Star Trek XI
Didn't catch the Star Trek XI panel at Comic-Con? Well, you are in luck, as Paramount has released the panel's entire transcript.
Comic-Con Transcript: Star Trek XI
ABRAMS: So, um, it's just an amazing honor to be here to be talking about Star Trek. We go into production in November, and it's an incredible thing. This is obviously a series that I loved as a kid, and while I was always, sort of honestly, more of a Star Wars kid than a Star Trek kid, I loved Trek. And the excitement for us, I think, is the ability to take this amazing world that Gene Roddenberry created, which was just, y'know, remarkable, and these incredible characters, and show them in a way that you haven't seen them. And I think that, y'know, it's tricky, because this matters so much to so many people, and you can't screw this up. And so it's sort of a tightrope on the one hand, but I was producing this movie, I wasn't directing it — I was producing with Damon and with all these guys — and Alex and Bob wrote the script, and when I read the script, I realized I was gonna be so damn jealous of anyone directing this movie. And it wasn't because I drank the Kool-Aid and love Star Trek, it was because the script was great. It was because the characters were amazing, it was alive, it was funny, it was scary, it was an adventure. And I showed it to my wife, who is the last person who would say she was into Trek, and said, "Will you read Star Trek?" She's like, "Okay." You know. So she read it, and she said, "You should direct this movie." And I said, "I know, it's amazing!" And so we went to Paramount and said this is what we wanted to do, and we're just honored, really, to be here and to do this.
We obviously have a long way to go — there's another Comic-Con plus six months before the movie comes out. But we wanted to share with you a little bit of— talk about casting for a second. The thing about casting Trek is, how do you possibly top, and even match, the cast of the Original Series, and that really is where this movie takes place. And, y'know, William Shatner, with whom — I've met him a number of times, and he's, you know, the greatest — and we're desperately trying to figure out a way to put him in this movie. The truth is, it needs to be worthy of him, it needs to be worthy of you, it needs to be worthy of the movie. We can't just shove him in, it would be a disaster. You would hate it, he wouldn't like it, it would be bad. So we're on that. And we're looking for a Kirk. Because that's tough too, so um — Kirks?
LINDELOF: Any ideas?
ABRAMS: Any ideas for Kirks? We're taking Kirk names. But the truth is, we wanted— the one announcement we have today is our Spock. You may have read this on-line, I'm not sure, but there's a guy who's gonna be playing Spock. And he's here today and I wanted to bring him out and introduce him. Ladies and gentlemen: Zachary Quinto...
(Quinto walks onto stage to uproarious cheers and applause. He waves and takes a seat.)
ABRAMS: So, I guess we'll maybe take a question or two for Zachary, 'cause here we are, right?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Zachary, you rule, man!!
QUINTO: Thank you man!
ABRAMS: We have any questions for TV "hero" Zachary Quinto?
Q: Yeah, first off, loved you on Heroes, I thought you were fantastic. And then the question I guess would be, how much will your performance be informed by Leonard Nimoy, and how much will be your own take on it?
QUINTO: Well, as much as he wants it to be, I suppose would be the answer to that question. It's really pretty incredible to be a part of something that's so iconic, and to be doing it with the support and the involvement of the man who created the role is a true honor. So I certainly intend to bring my own spin on it, and working with these guys I'm sure we'll be able to find that, but it's really nice to know that he's behind it himself.
Q: Thank you very much.
QUINTO: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Got a question for Zachary Quinto? ... We've got, um— (to Lindelof) Shall we talk about any other casting stuff?
LINDELOF: I thought we agreed to only announce Spock today, so...
ABRAMS: Yeah, but the fact is— Well, let's take another question for Zachary.
Q: Hello. I was wondering if George Takei had said anything about you being Spock yet to you. And also, who would you like to be Kirk?
QUINTO: Um, well, I haven't spoken to George since the news broke, so I wonder what he'll have to say about it when I see him back on the set of the show (Heros). And as far as Kirk goes, I just, y'know, I [leave] those decisions in the hands of the people who are meant to make them, and I intend to work with whatever they come up with.
ABRAMS: He ducked that one!
QUINTO: Yeah, baby!
ABRAMS: That was good, that was good. (to Lindelof) Um, shall we talk about any more casting stuff?
LINDELOF: If — if, for example, there was some sort of a loophole that allowed us to talk about casting, but only talk about casting Spock, then...
ABRAMS: Okay, I understand, all right, well, uh, okay, here's the deal: Okay, so Zachary isn't the only person playing Spock in this movie, I have to say. It's gonna be an amazing honor to get to say "Action" and "Cut" to this gentleman. He's gonna put the ears on one more time for Star Trek. Ladies and gentlemen, Leonard Nimoy.
(Huge cheers as Nimoy enters stage and waves the Vulcan salute. He shakes hands with Quinto and sits.)
ABRAMS: I've gotta say, the coolest thing was being backstage with both of you. And Mr. Nimoy's wife Susan was back there and she was looking at Zach and she said, "This is creepy." Any questions for Mr. Nimoy?
Q: I just have two quick comments: Mr. Nimoy, I would just like to say thank you so very much for all the years of great entertainment you've given us.
NIMOY: Thank you!
Q: I would also like to say that, you know, I have never seen a man wear a suit the way you wore that suit in the video for Bilbo Baggins. That was outstanding!
NIMOY: (Laughs) We were about 25 years ahead of our time with Bilbo Baggins, weren't we? Yeah. Thank you!
ABRAMS: We have one more?
Q: Hi Leonard, how are you doing?
NIMOY: Great, how are you?
Q: I'm great. What do you think of the casting choice that they chose to replace you in the new film?
QUINTO: It's a bold choice of words, "replace." I could never expect to replace him ...
NIMOY: People have been asking me why I'm doing this movie, and I think the answer is pretty simple — we have a great director and a wonderful actor playing Spock, young Spock, and the answer is: It was logical!
NIMOY: By the way, I should mention: A fabulous script. This is really going to be a great movie, and I mean that. You know I don't say these things lightly. It's a wonderful script and a great team putting it together. Thank you.
ABRAMS: Well, we have another Comic-Con (July 2008) to see you at where we'll have a lot more stuff than we do today. But we just wanted to say thank you for letting us do this, and to Paramount, and we look forward to seeing you guys next year. And a year from Christmas, the movie comes out! So thanks very much.
NIMOY: Live long and prosper!
Check out more at StarTrek.
Star Trek XI opens to theaters on December 25th, 2008.
For more info on the film, go to the Star Trek XI Movie Page.