Friday, April 21, 2006

'Lost' in space

The folks at Paramount are apparently pretty confident in their upcoming “Mission: Impossible III.” Before the movie has even come out they’ve handed its rookie director the keys to their biggest franchise.

You heard that right—J.J. Abrams will direct the next Star Trek movie! Abrams will also write the project, along with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who wrote “M:I III” with him. Abrams, the creator of the hit show “Lost,” will also be a producer, as will his fellow “Lost” producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk.

Paramount is hoping to have the movie out in 2008. The story will depict young Kirk and young Spock meeting for the first time at Starfleet Academy and sharing their first adventure together.

Abrams and company are going to write a new script based on this concept. However, this premise is nothing new. A similar script, called “Star Trek: The Academy Years” was written back in the 1980s. Harve Bennett, the man who produced Treks II-V wanted to make this next. It was initially given the green light. But then there was a regime change at Paramount and the idea was scrapped. Bennett left and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” was made instead.

The news about Abrams was reported this morning in Daily Variety. However, the article made no mention of longtime Trek honcho Rick Berman or any of the other names that have been familiar to fans as writers and producers for the last decade or two. It has long been speculated that Berman’s days at the helm should end following the flops that were “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.”

This also seems to confirm that Eric Jendersen’s script that’s been floating around recently is officially dead in the water. Tentatively titled “Star Trek: The Beginning,” it would have been set in the time between “Enterprise” and The Original Series, featuring a completely original cast of characters. The story would have dealt with the Romulan War that was referenced when the Romulans made their first appearance in the Original Series episode “Balance of Terror.”

As for Abrams, I’ll take the wait and see approach. I’m pleased to see Paramount is going after not only new blood, but some big-name new blood to revitalize Trek. But Abrams can be very hit or miss. Just look at his show “Alias” and even “Lost” and you will find some definite high moments and very definite low moments. While he’s written some great scripts for those shows and, as mentioned, Paramount is apparently pleased with “M:I III,” he also wrote “Armageddon” (not one of my favorite movies) and a draft for a Superman screenplay that was reviled by fans on the Internet.

So time will tell what Abrams has in store for Trek. I’m a “Lost” fan and I liked “Alias” when it was good. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Star Trek.


Aaron Hull said...

The Star Trek movie sounds really cool...I can't wait. I won't, however, be seeing Mission Impossible III...I've swore ro myself that I will never pay money to see Tom Cruise again. I hope all his movies bomb.

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