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Mr. Beaks Talks COWBOYS & ALIENS, STAR TREK 2 And Damon "Cowbell" Lindelof With Alex Kurtzman And Roberto Orci!

You can't get much higher on the Hollywood Screenwriter A-list than Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. They are arguably the go-to guys when it comes to big-budget four-quadrant entertainment: TRANSFORMERS, STAR TREK, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN and, now, COWBOYS & ALIENS. Three of these are Steven Spielberg productions, the other is the franchise-revitalizing brainchild of Spielberg's heir-apparent, J.J. Abrams. And when Kurtzman and Orci aren't racking up billion dollar worldwide grosses, they're creating popular TV shows like FRINGE and HAWAII FIVE-O via their production company K/O Paper Products. It is impossible to overstate their influence on today's popular culture.

Though Kurtzman and Orci started as producers on COWBOYS & ALIENS, it soon became necessary - due to scheduling and other vagaries - for them to step in and get the screenplay across the finish line. They were joined by their occasional collaborator Damon Lindelof, whose integral contributions are praised in Dickinsonian musical terms below. This was, as usual for Kurtzman and Orci, a high-stakes assignment: Jon Favreau, hot off of two wildly successful IRON MAN movies, directing James Bond and Indiana Jones, with The Beard looming in the background as executive producer. Surely, the pressure was excruciating at times.

But they'll never admit it. Kurtzman and Orci have way too many irons in the Hollywood fire to consider failure. Regardless of how the finished product turns out, their only move is forward - to the next movie, the next show or the next graphic novel. As we recently learned from our pals Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, the only way to keep working in this industry (on this level) is to keep working and trust that what you're putting out there will connect with the mainstream. This is what Kurtzman and Orci have done for the better part of the last decade. And with STAR TREK 2 nearing production, this is what they will continue to do for the foreseeable future.

For the most part, the below interview focuses on the development and writing of COWBOYS & ALIENS (e.g. collaborating with Spielberg, writing for Harrison Ford, and conquering the script's internal logic). Spoilers are skillfully avoided. There are also some process-y questions near the end, and, of course, the obligatory STAR TREK 2 inquiries (spoiler alert: it's "A Taste of Armaggedon").


Mr. Beaks: How did you settle on a tone? Was there one when you began writing, or did you figure that out as you went along.

Roberto Orci: There was a tone that was always a target, and finding it takes time. The first couple of drafts were maybe erring on the side of humor, then we went too serious, and then we started getting closer to the tone we were always targeting. And then, obviously, when Jon Favreau came on, he really helped lock us down the tone. That was one of the reasons we were so excited to get him on this movie: he has displayed an amazing talent for that.
Alex Kurtzman: One of the things that was decided very early on in the process was that it had to be a western first, and a sci-fi movie second. What that really translated to for us was to make sure their world feels really grounded first, because the concept could go completely and totally off the rails. If we felt like we were grounding our characters in a world that both they and the audience felt was real, once we introduced the aliens into that, you would buy the moment when the two genres smashed into each other.

Beaks: Did you look at any specific westerns?

Kurtzman: The first thing that happened, which was pretty incredible, was Spielberg got a print of THE SEARCHERS and took us, Damon and Favreau to a theater, turned the sound low, and just talked through the movie. He just said, "Watch the horizon line: here's why the horizon line is here. These are the things you need to think about when you're making a western." We were writing everything he said down as fast as we possibly could. It was amazing. Here you have no less than Steven Spielberg talking you through how to watch a John Ford movie, and why John Ford made the choices he made. We felt we owed a responsibility to that kind of storytelling first.

Beaks: Wow.

Orci: You can say that again.

Beaks: Jesus. I remember when [Rick Lyman] was doing this "Watching Movies With..." series for The New York Times. He finally got to Spielberg, who chose LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. But Spielberg didn't want to talk through the movie! He had a really hard time doing it. And he's famously not a commentary guy. So you four got the ultra-rare experience of listening to Spielberg give a master class on one of the greatest films ever made!


Orci: (Laughing) He charged us out the ass though.

Beaks: Of course. (Laughs) When you began writing, were you writing to archetype or specific movie stars?

Kurtzman: In our first iteration of this, we had been talking to Robert Downey Jr. Voice-wise, that's where our minds were. But as it evolved, what became clear was that the movie really wanted to be the story of the man with no name. To us, the entry point, the thing we understood conceptually before we had written a line of dialogue or even figured out a scene was, "How do these genres come together?" "Well, it's going to be the story of 'The Man With No Name." "Why doesn't he have a name?" "Because he doesn't remember his name." "Why doesn't he remember his name?" "Because he was abducted by aliens."
Orci: And this was Fergus and Otsby as well. All of us were figuring it out as a team.
Kurtzman: And the more we started to understand the archetype of "The Man With No Name," the more it became clear that less dialogue was the way to achieve that. And with Downey, who is a dialogue Ginsu knife, it wasn't exactly the way that the story was going to come together. Also, he went off to do SHERLOCK HOLMES II, so the timing didn't work out for him. So once he was out of the picture, we didn't really go to "Here's the next actor we have in mind." We were just following what we thought was true to the genre. And when we were done, the first actor we thought of was Daniel Craig. And he read it, said he loved it, and was in. We got very lucky with that.

Beaks: Once Harrison comes on, that's a voice that's probably been with you as long as you've been watching movies. Was it that simple? Or did he have his own ideas of how his character would sound?

Orci: It wasn't that simple, because we know him more as the protagonist. In this, had the aliens never landed, he might've been the antagonist of the movie. So you're starting him in a very different place, and you're slightly having to figure it out with him, and figure out his voice. Once we get to the way we know him better, it gets easier for us. But where to start in a way that was believable for him as an actor, and was not trading on just the gimmick of having him, wasn't trading on just his past work, but was its own thing - but also not ignoring his past work, and not forgoing things that work just because they're reminiscent of something [he's done before]. That's something we found with him and Jon. Harrison is a filmmaker, you know? He has as valid an opinion on what's going on in the rest of the movie as with his own role. It was amazing.
Kurtzman: But what you said is true: when you grow up in our generation, you know every intonation and inflection of a way he delivers a line. It's in your head no matter what. So it does help you a little bit, once you get past the surreality of working with him, to write dialogue for him.
Orci: Actually, knowing those things gave us a shorthand with him. We'd say, "Remember that moment when you're like "What truck?'" And he'd say, "That's not how I said it! I said, "What truck?'" That's a starting point. Suddenly, you're using the things you know, and that is helpful.
Kurtzman: And he, to his infinite credit, felt freed by not having to bear the responsibility of being the protagonist all of the time. He loved and relished the idea of playing this character, playing a deeply flawed guy, and not necessarily having to be likable to the audience all of the time. And he's just so likable to the audience no matter what he does, because he's Harrison Ford, that he has that freedom.

Beaks: Did you ever consider keeping him as an adversary to Jake longer into the film?

Kurtzman: I think we felt like we wanted to keep them adversaries as long as possible, but the reality of what they were up against made it so that they couldn't be adversaries forever. We knew that by the end of act two, despite the fact that they were going to be at odds as people, they were definitely going to be trying to achieve the same thing.
Orci: If you're in a conversation with Harrison, he's like, "The minute my son's gone and I see a guy with a laser blaster, that's what I need. I need the guy with the laser blaster. All I care about is my son." You've got to get it past his bullshit detector.
Kurtzman: Which is high. It's very high.

Beaks: He is a notoriously tough critic.

Kurtzman: But that's exactly what you want when you're running into a film that is potentially risky. That was welcome.

Beaks: How much of the alien's history did you write for yourself? In other words, things that you wanted to know that we wouldn't necessarily need to know?

