Now that J J Abrams is officially signed on to direct the sequel to his 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise, things have apparently shifted into high gear. Screenwriter Roberto Orci, the usual source for updates on the film, has just let loose a couple of tidbits in an interview on the official Star Trek site. First up, location scouting has begun for the film –
The cast is excited. We have a director. We’ve started scouting locations. The second time around the crew is already together from the start, so we can jump right into the adventure.
I guess from that we can infer that the film won’t be an entirely ship-bound adventure. But are they looking for locations to sub for alien planets or for places that could be 23rd century Earth? (Much in the way that The Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge was used for shots of Starfleet Academy. The library was also seen in Disney’s Sky High and the 2008 Barry Levinson comedy What Just Happened.)
Orci is also serving as “Creative Director” for the new Star trek comic book series coming from publisher IDW. Intriguingly, the new series will re-tell episodes of the classic television series but updated to reflect the changes in the new version of the Star Trek universe launched by the 2009 film and will be written by Mike Johnson, who has worked for Orci and writing partner Alex Kurtzman’s production company. Johnson commented on how Orci will consult on the comic –
As we get closer to the next movie, the stories will begin to foreshadow the events of the movie, such as possibly introducing new characters we will see onscreen… pun very much intended… It’s fantastic to have Bob’s input, because he can steer us clear of story elements that might conflict with what’s coming up in the next movie, and we can lay in subtle clues to what’s coming up so that once you see the new movie you can go back and see how it evolved in the comics….Bob and I have discussed the major beats of the next movie, which is a great help in laying clues in the comic. We have very few secrets, that I know of anyway.
Previously, IDW published Star Trek: Countdown, also written by Johnson and Tim Jones, a four-part mini-series that lead into the first film of the rebooted Star Trek franchise and expanded on the backstory that lead up to Spock and the Romulan Nero plunging back through time to the beginning of the 2009 film. And since that was a pretty good read, I think that fans can have high hopes for the new series.