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STAR TREK 10 Updates!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Okay... I've read the TalkBacks, I've traded calls with friends in the know today, and I've picked up a few more STAR TREK: NEMESIS tidbits I thought I'd share with you.

First, let's clarify. Jonathan Frakes is not directing the film. It looks like Stuart Baird will be occupying the captain's chair on this particular TREK. I'd say this was Paramount's way of thanking Baird for his hard work on TOMB RAIDER, but knowing the pressure he's going to be under, I don't think it's much of a "thank you."

I've gotten word that Digital Domain will be handling all FX duties for this outing, and that's good news. I'm an unabashed fan of DD and all their efforts, and would love to see them bring their trademark zip to the visuals in the STAR TREK universe. Their work could be a lot of fun.

Of course, that's all dependent on the cast working out their salary issues. Bottom line... Paramount is trying to roll salaries back on the cast, and the cast isn't putting up with it. There's a lot of posturing going on from both sides right now, but everyone involved expects there to be some sort of deal made. These situations can blow up on you, but this is one of the most important franchises the studio has in active development, so I doubt they're going to muscle the entire NEXT GENERATION cast out of the film. Just wouldn't make sense.

Finally, I would like to respond to Robogeek and the now-infamous DARK HORIZONS script review. Obviously, you guys are Trekkies. Er, Trekkers. Um... fans of the franchise. I'm not. I read it not as a piece of meticulously researched STAR TREK lore, but as a sf/action film with familiar characters. To a non-fan, it's a pretty good read. If you're consumed with the details of the TREK universe, I have no idea how it reads. Evidently, not very well. I'd say to everyone freaking out in our Talk Backs that it all depends how rabid you are about the films. Take this e-mail I just got from a "Dr. Strangeluv," but be warned... there are spoilers:

I must admit, being a Trek fan, after reading several negative script reviews of this film, I was filled with dread when I opened this script I received (from a Paramount operative that shall remain anonymous). I had serious concern for the future of the movie franchise, though not so much for this fall’s Enterprise, after reading the excellent “Broken Bow”. As you can imagine I was ready for a letdown from the start.

I was pleasantly surprised. The draft I received of Nemesis was imaginative, well written, and will act as a proper (if necessary) send-off for the Next Generation cast. While it was not the best movie script I’ve ever read, with the proper tweaking, it could well become the best Trek film to date. I will not bother with overanalyzing and plot spoiling, but I will point out a few of the many points that I find make this film work well.

For one, the subplot between Picard and Shinzon was extremely interesting, to say the least. Sure, the fact that Shinzon is a clone is a bit hokey, but it served its purpose. I gave the two a convincing background story with which to work. Though Shinzon does not display the ruthlessness I would have liked, his intelligence as well as his cunning make him a worth opponent for Picard and crew.

Data’s attitude and feelings toward B-9, his android brother, seem to bring semi-closure to his ongoing quest to be human. It also serves to make his final demise all the more emotional ( it could’ve been a more noble sacrifice though). All in all, it served to tie the movie together as a cohesive unit when used in comparison with Picard/Shinzon.

My attitude has changed toward the Trek franchise. Now, if Trek XI is this original and inventive, we could have a bright new frontier to look forward to.

One thing I'm sure of is this: they're not going to scrap the NEMESIS script or concept, so you can all put that one out of your minds. The delays right now are not about creative issues... or at least, not primarily. For a group of people who are supposed fans of something, I've never seen a more dissatisfied fan base than Trekkiers (figured I'd just combine them to save time). Right now, I think they're on track to make a good tenth film, and I would urge TREK fans to realize that any script can be made to sound awful if that's the intent of the article writer. Berman may not be a genius, but John Logan's a good writer, and he's crafted something that's at least entertaining on the page so far. I'm sure they're continuing to work on the script, and once the cast signs on (if they sign on), I'm sure there will be further work to reflect their input. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

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