Sunday, 25 January 2015

Got it Pegged


At least this one has foundation.

Unlike Riker directing and the CW network wanting to air a non-existent new Star Trek show,  the news that Simon Pegg will be penning Star Trek 3 with Doug Jong is true.
Yes,  true. I repeat -  True.

A lot of news focus has gone on his work with the Cornetto Trilogy of Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz and The World's End but his sci-fi credentials are much stronger. Aside from his obvious appearances as Scotty in the two reboots, he's taken to the screen in Doctor Who during its first year return to TV in 2005 but his earlier work on the brilliant Spaced shows the depth of his knowledge in the genre. That show was heavily peppered with geek references and themes all the way through its two seasons (deserved a third) and those familiar with that as well as his other works will be nodding in approval I'm sure.

It would be easy to say that the best films were penned by those not familiar with the genre a la Nicolas Meyer but Nimoy had more than a hand in both The Voyage Home and The Undiscovered Country.  Pegg will have a challenge ahead and this is very much sticking his neck on the train tracks after two big money spinning but critically average movies. I believe that Pegg will understand exactly what fans want from the franchise and where it's gone both right and wrong.  Most difficult to do will be balancing the direction in which JJ took the franchise as well as drawing on its rich 50 year history. Question here is whether or not we've gone too far down the reboot path to start fixing any of the issues fans might well have.

And what of his co-writer Doug Jong?

IMDB lists just seven entries for this guy, none of which I can admit to having seen let alone heard of although a lot of sites seem to be noting Dark Blue and Confidence: After Dark as two of his key works to date. Notably I don't see anything that would scream at him being the ideal candidate to co-write the third Star Trek reboot - but then the same could have been said of a certain Nicholas Meyer in the early 1980's.... Perhaps having that mix of Nerd royalty and non-descript Star Trek newcomer will be a perfect formula for the future with each balancing the other's weaknesses.

This move also indicates to me that Orci, while still producing, will have minimal involvement with the writing process and that the script he contributed to was not anywhere near the standard it needed to be.  Pegg's experience within the franchise as well as his Nerd (K)nowledge will be priceless to ensure that it is both a financial and critical success avoiding the repetitive errors of Into Darkness.

I would suspect that the Powers are starting to get sweaty palms over the movie too since a while back we were gearing up to start filming only now to find that the brakes have been firmly slammed and we're back to square one writing the script.  My faith in the project has been knocked by the wranglings we've openly seen around directing,  producing and writing virtually from the moment Into Darkness premiered but the acquisition of Simon Pegg to the third movie is a move which has eased some of that feeling. 

The timescale is now the challenge to ensure its written, filmed and premieres on that July date which has already been confirmed. How silly does that look now that Paramount are pretty much admitting that the story was pap as was rumoured? In a word; very.  My only fear now is a potential overfamiliarity with the material that could come from Pegg's love but when you compare his inevitable excitement and thrill to work on such a project against Abrams' lightning quick jump to his preferred works in a galaxy far, far away I feel confident that the 50th anniversary will be well served with a fresh outlook to drive the franchise into the next half-century.

How do you feel about the announcement that Simon Pegg will co-write Star Trek 3?

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