SyFy Portal scooped an interview with the much talked about writer of the next Star Trek film, Erik Jendresen. Jendresen had a lot of interesting comments about how he will approach the story, and for now I will remain optimistic. In my opinion it can only be a good thing to bring in new blood, similar to when Paramount brought in Nick Meyer for Wrath of Khan (as also mentioned by SyFy Portal).
For the full interview, just click on the link above. Right here I'm going to geek out a bit because something Jendresen said confuses me:
"We're going 160-odd years before Kirk is born."
Here comes the geek part... If you plug the above statement into the established Star Trek universe timeline, you come up with the following, in reverse chronological order (Courtesy of the Star Trek Timeline Homepage):
2264 - Kirk takes command of Enterprise NCC-1701.
2233 - James T. Kirk is born.
2151 - Enterprise (Jonathon Archer's ship) is completed.
2063 - First contact with the Vulcans (from the film Star Trek: First Contact)
Now if you subtract 160 years from when Kirk was born, that puts you at approximately the year 2070, which is 80 years before the current show Enterprise, just after first contact and less than 70 years from now! This would place the film in the seminal stages of warp travel, just as we take our first steps into deep space.
If the 160 year number is correct, I think that we'll end up with a Trek movie in name only, with very little connection to the mythos. I think there is a possibility that either Jendresen was misquoted, or that he misspoke. It would make more sense if he had said 60 years before Kirk, especially within the context of mentioning the current show but stating it would not be a sequel to it.
Whichever figure is correct, the franchise can certainly stand some shaking up and I wish this guy luck.
UPDATE: As I suspected, that 160 number was misspoken by Jendresen. He has since stated that number is in error.