star trek beyond

Inspired By the Television Series

The big blockbuster action movie framing aside, the story presented in the trailer almost looked like an old-school Trek episode with a contained story, although Lin warns it isn’t too contained: “even if it’s a planet, it’s a big planet.” But if you also get that vibe, it might be because Lin’s connection to Star Trek was through the TV show, not the movies:

We were a working-class family, so we didn’t really go to movies until I was older. To me Trek was just this element of exploration, every night there was another adventure. And kind of having that relationship throughout my life and when I went off to college and as an adult. That’s kind of where my relationship with Trek is. And what I really love is in the TV format you kind of get to know the characters regardless, they kind of become part of your family. And that’s something that’s always been with me, as a filmmaker, especially in ensembles. But you only have so much real estate, you only have two hours just like everybody else.

Justin Lin 700

Giving Up LA Riots for Trek

But Lin didn’t plan to make a Star Trek movie. The opportunity presented itself at a point in his career where he had all the choices in the world. He explained that he gave up a dream project to do this movie. It was not a choice without sacrifice:

I always thought if I had the chance to do a Star Trek, and in a way when J.J. called me, it was kind of that question I had to answer for myself. I didn’t plan on doing a Star Trek movie… There was a big price to pay for me doing Trek. I was getting ready to do my LA Riots movie and for me to kind of walk away from that was a big deal. I had to look within myself and say: this is an opportunity, what would that even be?

star trek beyond

The Idea: To Deconstruct Star Trek

It was Lin’s idea was to deconstruct the series on a deeper level:

It’s fifty years… It was around before I was born so for me at its core I felt like on this chapter if we can kind of deconstruct Trek on different levels and hopefully reconfirm that it’s great, we can send it off and it can have a long run after this. And for me that was on a more cerebral level, that was the mission here on this one.

And to deconstruct this team, he did so literally by tearing the USS Enterprise apart and splitting the dream team up on a faraway planet.

But it’s also about going on that journey that J.J. did with putting all these people together, but I wanted to hopefully create an opportunity or a situation where we can really see how they react to things and to each other. Those are things in all the years of watching Trek, we had hundreds of hours with the movies and stuff, in this timeline, I wanted to hopefully create something where we can be on the five-year mission, we can hopefully explore and introduce new species and put them in situations where it hopefully then mirrors back on the exploration of humanity — I think that’s important.

star trek into darkness

Will Beyond Address Into Darkness Plot Lines and Characters?

But what about Star Trek Into Darkness? The film introduces the idea that death can be cured which many feel completely removes the stakes in future adventures. But it seems like Lin will be moving on, almost pretending it never happened:

I don’t know if we’re leaving it behind. And Simon and Doug and I definitely have had some, spent some time on that. But at the same time I feel like this, Star Trek’s been around 50 years. And I’m excited to be a part of it, but I’m also excited to be a participant, but hopefully to see where it’s gonna go. And I think every filmmaker comes on has a different point of view. And it’s a big universe that could support many different points of views and journeys and adventures. And so I totally embrace kind of what J.J. brought ahead of me because he put, without him, this whole group wouldn’t have been together. So I’m always very kind of, I’m definitely very appreciative of that. And to have the opportunity to be able to kind of build on that, I think it’s something that we, it’s definitely now exists. I think the people that really care, you can’t ignore that. But at the same time, do we address that? I don’t discount it. Like we don’t sit there and say it doesn’t exist. It’s part of this universe now.

As for the fates of Alice Eve‘s character Carol Marcus (who joined the crew at the end of Into Darkness but is absent from this adventure) and Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Khan, don’t expect any answers in this story:

We pick [the crew] up about two and a half years after the end of Into Darkness. But there was many iterations where we did go and explore. At the end of the day, I just felt like we’re two and a half years in. What we shot and what’s gonna be in theaters, quantity wise it’s quite a bit. But then to be honest, I actually had even more beyond that. So that’s something that we definitely talked about and worked on. In the presentation of this film, it didn’t quite fit in.

After the jump, Justin talks about the screenwriting credits, working on a Trek movie with a producer who is directing Star Wars, and whether he plans to return to do another Trek movie.

Continue Reading Justin Lin on Star Trek Beyond >>

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