Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Star Trek XI News

The trade publication Variety revealed that Rick Berman's partners in developing the next Star Trek movie are Jordan Kerner and Kerry McCluggage.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Kerner has produced "Inspector Gadget," "George of the Jungle" and "The Mighty Ducks" and their respective sequels, among other titles. He also produced the TV series "A Wrinkle in Time" in Canada. He is currently producing "Charlotte's Web."

Kerry McCluggage produced "Miami Vice" in 1984 and the TV movie "Homeland Security" in 2004. No credits for the 20 years between these are listed. But he was also president of Paramount Television, and is said to be a strong supporter of the Star Trek franchise.

Variety says that a writer has been hired, who they name as Eric Genderson. However, this name doesn't appear in the database. It's either a mistake or he's pretty unknown, which would be a stark contrast to the writer of the last film, John Logan, nominated again this year for an Academy Award.

The article also quotes Rick Berman going into more detail about "franchise fatigue" as the reason for the fall-off in Star Trek audience. By this theory, the assets of the franchise---the characters, and the Star Trek universe built over the past 38 years-are no longer considered assets. Berman calls for a "re-invention" of Star Trek, beginning with the next movie, which is why it will not have any previously established Star Trek characters. Berman repeats that he doesn't expect a new Trek TV series for at least three years.

Variety online requires a paid subscription, but a summary of the article appears on TrebWeb, and quotes from it plus background information on Berman's co-producers at Trek Today.

UPDATE: Though "Eric Genderson" remains unknown, there is an Eric (or Erik) Jendresen, the writer and producer of the TV miniseries "Band of Brothers." Jendresen is listed as writer on two current film projects, "The Hot Zone" (about an ebola virus loose in suburban Washington, from the book by Richard Preston) and "Aloft." "Aloft" is slated to be directed by Robert Redford, from the Alan Tennant book concerning the adventures of two men tracking the international flight of a North American penegrine falcon. One review described the book as "part nature study, part gonzo travelogue."

Erik Jendresen is also listed as a writer on "Fire," a Dreamworks project from a story by "Perfect Storm" author Sebastian Junger. He may also be the Erik Jendresen who is the author of children's books.

A staffer at TrekWeb apparently made the connection between Genderson and Jendresen, though there's no official word yet on whether it is Jendresen who is attached to the next Trek movie as writer.

UPDATE: TrekWeb has confirmed through Paramount from the Variety writer that the Trek XI writer's name is Erik Jendresen, and the above credits are accurate, plus he's written novels and plays. There's more at TrekWeb, with a link.

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