Simon Pegg Told To Make Star Trek 3 Script "More Inclusive"

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Simon Pegg Told To Make Star Trek 3 Script "More Inclusive"

Actor/writer Simon Pegg believes the film industry focuses too much on "dumbing down" for wider audiences.

One of the biggest complaints levied against Star Trek: Into Darkness was the fact that it took the thoughtful science fiction of the original series and reduced it down to a mindless action flick with more explosions and cleavage than logic and sense. Now, if comments from actor/writer Simon Pegg are any indicator, franchise fans may want to ready themselves for more of the same from Star Trek 3.

Pegg, who helped write the next film, recently discussed its script in an interview where he described an exchange with the film's studio that left him feeling somewhat disheartened. "They had a script for Star Trek that wasn't really working for them,"he said. "I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y." As a result of this supposed deficiency, he was asked to modify the draft to make it "more inclusive." He would go on to elaborate that this basically meant making "a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters."

Speaking about the film industry in general, Pegg expressed concerns that the movies, over the past several decades, have become overall too dependent on spectacle over substance. "Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection - gritty, amoral art movies." While he affirmed that he likes "genre cinema" as much as the next nerd, he worried that too many movies are "dumbing down" toward the goal of being friendly to wider audiences.

Source: The Guardian

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So the studio is complaining that a Star Trek film is too... Star Trek-y.

Well, and here I thought that was supposed to be the whole damn point.

Product Placement:
So the studio is complaining that a Star Trek film is too... Star Trek-y.
Well, and here I thought that was supposed to be the whole damn point.

Movies are 100% a business, they exist only to make money.

Really, this doesn't qualify as news anymore. No one should be even a little surprised that Hollywood is obsessed with lowest common denominator "Risk Free" movies. Ironically I believe it's their aversion to risk that is costing them so much money and feeding their aversion to risk.

The problem is simply it's hard to get X billion dollars for an art project.

Stupidity:

Product Placement:
So the studio is complaining that a Star Trek film is too... Star Trek-y.
Well, and here I thought that was supposed to be the whole damn point.

Movies are 100% a business, they exist only to make money.

Really, this doesn't qualify as news anymore. No one should be even a little surprised that Hollywood is obsessed with lowest common denominator "Risk Free" movies. Ironically I believe it's their aversion to risk that is costing them so much money and feeding their aversion to risk.

The problem is simply it's hard to get X billion dollars for an art project.

you know what though? that's a bullshit cop out. it's only the movie (and game) studios that are enforcing this false narrative of what sells and what doesn't. say disney was as creatively bankrupt with their view towards the MCU, there's no way Guardians of the Galaxy would have ever gotten greenlit. but they trusted their fanbase to not just want something easily digestible, and it paid off.

i see them doing the same with star wars. star wars could have taken the bland mass appeal approach, the way i feel the new trilogy did, but instead, so far at least, it looks like they're just putting out stuff that made star wars popular in the first place. obviously this is conjecture, but the point remains.

i'm always reminded of Dead Space when this discussion comes up. first game came out and people liked it, it had a following, made some money. so the corporate idiots said, "shit, lets try to make more money!" and systematically ruined everything that made the game loved in the first place, and were left holding their dicks saying "i don't understand what happened, the algorithms and cost/benefit analysis and decades of market research said this should have sold billions!"

point being, the necessity of blandness and mass appeal is a false narrative only adhered to by corporate tools with no love for their product.

EDIT: rereading my post, it made it seem like i was telling you your opinion may have been bullshit, and that's not what i intended, i meant that the need for mass appeal is bullshit. and counter-productive.

Stupidity:

Product Placement:
So the studio is complaining that a Star Trek film is too... Star Trek-y.
Well, and here I thought that was supposed to be the whole damn point.

Movies are 100% a business, they exist only to make money.

Really, this doesn't qualify as news anymore. No one should be even a little surprised that Hollywood is obsessed with lowest common denominator "Risk Free" movies. Ironically I believe it's their aversion to risk that is costing them so much money and feeding their aversion to risk.

The problem is simply it's hard to get X billion dollars for an art project.

I agree fully there. It is just like the game industry these days, it seems, too.