Kurtzman: We talked about it a lot. The question of why they're invading planets obviously comes from the bigger question of what they're doing and what they want. I think that we kind of felt that one really nice advantage to the marriage of these two genres - and part of what makes aliens scary - is not knowing exactly what they're doing or why they're here. So you need enough to know why the plot is moving in the direction it's moving. But in this movie, we came to the conclusion that the mystery of the movie was actually an important aspect of the storytelling.
Orci: And it has to be true to the subjectivity, the point of view of the movie, which is these western people. So we could consider having a thing like, "Why are they here?" "Well, we understand that they're linked to the ancient Anunnaki from Sumerian texts, and their atmosphere is suffering--" "Atmosphere?" "Well, the ozone layer--" "Ozone layer?" "Well, they need the cover, so the sun's gamma radiation--" "Gamma radiation?"
Kurtzman: So suddenly the scene becomes the joke, and that's not what you want. And that's part of figuring out the tone.
Orci: In a way, the movie rises to their level of understanding. You can see a character putting it in their words, saying, "These things come from beyons the stars." As opposed to, "They come from a planet that's seven or eight light years--" "Seven or eight light years?" (Laughs)
Kurtzman: "What's a planet?"

Beaks: That was one of the things I was watching throughout the movie: the terminology. "Will they ever say 'planet'?"

Orci: Or the word "alien". And I've already seen a few people complain about the secret of the aliens. And I would say, "You're missing the point. You are big time missing the point."

Beaks: So how did it work with two teams of writers on this film? And where, or when, does Damon fit in?

Kurtzman: We were on the movies as producers first.
Orci: Our first hire was Fergus and Otsby, partly because we were thinking of Downey and Favreau. We'd met Favreau at Comic Con, and he was like, "Oh, I love those guys." So it was all of us in a room: the four of us, DreamWorks and Imagine cracking the initial inspiration for the story. They did an amazing first couple of drafts, the structure of which served as the template for the movie. Then IRON MAN came out, they went off to do other things, and we brought on Damon.
Kurtzman: And the three of us wrote together.
Orci: That's what the ampersands mean. (Laughs) Even though, actually, with Fergus and Otsby, we asked to all be one giant team together. That's how we felt. We really felt like it wasn't two teams; it was one superteam that worked on it together. It was our shared vision of it. Seeing all of those names on the movie is misleading. I've seen people take issue with that, too, and they don't exactly understand the process.

Beaks: How does your dynamic as a team change when Damon joins you guys?

Kurtzman: I think we'd already had so many conversations through the STAR TREK experience. Even though Bob and I wrote the script, we've talked about how it was really the five of us talking about the various aspects of TREK and what we wanted to do with our story. That conversation was already an easy, free-flowing thing.
Orci: It's just harder to schedule. Alex and I have our own company, and [Damon's] got his own thing going as well.
Kurtzman: He was running LOST at the time, so we were actually all working nights. We would start working at nine at night and go as late as we could.
Orci: I like musical analogies. "It changes your sound a little bit. It changes your harmony a little bit."

Beaks: Damon brings up the treble a little bit?

Orci: The what?

Beaks: The treble.

Kurtzman: Bass and treble.
Orci: Oh. (Laughs)

Beaks: (Laughing) I said "treble", not "Tribble". We're not there yet, man. Don't worry about it.

Orci: It sounded like "trouble". (Laughs) Actually, Damon's the cowbell.

(Beaks laughs)

Kurtzman: Great. "Kurtzman and Orci say, 'Damon's the cowbell.'" That's going to be the headline.

Beaks: "More Lindelof."

Orci: "We need more Lindelof."

Beaks: I actually want to double back to the aliens real quick. I really liked their design, but I was curious about the arms that protrude from their [abdomen]. What was the purpose of those?

Kurtzman: Part of that emerged out of conversations with Favreau. One of the questions you're always asking yourself when you're designing an alien creature is "Why?" "What is the functionality of the alien design?" Obviously, there's never been, in our opinion, a better design than the [H.R. Giger's] ALIEN design. So one of the things we came to was, "What are they doing here? Well, if they're mining, that might suggest they're underground creatures. And if they're underground creatures, maybe they're like moles. Maybe they see really well in the darkness. And if they're digging and they're looking for things, it might require that they--"
Orci: They're monsters, but they're technological. We joked that their large appendages are for the tougher work, and the [abdomen arms] are for operating the ship and the computers. That actually came from the idea - discussed, but not articulated because it falls into that category we talked about before - of perhaps these creatures are genetically engineered by a different alien race.
Kurtzman: "Genetically engineered?"
Orci: "Yeah, it's when the DNA of the--"
Kurtzman: "DNA?"
Orci: (Laughs) So you see my problem.

Beaks: But, as viewers, sometimes we like to know these things.

Kurtzman: Sure, and, bottom line, an alien design has to hit you at a gut level. Period. You can intellectualize it all you want, or you can talk about all the things we just talked about, but it has to hit you at a gut level. That was prerequisite number one. One of the things Spielberg said that was a guidepost for us early on was, "Wouldn't it be cool if you were looking at the alien silhouette from behind and it looked a little bit like Jack Palance - the gunslinger whose arms were poised just by his guns."
Orci: "What if their skin looks like it fits in the desert because it's a dry environment, and there are subliminal-organic clues in the design of it all."
Kurtzman: "Subliminal" being the key word in that sentence. If you saw an alien, and it looked like it had a holster, you would think that's cheesy.
Orci: This movie could've easily turned into an alien with a helmet and a blaster.
Kurtzman: And that's where everybody would've called bullshit on it in two seconds. So Steven was exactly right. And then it comes down to Shane Mahan and Roger Guyett - Shane doing the live-action aliens on set, and Roger doing the digital work - to figure out a way to translate that idea in a way that attaches it to your subliminal idea of a cowboy stance, but you don't recognize it consciously.

Beaks: When did you hit on the idea that the aliens are here for gold? And why did you then incorporate the human experimentation angle?

Orci: Part of it just came from the actual abduction lore. On one hand, you're studying westerns, and the Old West for real, and then you're studying abduction lore. That's where some of the crossover came. What are they doing when they're mutilating cattle? I don't know. Do you? One idea is that, like Native Americans, they use every part of the buffalo. I think Steven, early on in the visualization process of those horrible alien autopsies you see, wanted to be even more explicit. "I want to see them putting specimens of the body in jars." He wanted to make it very creepy. So it's both study and "Can I potentially use this?"

Beaks: In general, how many hours do you write?

Kurtzman: On this process? When we were in the fold, you're waking up and you're working on it, and you're going to sleep right when you're done working on it.

Beaks: But do you have hours of the day when you're really cooking, and then hours when you're burned out, but you're still writing anyways?

Orci: When you're in that point before a greenlight, when you're trying to get the movie locked down, you do bankers' hours even when you're not feeling it. Sometimes we'd have bad days and not come up with a lot of shit, but that's okay. You can go, "You know what? That idea we went by real quick, we can go back to it." Or "Yesterday was a waste of time, but now we know what we're doing. So yesterday wasn't a waste of time, because if we hadn't wasted our time, we wouldn't have written that crappy thing that got us here." So you've got to do bankers' hours when it's crunch time. Or sometimes you check into a hotel; we just sit in a room and use it as our office all day, so there's no phones, and then go home at night - and then come back to catered breakfast.

Beaks: How do you then balance all of the projects that are competing for your time?

Orci: Part of it has been the amazing support we get from DreamWorks. Alex and I aren't a solo act anymore; we've got a pretty thriving production company. We have three feature film executives, we have two television executives, we have an amazing support staff that dabbles in the comic books that are handled in-house. We really do have a great team, and that's part of our having come through TV, where you're managing a business. TV writers are the producers, and they are developing six stories at a time: sometimes writing one, overseeing another, in postproduction on another, and hiring a director on [another]. I think we've just had the good fortune of having a lot of years of learning how to be efficient, and surrounding ourselves with a great team.
Kurtzman: As our volume builds, there isn't always the same kind of time to sit in a room together all day long. But after twenty years of writing together, the fidelity of our communication is so high that if we have to separate and do different things, it only takes one conversation to reset on whatever is going on.
Orci: Also, we like to teaming up with people. That's why we teamed up with Mark and Hawk: they did a lot of heavy lifting, and it would've been impossible without them.

