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Star Trek 3 Writers Are Actual Fans, Unlike J.J. Abrams

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jd-payne-02Trek Core has posted the first installment of a multi-part interview with Star Trek 3 screenwriters Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, and it’s an exciting chance to get a look inside the heads of two dudes who will be helping shape the big-screen future of Star Trek, but who have been mostly a big question mark up until now. The pair first caught Hollywood’s attention with a spec script they describe as “the Batman Begins version of King Midas,” which didn’t sell but became a calling card that was passed around town and helped build them a reputation. Other projects followed, eventually leading them including a draft of a Micronauts movie, until their journey culminated in the final frontier with the Trek 3 assignment — the sort of thing any up-and-coming screenwriter would chew off their own arm to get. The great news? McKay and Payne are avowed longtime Star Trek fans, and the interview proves, if nothing else, they can definitely talk the talk.

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Flash Gordon Remake Now Officially In Fox’s Merciless Hands

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flash gordonEveryone knows that rumors in Hollywood are nearly as plentiful as hair on an ape’s back, especially when it comes to science fiction projects. But this is one of those times where the hushed whispers actually amounted to something, as last week’s story about a Flash Gordon reboot has now been confirmed by Twentieth Century Fox, who sealed the deal based on a pitch from veteran producer John Davis and Star Trek 3 screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Here’s hoping these guys have a heart pure enough to turn this film into the Golden Grail of remakes.

The bulk of Davis’ career has rotated between science fiction flicks and children’s movies — he’s produced everything from Predator and Waterworld to Doctor Dolittle and Dudley Do-Right. Flash Gordon almost fits squarely in between, though this version of Gordon’s story is said to be a tad more mature than the costumed spectacle of the 1980s version. (Which isn’t saying much, as fetuses are more adult than that movie was.) Davis bought up the rights using a discretionary fund and brought in screenwriter George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Adjustment Bureau) to write a treatment of the script, after which Payne and McKay were hired to flesh ut out into a full feature. Nolfi will also serve as a producer on the Flash Gordon reboot.