StewShearer:
Speaking about the film industry in general, Pegg expressed concerns that the movies, over the past several decades, have become overall too dependent on spectacle over substance. "Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection - gritty, amoral art movies." While he affirmed that he likes "genre cinema" as much as the next nerd, he worried that too many movies are "dumbing down" toward the goal of being friendly to wider audiences.

The problem I have with comment is that by saying they aren't box office hits, he seems to be indicating that they aren't being made. Considering last year we had Gone Girl, Birdman & Whiplash, to name 3, this is obviously false. The problem is they aren't making as much money because no-body wants to see them.

martyrdrebel27:
say disney was as creatively bankrupt with their view towards the MCU, there's no way Guardians of the Galaxy would have ever gotten greenlit. but they trusted their fanbase to not just want something easily digestible, and it paid off.

I just don't see this characterization of GotG. It's an action movie. Space opera anti-heroes. Lead by basically Han Solo. With some quirky sidekicks. One is a hot chick, one is furry, various endearing traits. Stock MacGuffin-driven save-the-worldgalaxy plot. Where's the big risk here? I don't see it.

There's all these memes floating around about DC not making a Wonder Woman movie while Marvel gives us a talking raccoon, but GotG is still fronted by a white male protagonist, and they didn't exactly invent the furry comic relief sidekick, to put it mildly.

Pyrian:

martyrdrebel27:
say disney was as creatively bankrupt with their view towards the MCU, there's no way Guardians of the Galaxy would have ever gotten greenlit. but they trusted their fanbase to not just want something easily digestible, and it paid off.

I just don't see this characterization of GotG. It's an action movie. Space opera anti-heroes. Lead by basically Han Solo. With some quirky sidekicks. One is a hot chick, one is furry, various endearing traits. Stock MacGuffin-driven save-the-worldgalaxy plot. Where's the big risk here? I don't see it.

There's all these memes floating around about DC not making a Wonder Woman movie while Marvel gives us a talking raccoon, but GotG is still fronted by a white male protagonist, and they didn't exactly invent the furry comic relief sidekick, to put it mildly.

Yeah. Pretty much this. The real risks will be Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Those are going to be the two Marvel movies to look out for to change the game if they are big hits.

Orga777:

Yeah. Pretty much this. The real risks will be Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Those are going to be the two Marvel movies to look out for to change the game if they are big hits.

I find it morbidly hilarious that a movie starring an attractive blonde women or black man in a popular genre could be considered Risky .

His statement that the suits were too worried about the Star Trek film being too Star Trek-y comes as no surprise to me. I still remember a trailer for the first Star Trek reboot movie. The tagline was, "This is not your father's Star Trek". And my first thought was, Then it's not Star Trek. I was never a huge fan of Star Trek. I was, and still am, heavily on the Star Wars side. But I appreciated the shows and I did like how they weren't constant action, but more thoughtful. I knew that these movies were in trouble from a Star Trek standpoint when they chose that tagline.

It's almost like he's a legit artist or something, SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND OIL THEM COGS WITH YOUR TEARS, GREASE MONKEY!

Eh, for all the executive meddling that the Hollywood big shot idiots have pulled over the last the few decades, they are starting to actually be correct to dumb things down. But only because their meddling has pushed the thinking audiences away from cinemas more and more. It's a damn self-fulfilling prophecy.

Even the first Avengers movie seemed to me like it was dumbed down more that it needed to be, when it had the banking power of the current top movie franchise. It could have had Matrix level (ok maybe not quite that much) sudo-philosophical BS jammed in it and it still would have made around the same amount of money.

Even so, we're talking about a well established franchise that is over 5 decades old. They can find the right combination of blood and tits for the lowest common denominator crowd and sci-fi technobabble plus actual smart dialog and story telling for the thinking crowd, especially with Simon Pegg writing some of the script. The execs are just too scared of losing money from the very few idiots that will walk out if they hear "reverse the polarity" or are actually surprised by who the villain really is or what their motives are.

It might be time to try to get a Star Trek series going again. Maybe just a mini-series for now. TV execs are still shortsighted, but not as bad as movie execs. (Though, some should be ground up into Torgo's Executive Powder.)

This made me face palm so hard.

I'm beginning to think Star Trek was better off dead. :(

Thanks for trying, Pegg.

