The timeline window for movie sequels is getting closer all the time. It seems like studios want to cash in to the success of a film as soon as possible. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was released during the summer of 2009. It was a huge hit and grossed $385 million worldwide. It doesn’t seem that long ago but if you follow movie studio logic then its sequel should’ve came out this summer and not the next. So what took so long to make this sequel?
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Star Trek screenwriter Alex Kurtzman was promoting his directorial debut, People Like Us, but talked about the timetable of making the next Star Trek. Kurtzman explains,
We were supposed to be out this year in theaters, and part of why we all collectively said we really shouldn’t do this is because we put a lot of love and time and effort into making this without violating canon, and yet bring something totally new to the table when it came to Star Trek. The last thing we wanted to do was destroy that by letting a speed mandate mess up our storytelling, and we just felt we weren’t ready. So we wanted to take more time with the story to make sure that the story is as true to everything that keeps you watching one episode a night before bed.
And you can’t do that when you’re rushing and you can’t do that when you’re rushing at a production level, either; the studio wanted us to shoot in 3D which is awesome, but what you don’t want to do is rush through 3D. You want your storytelling and the sequences that you design and everything you conceptualize to be coming from a place of knowing “that’s where I’m going,” and having it be totally organic to the storytelling. And when you see a movie that is like that, that gives you that whole experience, you feel it — you always feel it. And God bless J.J. for saying ‘we need another year.’
If the end product benefits from the slower production pace then more power to J.J. Abrams and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The next Star Trek is slated to be the biggest movie of the summer of 2013 when it’s scheduled to be released and Paramount Pictures, the studio releasing the film, will get a big box office haul. Kurtzman also talks about the evolution of Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and how he changed from the first film to the second.
The assumption that we did not want to make was that just because he’s in the chair and they’re on the bridge together that they’re the crew that you remember from the original series. They’re not — the crew from the original series had gone on many, many journeys, they were a well-oiled machine in terms of how they function, and these characters are still figuring out who they are and who they are to each other. And I did not want to jump so far ahead that we missed a really important emotional connection to that transition for them.
Star Trek 2 will be released in theaters on May 17th 2013 and will be available in IMAX and 3D.