Beaks: So between you and me, it's The Gorn, right?

Orci: (Laughs) You know what? We just used The Gorn in COWBOYS & ALIENS. That's the secret. They really are The Gorn. The Director's Cut will reveal it all.

Beaks: So you guys are gunning for a January production start date?

Kurtzman: We're still in open conversation.
Orci: I've heard so many things mentioned, but we have so much... it's a matter of someone putting the date on paper and saying, "We're starting."
Kurtzman: We're in the process already. A date at this point wouldn't make us move any faster. We're already in it.

Beaks: But is the idea here that the date can change? What's important here is that you get it right?

Kurtzman: No, it's really still an open conversation.
Orci: "Is it a good date?" "How much post schedule does the production really want?" "Is it better to rush for a date we want?"

Beaks: Rushing for a date always feels like a bad idea.

Kurtzman: It can be a very bad idea. Especially on TREK...
Orci: It's just so effects-heavy. You go, "Oh, we only need so many weeks for ILM to [finish] that." Then you get there, and you're like, "Oh, maybe we didn't give them enough time..."
Kurtzman: You just don't want to do that, especially on a movie that we all love so much and has high expectations.
Orci: Rushing means more expensive, and that's a question for our benefactors, who have to decide how bad they want it in terms of that kind of stuff. You can finish stuff [quickly], but it means more people working simultaneously. So those are, in a way, production things that aren't just based on time.

Beaks: And whether it's going to be 3D or in IMAX?

Orci: Exactly. There's a lot of that stuff that doesn't affect our development of the story.

Beaks: I've felt all along that I don't care how long you guys take. Just get it right.

Orci: (Laughs) Thank you.
Kurtzman: Thanks. We agree.


COWBOYS & ALIENS is currently in theaters.

Faithfully submitted,

Mr. Beaks

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:01 a.m. CST


    by BeeDub

    Monday nights are slow.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:01 a.m. CST

    will bob post some comments here?

    by Phategod2

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:10 a.m. CST

    So TF2 = Screenwriter A-list?

    by Uncle Pooky

    I'll defend Transformers 2 until I'm blue in the face, and even I recognize the writing was atrocious in parts. Part 1 was no prize either.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:13 a.m. CST

    If that's true, Bob...


    then Asimov has summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you, summoned you, banished you...

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Boborci should be given blackbox privileges

    by slder78

    As any number of Name filmmakers have been given here in the past.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Saw COWBOYS AND ALIENS over the weekend

    by Continentalop

    Sorry Bob but I felt that this movie was a mess, mostly due to the script. Not that you're going to cry a river over my little ol' opinion.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Favreau failed this movie

    by Mattman

    While the script was very predictable, I still think it could have been made into a fun movie in another director's hands. A screenplay is a skeleton, and it's up to the director to lay the muscle and flesh. Favreau shot this thing like a romantic comedy. It felt very flat and devoid of life. It's a missed opportunity.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I think the film had more problems than just the script and direction, like the performances from most of the actors, the editing, and even the designs of the creatures, sets and costumes were bland. The film was overall was just as you said, flat and devoid of life. This felt like a $1 million dollar Sci-Fi original movie down with $100 million. Money not well spent.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    What's up bob you talentless fucking hack?

    by Xiphos_2

    Does it sting that your crapastical movie more or less tied with one that had computer generated midgets in it? Congrats rent boi.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    The movie was okay...

    by bubcus

    ... but nothing in it screamed "I must buy this on DVD/Blu-Ray when it comes out." Nothing was pulling me for multiple viewings. Sort of my same issue with Battle: Los Angeles. I enjoyed it, but practically forgot the film the next day. I loved Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in the film and I loved the look of everything. The dialogue seemed fine and the story was decent albeit slightly predictable. One scene that did stand out to me was how Daniel Craig got the bracelet and what led up to that. I did love that and that stuck in my mind. I am really looking forward to the next Star Trek (whether it is 2 or 12 or whatever route of numbering it'll go by) and I agree in taking as long as it needs to get it right. I loved the first one and am looking forward to continuing in that universe. Keep up the good work guys.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Yeah, very bland

    by Mattman

    I dunno where that $160+ million budget went. Nothing really popped with the exception of Harrison Ford. Someone get that man another role in a good western and fast.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:54 a.m. CST

    It had me rooting for the aliens.

    by Dennis_Moore

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 12:57 a.m. CST

    sldr78 - I declined a black box. don't blame aicn.

    by Boborci

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:04 a.m. CST

    They did an amazing first couple of drafts, .......

    by golden tribw

    So good that no more were needed!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Bob, serious question: Have you seen ATTACK THE BLOCK??

    by golden tribw

    If so what did you think

  • Wrote for Xenu and Hercules - The mark of quality. Alias - La Femme Nikita ripoff. The Island - Ripoff of The Clonus Horror Legend of Zorrow - Shitty sequel to a great movie. Mission : Impossible 3 - TV movie level shit from the Abrams trash factory. Transformers - Took a cartoon, created to sell toys, about robots that turn into vehicles and made it look like Shakespeare compared to the retarded explosion fest. Makes the animated movie look like The Seventh Seal. Star Trek - Ripoff of classic TV show and turned into a cross between Top Gun and Star Wars. Transformers 2 - Racist military propaganda. Hawaii Five-0 - Yet another ripoff of an old TV show. Fringe - Ripoff of The X-Files. Cowboys and Aliens - High concept garbage that barely beat a movie with little blue communists and a gay man at the weekend boxoffice. These two overpaid fucksticks have yet to write a movie that was even passable. They are Hollywood's go-to guys for disposable trash. Not one of the projects they have been involved with will stand the test of time. The are the definition of the word HACK!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Damn it boborci,

    by Chief Joseph

    I just can't diss you with you standing there. Maybe I'm just too nice a guy, or I'm just a coward. (Probably the latter, because I know it's not the former.) I guess I'll leave that task to AsimovLives. My suggestion for the inevitable next Star Trek film: Klingons-yes, Khan-no.

  • Spoken like a true Hollywood douchebag but, hey, you got your 1000 dollars a week so what the fuck do you care.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:17 a.m. CST


    by Darth_Kong

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:17 a.m. CST

    chief joseph - don't be a wimp:)

    by Boborci

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:18 a.m. CST

    So, I saw C&A...

    by justmyluck

    ...if only to put the nail in the coffin of the hyping dweebs who saw exclusive footage at BNAT and elsewhere. Was C&A horrible? No. Was it dull, emotionally uninvolved and without a heartbeat? Yes. Sorry folks, you blew your Western. Let's put it this way - I can't imagine any C&A footage generating hype from any type of audience. I could plug Libatique's cinematography but, hey, in big sky country you just sort of point-and-shoot for any number of glorious tableau. Script-wise, this movie was a series of barely-connected genre regurgitations. Kurtzman, Orci and the other writers contracted the "other movie" syndrome: even down to Spielberg's story about his meeting with John Ford (about horizon line calculations for a Western). I mentioned in another C&A TB that if they had of marketed it as something like "The Sky Devils" in a classic western font, it would have at least shown some playful genre insight. So, my bad for not reading through this entire interview, but it felt like a series of explanations of why a movie with negligible inspiration is a challenge. No shit. ''We'd met Favreau at Comic Con'' - YEP. This does explain why studios call-on the geek sites for promos on movies like this - you know, crapola - which can be shoveled to the sounds of fists banging on tables, begging for more. You don't see exclusive geek reporting for WAR HORSE or LINCOLN, do you? No, that's the 'classy' fare - Oscar-bait means no geeks allowed. Instead we get studio pandering for 'Deadeye' TINTIN and JOHN 'Beastmaster' CARTER. Still 43% on RT: Hey, they got my money, so shame on me.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Funny how two guys

    by Flippadippa

    write flicks that seem to have been scribed by a fella with half a brain

  • There was a pervasive, irreverent, anachronistic, tongue-in-cheek humour to those shows that I like to think of as having to do with the Raimi influence which I quite like.