Plinglebob:

The problem I have with comment is that by saying they aren't box office hits, he seems to be indicating that they aren't being made. Considering last year we had Gone Girl, Birdman & Whiplash, to name 3, this is obviously false. The problem is they aren't making as much money because no-body wants to see them.

I think what he is saying is that big budget films are not being allowed to be in anyway thought provoking those films you mention have budgets of $61, $18 and $3.3 million and Gone Girl had a big director behind it from the beginning.

I'm beginning to think Star Trek was better off dead.

It would have been, end of the day it was a popular franchise if they had given it maybe another five years, allowed some of the fan made REAL Star Trek stuff to gain traction then perhaps the studios would have seen that their was still a dedicated fan base out there and maybe perhaps we would have at least gotten a new TV series, it may have been a kickstarter or similar crowd funded effort but at least we would have gotten something. Instead we got the reboots and because they dumbed them down they appealed and made the money and now we are stuck on this road until the third one is done, and then assuming that we don't get any more we have at least five to ten years to wait before the franchise will get revisited.

I am just hoping the new Stargate movies don't pull the same bullsh*t but given that the cash revenue is all that matters I am guessing that's exactly what they are going to have to do.

Well well well, a western with Star Trek characters, so sort of like Wagon Train to the stars? Or even Hornblower in space, which is how the series turned out despite Roddenberry's initial pitch. Hell they even stole the music! Most of the Star Trek movies were pretty much character exercises anyway so it doesn't mean it would be a bad film.

Hmm...

Okay, I admit it, I actually like the Abrams films. The 2009 film was my first real introduction to the series. Both 2009 and STID rank highly on my list of Star Trek films that I've seen, and I actually think that STID was better than 2009.

On the other hand, while I do like the films, "introduction" is the key word, and I've come to like the TV shows and some of the other live action movies more (oh, and SFDebris helped). So...yeah. I will admit that this bums me, but I don't want to harp too long.

Oh, and super hero films aren't risky. They haven't been risky for years. And Guardians of the Galaxy was most certainly NOT a risk. Pyrian's put it better than I can. Marvel is about as risk-averse as you can get. Yeah, you have a "talking raccoon," but you have a stock plot, stock villain, stock characters, stock setting, and zero self-awareness about the clichés on display.

Wasn't Pegg a big defender of the last two Trek movies? Kinda funny that he'd air these sorts of concerns now, considering how much of a generic shlocky action fest the last two movies were.

Makes me wonder just what sort of problems the third reboot movie is heading towards if the current direction has him 'disheartened' but the last two movies didn't set off his 'mindless action flick' detector.

Oroboros:
Wasn't Pegg a big defender of the last two Trek movies? Kinda funny that he'd air these sorts of concerns no, considering how much of a generic shlocky action fest the last two movies were.

I know. My first thought reading this was, "Is this a ploy to trick us into seeing the next Star Trek with the promise that it will be more like the traditional Star Trek and less 'generic conspiracy plot and action scenes with a really patchy coat of Star Trek paint?'" No way to prove it either way, I guess we'll have to see how it turns out and whether or not future statements are, "We're doing it right this time," or "The studio strong-armed me."

Also, Pyrian, that was an excellent summary of Guardians of the Galaxy. I got so sick of people talking about how risky it was, and how daring and boundary-pushing Marvel was being; The average person saw a comedy sci-fi film starring that guy from The Office, they would neither notice nor care about whether or not it was accurate to the original comic or characters (and I was one of them).

flying_whimsy:
This made me face palm so hard.

I'm beginning to think Star Trek was better off dead. :(

Welcome to the world of the Star Wars fans. Whole swaths of continuity already erased, alterations to appeal to more casual fans... has the addition of a new cast and teen protagonist that completely undermines the premise of the original happened yet for you guys? Unnecessary addition of irritating and offensive comic relief characters? Dumping of fan favorite characters in desperate attempt to grasp at nostalgia? I don't follow star trek enough to know.

Ukomba:

flying_whimsy:
This made me face palm so hard.

I'm beginning to think Star Trek was better off dead. :(

Welcome to the world of the Star Wars fans. Whole swaths of continuity already erased, alterations to appeal to more casual fans... has the addition of a new cast and teen protagonist that completely undermines the premise of the original happened yet for you guys? Unnecessary addition of irritating and offensive comic relief characters? Dumping of fan favorite characters in desperate attempt to grasp at nostalgia? I don't follow star trek enough to know.

