The folks at Paramount Pictures must be awfully confident in the success of the new Star Trek movie, as they’ve already signed a screenwriting team to get to work on the sequel of what they believe will be the biggest film of the year.
But it’s not like they’re taking chances on rookies, as executive producer/director J.J. Abrams is bringing aboard one of the men responsible for the continued success of Abrams’ hit TV series, Lost – Damon Lindelof .
Lindelof will be joining forces with the screenwriting team responsible for the reboot of the Star Trek franchise this summer, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
“There’s obviously a lot of hubris involved in signing on to write a sequel of a movie that hasn’t even come out yet,” Lindelof told Variety. “But we’re so excited about the first one that we wanted to proceed.”
Lindelof is a heavy hitter in Hollywood these days. He co-created Lost with Abrams, and – with fellow show-runner Carlton Cuse – has turned the series into a dense blend of character development, old-fashioned cliff-hangers and healthy dose of science-fiction time travel. He was also a producer on the new Star Trek film.
While action sequences – like those in Abrams’ previous films Mission Impossible III and Cloverfield – are the hallmark of summer blockbuster movies, complex characters that audiences empathize and identify with have always been the keys to the successful Star Trek franchises.
Orci and Kurtzman seem to have the action angle down cold. In addition to Star Trek, they are the writing team behind the $300 million-grossing Transformers movie and its hotly-anticipated summer sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The pair also co-wrote the $100 million hit Eagle Eye.
So, how does somebody go about writing a sequel before the original film even hits theaters? In this case, at least in part, they will take their cues from fans.
“Obviously we discussed ideas, but we are waiting to see how audiences respond,” Kurtzman says. “With a franchise rebirth, the first movie has to be about origin. But with a second, you have the opportunity to explore incredibly exciting things. We’ll be ambitious about what we’ll do.”
The Abrams-Lindelof team is nothing if not ambitious. In addition to Lost and the Trek series, the two are said to be planning a film adaptation of author Stephen King’s Dark Tower book series. Clearly, the pair sees the seven-book series as another potential film franchise.
Tatiana Siegel, “Star Trek sequel on track”, Variety