the better SF writers of the era were writing for it. The concept combined with the writing talent is what made it what it was.

Next Generation followed in the same mold, at least as long was Roddenberry was alive. After he died was when the series (and every series that followed) became a soap opera laden with the particle-of-the-week deus ex machina.

Sure enough, as soon as he was no longer around to hold the reins, the fear Roddenberry expressed to Nichols was realized. Berman took the helm, he cut out the whole “morality play” bit thinking it outdated and irrelevant, without realizing it was the thing that made the series work.

Could be good like Batman Begins and could be really bad like Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry met Lloyd. I don’t even think I’ve seen a Star Trek movie in the theaters since Wrath of Khan.

Certainly Picard has some mainstream visibility, but still not anything like in the Kirk/Spock stratosphere. If the TNG universe really was that visibile, probably the last two movies would not have flopped - FYI, the last movie, Nemesis, was the biggest Star Trek movie flop ever.

If you want to trade girlfriend analogies, my girlfriend knows virtually nothing about Star Trek, she couldn’t pick Picard out of a line-up, but she knows who Kirk and Spock are.

I think a the premise has to be Unexpected without being Weird. The hype has to be Clever building to Overwhelming. Most importantly, the cast has to be Everything to Everyone.

That means Shatner, Nimoy and Stewart supported by very reliable actors, not the soap-opera supporting TV cast. The likes of Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore and Sean Bean. Someone mentioned Tom Hanks was interested: he alone would be more than enough.

Also, be really mercenary and callow and hire Olmos or some other outstanding focus of current TV spec fic: the whole point being to make sure people who are not sci-fi fans but “like it when its on” drop by on Sunday.

Nemesis didn’t flop because TNG isn’t a good enough franchise. It flopped because it was a horrible horrible movie that got horrible reviews with the accompanying bad word of mouth.

Didn’t that horrible TOS movie where they killed God flop too?

For the record:

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - domestic gross $52m
Star Trek X: Nemesis - domestic gross $43m

Taking into acount that V was an even worse movie than X, this should say something about the relative pulling power of the TOS vs TNG franchises.

(The biggest Trek movie of all time was IV, which grossed $109m domestic).

ST5 was terrible, but it followed 3 pretty decent hits and grossed 20% more than Nemesis before inflation. Nemesis followed Insurrection, which was a disaster.

I say new cast, and get some decent star power. Not some 25 year old good looking unknown, spend some cash.

I think they are probably going to force Abrams to go with a star actor, not some unknown. This is not Superman, where the brand is already such a banker that you can put an unknown in the lead. They are not going to take any risks this time, they will want to put asses in seats. Which begs the question… who would make a good Young Kirk?

who would make a good Young Kirk?

That’s the sort of question the Internet was born to endlessly debate.

Ben Affleck? Apparently he developed an allergy to good scripts
You need a relatively big star between the ages of 20-40, so your real big male hitters like Gibson/Hanks/Cruise/Clooney can’t do it.
Damon is too understated, Norton too weaselly looking, Bloom too girly, Diesel too Vin Diesely, Christian Bale is already Batman.

Brad Pitt maybe? Keanu Reeves would be awesome as a bad actor homage.

Dropping the star quality down a notch, either of the Brokeback Mountain guys would work. Actually, what the fuck, bring them both back.

I think that idea might be too good, if after this post the universe folds back on itself I’m sorry.

lessee, good young kirk? needs to be someone who has to suck in his gut, big ego, sense of humor, tendency to overact…

I give you: Young Kirk.

Nathan Fillion as young Kirk. That would be AWESOME. Hmm, they should then also figure a way to work in Alan Tudyk as well.

If they want more lighthearted Kirk perhaps Ryan Reynolds.

Justin Long might be perfect as young Spock.

no, no, no, no… all these guys are way too scrawny. we need -paunchy-

I know he’s nowhere near paunchy, but how about Jon Heder as young Kirk? That would be friggin’ sweet.

I think I had an actually good idea. Joaquin Phoenix would be a good Kirk.

Though Ryan Reynolds and Vince Vaughn would be a great “Aloof clever guys who always play themselves” combo.

All that really proves, Whitta, is that TNG is not TOS. It hasn’t reached the level of pop culture integration that TOS did, but to say that it falls into the category of hardcore geek is… well, it’s ridiculous. Oh, and back to the girlfriend thing, I showed her a picture of a young Shatner and she had no idea who he was. Universe implode?

Kirk only got the paunch in his later years. He was pretty buff during the TOS.

It’s going to be someone young. Like, Academy-age. Remember Abrams is the guy who brought us Felicity. I would expect them to cast someone under the age of 25.

It’s also unlikely to be a huge star. They are going to want someone willing to sign up for several movies in case the first one is a big hit, and big stars don’t sign multi-picture deals. So, it’s going to be someone right on the bubble, a young actor who is neither unknown nor a major star, but has some “heat” and this will be his big breakthrough role. Like that punk from The OC.

Starfleet Academy in a prequel-style movie with young versions of TOS characters? Worst…idea…ever! I’m so pissed off that the idea is even being bandied about that I don’t know if I’m more annoyed that they are doing it or that I just spent a chunk of time thinking of all the stories I’d rather have them tell. Messed up my head, it did.

My pick is Peter Saarsgard for Kirk.

Whitta- Obviously they’ll go the safe route and try to get some punk nobody who they can sign to a trillion movie deal.
And yeah, that punk from the OC qualifies as a nobody when it comes to headlining a movie. I can’t really see ADAM BRODY JUSTIN LONG at the top of a big cardboard standee in the movie theater lobby, you know?