Damon Lindelof Compares ‘Star Trek 2′ to ‘The Dark Knight’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 11th, 2014 at 1:42 pm,

At the end of June, producer/screenwriter Damon Lindelof indicated his post-Lost vacation had come to an end and that he was diving head first into writing duties on Star Trek 2. Free from the time restraints a weekly television show imposed, he was able to join Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci on a full-time basis.

Kurtzman and Orci previously revealed that they had settled on a front-runner for Star Trek 2’s villain and that the antagonist would play a larger role in the story. Although the duo claimed to be open to the idea of using Khan, the villain’s identity has yet to be confirmed.

Production is still a year away, so details are understandably sparse – but like a kid trying to sneak a peek at his Christmas presents, Star Trek fans are desperate for any hints the filmmakers can throw their way.

Lindelof was happy to drop one when E! recently caught up with him at a pre-Emmys party. He indicated that The Dark Knight has served as an inspiration for their approach to Star Trek 2:

“We’re looking at a movie like The Dark Knight, which went one step beyond Batman Begins… It was really about something, and at the same time it was a superhero movie. We don’t want to abandon all the things that made the first movie work…but we also really want the movie to thematically resonate.”

Let’s take a moment to relax a little bit and take solace in the fact that Lindelof is speaking about the film’s content and not its aesthetics. Blockbuster franchises always seem to feel that “going darker” is the only way to stay relevant and I think that’s an incredibly tired attitude.

Star Trek director J.J. Abrams once stated that his film stood “in stark contrast” to The Dark Knight and I’m pleased to hear that examining what made Christopher Nolan’s sequel so successful doesn’t seem to include conversations about de-saturating Star Trek 2’s palette. Rather, it sounds like he’s talking about crafting a film that transcends its genre and stereotypes.

Lindelof’s comment should appease fans – particularly the die-hard Trekkers who felt the quasi-reboot was a little heavy on style and light on substance in comparison to past Star Trek films.

Star Trek Sequel Damon Lindelof Compares Star Trek 2 to The Dark Knight

As a life-long fan, I thought Star Trek was unbelievably successful with what it set out to do. It took a franchise that was on its last legs and made it feel accessible and fresh to a general audience. Now that they’ve established a connection between that audience and the film’s characters, they’re free to start incorporating all of the complex moral and spiritual dilemmas Star Trek’s past incarnations were known for.

In fact, I thought the film did such an admirable job of reinventing the property and standing on its own that I’d almost hate to see them go back and recycle a villain like Khan. I know he’s the most memorable and formidable opponent in Star Trek mythology, but why invite comparisons to the most beloved entry in the franchise?

On the other hand, if anyone can prove me wrong it’s Kurtzman, Orci and Lindelof. I initially thought recasting Kirk, Spock, and all the other iconic roles was a terrible idea and Star Trek wound up being one of my favorite films that year.

We’ll keep you updated on both the storyline and villain for Star Trek 2. Be sure to stay up to date be following us on Twitter: @screenrant.

Source: E!

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  1. I’m not sure what his point is about TDK.

    There will be Klingons in this movie, most likely a new villain. Using Khan is a mistake.

    • I agree No Khan

  2. Everyone wants to call out dark knight … Someone tell that idiot to shut his face and focus on his own projects.

  3. I hate reboots and I thought JJ’s Star Trek was a big FU to me and the fans, I was not a fan of the Dark Knight so I’m sure that I will not enjoy JJ’s Star Trek 2.

    • Majorxero do you like any films?

      • haha, yeah i mean i liked both star trek and the dark knight, very good films both of them. seeing as im not a star trek fan, i didnt mind the plot holes if there were any.

      • I do like films, but my time and money are valuable to me and I hate to waste it on crap. And I don’t like a movie just because everyone else liked it, ie inception, dark knight, walle, avatar, and JJ’s Star Trek all crap to me.

        • are u kidding u must love Uwe Boll films hahaha

        • You have bad taste in movies.

        • MajorXero is a tard. Who the hell doesnt like Inception, TDK, & Wall-E?! the rest sure, but those three? You. Suck.

          • While I agree TDK and Inception are great, but Wall=E was awful. It was a terrible film that tried to force a message that was inaccurate and simply wrong down our throats. It lacked the cleverness and humor of most pixar films and tried to hard to tell us how horrible we are and how we have to live our life and forgot that they were making a cartoon. It was barely even a movie more of just a movie length sermon of a politically driven message.

