Everything this week feels like it’s related to the Transformers set visit (including these damn crabs!). While hanging out in downtown LA waiting for shots to be set up, many of us would get to talking, and the talk would often turn to nerdy subjects. I talked to producer Tom DeSanto (seriously – if the guy was any nicer the Hollywood system would have eaten him alive already. It’s incredible how down to earth and geeky he is) about JJ Abrams’ Star Trek XI, something that Paramount publicity has already begun working on.
I have to admit that I thought that Abrams’ take would disappear after Mission: Impossible III sucked, blew and then didn’t make enough money. But it turns out that Paramount loves JJ and hates Tom Cruise, so despite the fact that MI3 would have been no good despite its star, Abrams continues on the Star Trek revitalization.
Now there’s new, weird news that might help us understand where Abrams is taking the film. Leonard Nimoy talked to the Toronto Sun recently and revealed that Paramount has been in touch with him and Bill Shatner about being involved in Trek XI… somehow.
Thus spake Spock: "The head of production at Paramount called my agency to tell them about this project and they are aware of Bill’s and my contribution to the franchise, and they’d like us to know they might want some involvement. It was all very, very general.
"They might possibly want Bill and I to set up the story as a flashback. But that’s just conjecture on my part."
While I’ve been lately hearing “complete reboot” rumors, this does sound like Abrams might be looking to prequel after all – unless he just wants Nimoy and Shatner to do cameos (maybe playing the parents of their rebooted, younger selves? Just spitballing here). I think a reboot is the way to go, especially because there’s too much nonsense in the Star Trek canon, and a prequel runs into the Enterprise problem of figuring out how to make the surprisingly low-tech high-tech of the original series even more low-tech while believable as our future.
I’m not a big Star Trek fan (although I was as a kid, to my eternal shame, and I have a head full of Original Series trivia as a result), but I’m eagerly awaiting information on just how Abrams is going to revitalize this franchise. While many of us nerds on the Transformers set had differing opinions on where the series should go, we all agreed that it was pretty surprising that it was coming back so soon. The recent bad films and terrible TV series really took the luster off the name, and I would have expected Paramount to let the whole franchise cool its heels for a couple more years before bringing it back. They have a lot of faith in Abrams, it seems.