Sequel Bits: Paramount Spending On 'Star Trek 2' Without A Script, 'Kung Fu Panda 2' Deals With Serious Issues

Here are some nuggets of news from two upcoming sequels that are in radically different stages of production: Star Trek 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2. Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are still "boldly going" on the script to the second Star Trek, which, at the moment, has a June 2012 release date but no director, while Kung Fu Panda 2 is almost done, just undergoing some final animation tweaks in preparation for release May 26.

The news, however, is that on the Star Trek front, Paramount supposedly hasn't seen the script yet but they've heard the pitch and are already putting money into pre-production. As for Kung Fu Panda 2, one of the producers warns parents that Po the Panda will deal with some difficult issues in the new movie. Read more about both of these stories after the break.

Star Trek first. Screenrant is reporting that "a source close to the production" told them Paramount has heard the pitch for the sequel, loved it, and is now in the process of acquiring pre-production offices even though they haven't seen the script. It's not like Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci are unproven screenwriters though, so it's not that big of a surprise if Paramount is willing to set up some offices for meetings and casting sessions or whatever. (Plus, they must have heard what Simon Pegg heard, that the script is "AMAZEBALLS.")

What is kind of interesting, though, is that they're doing this without an official word on a director, specifically J.J. Abrams. He's already said that he'd let us know by March and, if you look at your calendar, it's March. I've heard, and I'm sure Paramount knows, that J.J. is coming back but is just concentrating on Super 8 at the moment. This move does kind of point to his return.

On to Kung Fu Panda 2, formerly called The Kaboom of Doom, producer Melissa Cobb told The Hollywood Reporter the following:

The movie deals with pretty tough, emotional issues that he goes through, as well as a huge adventure. This movie is on a much bigger scale then the first movie. It's been much more ambitious and hard to make from a filmmaking standpoint...It really builds on what was set up in the first movie, and has Po struggling with bigger issues than he did the first time.

The first Kung Fu Panda was probably DreamWorks best animated film (sorry Shrek) so there's no reason to think the sequel can't live up to those lofty expectations, especially hearing that the film gets a bit more emotional. Cobb also updated on the status of the movie:

We are focusing on little things that we think we can do better. ...If we think something can be a little more emotional, we are going in and tweaking it. Those little moments make a difference.

Which of these pieces of news is more interesting to you? Personally, while I'm looking forward to Star Trek 2 more, the Kung Fu Panda 2 news is pretty exciting. Do you agree?