‘Star Trek’ writers: ‘We have broken the story’ for sequel

Geoff Boucher at The LA Times
The 2009 reboot of “Star Trek” was a shining moment for fans of sci-fi and spectacle films and the sequel, due in 2012, may well follow the box-office trajectory of the Christopher Nolan Gotham City films — “Batman Begins” earned the credibility with fans old and new and then “The Dark Knight” delivered the billion-dollar payoff. “Star Trek” writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the tandem that also penned “Transformers” and next summer’s “Cowboys & Aliens” and also created the Fox sci-fi series “Fringe,” are back to script the sequel. I caught up with the screenwriters, who talked about the challenges ahead and also shared a playful aspiration — an on-screen showdown between Captain Kirk and Darth Vader.

GB: It’s early days on the “Star Trek” sequel, but is there anything you can tell us about the story direction, tone or even the types of challenges you’re anticipating with this next-step project?

AK: Well, we have broken the story, which is very exciting. I think one of the weird challenges that we’re facing on this one is that in many ways, with the first movie, I don’t think people knew what to expect, so when we were in the writing process, Bob and I really spent our time going to things that we loved about “Trek” and it was a very unfiltered process. It felt intimate and small. There weren’t a lot of voices other than [producer] Damon [Lindelof], J.J. and [executive producer] Bryan Burke. Now, that first movie has come up and did well and everyone wants to know what happens next. We didn’t have that pressure, exactly, on the first one.  That said, part of what we have to do is listen to it all, ask a lot of questions about what people’s expectations are — and then let all of that go when we sit down to write. We need to find our way back to the same kind of vibe that we had when we wrote the first one: What do we want to see here? What moved us about “Trek”? Where can we go from where we left off?

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Christopher Nolan confirms 3rd Batman will be his last

By Nathalie Caron at Blastr
With Christopher Nolan having just confirmed that The Dark Knight Rises would be his last Batman film—calling it “the last chapter of our Batman saga”—and with Christian Bale recently saying that it would also be his last outing as the caped hero, we’re left to wonder: Could it truly be the end of the big-screen Batman franchise?

In an interview with EW, Nolan all but confirmed that the intrepid duo’s collaboration on one of the most successful comic-book franchises of all time will end with the third Batman film. However, in the wake of the success of Inception, the director is still very much happy to be working on his last Batman outing:

“I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after Inception. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about.”

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Fantasy to reality – a Narnia kid grows up

by Lucy Carne at the Herald Sun
HE HAS battled sea monsters, befriended a magical mouse and sailed to the edge of the world, so conquering university is naturally the next step for Skandar Keynes.

The 19-year-old Londoner has spent most of his childhood in a fantasy world – the movie adaptation of CS Lewis’s beloved Narnia series, in which Keynes stars as troubled middle brother Edmund Pevensie.

But with the third blockbuster instalment, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, now hitting cinemas, Keynes is ready to hang up his sword and venture back into reality.

“I’m ready for it to be over,” he says. “It was hard work but at the end of the day it was really worthwhile. I’d be a different person if it wasn’t for this experience. But I still want to go to university.”

…Keynes felt no pressure playing a character from a story the world has adored for more than six decades.

“We try to stay faithful to the books but we’re not losing sleep every night over whether the fans will be happy,” he says.

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TWILIGHT Director Catherine Hardwicke to Helm MAZE RUNNERS

by Dave Trumbore at Collider
Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) has made a name for herself when it comes to directing movies about teenagers, and she may be looking to do yet another film with teenage protagonists.  The Wrap reports that Hardwicke is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to direct Maze Runners.

Based on the James Dashner’s novel The Maze Runner,  the story centers around Thomas, a young boy who wakes up with no memory (except for his name) to find himself surrounded by other boys his age. They live at the center of an ever-changing maze and must solve its riddles if they have any chance to escape.

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I think Catherine Hardwicke is perfect for The Maze Runner. She’s really good at  movies about teenagers without being condescending. I’m glad to hear that the writers of Star Trek are trying so hard to make the second one as good as (if not better than) the first. I love that movie and I really hope it gets better as it goes. I’m sad that there won’t be anymore Batman movies, but I guess it’s better to quit while you’re ahead.

Are you looking forward to Voyage of the Dawn Treader? Do you think Catherine Hardwicke is a good choice for The Maze Runner? What do you hope to see in the Batman and Star Trek sequels?