Hey folks, Harry here... it's been pretty much a seeming lock that talkbacker Bob Orci was going to be handed the reins to THE Paramount franchise. Since the late Seventies, Paramount has returned to the STAR TREK universe often and with a variety of results. STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE was ambitious, daunting and not at all what a lot of people that really don't understand STAR TREK, but claim to want to be fans, were wanting... which wasn't the Wagon Train in Space... but more of a wandering spectacle that certainly lit my imagination up. Then there came the greater glory of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN... the film that all at once saved STAR TREK and doomed it to being personal power struggles for success. As the series continued it had its ups and downs, its Next Generations... and then team JJ saddled up and just rebooted the whole thing... not only replacing the classic cast, but launching a Parallel Universe that basically set the groundwork for a completely different time line.
Now here's the rub... The last two STAR TREK films were in the controlling paws of... a STAR WARS geek. And while Kurtzman & Lindelof were a part of the party... the member of that creative team that actually does love STAR TREK was Bob Orci. I'm not a casual fan of TREK... I have an unrelenting love of STAR TREK... the only show that lost me was VOYAGER, although is took me forever to give ENTERPRISE a chance, and ultimately I love that final season pretty hard.
When that big surprise screening of the first JJ STAR TREK happened in Austin, JJ Abrams was in Australia at the official world premiere, but Lindeloff, Kurtzman and Orci came along with Leonard Nimoy. After the screening the three writers came over to the Alamo's HIGH BALL for drinks and chatter... We talked for a long time - and we drank. I don't know about you, but I really have mad love for that STAR TREK film - and immediately coming after it we sat around drinking and shooting the shit regarding STAR TREK, now Damon is a sharp one, but Bob Orci knows his STAR TREK.
I think as this project hits the steps to production, once we begin to actually see where Orci wants to take this third film... I'm hoping for the best. In the Orci / Kurtzman creative partnership, I've genuinely enjoyed their MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, EAGLE EYE, STAR TREK, COWBOYS & ALIENS, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 along with their work on Hercules, Xena, Jack of All Trades and Alias and Fringe. I think the problems with TRANSFORMERS go deeper than the script, and Bay trading in Orci and Kurtzman for Ehren Kruger fills me personally with great fear... but as always I hope for the best, and that Optimus riding Grimlock has me jazzed, but Grimlock is more than just a robot dinosaur, he's a beloved character and Kruger over-reinvents everything he touches to a point of absolute abstract horror. I thought NOW YOU SEE ME was a bit too precious. Had THE ISLAND been shot R-rated, it might have been something... and THE LEGEND OF ZORRO --- let's move away from.
The biggest point about this write up though is this... Let's see what happens here. I imagine this is a dream come true for Bob Orci. I do know that when our COPERNICUS took JJ Trek to task for its science, it wasn't Kurtzman, Lindeloff or Abrams that joined the conversation, it was Orci. I don't know creatively what Orci is going to be like without his long time partner or being distilled through an Abrams or Bay filter. As a Burnt Orange lover of the University of Texas... there is a point of pride that a UT student is now directing STAR TREK...
But I do know this - we here at AICN will be watching this production with great curiousity. Much of the anti-Orci rhetoric that I see online seems to come from his particularly 'fringe' politics... but since he was born in Mexico City and raised in Canada, Texas and Los Angeles... I can imagine that would lead to a different experience than most. But I'm not here to judge someone for their political beliefs... The real point is... with the exception of the TRANSFORMERS series, I've generally enjoyed work that Orci has been a part of.
Right now, none of us can look at this decision with any of the details that PARAMOUNT had to make this decision. We haven't heard what Orci has planned for STAR TREK 3. I know there's a lot of fear... but knowing that Orci can probably beat you and me at Trek Trivia... well, it isn't a bad place to start from... really though, I've no idea of his visual or directing chops, but after STAR TREK V... I'm pretty sure as a fan of Star Trek I can survive just about anything... I'm generally a believer in giving control to the geeks on the geek projects. Will the film be all about establishing Kirk's birth records? Probably not. Is this THE END of the JJ TREKVERSE? Is there a residual plan from JJ about where the film is headed? Or is ORCI the absolute mastermind behind this one - and what does it mean for the film?
I don't know - and neither does any other blogger online right now. I just know that I'm genuinely curious to see what Orci puts on our screens. That... and this Director casting means I get to giggle a lot following Devin Faraci on Twitter. It's kinda like watching FOX since Obama got elected. This will be hilarious.