With the third film in the rebooted Star Trek franchise set to engage with theaters in 2016, the 50th anniversary of the beloved sci-fi franchise, hopes are high that the film will honor its legacy. Though the path is off to a rocky start, we remain optimistic that [Star Trek 3](movie:817262) will follow the mythical "every other film is a good one" trajectory that many a Trekker believes the franchise follows and will plot a course to greatness.
Star Trek 3: Getting the Balance Right
The Star Trek community is never an easy bunch to appease but there seems to be a simple formula that we can hope the third film will follow - yes, we want action and suspense but we also want some brains and heart in there as well.
Star Trek was always the geek nirvana of sci-fi due and the series attracted some of the best sci-fi witers available. Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch (also of Pyscho fame), not to mention Gene Roddenberry himself, were all great Star Trek writers because they penned intelligent science fiction that beautifully weaved together suspenseful stories with equal parts action and brains.
Production on Star Trek 3 has already seen its fair share of hiccups with writing duties up in the air and the only thing that seems certain, for the moment, is that Justin Lin is set to direct. Seeing as the majority of Lin's previous films have been set in the Fast & Furious world, this news wasn't exactly greeted with the warmest of receptions by the Star Trek faithful. Hearts indeed sank for those hoping for a move away from the confusingly action oriented Star Trek: Into Darkness.
The heart of Star Trek places Paramount in a tricky position. Stay faithful to Roddenberry spirit of exploring humanity through alien races, or stay on track with the reboot philosophy, which has been more successful than ever at the box office, and focus more on the explosions? We offer three writers who would be excellent at splitting the difference:
The son of none other than the Spider From Mars himself, Duncan Jones has proven himself to be one of the more intelligent voices in science fiction with his first two films, Moon and Source Code. But both of those movies were written by others and as it turns out Jones looks to be deeply involved in a little something called Warcraft until 2016 - so the nomination goes to Moon screenwriter Nathan Parker.
With it's tiny budget, Moon managed thrills, chills, tears and laughter with not much more than one set and one actor. There hasn't been a recent movie that used science fiction to tap into what it really means to be human better than Moon. Imagine the possibilities of what Parker could do with the cast of the Enterprise and Paramount's special effects budget.
Some of the best sci-fi of recent years has come from the Planet of the Apes reboot that is currently setting a new standard for the genre while being both smart and exciting. It would seem a pretty obvious choice to see what Mark Bomback could cook up while there's a small window between Apes films. And hey, he did already work with Chris Pine a few years ago on Unstoppable - so there's that!
Okay, this is a bit of a stretch since it isn't entirely likely that Neil Blomkamp would spend time writing a film that he wouldn't direct, but hey, it's worth a shot. His style of allegorically rich sci-fi in District 9 and Elysium is the kind of stuff the Star Trek franchise excelled at back in the day. He's the perfect candidate for the job of writing an intelligent and kick-ass adventure for the Star Trek crew. Back up the money truck to Blomkamp's house, Paramount!
With two films under their belt the Star Wars movies can put the whole establishing-the-characters-and-relationships business behind them and focus on telling whatever story they want. Let's hope they aim high. And hey, there's always the possibility you can get your true Trek fix from the TV again if they drop the ball on the films.