  • I don't get the reference.

  • And gets cast in two high profile Hollywood FX flicks based on what exactly? We know she married some Italian prince when she was 18 and then dumped his ass the second her career took off, so it's obvious the gold digging bitch has been chugging plenty of man milk around town. You can be honest Bob, did she tongue you and Kurtzman's assholes? I bet she drilled your shitpipes so hard that she could bore a hole to the center of the earth if you told her there was gold in it.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Declined the blackbox?!

    by slder78

    But that's like winning the Oscar as far as AICN is concerned. I'm going to go on record as saying that I'd be loathe to bash writers in any form just because it takes a fair amount of fortitude to put yourself out there for the public to criticize even if you do get paid a wad of cash. Especially feature writers who get bent over more often than not. I'm more apt to go after executives who stifle creativity and dumb down stuff cause they think 1) People can't read subtitles 2) People just want to see stuff blow up (Looking at you Tom "Must be PG-13" Rothman.

  • To cover for the fact that this chick can't act for shit.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:41 a.m. CST


    by justmyluck

    AICN posted links to a series of viseo interviews between Jon Favreau and Harrison Ford, Spielberg, Howard and Grazer to promote C&A. Spielberg told a story about meeting John Ford and being questioned on horizon-line placement in ''art'' from the paintings on his office walls:

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 1:51 a.m. CST


    by justmyluck

    Yes, an alien in need of an enemy's wrist-blaster. Being able to mold energy into any physical form just wasn't enough!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Actually, I shouldn't have been expecting more after...

    by justmyluck

    ... TRANSFORMERS:ROTF had a transformer mold into flesh and strands of human hair as an EVIL TRANSFORMER BABE, which makes out with Shia LaBeouf! We were supposed to buy that the Cybertronians conceal themselves as motor vehicles after that?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2:06 a.m. CST

    That looks like a Nightnare on Elm Street poster.

    by Robert79797979

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Yeah no one says these guys are great or even good writers

    by Rupee88

    Transformers 2 says it all but there are of course other examples. Star Trek 2 was a fun popcorn flick, but not because of the script that was chocked full of contrivances. They keep getting work because they don't totally suck and Hollywood is not about talent or great work. Shit makes billions of dollars at the box office (thanks to many of you), so no reason to make something good.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2:19 a.m. CST

    I don't place all the blame of Transformers 2 on the writers


    Didn't they start filming the action set pieces before they began writing the script? The entire production was an over-produced clusterfuck

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:02 a.m. CST

    @catchtheman: spoilercunt.

    by Carl XVI Gustaf


  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Wouldn't interstellar spacefaring aliens be so advanced

    by Dennis_Moore

    as to also have the tech to transmute matter into gold or whatever element they needed?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:23 a.m. CST

    carl xvi gustaf

    by justmyluck

    Don't worry, that 'twist' makes no sense whatsoever plot-wise, and is met with a huge mental WTF.

  • I'm wiping my ass with a Law and Order residual check as I write this

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Whenever I hear the names Kurtzman and Orci...

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I think of this quote from the very talented Mr Lawrence Kasdan: "You have to be enormously talented to make a Star Wars or a Jaws. It's not George or Steven's fault that the people who copied them weren't talented."

  • After every take of shooting background plates for the twins in Transformers 2, Bay would start raising his hand while screaming 'WHITE POWER, WHITE POWER, WHITE POWER!!!' before ordering Megan Fox to get spread eagled on the hood of his Ferrari so he could do lines of coke off her 90210 jisim stained labia.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:45 a.m. CST

    If they make Khan the villain in TREK 2.0 Pt 2...

    by YackBacker

    It will be a disappointment. It's like hearing Fergie sing GnR songs. It's never better than the original and instead of being a tribute it just comes off as a sad display of hackery. I challenge these filmmakers to do better, as Bruce Greenwood would demand.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:50 a.m. CST


    by CreepyThinMan

    These fucking hacks aren't interested in doing anything original. Their job is to cherry pick shit from Trek's history and throw in enough mindless action so that the braindead masses of middle America will lap it up like the fucking lemmings that they are. There will be no theme, no subtext and no quality.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:53 a.m. CST


    by Carl XVI Gustaf

    since I haven't seen the movie and hardly remember the first teaser I saw it would have been nice to not know that. Then again I won't see it in the cinema, that's for sure. So I might forget your cuntiness. Still: Cunt!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:57 a.m. CST


    by CreepyThinMan

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:58 a.m. CST

    CAPSLOCKtheman? cunttheman.

    by Carl XVI Gustaf

    common fucking uncuntiness to not put spoilers in the header.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Steven talking them through The Searchers

    by GavinElster

    Look, Steven could you stop talking? We're trying to watch a film, here. Oh, and turn the sound back on, if you please. Thank you.

  • Where they find a Federation starship burning in space. The survivors tell of a crew of stunningly beautiful women who attacked their ship and killed most of the crew. Kirk and Co. discover that it's a renegade deployment of sex-bots that was due to be shipped to a mining colony when one of the fuckbots became self aware, murdered the crew and activated her fellow cum depositories and they are now waging a war against intergalactic male oppression. The twist is that Uhura and the female crew members of the Enterprise side with the Cuntitrons thus setting the stage for a war between the sexes!!! Especially after Spock and Uhura break up and he leaks a sex tape of him giving her some ferocious ass-to-mouth with his Vulcan Hammer!!! Meanwhile, Kirk's mom and Spock's Dad are on the ship and have hooked up. Kirk and Spock are horrified to walk in on their parents doing a 69!!! Chekov and Sulu turn out to be closet fags while Scotty is getting it and giving it to his little green friend from the first movie. Everyone is fucking everyone and it all ends with a laser battle. And an explosion. And everyone high fiving each other!!!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:13 a.m. CST


    by OptimusBob

    Coincidentally, Olivia Wilde is supposedly up for the role of Linda Lovelace in a new Biopic. According to the synopsis i read somewhere, she's a "Feminist Icon". - No. NO! THE BITCH SUCKED COCK!!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Was really hoping for some magic from this flick

    by Bass Ackwards

    But, as others have said, it really was a lifeless piece of work. Favreau's said before that the special effects/action stuff he generally leaves up to 2nd unit teams, since that's not his strength. It makes me wonder why he keeps signing up for these special effect/action flicks, the action sequences all come off as unmemorable and bland, and he's certainly not adding anything else to the rest of the movie. This flick felt very paint by numbers, or like a particularly uninspired madlib. Also, as an aside, seems a waste to hire guys like Craig and Ford, both of whom have demonstrate considerable capacity for charisma and charm, and just have both of them spend the entire movie being these dour, sour characters. It's strange that the more grounded recent westerns like 3:10 and True Grit had more laughs and charm than this flick despite the presence of several charismatic actors (Craig, Ford, Rockwell) AND aliens.

  • Who had a history of going where ever the wind was *ahem* blowing. Read 'The Other Hollywood : The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry' by Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne. It's pretty much the definitive tome on porn, at least until the advent of the internet, and is a great read. It details how Lovelace was simple minded and easily manipulated. This is why she fucked dogs on film. This is why she did porn. This is also why she hitched her wagon to Feminazi's like that stuck up cunt Gloria Steinem and that ugly fucking sow Andrea Dworkin who used Lovelace to promote their thesis that pornography advocated violence against women. According to the fucking morons penetration, even between consenting adults, was RAPE. Lovelace later turned on Steinem and Dworkin when she realized that she had been used to help them sell books that she didn't see a penny from. She was also used by the Reagan administration that ignored the scientific studies on Pornography and formulated the Meece Commission specifically to attack porn on behalf of the Religious right. There's a great documentary called Inside Deep Throat that has interviews with everyone involved with the movie. It's entertaining and informative but if you want a broad view of pornography, The Other Hollywood is where it's at.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:40 a.m. CST

    A-List Hollywood Screenwriters? Really?

    by MajorFrontbum

    That has to be the biggest load of bullshit ever published on this site. The writing for Transformers and Star Trek 2009, could only be described as pedestrian - and that's being very kind. Jesus, you people need to wake up to yourselves, pronto!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:44 a.m. CST


    by OptimusBob

    going to amazon now to check it out. Another interesting factoid, a college lecturer once told me that advancements in Communication Technology are made primarily because of the collective need to gain access to pornography. I mean look at Blu-ray vs. HD DVD, the outcome of that was decided not by Sony, et al. but by the porn industry... that's why i have a useless £100 xbox HD DVD attachment doing nothing but dust gathering...bastards.

