Star Trek Beyond actor Chris Pine has won rave reviews for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the reboot of the classic science fiction series.
While the films themselves tend to get mixed reviews between younger and older audiences, most people are on board with the casting.
However, that could soon be reduced by about 50 percent when the old-time Trekkies hear what Pine had to say about making a “cerebral” Trek film in the 21st Century.
Simply put, you can’t do it.
In comments to the magazine SFX (via ScreenRant), Chris had this to say about the idea of doing something less action-y and more brainy.
“You can’t make a cerebral Star Trek in 2016. It just wouldn’t work in today’s marketplace. You can hide things in there — Star Trek Into Darkness has crazy, really demanding questions and themes, but you have to hide it under the guise of wham-bam explosions and planets blowing up. It’s very, very tricky. The question that our movie poses is ‘Does the Federation mean anything?’ And in a world where everybody’s trying to kill one another all of the time, that’s an important thing. Is working together important? Should we all go our separate ways? Does being united against something mean anything?”
Some of the biggest complaints about the relaunch under the tutelage of J.J. Abrams has been that the new films seem more like Star Wars than Star Trek. This is a similar criticism to what was heard of Star Trek Beyond when the initial trailer dropped a few months ago.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) June 18, 2016
Rather than something along the lines of an original series episode, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the new trailer featured Beastie Boys music, motorcycle stunts, and a ton of FX-driven set pieces.
Simon Pegg, a co-writer of the script and self-described Trekkie, tried to do some damage control letting everyone know that Star Trek Beyond would be more “classic” Trek than what the trailer indicated, but now, Pine’s comments call that into question.
Pine almost guarantees that whatever sense of discovery and intellect the originals were known for would be, at best, an afterthought to the action.
This is not likely to win over long-time fans, who have been following the franchise for decades. However, it will probably push the film into profitability after a stellar box office performance for the initial reboot and a disappointing-but-still-profitable pull for Star Trek Into Darkness.
The comments may be seen as an endorsement of sorts for the new way of doing Trek whether that’s what Pine meant or not.
Regardless, there is probably a good deal of truth in the new Captain Kirk’s statement.
Hollywood tends to favor mass appeal over all else these days, and the box office results explain why. Most of the majorly successful films of the last several months were FX-driven.
A look at the top 10 films of 2016 thus far from Box Office Mojo reveals eight films that were either superhero-themed or big-budget CG-animated films.
The only two that weren’t — comedy Ride Along 2 and 10 Cloverfield Lane — were Nos. 9 and 10, respectively.
Of the seven films in that crop that had released budget information, the total cost of production was around $1.064 billion (or roughly $152 million per film). Total domestic take on all 10 films was around $2.3 billion.
That doesn’t count foreign totals, which in some cases, were much higher than domestic.
Hollywood has been suffering a steep decline in ticket sales since the 1980s, so producers can’t afford to roll out experimental films worldwide. As a result, they go with the low-hanging fruit of advanced special FX often at the expense of story.
Pine saying a “cerebral” Star Trek Beyond would never get made essentially tells traditional Trekkies what to expect from this latest release.
Are you disappointed, Trek fans? Will you still watch Star Trek Beyond at the theater (or at all)? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Paramount]