        • @MajorXero

          What films DO you like? It’s sad that you think some of the best films of the last few years are crap, but to each his own…

          • No what is sad is that lazy film making has become the norm. There are no new ideas out there. I’m just tired of reboots, remakes and reimaged crap.
            Avatar a very weak story lots of effects. Basically Dances with smurfs via pocahontas.

            Inception terrible story not that great special effects. Basically Dreamscape meets the matrix.

            JJ’s Star Wars err Trek, basically a remake of Episode IV and V.

            I just want something new and interesting.

            some of my favorite movies

            12 angry men
            Seven Samurai
            Episode V
            Raiders of the lost ark
            Blade runner
            and my favorite of all time Alien

            • hahaha hohoho oh god.. i am sorry but you say you dont like remakes blabla and how inception had a bad story and you go on and say you like wanted? i mean are you serious? and the expendables.. i mean most of the movies you have mentioned are entertaining movies, not great in any way, especially not story.. i know i know, its your taste but gees.. how you dont like inception and tdk is beyond me.

  4. I find the above statements (not mine) confusing

  5. Do not understand why the Dark Knight comparison was made. Either way I’m hoping that the writers come up with a new villian for the movie for the same reason Mr. Schrader said, what’s the point of rebooting it if they are going to be rehashing old stoyry lines?

    • Jose The Dark KNight comparison was simply about saying that they want to create a genre film with substance. The Dark Knight contained something most comic films these days forget and that was a story with purpose and meaning. All he is saying is that they want to inject meaning in to this film and have it surpass the last film.

  6. I seriously hate all the dorks working on Star Trek.

    Three inept writers that can’t find a plot with both hands, reporting to a director that rips off every concept he sees.

    • I wonder how much I could give to charity to slap Damon Lindelof. Is it me or does that picture up there just beg someone to slap him?

      Anyho I enjoyed ST. I think the second one will blow chunks all thanks to Damon Lindelof having writing chores.

  7. The Kahn idea wouldn’t necessarily be terrible. Just because they use a villain that was used in the previous franchise doesn’t mean it has to be a rehashed story. A good comparison, ironically, would be the use of the Joker in Dark Knight. He was the first villain used in the original Batman movie series and that didn’t take away from the success of the story or portrayal in DK.

    • That’s what I’ve been saying. The story doesn’t have to be the same; in fact, the federation doesn’t even have to find Khan, some other race (Romulans, Klingons) could find him and Khan could become their leader. No Ceti Alpha 5 or Marla McGyvers but some Khan intellect and fierceness.

  8. You didn’t like Inception either?

    Ok you don’t like films because everyone else does good to hear I don’t either I hated Avatar and Transformers and all the Harry potter Twilight films.

    However you seem to hate Every thing to a large amount of people like. Do you dislike all things popular and only like films that are not very popular? Is it indie or nothing? Just curious what do you like now that we established your very original and are so different because you hate all things popular.

    • No I like popular things I even have like films other people hate Wanted was great for what it was, and if you don’t like the Expendables you are just unamerican. I’m just tired of remakes and reboots and I wish the fad of 3-d would go away.

        • Wow brandon thank you for showing everyone what sheepeople look like

      • @MajorXero

        Hmmm…I was prepared to just let this go because in your above post you listed a number of films that actually ARE excellent (“Seven Samurai”, “Memento”, etc.), but THEN, you said “The Expendables”?!?!


        You JUST finished telling everyone that you don’t like remakes, reboots, unoriginal ideas, but somehow, the most unoriginal idea of the summer–a love letter to ’80s action movie machismo–does it for you?


        By the way, I am most certainly American, and I had NO interest in seeing that movie…and I grew up in the ’80s and very much enjoyed (and, from time to time, still enjoy) those kinds of films. NO INTEREST, WHATSOEVER…

        • I didn’t say that the Expendables was the best move of all time only that I enjoyed it and it was different from what is out right now.

          • @MajorXero

            You had just finished telling everyone that you hate remakes and ideas that introduce nothing new to cinema…”The Expendables” has no new ideas and, in fact, IS an ’80s action flick in all but its actual release date.

            You can understand, I hope, why I find your points greatly weakened by what seems to be a major contradiction?