  • The money you guys make must be incredible but to keep up this alacrity of taste and reason.....honestly, I couldn't do it. I would buckle and just be like "Look that shit is there because maybe we thought it might be neat or someone with more clout than us insisted, it's literally impossible to intellectualize. It's a stupid movie full of dumb unexplainable shit, what do you want from me?"

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Little (extra) arms? Didn't the Prawns have those in D9?

    by OptimusBob

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 5:14 a.m. CST

    The Untalented Mr Orci.

    by AsimovLives

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Abrams Trek 2: Yes We Kahn.

    by AsimovLives

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Abrams Trek 2: Where I Have Seen This Before?

    by AsimovLives

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Abrams Trek 2: Deja Vu

    by AsimovLives

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 6:11 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Depressed? Are you kidding? If anything, Bones would be happy as a clam wacking off from watching the sex video of Chapel and Rand, which Bones made by hidding a camera in their room. And then he would put it on ST's version of Youtube for the whole Federation to enjoy. His drunkiness would be from driking while wathing the sex tape on a lop.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Orci and Kurtzman are Holywood A-List Writers.

    by AsimovLives

    The problem is not that they are classified as A-List, because they are, but what type of writers are now considered A-List this days.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Spielberg and The Searchers

    by huskerdu2

    That quote about their 'screening' sums up why the film didn't work. Not only did Favreau etc clearly not have any feel for the genre, but they seemed to have only watched John Ford films which - frankly - are visually quite staid and totally inappropriate as a model for this type of movie. Bob Zemeckis had it right with BTTF 3 in evoking Leone, Peckinpah, Zinneman etc. Even Raimi sussed that in The Quick and the Dead. This movie needed to be kinetic. Instead it was inert.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Spielberg and The Searchers

    by D.Vader

    The end of War of the Worlds was almost Spielberg's version of the ending to The Searchers. Cruise brings the kid back and gets zero thanks from the family at the door. I thought for sure the Berg was gonna leave it at that.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:32 a.m. CST

    I don't care if someone has written some bad movies or not

    by D.Vader

    If a filmmaker comes to a talkback to chat, even if it was someone I despise like Brett Ratner (who is one arrogant guy) or McG (who is a capable director for hire but as an idea man, he sucks) I'd use the opportunity to actually engage them with questions I could learn from, questions that would help me better understand how the industry works, what it takes to write a script according to studio specifications, how they got their start, what advice they have, etc etc. I'd do that rather than constantly insulting them over and over and over again. But I guess that's just me.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    boborci coming into a aicn talkback


    must be abit like going into a warzone. only instead of bullets and bombs its vicious insults and defamation..even when it looks like its going ok suddenly BAM! theres asimovlives or catchtheman with a violent insult

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Diplomatic Vader is right- we have guests here

    by YackBacker

    You can trash a filmmaker/writer/actor as much as you like (heck, I count that as one of my hobbies) but if Roberto Orci shows up, we should use restraint and larger words to convey our feelings of disgust at his work. Whatever his motives for coming here, I tip my cap to the guy for openly speaking in this forum. Now, if he stopped writing his projects as a movie marketer and focused on trusting a good story and well-developed characters more, we might have something cheer. Bob, you're working with the best resources available to any writer. Write us a STAR TREK with some real intrigue-- a story that would explore the human condition and maybe not rely on a cackling villain and photon torpedoes. I recommend watching some DOCTOR WHO to see what I mean. Character > Action always. That's why we're still talking about the Original Trek today.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    I agree with the always honorable Yackster

    by D.Vader

    BobOrci, though I enjoyed Star Trek, I'd like the sequel to be "about something" the way every Trek movie before it- good or bad- was about something. Each movie had a theme that explored something about the human condition- the duality of man, the fragility of our environment and our place in it, the search for a higher purpose- and I felt this was sorely lacking in your Trek, fun as it was.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Hahahah, CTM

    by D.Vader

    That's why you enjoyed Transformers so much, right? =D

  • Let others write, as they almost did with COWBOYS & ALIENS. Orci and Kurtzman, they are producers, not writers.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 8:31 a.m. CST

    boborci - the shatner thing in Trek09


    bob if you are still in here ive been giving some thought on how shatner couldve appeared in ST09 (aside from the hologram thing Spock gives kirk end). ive come up with this When Kirk and Spock beamed over to the narada and Kirk went off looking for Pike. he comes to Neros computer consol and looks at the screen – on it is an image or footage of Shat Kirk (TWOK era in the red uniform) – the explanation being Nero has been checking up on his adversary/brushing up on starfleet history (like in ‘Countdown‘)– who he is/what his thinking is like etc. (it would’ve vaguely tied in with Kirk saying earlier that Nero would know what they were up to as they were part of his history so lets be unpredictable ) NuKirk looks at it perplexed – theres something familiar about this guy but he cant stick around and check up on his alternate future as hes got to find Pike and get off the ship and its then he gets attacked by Ayel/Nero leading to the ‘I know your face….’ so itd have had that sense of wanting to look at hidden treasures/info but unable to due to the danger/time running out - as in the end of Raiders/Crystal Skull. nothing big just a throwaway thing – abit like the Death Star cameo in Attack of the Clones or the scene in ’In a Mirror Darkly’ with Mirror Archer checking out his doppelgangers resume. kirk would catch a fleeting glimpse of his alternate future before he gets his ass kicked (he was obviously curious as he asked Spock Prime in the ice cave). i felt the whole coming back from the future was a bit of a McGuffin and when Kirk and Spock 2.0s go over to the Narada and aboard Spock Primes ship they were basically going into the ‘Prime Universe’ and messing about with TNG/Prime stuff, - so i thought it wouldve been nice to have abit more resolution on the alternate universe/future (and especially Kirks as his upbringing got so screwed thanks to nero) and have it play more of a role in the conclusion any good bob? did you consider doing something like that even? i know shatner woulnt have properly been in it but maybe it could have been a fun thing to have there and some sort of resolution to the whole 'will Shatner be in the movie' thing

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Fire these assholes!

    by Cruizer Dave

    Fire Kurtzman and Orci now, before they ruin Star Trek forever. The one weakness in the 2009 movie was the script. Everything else was great, but the script was fit for potty training a puppy. These guys are idiots that have somehow fallen into success. Their writing is on par with a 9-year-old. When every project you work on is considered to be good, except for the writing, you need to consider that you're not a good writer. I wouldn't let these idiots write me a check, much less Star Trek 2. Dump them. Ditch them. Get rid of them. Taste of Armaggedon my ass.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    fucking dweebs

    by spidercoz

    don't suck your own cocks too much guys

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 9:11 a.m. CST

    It just makes me want to

    by Brian Hopper

    cry that my beloved Star Trek is in the hands of these clueless "writers."

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Hey Orca and Curtsey. Just work on Doomsday Machine

    by Knobules

    Simple premise. Big thing eats planets. Spaceships fight back. You can do that. Have a Nilla wafer and some Ovaltine, get out your computer and spend an hour on the script. You will have it done before bedtime when JJ tucks you in.

  • Fuck's sakes, me defending Mr Beaks... i need a drink!

