Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The idea of Steven Spielberg making the next Trek film may or may not be a good one for Trek, but it sure would get Paramount moving. Spielberg as producer might be even better.

And this high level interest would be welcome all around. Patrick Stewart refuses to overtly blame the director of Nemesis for its failure, but others in the cast haven’t been so shy. Several have been outspoken that director Stuart Baird didn’t compensate for his lack of knowledge of (or interest in) the Trek universe with sparkling storytelling and mesmerizing visual style. And there was the questionable selection of scenes, which Baird at least had a hand in. Even Stewart once suggested that the DVD for Nemesis should have an Actors’ rather than a Director’s Cut.

But what about the Trek XI we’ve been hearing about from Rick Berman? It’s supposed to be about the beginning of Star Trek, before the time of Enterprise, and have no one from previous casts in it. That would include, one assumes, Patrick Stewart.

Then there’s the little mystery of why Stewart decided to announce this now, when he said these meetings (with “money men” involved )took place something like four months ago. He hasn’t exactly been silent and invisible all that time.

My guess is that Berman’s Trek: the Beginning is dead. And maybe Berman and Stewart know this now, and so Stewart felt he could talk about that meeting four months ago.

I'm guessing as well that there have always been at least two approaches being discussed, though Berman and his regime may have been aware of only theirs. I recall rumors some months ago that Jonathan Frakes had met with people Paramount about the next movie. The speculation then was that he was being considered as director for Berman’s project. Maybe so. But maybe not. Maybe he was part of these other discussions.

If someone or ones with the power to push Paramount’s buttons decides that the problem with Nemesis was the director, the release date, whatever. And that Enterprise proved that a new Trek crew in a new Trek universe is riskier than using a universe and crew with proven popularity--- then this other project may be getting the upper hand.

And perhaps not only Stewart and Berman but the announced writer, Erik Jendreson, knows this now. In any event, he has recently signed on as writer and producer for a new television series, which would pretty much preclude his continuing participation in a Trek project.

My further guess is that it is not exclusively a Next Generation project, but is akin to John Logan’s idea for Trek XI that he talked about in an interview I unfortunately can no longer find, before Nemesis was released. If I recall correctly, he was proposing a lighter tone, and a story involving characters (and actors) from more than one Trek TV series. So this would involve Picard and other Next Gen characters, but not only them.

No comments: