Abrams Star Trek Has Majels Blessing
By Ian M. Cullen
At weekend I attended the Fifteenth SF Ball and on hand to talk with the fans was Richard Arnold, who of course did his usual charity auction and chatted to fans about Star Trek and many other things.
During the tail end of his annual auction Arnold spoke of his time with the late Majel Roddenberry on the set of JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. He very briefly related a conversation he’d had with Majel about Abrams and his style of directing and producing.
Arnold told the gathered fans that he and Majel felt that the set of J.J. Abrams Star Trek was very much reminiscent of the collaborative spirit of a Gene Roddenberry set. The general feeling and good will on set was infectious. According to Arnold Majel congratulated Abrams on the good feeling atmosphere he’d created for the film and Abrams being the humble person he is said that he could not take sole responsibility for the good feeling. To which Majel commented to Arnold that Abrams was “doing a Gene” because the late producer and Star Trek creator was also often refusing to take credit when it was given, and would often shy away from such accolades saying that it wasn’t all him.
Richard also talked a little bit about his brief stint in the movie as a Romulan.
On Sunday afternoon Chaz Evans from Paramount joined us and talked a little about the methods, which were used by Paramount to research what everyone thought about Star Trek. Some of the findings he revealed from the seven international markets, which were surveyed were somewhat comical to many of us in the audience. Where as certain other points were fairly valid.
Representatives from one marketplace said that they were turned off from Star Trek because the FX was kind of cheesy, and they felt that the show took its self far to seriously. While representatives from another country felt there wasn’t enough skin on show in the movies. Australian moviegoers told Paramount that they would not go to see a Star Trek movie, for fear of being labelled as geeks and not cool.
So the research did turn up a number of reasons why much of the mainstream support has dropped away from the Star Trek Universe, and Paramount are hoping to bring that mainstream support back to Star Trek and retain the support of fans.
The research however has on occasion put the Paramount Executives at odds with J.J. Abrams. Because J.J. has a very a definite vision. Which means that the relationship between Paramount and Abrams regarding Star Trek is a very carefully choreographed balancing act, which involves a fair bit of give and take between Abrams and the Paramount executives who want to make a hit movie.
Chaz also revealed that a big meeting had been set up between execs and abrams for Tuesday to discuss when they plan to release the next trailer. The trailer spot, which Paramount would like is on Watchmen, which is released worldwide in March, but it seems unlikely to happen this close to the movies release.
No spoilers for the movie were revealed. Evans revealed that he’d seen the final complete cut of the movie twice, and teased fans about the scene in, which the young Kirk is on the ice planet, but revealed very little about the movie. All he did confirm was that the movie had a lot of action, a lot of plot, a lot of drama, and was an origin story for Captain Kirk.
After the talk we were shown the television commercial spot, which was run at the Super bowl over weekend. And if you thought it looked cool on your televisions, it was much nicer on the big screens.