  • How does Armageddon tastes like? Strawberry? And is that some smart-ass injoke about Abrams's work as a writer in Mickey's Bay's ARMAGEDDON?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Bob Orci.

    by 3774

    The Wrath of Khan was lightening in a bottle. A very large part of the emotional weight behind that movie was the subtext behind aging. Behind the 'is this all that's left, what do i do with my life now?' Kirk was a man who had passed the zenith of his life, and was left without purpose. Khan was approaching his by finally being given his chance for vengeance, that had been building for years. And we, as an audience and as fans, had literally seen those years. If it's one thing i can't stand, it's watching people needlessly trash writers and directors, or declaring that something 'can't be done'. Nobody sets out to make a bad film. No one. They just happen sometimes, and repeatedly by people who just won't take to heart lessons learned. Pleased don't cannibalize the Wrath of Khan script. Please. i almost never use the phrase 'you can't', but the fact is, that history and emotional weight can't be compressed into a single movie like that. And trying to depict their first encounter would be missing the point, since Khan's motive would not have been simmering for years. It's wonderful to include original nods, but do something new with the script. Three words. Strange, New Worlds. Please. Do this and avoid the plot-convenience pit-falls of your first attempt. Make the actions serve them, rather than the other way around, and give the story real philosophical commentary. That's Star Trek. And if you do, people will love you for it.

  • I have seen too many movies by now in which the who,e thing was obviously made by people who don't give a fuck about how the movie will turn out. movies made with ulterior intentions beyond "let's make a movie that works". And the way i see it, Abrams Trek is one such.

  • Make a Star Trek movie about that. That's the whole spirit of Start Trek in a nutshell. that's why TOS started every episode with those lines, so that anybody who would be new ot the show would imediatly understand what's all about. That's what Star Trek is all about, all in that line. Anybody who sets out to wrote a ST movie or show should read it, learn it, live it. What ST is not about: A bunch of unlikable asshole characters surrounded by shit blowing up, all photographed and edited like a Michael Bay movie.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 9:43 a.m. CST

    nice try pink, but you're attempting reason with a whore

    by spidercoz

    He (and they) have no respect for the material or the fans. They recycle/rehash/regurgitate anything that was popular just so they can point to it and shout "hey, look what we did!" like a 3 year old who just took his first shit by himself. Orci and Kurtzman are Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer with a budget.

  • I mean, these guys have 18 things going on. They're phoning it in and they know it. It's so apparent that when it comes down to it they couldn't be bothered with Star Trek. That's how you end up with a ST:INO. There is no hunger with these guys... no passion for the material. They make a big show of it to the fanboys, but most of us aren't buying that bullshit. Abrams is even worse: he's got his hands in all these different pies. How can ST:INO2 NOT be a piece of crap? And how do two guys 'after twenty years of writing together' have NO quality work to show for it? Not one thing. Whoever let this wrecking crew get involved with ST should be made to pay.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Bob Orcunti and Alex Fucksman...

    by AllThosePowers

    ...are you WANKERS ever going to learn to write? If not, can you please go and do the right thing and kill yourselves NOW!!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Dont do Khan. You wont sell any action figures

    by Knobules

    That should shut them up. And tribbles REALLY are not that interesting. It was a cute throwaway episode back in the day. Now its just dumb. Of course you guys are just thinking how many toy tribbles can we get into Happy Meals. Grow some balls before you turn into full blown marketing clowns. FILM DOOMSDAY MACHINE!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Oooh and you can make it VIRAL!!!!!

    by Knobules

    There that got your attention didn't it. What is it? Who cares its VIRAL!!!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Saw Cowboys & Aliens


    Watched that again recently. The first hour is still really good. ButI had forgotten how much it descends into a big-budget A-Team episode by the end...rather dull extended shootouts with clunky editing. I guess that marked the moment where Harrison Ford's destiny lay in movies that were more about action than comedy, for much of the next decade. I was so hopeful when Morning Glory came out that it heralded the return of both Ford and Goldblum as genuinely comedic guys. But it was a false dawn for both. Before C&A I saw a trailer for Warhorse. I said to myself: THOUGHT YOU WERE DONE WITH HORSE MOVIES, CHOPPAH? FUCK YOU, SPIELBERG MADE ONE. then I thought: THOUGHT YOU WERE DONE WITH MOVIES BASED OFF A BELGIAN COMIC, CHOPPAH? FUCK YOU, SPIELBERG MADE ONE. THOUGHT YOU WERE DONE WITH LINCOLN MOVIES, CHOPPAH? FUCK YOU, SPIELBERG IS MAKING ONE. THOUGHT YOU WERE DONE WITH INDIANA JONES MOVIES, CHOPPAH? FUCK YOU, SPIELBERG MIGHT GET TO THIS ONE. THOUGHT YOU WERE DONE WITH TOM CRUISE MOVIES, CHOPPAH? FUCK YOU, SPIELBERG IS PRODUCING TWO OF 'EM!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    20 Years Of Hackdom. Let that sink in for a moment.

    by AsimovLives

    So, why should i give a break to Orci and Kurtzman, again? If you ask me, they had more then enough time to have showed their quality, and they never did. By now, it's not because they lacked oportunities but because they just can't. Writing for this guys was just a stepping stone for their true ambition: producing. This guys are executives that can type.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I've never understood people bringing up Khan for the sequel.

    by spacehog

    Maybe it's just been far too long since I saw the original series, or WRATH OF KHAN, but I thought what made Khan distinctive in that movie was that he had a history with Kirk—a history WE'D ALREADY SEEN, prior to the film. He was Moriarty, back after a long absence. You can't recreate that relationship in one movie no matter how many flashbacks you try to cram in. So what else is there? What would make a reboot-Khan better than a brand new villain?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:25 a.m. CST

    dunno which is Orcunti or Fucksman but...

    by AllThosePowers

    ...the prick in the glasses seems like he's examining the other dweeb's prostate, just look at the strain on his face, clearly he's being fisted. What a pair of shit-flushers these gimpy looking, good-for-nothing crap masters are. maks me sick just looking at 'em - just fuck off the pair of you

  • and death.'

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 10:48 a.m. CST

    I would describe Montalban's

    by Brian Hopper

    performance in "Space Seed" as one of the best guest-starring roles for any actor ever in the history of television. Watch it again closely... subtle, powerful, menacing yet strangely appealing. And then there's his return to the role in '82, which all Trek fans love for its élan and gravity, and the pure Trek-ish way it sets up Khan as the perfect antipode to Kirk. Khan: pure honey nectar to all Trek fans. Why do I mention this? Just watch stumblebums Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams dump Nestor Carbonell or some other unwitting actor/victim into their hack-blender and spit out a nuKhan that has NO chance — NONE — of approaching what Montalban did with it. They are going to fuck up ST:INO2 just like the first one. It is a given. Bend over and grease yourself up, Trek fans. Let the reaming commence.

  • Are you fucking kidding? Mankind mines underground for things it needs. Does that suggest we're mole-like creatures that can see really well in the darkness and that's why we live down there, deep beneath the planet's surface? I'm glad archeologists don't make those kinds of assumptions, otherwise we'd conclude that the ancient Egyptians were furry mole men who lived underground in big fucking toblerones to keep away from the bwight, bwight sun that hurts their pwetty, night-sensitive eyes. Makes me wonder what the thinking was behind that big, shitty monster on Planet Snow in 'Star Trek'. On second thoughts, it doesn't.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    allthosepowers, Kurtzman is the one with the glasses.

    by AsimovLives

  • How about that?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    4 years between Star Trek movies?

    by SmokingRobot

    Hand this franchise over to someone who will actually DO IT, please.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    i am ashamed to be on this board


    some of the comments on here are disgraceful toward the writers. why the hell did i bother posting here.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST



    That is quite the double feature, my friend. You are a blessing in disguise.