            • Expendables wasn’t shot like an 80′s action film and it didn’t even feel like an 80′s movie, other than some of the main actors being from the 80′s it was not an 80′s action flick. Also you said you haven’t and wont see it so I can see why you are confused about what I said.

  9. The rise of Khan Noonian Singh could be an entertaining story from the perspective of the Eugenics Wars, which were hinted at in Enterprise.
    The flashback to Khan’s glory days would be a natural darker way to go for the screenwriters, and could focus on what originally made him a bad boy, which hasn’t been seen yet. I would look forward to such a story if they could get it in. Unfortunately, since Khan and co. were frozen long before the crew of the Enterprise come along, there’s no way to have them interact short of time travel–which we’re sick of and they did in the reboot.
    Keep it fresh, and keep it in OUR universe. Find a way to bring back Vulcan, because without it, it’s a lesser universe.

    • Read the books by Greg Cox… Probably much better than anything these guys would come up with and put in a 2hr-long movie…

  10. Oh man…that was Bah-a-a-a-a-a-ad….

  11. Seriously? The new Star trek was pop cornish !!

  12. if onlymore film makers woul take a look at dark knight,x-men 1,and 2, and films like splice,and then we would have better qaulity films. i refuse to watch crap anymore and encourage everyone else too.

    • Chris I was with you on TDK and x2, but X1 was nothing more than a popcorn action flick and while it was fun it was hardly good enough to put in the same category. Don’t even get me started on Splice yikes at least x1 was a film I enjoyed. Not knocking you if you like it, but Splice certainly didn’t have substance or depth it was a very straight forward instant gratification film.

      They are talking more along the lines of TDK, Batman Begins, X2, Spiderman 2

      like them or not those films had substance we can debate how great they were, but those films were far more than what met the eye.

  13. @anythingtwilightsucks,

    So if I don’t like those 3 films I suck?

    How old are you man?

  14. major zero likes ned flanders…alot.

    • no ned flanders likes everything, so of course i don’t like him

  15. maan i didnt want to get in this but com on this guy didnt like tdk incpetion or star trek? give me a break if this dude had half a clue. he understand what are is and those films not matter what your opinions are about them are destined classics yes some have plot holes yes some may have theyre flaws but they are awsome films reguardless movies are coming out from the great film makers are getting better and better jj nolan rodriguez theyre the future and theyre films not matter what anyone ses are awsome pieces of entertainment. and avatar you know you liked it

  16. I don’t understand why everyone is giving MajorXero such a hard time. Tastes in films are subjective and if he doesn’t like the Trek reboot, TDK or Inception, that is HIS tastes. It sure as hell doesn’t make those movies any less enjoyable for the people that like them, does it?? That is what is great about film: there are all kinds of films that appeal to different types of people. People on here seem to think that their opinions are the be-all-end-all in movie opinions. I don’t understand how so many people think Quentin Tarentino is a great director and I think every single one of his films is crap. My opinion. Personally, I thought the last Trek film was alot of fun and a great shot in the arm to the franchise. That coming from a Trek fan of 30+ years. If the franchise had continued where it was going with Nemesis (which I ALSO enjoyed), it would have been the death of Trek films. Abrams at least brought us more Trek on film, and I, for one, am ECSTATIC about that. Would love to see a great film involving the Klingons and the Tholians, but if it’s Kahn, so be it. I just want it to be a great film!

  17. I’m with you on that MajorXero. I said all along they should have kept going with a new crew. Not falling back to Kirk and Spock to save the franchise. What a huge step backward. Literally!!!

    Now these morons are in charge of trek and everyones loving it? Yeah well I don’t think they get the spirit of the show. There’s over a hundred original ideas for Star Trek in print and your average blogger is cheering for Kahn.
    (Simple minded are the masses)

    This new trek is a disgrace. Its also the only Trek film I don’t have on dvd.

    • It’s freakin’ AWESOME on Blu-Ray, 790, ;)

      I love the novels myself, and would love to have seen some of them transfered to the big screen. Same with the Star Wars novels.

      To each their own, though. I loved the new Trek film, and so did my GF (would couldn’t stand it when I would throw a TOS dvd in….)

    • Yes, 790, we like the job they did on the reboot.

      Trek as it was prior to the film was old and tired and spent.

      And I am a Trekker going back longer than most readers on this site have been alive.


