“Star Trek” Sequel Writers Ready to Go to Warp

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You’ll have to wait until summer 2012 for the next "Star Trek" voyage, but rest assured the future of the Enterprise crew is already unfolding.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the screenwriting team behind the successful reboot of the franchise (as well as the first two Transformers films) and "Lost" writer-producer Damon Lindelof are in the midst of crafting the screenplay, a task they find as thrilling – and daunting – as Kirk and Spock facing down Klingon warships.

“We are in the process – It is being written,” Lindelof told Popcorn Biz. “It's a lot of fun. There's a tremendous amount of pressure because expectations, I felt, were a little bit low the last time. Now they're high – but that brings its own level of excitement. So, you know, I hope that we do the fans proud.”

Kurtzman called breaking the sequel’s story “an epic moment for us, of feeling like we finally came to something that meets our expectations.”

“It’s exciting and terrifying and wonderful, and yet I want to put my head in the sand – all at the same time,” Kurtzman said. “I think Bob and Damon and I have to shut the noise out. You do listen to what people are saying, and our antennae are always out for what people are saying and what people want. We take that in, we process it, we adjust it, we talk about it, we debate it, and then we shut it all out and say ‘What are we going to do here? What do we want? What feels right?’”

The scribes are keeping mum on whether any familiar characters from past Trek series or films will be reinterpreted to join the new faces – including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and Zoe Saldana – established in the 2009 reboot.

“Now we have all of characters in place for the beginning of the movie, so order number one is to make sure we’re taking care of them,” explained Orci. “The first movie had the benefit of slowly introducing them – they weren’t all there from the beginning. Now they’re all there, and we want to make sure everyone gets what they deserve first before we see who else can fit in.”

Although original series star Leonard Nimoy appeared in a critical role, the Trek team resisted trying to shoehorn the still wildly popular William Shatner into the first film when their initial ideas seemed unworthy of the actor’s iconic status. Though they admit it seems even more unlikely to organically work Shatner-as-Kirk into a sequel, the writers haven’t entirely dismissed the notion.

“The trick is you have to do it in a way that’s not a gimmick,” said Kurtzman, “and when we put Spock in our version of Trek, we knew that it was not going to be a gimmick. There was a lot of discussion and we even wrote a scene for Shatner, but ultimately it felt like it wasn’t doing service to what he represents to the Star Trek legacy. So if we all feel like we can do that effectively, we can do it right, then sure – it’s a conversation. But until then we feel that we have to protect and make sure that the integrity of Star Trek is kept alive.”

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