You are preaching to the choir: I've loved star wars and star trek equally for as long as I can remember. I'm also a huge doctor who fan, and I've felt like it's sucked since Matt Smith became the doctor.

It's hard for me to want to like anything sci-fi: they end up cancelled or sullied. >:(

flying_whimsy:
You are preaching to the choir: I've loved star wars and star trek equally for as long as I can remember. I'm also a huge doctor who fan, and I've felt like it's sucked since Matt Smith became the doctor.

It's hard for me to want to like anything sci-fi: they end up cancelled or sullied. >:(

Farscape is the only franchise I can think of that hasn't ended up a total disappointment.

EDIT: Scratch that, just checked and apparently a movie is in the works...... /sigh

Wuvlycuddles:
Farscape is the only franchise I can think of that hasn't ended up a total disappointment.

EDIT: Scratch that, just checked and apparently a movie is in the works...... /sigh

I was just going to say say 'shhh, don't say that too loud or hollywood might hear you.

Looks like I was too late. Why do they keep doing this to us?

This makes me wonder how Interstellar got made. Seriously, I'm surprised anything with intelligence is getting made these days in cinema.

I just knew Pegg wouldn't be able to save it. You'd think the suits would try something different after what a disaster Into Darkness was but nope. Better the devil you know I guess.

flying_whimsy:
I'm also a huge doctor who fan, and I've felt like it's sucked since Matt Smith became the doctor.(

That wasn't Smith, it was Moffat.

OT; As I read the article, I could almost feel Simon's will being crushed.

Honestly? I can see the logic that Hollywood executives' are basing their decisions on, even if it is massively flawed. For all the good Star Trek movies and even episodes, what does everybody remember and talk about years later? No, it's not Jean Luc Picard waxing philosophically about their latest morally dubious actions, it's Khan and Kirk's ships being in an intense dogfight "With my last breath I doth spit at thee!" and all that. Therefore logically more of the latter and less of the former equals more memorable movies right?

Wrong. They miss the fact that it's the former that help the latter work so well. It's the well done writing and slower moments in Star Trek that make the big tense scenes seem so meaningful. We wouldn't give so much of a crap about Spock dying in Wrath of Khan if he wasn't a well written character that we had gotten to know and love dying in a well done scene, as is proven with Into Darkness which not only blatantly rips off said scene they do it with a Kirk we never had much of a chance to care about. Now, I have to admit I liked the new Star Trek movies (please don't kill me) but I liked them for what they are, dumb action movies. They are well done dumb action movies but terrible Star Trek movies and I think that's where the problem lies here.

martyrdrebel27:

i'm always reminded of Dead Space when this discussion comes up. first game came out and people liked it, it had a following, made some money. so the corporate idiots said, "shit, lets try to make more money!" and systematically ruined everything that made the game loved in the first place, and were left holding their dicks saying "i don't understand what happened, the algorithms and cost/benefit analysis and decades of market research said this should have sold billions!"

I just finished a Dead Space binge, and the evolution of the series really shows. The upgrades to gameplay just bolster my opinion that the second is the superior title, but at that point it was already trending away from the claustrophobic horror of the first game. When the beginning of Dead Space 3 concluded in a train chase, I kind of figured I knew what to expect from the rest of the game. The mechanical changes were odd, to say the least. I didn't see any point in crafting more than two weapons at a time since the slots were restricted to as many, so I saw little point in tackling side missions besides the enjoyable mini-stories. At least Visceral Games got to go on to make Battlefield: Hardline!

OT: If Star Trek becomes more Star Trek-y, I may feel compelled to watch the new movie. Even the first seemed too similar to...any other movie.

Hairless Mammoth:

Even so, we're talking about a well established franchise that is over 5 decades old. They can find the right combination of blood and tits for the lowest common denominator crowd and sci-fi technobabble plus actual smart dialog and story telling for the thinking crowd, especially with Simon Pegg writing some of the script. The execs are just too scared of losing money from the very few idiots that will walk out if they hear "reverse the polarity" or are actually surprised by who the villain really is or what their motives are.

That's the odd thing, TOS always had the sex appeal, but it wasn't completely over the top and the scripts were great the whole story was not based around T and A and explosions unlike the bs we got in the two reboot movies.

