Wow, what a stunner... I guess it would take a HUGE name to convince Paramount to revive Star Trek from the dead. This is really out of the blue, but apparently Peter Jackson is a closet Trek fan and has been wanting to go in a different direction.
He's been working strictly in the past with the incredible Lord of the Rings trilogy and most recently with his version of King Kong. Having tackled those projects and convincingly bringing the past to life, it seems that he's looking for something fresh and futuristic.
You may have already heard that he's executive producer on the upcoming video-game-based film Halo. Executive Producer is really more of a gift-title than an actual job on a movie. The Producer (non-executive) is the one that does all the heavy lifting, so to speak. So it stands to reason that Jackson wants more of a hands-on experience with his futuristic turnabout.
I know someone over at Weta Workshop (they did the special effects work for both Lord of the Rings and King Kong, as well as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). It seems that they too are itching to tackle the future. I guess they're tired of linking one million plastic rings together to create chain mail for an army. :-)
Anyway, Neon Genesis Evangelion was a project they were due to work on, but it seems to be on hold, freeing up a bunch of their resources. This acquaintance said that they're starting to work up a project schedule for the effects work they'll be doing for Star Trek 11.
The word is that Jackson has a rough draft of a script and that Weta is working up some rough storyboards based on that. It's still very early and everything is fluid. I was told that they're looking at ship designs that are from the original series AND "Next Generation", and that they're looking at some serious lifelike CGI work for some of the characters.
Now I don't know what the heck that means... I don't know if they're looking at the old Starfleet Academy idea of having Kirk, Spock and McCoy in their pre-Enterprise days. Does Jackson have in mind some sort of time-travel story between Next Generation era and the Academy? I don't know, but I would guess that it would be pretty damned difficult to get the remaining original cast members together unless this was going to be something truly amazing.
They're looking at a possible release date of winter of 2007, and of course as you read this it would be best to keep in mind the date of this post.