EXCLUSIVE: Orci Opens Up About Star Trek Into Darkness, Part 2

By StarTrek.com Staff - May 24, 2013

StarTrek.com ran an interview with Star Trek Into Darkness co-writers and co-producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman a couple of weeks before the film opened, but when we got a chance to speak with Orci again after we saw the film, but still before it opened to the public, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Somewhere in the middle of this second, and solo, conversation with Orci, it was agreed that we’d touch on some spoilers and hold the interview until after the film debuted. Well, the film is in theaters and now is the time to run the story, spoilers and all. Below is part two, and click HERE to read part one.

Star Trek Into DarknessStar Trek Into Darkness has wall to wall action. How do you “write” action? Do you put on paper, “Five-minute space chase sequence here”? and “Seven-minute fight scene here”? And then, how much of it comes to life on set? At ILM?

ORCI: You will get different answers from different writers. Alex (Kurtzman) and I pride ourselves on having the action be extremely specific. We started in TV and what you always joke about in TV is that you want to make your scripts director-proof, because you have a different director every week. So we always joke that you can rely on anyone to tell you what the action is going to be; you’ve got to write it in there. Now, the flip side of that is you get to a movie and you have J.J. Abrams and you have Roger Guyett at ILM, and suddenly you realize that you don’t have to be so director-proof. These guys actually know what they’re doing. So it’s a mix. I would say that we don’t leave anything to the imagination. We absolutely describe it. The action on the page. On the other hand, not amount of writing, no amount of anything you can write on the page, can ever recreate what J.J. does or what Roger Guyett does or what Scott Chambliss, the production designer, figures out in terms of what it looks like. You’ll see an interesting handoff. We imagine it as far as we can, and then the people who have to take it further do an amazing job.

Star Trek Into DarknessThe character that takes the biggest beating in Star Trek Into Darkness is the Enterprise. Why did you torture the old girl?

ORCI: (Laughs). OK, but admit it: you thought the Enterprise was going down, and it survived. This is a question only us fans can understand, and I know what you’re saying. Actually, we screwed up. In the first movie we were pitching that the Enterprise should totally be destroyed. It was actually (then-Paramount president) Gail Berman who said, “No, please don’t do that.” She was right, and we realized, “OK, destroying the Enterprise is sort of a cliché.” So we changed our minds and didn’t destroy the Enterprise. We said, “The Enterprise is a sacred thing that we’re not going to screw with. God bless the Enterprise. If we ever end up on the case of being part of its demise, you’d better believe it’s going to be a super-important reason why it gets destroyed. But we’re not just going to just do that willy-nilly.” The Enterprise in (Star Trek Into Darkness) comes close to being destroyed, but it survives. 

Star Trek Into Darkness OrciJ.J. Abrams is probably going to be too busy with Star Wars to direct a third Star Trek film, but how eager are you to be involved with it?

ORCI: Look, man, my uncle got me into Star Trek. I named the Kelvin, the very ship that Kirk was born on, after my uncle. To me, Star Trek is so important and I love it so much that it is very difficult to imagine other people working on it. Yet, if somebody has a better idea than I do, then they should be the ones handling Star Trek. We’ve always said that we didn’t create Star Trek, that we don’t own Star Trek. It existed before us. I only want to be on Star Trek as long as I’m useful and helpful to what Star Trek is. The minute that I’m a burden on it, then I should not be here. I want the best idea to win. Hopefully, if this movie works, Paramount will be thinking about a third movie and, if I have the best idea, I should win. If I don’t, someone else should win. That’s how much I love Star Trek. The best idea should win, period.

Star Trek III was the most contemplative and downbeat of the original cast films, and we say that in a good way. Given the marketplace these days, could a third Star Trek film from the Bad Robot team in any way resemble The Search for Spock?

ORCI: I hope that, in a certain way, we’ve earned the right to get a little bit crazy and maybe go more sci-fi? I’m going to flip this interview on you. What do you think?

Star TrekWe wouldn’t mind a little less action, a little more character development. We’re not sure they need to beam down to Risa for a whole movie, but maybe even just a few minutes of them relaxing, like in that wonderfully cheesy campfire scene in Star Trek V, would be welcome…

ORCI: I agree with you completely. You brought up, jokingly, the campfire scene in Star Trek V. I love that scene. I love it. I feel like that’s pure Star Trek. Again, let the best idea win and we may not be around and it’s going to be a competition, but maybe we earned the right to do some sci-fi in this third movie and sort of have earned the right to do whatever Star Trek needs to be. We’ve done these two cool, big, action Star Trek movies. Are we allowed to do more than that now? I’d like to think so. You’re from StarTrek.com. You know that Star Trek: The Motion Picture is panned by some people and yet, hell man, V’ger going off and becoming sentient is awesome. It’s such a trippy thing.


Click HERE to read part one of our interview with Roberto Orci.

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