When J.J. Abrams finally realized there was no way he was going to create a multi-platform approach to Star Trek, he took his leave and headed for Star Wars. Back then, there simply wasn’t any light at the end of the tunnel – if Abrams was going to manage Star Trek on both television and movie screens, he would need CBS Corp. – the owners of all Star Trek except the movie versions – to come on board, and they weren’t going to do it.
Although many observers are still trying to figure out why Viacom and CBS split the Star Trek baby when they themselves divorced in 2006, back then the idea of doing multi-level storytelling similar to Marvel or DC Comics or even the Star Wars franchise was simply unfathomable.
Now, however, it’s quite real. And Doug Jung, who co-wrote this year’s Star Trek: Beyond with Simon Pegg, feels it could be time for the owners of Star Trek to explore Abrams’ idea yet another time. He told Entertainment Weekly that it’s time Star Trek gets a little inspired by the “super property” concept franchises like Star Wars is exploring with anthology films like the upcoming Rogue One.
“It’s a franchise that can support different styles of movies. There’s the big action tentpole feel of Star Trek and the Enterprise, but why not try to do something that’s the Zero Dark Thirty version of Star Trek, or one that introduces some younger characters at the academy?
“It’s 50 years’ worth of discovery, and obviously they’re doing that with Star Trek: Discovery, but why not blow it out to a cinematic universe that has secondary characters, and smaller storylines, more intimate storylines, ones that deal with more of an espionage element versus the large-scale exploration themes of the main Star Trek?”
In fact, as Jung suggests, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which has the movie rights to Star Trek, wouldn’t even have to wait for a rumored re-merger between the two companies to join the Star Trek franchise back into a single whole again. With the movie rights, the studio could explore smaller films on its own, which are away from Kirk and Spock and even actual starships, and explore the AbramsVerse in a way other franchises already are touching.
Jung’s next project is as a co-writer on Julius Onah’s God Particle with Oren Uziel – a film that has been rumored as part of the Cloverfield cinematic universe. That film opens Feb. 24.
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