To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, Paramount is releasing the third installment of the modern film series, Star Trek Beyond, in theaters this year. Unfortunately, its impending arrival hasn’t exactly been a joyous occasion for fans of the Final Frontier. After the project was plagued by pre-production woes (seeing a massive script rewrite weeks before shooting started), the marketing campaign got off on the wrong foot. The teaser trailer that debuted late last year was criticized for its over-emphasis on action and curious soundtrack choices. It just didn’t feel like a Star Trek film to most people.
Members of the Beyond creative team, including director Justin Lin and co-writer Simon Pegg, expressed displeasure with the preview, remarking how it undersold the substance of the story. Lin even admitted that there were more “traditional” cuts of the trailer when compared to the official one. It’s long been reported that the intention of Beyond is to return the property back to its roots by embracing the spirit and optimism of the original TV series, something that star John Cho feels was conveyed very well in the film.
Speaking with Famous Monsters (hat tip Trek Movie), Cho said the screenplay “felt very much like the best of the original series… the first [film] we made didn’t entirely feel like that to me.” He went on to praise Lin and how easy it was for the cast to adjust working with him (after J.J. Abrams made the first two movies):
“[Justin Lin] cared about the mythology, he cared about the world, he cared about getting it right, he cared about moving the characters forward. … I think we all had question marks; it’s tough to be told that the guy you made two successful movies with isn’t going to be helming the third one. But we were all just really pleasantly surprised as we eased into working with him.”
Much like Pegg, Lin is a longtime fan of Star Trek, having grown up watching the old shows and films. Based on his quotes about Beyond, he seems to have an understanding of what makes the franchise work and hoped to make the most of his opportunity. A veteran of the Fast & Furious action series, some fans are concerned about how Lin’s sensibilities will blend with what makes Star Trek unique, but he does have some strong ideas. Beyond seeks to “deconstruct” the brand by exploring the purpose and relevancy of the Federation, potentially posing some big questions that give the audience food for thought. Regardless of how one feels about the trailer, there’s no denying that’s an interesting angle to tackle.
Cho also discussed the script by Pegg and Doug Jung, mentioning how they were always looking for “human moments” to give the story some emotional heft:
“What you’re going to get when you ask Simon Pegg to pen a script is a very human touch. And a warm touch. And that can come out in comedy, but doesn’t necessarily have to. And there are some funny moments. But I think he and [co-writer Doug Jung], from what I could tell, were constantly looking for connections between the characters. And that, from the cast perspective, was what was spectacular about asking Simon and Doug to do it. It just felt like they were looking for human moments.”
One of the strongest elements of the recent Trek films is the interplay between the cast; the actors have developed great chemistry with one another over the course of multiple films. Pegg is an experienced screenwriter (helping craft meaningful character relationships in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy), so he should prove to be an ideal choice to write for the likes of Kirk, Spock, and others. Having been with the rebooted franchise from the beginning, Pegg most likely has a firm understanding of each member of the crew and knows what the next step of their arc could be. Seeing the camaraderie of the Enterprise team is a main reason why Star Trek has resonated for so long. Hopefully, Pegg and Jung cracked the code and were able to pave the way for more exciting adventures in the future.
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22, 2016.
Source: Famous Monsters (via Trek Movie)