IT TIL DECEMBER
By Larry Nemecek
With the summer blockbuster season upon us, you may well be
toting that camera, stuck in that edit bay, or cooling your
heels along the red carpet in pursuit of it all. But just think:
like no time in recent memory, the really big "summer"-type
genre flicks may not be out until the holidays. Come November,
it will be time to do it all again.
less than the likes of James Bond, Harry Potter and The Lord
of the Rings will feature new installments between Thanksgiving
and Christmas, but the grandaddy of all franchises for sheer
numbers and staying power is due back Dec. 13. That's right,
there's a Star Trek on the way, and this one is an even-numbered
film, to boot. (The folk wisdom, of course, holds that the odd-numbered
Treks are always disappointments).
It doesn't hurt, too, that an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and
avowed Trekkie is the name behind your script, as is Gladiator's
John Logan with the new Star Trek: Nemesis. The director is
outside the old Trek TV family as well, with editor-turned-action
director Stuart Baird packing a wallop in an opening & what?
vehicle chase. On Star Trek?
As usual, parent Paramount is playing info and images close
to the vest, but the onset of the Internet and the steady yet
lackluster reaction to 1998's Insurrection have loosened up
the flow a bit. This past week, boosted by timing with E3, a
mini-CD of wallpaper images went out to fans and websites to
stir up buzz, long before much other art has been released for
general media. Too, producer Rick Berman has been far more forthcoming
about cameos and plot points than ever in the past. Part of
that may be due to the longer gestation period and shelf life
of this script: all told, Trek followers will have waited four
years since the last premiere until this one'a Trek big-screen
record. Many have long thought that a little rest is not a bad
thign at all, and makes the fans as well as the general public
all the hungrier for it.
Ricardo Montalban's scene-stealing Star Trek II: The Wrath of
Khan has always been the bar against which other Treks are measured,
despite its turning 20 this year. Nemesis shares a lot with
that classic: a very personal villain for the captain &
his own clone (and no, it is NOT hokey); changes in the family
(first officer Riker and Counselor Troi FINALLY get married,
providing a return cameo for Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan); and
a slam-bang last act with a space battle that's far from simply
gratuitous. Logan's script is a page-turner and in the last
third piles tension upon unrelenting tension, but FX veteran
Digital Domain is up to the task after Titanic and Lord of the
Rings, despite this being its rookie Trek run.
wag has already dubbed this flick "Star Trek X: The Attack of
the Clone," but no fears about plot overlap with George Lucas
?? or even FX overkill. Star Trek has always been about its
family of characters as well as late creator Gene Roddenberry's
optimistic take on humanity and the future, and that's one reason
why they'll be standing in line, renting the tape, and scrutinizing
every DVD frame long, long years after the rest of the rabble
have since gathered dust. That, and the even-number, of course.
So, if you've been writing, reporting, shooting, editing or
in any way working on stories about all of the hype surrounding
Spiderman, Star Wars and the rest of the biggies due out this
summer brace yourselves -- it may just turn out to be a dress
rehearsal for more of the same a half a year down the road!
About the Author
Larry Nemecek is Managing Editor of Star Trek Communicator
magazine, author of the updated The Star Trek: The Next Generation
Companion due next January, columnist for Titan Magazines/U.K.,
former print entertainment editor and AP award-winning reporter,
the father of two, and a devotee of fellow native Oklahoman
Star Trek Communicator: http://shop.decipher.com/startrek/about.asp
Larry's Book: The
Star Trek the Next Generation...