  • There were like what, two actual cowboys that went after the aliens?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    Problem with the understylized/naturalistic camera

    by Samuel Fulmer

    It works when you make a film authentic. This films old west seemed about as authentic as an old episode of Gunsmoke. Going natual with the camera made it look like actors wearing costumes and playing with props. If you're going to go with the old hokey west look, shoot it like a cartoon then.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Still not a particularly bad movie

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Not really a good one either. Just a slight notch above average, mostly for the concept and not the execution of the concept.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I'm that imaginative, what can i tell you! Next, it will be ALIEN and THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH. Who's the daddy?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3 p.m. CST

    asimolives, those glasses are clearly not working...

    by AllThosePowers

    ...doubtless a prescription for higher strength lenses will aid him to write a deeply character driven story, because layering a complex, but attention engaging plot, delivered in a tightly-wrapped, coherent and succinct logical script, seem to be elements that evidently, not only exceed the capacity of their eyes, but are also beyond the comprehension of their brains. They need to return to infant school, as they had clearly missed out on grasping the essentials of the English alphabet the first time round. Seriously, Orci and Kurtzman, (I know you're reading this) nobody here likes your attempts at writing, it is unfair to even address it as writing, for it belittles and betrays all those nursery children who at least make the effort to form letters with their crayons, paintbrushes and felt tip pens - your material fails to even afford you the right to call it your own written words; you two pair of pricks are so much more inferior than derivatives, I have to work painstakingly hard to muster a phrase or a single word, as none appear to exist in any language - intra or interplanetary - that can possibly describe the very highest order of ineptitude that you have each earned yourselves; yes, you have both reached that summit of incapability; a point where no human, dead or alive, has or can possibly attain. Call yourselves writers? You are nothing of the sort, in collaboration or individually. Millions of people maybe fooled into believing you can put pen to paper, due to the attributes of false credits on film, but those same young people can and do write, and as they grow-up throughout the years to be adults, they will one day look back at your products, with the daunting realisation that you truly couldn't and cannot write. How do you feel orcunti & fucksman, knowing that the present is the history of your future - two time periods that look equally as bleak? you fucking hacks!!

  • Retain the concept of a mix of western with alien invasion movie. But play it enterely from the poitn of view of the human characters. And by that i don't jsut mean as this movie did, but in that the nature of the invasion should be even more subdue and ambivalent. To play the whole movie as if it's demons that's invading this western territory and wreck avoc. And we the audiences would never get a clear glimpse of the aliens. The possibility that it's aliens doing the shit would be more hinted and infered then presented. The characters themzselves would never be privy of the real nature of the invasion, but we the audience, with our genre savviness, we would had chances to guess who are the mysterious creatures. But that should had never given an obvious automatic answer. Things would remain obscure, and presented always with great mystery and with always a choice for an alternative explanation. At the very least it would sparkle some pub debate afterwards. More then this movie can thanks to showing it all so obviously and openly. Fuck, even the title leaves nothing to the imagination.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    asimovlives-I agree to an extent

    by Samuel Fulmer

    My hope was either it would be a terrible bug nuts crazy film, or an good western with aliens in it. The problem was it was a bland western with aliens in it. The tone was wrong. It should've either been a Leone type of film (a cartoon western, but fun), or True Grit gritty. Instead we have something shot in a boring plain style, but with the old Hollywood west look to it. I think maybe had it been rated R with a better cast and gone for a more lived in look, it could've been better. I guess that's the problem. It did have elements to be better, it was just exectued all wrong.

  • ...than you and your mate (mate in all senses of the word as you two must be fucking eachother) can possibly fathom. And I implore you not to respond to me, until the quality of your words elevates sufficiently to a level that warrants engaging with. Now fuck off!!

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    I just wish Harrison Ford would do a good movie again

    by Samuel Fulmer

    I guess the problem with that though is him being in movies recently has contirbuted to them being bad (other than Crystal Skull which I think he did a good job in, regardless of the script and CGI overkill).

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    boborci-Question regarding the Harrison Ford character in C&A

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Was Ford's part made bigger after he took the part, because it seemed like there were a lot of cliche elements (here kid take this knife because I'm not all that bad, let's hear my story from way back when I had to check out dead bodies) added to humanize the character that fell flat I am guessing were added due to trying to develop the character further. It's like the character was not the same from scene to scene at all, and no I'm not chalking it up to character growth. Nothing really seemed to spur the change, other than getting him to do something to move the plot along. The ending where everybody seems all buddy buddy just didn't ring true at all. Sure the fighting the aliens brought them together, but it all just seemed like a cop out to throw on a happy ending.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    So it looks like this will probably reach between 80-100 million

    by Samuel Fulmer

    in North America. I wonder how this will play worldwide. Westerns for the most part haven't played well overseas in a while, but it does have the sci-fi going for it. Craig seems to be a bigger draw overseas (which is partly why the film isn't doing very well here, quality issues aside), and maybe after the last Indiana Jones film, Harrison Ford still has some international cache.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    What are you referring to? Your comment makes no sense.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Orci and Kurtzman- the epitome of the modern Hollywood hack

    by Roger Moon

    Good work if you can get it. It's not like you have to achieve a quality result to be successful. Just shrug and shit out a screenplay. The audiences won't notice. Just put a brand sticker on your turd (Star Trek) and that's enough to reel them in.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Watching Young Guns with John Waters

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Would undoubtedly be cooler than watching The Searchers with Spielberg.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Hey Asimov, did you see this movie yet?

    by D.Vader

    Curious. And did you see Super 8 yet?

  • ...the very basics of effective storytelling exists in the writing; this is fundamental. A good script is a complex plot with layered character told simply. A good script is engineered in a third person present tense - an extremely passive narrative, that demands the injection of a rich story, all of which arrives on screen through characters' actions and dialogue. These fundamentals appear to escape these inept engineers, I myself prefer artists to write. Engineers engineer, whilst artists will always create. These two, erm...things can not be classed as either, but good for nothing things

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    It would be cool to engage B & K with "real" questions —

    by blakindigo

    The problem is, they've probably signed NDA's with the studio and can't talk in specifics. And, that's where the rubber hits the road. A lot of the real 'industry talk' revolves around personality quirks and unwritten agreements. It's too difficult to talk about particular people who you might not respect, but for various reasons, you're still doing business with them. Or ignoring the rumours about how certain people have gotten projects together (only to find out the rumours are true). It's just to convoluted. I'm more interested about their challenges as writers for huge tentpole projects and how they tailor the script during production (production re-writes). How do those deadlines compare to, say, TV deadlines? Do they feel more pressure writing for the big screen or for TV?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Dirty_Ape, your comparison of the Star Trek script to Mr. Sparkles was inspired



  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Cowboys & Aliens: fuck if i'm going to bother. I feel i have seen it already and i have sen it before, and nothing is going to change my mind on the subject. Also the names of the writers fill me with pure dread and terror. Super 8: Not yet. But will soon. I'll be back at you when i do it.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Mr Beaks's interview made it beyond obvious that this interviews are scripted in advance. Mr Beaks is so obsessed with showing off his big intelelctualism brain that he makes it so obvious that his interviews are prepared in advance of the interviewees, who have power over what is to be asked and what not. They are rehearsed onwhat the subject to say, and what to avoid bring brough up. It's a common thing in interviews of Holywood big shots, things are agreed in advance. Mr Beaks is just so clumsy he makes that beyond obvious. There's no jornalism there, no atempt tat jornalism, just his desire to show off he wants to write for Variety. Mr Beaks is a poor-man's Variety writer. So no, you will never get hardcore interviews from him or anybody at AICN in regard to the Hoylwood players they catter to. Namely, everybody form Team Abrams and Team Bay. It's playing the game, baby. The only hardcore stuff you will only see form the new and coming filmmakers from the art-house or grindhouse circles, where they are still so low on the aeschelon of things they can afford to be as forthcoming and candic as they can.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    BobOrci, just make sure Giacchino is back to score.

    by captain Jake

    Seriously I am really looking forward to hearing what he comes up with for another Trek score. Hes great so far with mixing a taste of classic cues with fresh and exciting new cues. Iam listening to his MI3 score right now, and its just awesome. sooo please just make sure Giacchino is back to do the score.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:38 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I'm lost at the relevance of the Mr Sparkles reference. As in, i don't know what that is. Can you clue me in, so i can in the joke as well?

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    asi, it's from a Simpsons episode

    by spidercoz

    from long ago

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Certainly, Asi!