  18. Eh too Vic,,,


    • 790,

      LOL. It was time, dude. Tell you what, I was VERY excited about Enterprise when I first heard about it – then they went and veered completely off the road with the stupid show instead showing the early years of the Federation.

      That’s when I decided the folks helming Trek needed to go and we needed fresh blood.


  19. I know everyone hates Voyager and Brannon Brage, but I spoke to him once about the future of trek, and he said that they could have done a Voyager movie right after the show ended hardly nothing. That could have led to a new series.

    JJ’s film cost over 400mil after advertising was factored in.

    Now we get a Trek film every what 3 years? Oooh maybe a new Kahn?
    Lol”””Yeah love the reboot,,, :-p

  20. Oh I meant “for” hardly nothing.
    Also on this so called Abrams reboot. How does this film reboot the franchise. Exactly?
    (Imo),,,Paramount dropped the Star Trek phaser when it decided to focus only on this new Kirk and Spock movie lovefest. The franchise should have evolved and gone to a cable network like HBO or Showtime. It could have been a Star Trek revolution. The scripts could have been written by a more cutting edge group. Look at the best shows these days. There all on cable!! That’s what Star Trek needs is more realism for a new generation of entertainment!

    Instead we sell out to the tweens, and screw the possiblity of a new tv series. Because,,, Paramount won’t risk the Kirk/ Spock lovefest the films have now backed themselves into.
    (In conclusion,,,)
    This isn’t a reboot, (imo) its an amputation. The franchise has cut itself off from a new tv series. As long as JJ breaks even, maybe make a few million, they (paramount) won’t change there ways on Trek movies.
    So support the new film. See what you get. A new 2 hour film every few years. Yeah,,,

    I would prefer a Star Trek tv series that delivers a full hour a week 20 times a year. And you know what, it would still be cheaper to produce then a film.

    Yeah go team JJ,,, lol. This sucks.

  21. Thanks Andy s
    I would have rather seen a JJ do a whole new trek like 20 years in the future than what he did

  22. I agree Vic fresh blood but not the restriction of locking the franchise down to a Kirk & Spock prequel. Wasn’t Enterprise a prequel?, where’s the freshness in that??? Or maybe time travel, where’s the originality,,,?

    Kirk & Spock should have been left behind. That was the biggest mistake that inadvertanly has doomed the show/film? into a comic book/ superhero type franchise. (imo)

    Who’s going to play Kirk in the next reboot? O please spare me that reality!!! What a limited restrictive path the show/film is now on.

    • 790,

      Box office would disagree with you, as do I. Endless new incarnations of the Trek universe = Paramount continuing to flush money. This was a gamble that paid off well, brought NEW fans into the Trek universe (albeit a different one), and is keeping it alive.

      I don’t get your angst over this. You want something completely new and different – that what the movie WAS. If it’ll help you sleep at night, just imagine that the characters have different names than Kirk, Spock, etc. 8)


      • What helps me sleep is to call it JJ’s Star Trek, like New coke is not Coke just so people will thier is a difference. I hope they end the third movie by stopping nero and resetting the time line and it all goes away.

  23. Andy I like Trek but I can’t stand TOS it was just awful to me. For the first time I was able to watch a trek with the names Spock and Kirk attached. By the way if you like Trek novals and your a fan of xmen you can pick up Star Trek and the Xmen it’s a TNG noval. Sounds lame and weird I’m sure but not an awful read.

  24. First of all I wouldn’t say I’m hyping it unsaid it’s not awful thats hardly hype. I don’t like Expendables but it’s not awful.

    Second we so are not talking about the same thing. I didn’t even know there was a comic I’m talking about an actual over 200 page book and it’s not Kirk and Spock because it’s TNG it’s also been out more than five years I bought it in 2003 I believe at the latest 2004 and it was out a little bit before that.

    It’s not Catcher in the Rye but it’s fun to read and I certainly heeled out.

    • I’ve read it Daniel, and I enjoyed it as a mindless fun read.

  25. The entire X Men meets Star Trek concept is (censored) lame and serioulsy (censored) retarded.
    But that’s just one old school Star Trek fan’s opinion,,,

  26. “It was a reimagining of a hit series more than just a reboot…”

    Yeah the reimagining your talking about has its limits, and JJ, didn’t rock my world. Sorry if I don’t like your party. :-)

  27. Good for your opinion.

    Yet you don’t at all find it lane to seek out articles of sequals to films that you hate and comment on them despite never wanting to see them?