Ugh. This is... Dissapointing.

Look. I get it. Star Trek has a few aspects to it that might put certain audiences off.
I mean, this was true right from the beginning, when studios called the pilot 'too cerebral', and basically asked for it to be dumbed down.

But come on! You're destroying what star trek means.
Seriously, why even bother anymore if you pull the guts out of it to the point that it just becomes a generic action movie?

That's not star trek anymore, that's some horrible serial killer parading around in public in star trek's skin...

OK, sure, sand down a few of the especially problematic edges that really puts people off.
But... Show some respect towards the principles and ideals that defined the series.
(And it's core audience)

Some people like to complain that star trek is too utopian. Too optimistic.
OK, sure, it is, compared to lots of things, and the trend in sci-fi generally.

But that optimism is kind of the point of it.
It was created by someone who believed we could better ourselves.
That human nature, and all our faults and weaknesses would not be so strong that they would cripple us forever...

Does that seem a little naive perhaps? Maybe.
But not everything has to be built on hardline pessimism, now does it?

He should have just made another cornetta movie. Those were good, people would probably see them, and two of them didn't have crazy effects budgets.

I didn't like Into darkness, and that's saying something, because I was one of the rubes that thought the Star Wars prequels weren't that bad.

Into Darkness was dumb. It was too painfully obvious that the whole story and setting was just built around justifying over-the-top action scenes and special effects. I don't want to go see any more.

martyrdrebel27:
you know what though? that's a bullshit cop out. it's only the movie (and game) studios that are enforcing this false narrative of what sells and what doesn't. say disney was as creatively bankrupt with their view towards the MCU, there's no way Guardians of the Galaxy would have ever gotten greenlit. but they trusted their fanbase to not just want something easily digestible, and it paid off.

Guardians of the Galaxy IS easily digestible, though.

My cousin, my uncle, my Mom AND myself all enjoyed it. This would not have happened with anything particularly gritty or artsy.

If it had been particularly risky, my Mom would have hated it. If it was particularly gritty, I would have hated it. If it was particularly artsy, my cousin would have hated it. If it had a non-conventional message, my uncle would have hated it.

I'm not calling Guardians of the Galaxy pap, but I've never seen it as a particularly risky or artsy thing.

CrystalShadow:
But that optimism is kind of the point of it.
It was created by someone who believed we could better ourselves.
That human nature, and all our faults and weaknesses would not be so strong that they would cripple us forever...

Morality isn't the only soul of Star Trek, intelligent decision making is a big part of it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-YyL7X4CWw

And here, from 1:20 to 5:40https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs

I'm not saying that you're wrong; you aren't. But Star Trek is defined by the means by which decisions are made. As much as by the reasons for coming to those decisions.

The profitable and defining separation towards J.J. Abrams Trek is the lack of any intelligent decision-making process. Thinking is hard, apparently.

Wiggum Esquilax:

CrystalShadow:
But that optimism is kind of the point of it.
It was created by someone who believed we could better ourselves.
That human nature, and all our faults and weaknesses would not be so strong that they would cripple us forever...

Morality isn't the only soul of Star Trek, intelligent decision making is a big part of it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-YyL7X4CWw

And here, from 1:20 to 5:40https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs

I'm not saying that you're wrong; you aren't. But Star Trek is defined by the means by which decisions are made. As much as by the reasons for coming to those decisions.

The profitable and defining separation towards J.J. Abrams Trek is the lack of any intelligent decision-making process. Thinking is hard, apparently.

Well, yeah, but that wasn't really what I meant by optimism and human nature.

I more meant that star trek doesn't assume that our innate nature (greed, lust for power, or whatever else you can think of) is so overwhelming that our future must inevitably be some hellish dystopia, or messed up harsh, cruel place...
That there is in fact, hope for the future to actually be a good thing for the majority of people, and not leave huge numbers of people just struggling with basic survival.

But yes, intelligent decision making does add a lot to the series in a more direct sense.
The big, optimistic vision stuff is kind of more... Background material. It's not obvious, it's just kind of... There.

Oh, but yes... 'in the pale moonlight' is a brilliant example of pragmatic, clever decision making, even if it does seem somewhat morally questionable in context of the kind of ethics the federation is known for...

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