    The following is from this Wikipedia page: After church Homer takes Bart and Lisa to the Springfield dump to dispose of their old Christmas tree, where they find a box of Japanese dishwasher detergent known as Mr. Sparkle. The face on the box of detergent strongly resembles Homer. Homer, disturbed by the box of Mr. Sparkle, contacts the manufacturer in Hokkaidō, Japan for information. He is sent a promotional video for Mr. Sparkle, which consists of a 1986 TV commercial. At the end of the video, the mascot is shown to be a result of a joint venture between two large Japanese conglomerates, Matsumura Fishworks and Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern. Their mascots, a smiling fish and light bulb, merge together to form Mr. Sparkle; thus, Homer discovers the similarity was a mere coincidence.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST

    you rike mista supakalu?

    by spidercoz

    no, I AM Mr Sparkle

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by Raymar

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by Robert79797979

    Nice bigotry.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Fuck this Job...

    by conspiracy

    I hate being a responsible adult...I should have been here, much more fun it seems. And catchtheman...that Olivia Wild riff has FUCKING GOLD; Shakespeare could not have written finer. Hats off good sir...

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 6:59 p.m. CST

    The Orci-Kurtzman writing process:

    by Bobo_Vision

    1) Go to high-priced California hotel room paid for by studio executives. <p> 2) Order room service and drink Tequila Sunrises while watching (and jerking off to) Pay TV movies. <p> 3) Casually give each other handjobs while pretending not to notice. <p> 4) Snort coke out of each other's anus. <p> 5) Write a few pages of notes based on the outline given to them by the studio regarding the property they are adapting. <p> 6) Deep throat each other's meat while fingering the other's bumhole. <p> 7) Put tired and cliched plot devices on little pieces of paper, pin them to a dart board, and start throwing darts blindly. <p> 8) Call an escort service asking for one escort of each gender and race. <p> 9) Have two of the escorts assemble the random bits of paper and scribblings and outlines from earlier in the evening into a coherent script....while having an orgy with the rest of the escorts. <p> 10) Shower. <p> 11) Turn script in to studio and collect million dollar checks.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:16 p.m. CST


    by blakindigo


  • Aug. 2, 2011, 7:17 p.m. CST


    by blakindigo

    I feel your disappointment at Beaks here. That said, I think his set visit to the "Fright Night" remake was well done.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 8:01 p.m. CST

    d.v theveryfirst

    by DrMorbius

    Something along the lines of your postings in obit TBs. Still, it made no sense.

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 8:42 p.m. CST

    bobo-vision - have you been spying on us?

    by Boborci

  • Aug. 2, 2011, 9:56 p.m. CST

    drmorbs re: theveryfirst

    by D.Vader

    Oh I guess he means the obit in which I never said anything bad about the deceased? Yeah, you're right; still doesn't make sense.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 2:31 a.m. CST

    re: Shatner

    by Chief Joseph

    All they had to do was cast Shatner as Kirk's dad and Nimoy as Sarek. Boom, cameos are done-- no need for time-travel nonsense. Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 3:19 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Mr Beaks did a set visit on the FRIGHT NIGHT remake? We will get a negative review from that guy, for sure! Yeah right! Even if the movie will be the shit for the ages we will get some contrived mind-blowing weird ass pseudo-literary review from Beak who will make a strange case for why we should confuse that movie for a good one. Yeah! AICN's people who do set visits should nt be allowed to review movies. Conflict of interests and all that.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Orci came out of the closet.

    by AsimovLives

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 6:14 a.m. CST

    You two are to movies what Rick Springfield was to music

    by Professor_Monster

    Disposable fluff that makes people cringe every time it rears it's ugly head. I'm sure when you're sitting in the room with Speilberg (the man who stuck Indy in a fridge to save him from an Atomic Bomb), you have to rip out your stay-free maxies and give them a good sniff to make sure you're not dreaming. Just remember, Deviln and Emmerich once tap danced on last weeks episode of the Gong Show and by the looks of what Cowboys and Aliens did JP Morgan is winding up and about to ring you two fucks outta here.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Whats the deal with the...

    by HughHoyland

    Hateration on these guys. I mean is it because they make a lot of money? Good on them I say! Coyboys and Aliens is a very solid effort IMO. Is it the blockbuster the studeo was thinking it would be? Probably not. Remember James Camerons the Abyss? It had big expectations as well but flopped at the box office (Cant win em all!). These guys are hot and will most likely remain so for a long time to come. You'll have to deal with it Im afraid. P.S. I wish I could write a script half as good as these guys can.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 7:38 a.m. CST

    The Beard's Crown...

    by THX1968

    ...still belongs to the Beard. JJ, Kurtzman, and Orci don't even come close. They just don't. I haven't seen it yet, but all my buds tell me C&A sucks. Boring as all fuck. Being prolific in this business may bring one success, but it hasn't been too awesome for the moviegoer, has it? Not sure what's up with Favreau. Dig his work, but Iron Man 2 was terrible and everyone knows it and now C&A supposedly blows. Movies suck. With huge conglomerates running studios, movies are going to continue sucking. A PG-13 "Die Hard"? That pretty much says it all, right there. And of course there's AICN at the frontlines hailing Orci and Kurtzman as though they were both Dalton Trumbo. All this shit drives me nuts.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 8:19 a.m. CST

    I thought it was good

    by nerdator

    Saw it twice now, and liked it even better the second time. Of course I liked Freakazoid, too so my opinion is not representative of the great majority. C'est la vie.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 9:21 a.m. CST


    by Robert79797979

    Nice job on your libel, there. What good does it do to spout lies about people? You can call them hacks and bad writers all you want to, but these lies make no sense.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 9:40 a.m. CST


    by Bobo_Vision

    Robert, it's called a sense of humor. With your Asperger's Syndrome, I'm sure humor does not compute. One thing I can give Orci credit for in this talkback least he has one about himself.

  • Everything to you is only about envy? Everything to you is about money? What part of the inumerous posts dedicated to how terrible writers Orci and Kurtzman clowns are that you did not understand? What didn't you fucking understand?

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Peter "Ninja Turtles" Laird on ST2009

    by Chief Joseph Pretty much how I feel about it.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by HughHoyland

    Relax man, I understand that you and some other folks think these guys cant write. Your entitled to an opinion of course. Some others just dont agree is all. And the proof is in the pudding. I mean whats wrong with their writing to start with IYO?

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST


    by Robert79797979

    With your Asperger's Syndrome, I'm sure humor does not compute.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    By any chance robert79797979 —

    by blakindigo

    Are you Kurtzman? Just askin'.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 9:12 p.m. CST


    by Robert79797979

    Haha, yeah, it did get cut short, but with my bad memory, I can't seem to remember (or care) what I was going to say. So, see ya.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 9:13 p.m. CST


    by Robert79797979

    Nope. I am just a random person curious as to what purpose making homophobic accusations about people serves.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST


    by Bobo_Vision

    I think you mean homosexual allegations...because homophobic allegations would mean that Orci hates gays...and that was not implied at all. But my post didn't imply homosexual allegations, either. If you read carefully, in my summation of their writing methods, they chose one escort of each those were actually bisexual allegations. <p> You ignored the fact the orgy I mentioned included female escorts because you don't see anything insulting or wrong with having sex with female escorts. You only find the part about having sex with each other and with male escorts to be wrong. The fact that you consider such allegations to be cruel to begin with implies that maybe it is YOU, robert79797979, that has a problem with homosexuals. And that's why you consider my post to be so insulting. <p> Think about it.

  • Aug. 3, 2011, 11:38 p.m. CST


    by Robert79797979

    I'm bisexual. Your argument is invalid.

  • Aug. 4, 2011, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Hey, Bob Orci

    by Bobo_Vision

    Sorry if anything I said was hurtful. All meant in fun. You seem like a swell guy. Let's hang out. <p> - Bobo

  • Aug. 5, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Just for the record...

    by Robert79797979

    .. I'm not Bob Orci.