Writing a script for the sequel to J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot is the most fun job in the world - but hey, SOMEBODY has got to do it.
You would think that bit of hyperbole is the actual case, from the way acclaimed sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison (The Outer Limits, Star Trek, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour) is approaching it. Ellison recently posted on his blog that he is TOTALLY willing to step up and handle the scripting duties for Star Trek 2. The man has worked on Star Trek projects before - although not without a tiny bit of controversy.
You Trekkies out there probably already know that Ellison is the often-volatile writer behind famous sci-fi controversies involving some of the genre's biggest properties.
There the instance in which Ellison claimed that James Cameron had stolen concepts for The Terminator from two of Ellison's Outer Limits episodes ("Demon with a Glass Hand" and "Soldier"), however that matter was settled out of court. Of course, there is the more famous controversy of Ellison's long-standing feud with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry over the series' now-classic season 1 finale, "The City on the Edge of Forever". That episode premiered in 1967 and Ellison has been somewhat sore over changes made to his original script almost four decades afterward!
However, Ellison seems to have nothing but love for J.J. Abrams, proclaiming that he would "jump at the chance" to work with Abrams - while still pitching his own ideas, of course:
"Yes, I would likely try to steer him toward the original film idea I was asked to pitch, by the late Gene Roddenberry and a production exec whose name I have blissfully flensed from memory...If the very smart Abrams didn’t want to go that way, I would be wide-open to rethinking such a film from the git-go."
Ellison also stipulates that he would need to be paid by Paramount just to get the ball rolling, along with many other colorful opinions he has to share. You can read through it all by going HERE - but I will warn you up front, his blog is of a...vintage design, so you will have to do your scroll work.
Now before you go off mocking Mr. Ellison, remember that A) He is a pretty famous and enduring writer, especially in the genre of sci-fi. B) He's won't stand for your mockery. Check out what he had to say to some other readers who had criticisms of his ambitions to be involved in the next Star Trek flick:
"What the hell are you guys…nuts? Where’s the ‘downside’ to getting topside the radar of J.J. Abrams? This guy ain’t Roddenberry!...He’s a writer I respect, whose work has frequently blown the lid off my box of surpriseability. But, then, he already KNOWS that. It isn’t as if I’d kept my admiration chained in the darkest cell of the basement of Bedlam."
I've always said the one thing the world needed is a sci-fi writer who would be handy in a bar fight. Sounds like Ellison may be my guy! As far as Star Trek 2, I'm perfectly happy with Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci returning to pen the sequel - but that doesn't mean a talented guy like Ellison shouldn't be put to some kind of use; there's a lot of piss-poor sci-fi out there that could benefit from his attention...
What do you make of all this?
Star Trek 2 is still currently in development.