Star Trek XI Is Down, But It Is Not Out

EXCLUSIVE: Erik Jendresen shares some of his ideas on the future of the Star Trek franchise

By MICHAEL HINMAN
Source: SyFy Portal
Apr-12-2006

The following story contains MODERATE SPOILERS for the proposed "Star Trek: The Beginning" film.

For the first time in nearly three decades, there is no Star Trek on television, and there isn't some kind of Star Trek film project in the works. Such a rarity might cause unease in the normal person. But for a passionate Star Trek fan? It's like cutting off their arm and beating them with it.

Last year, Erik Jendresen -- the Emmy-winning writer best known for the "Band of Brothers" miniseries on HBO -- was commissioned to write a script that would become the 11th Star Trek motion picture. Instead, even more uncertainty was created of the Star Trek franchise's fate, opening the door for wild rumors, heavy speculation and reports that are just half correct.

Just before delivering his final script to Paramount, Jendresen shared some of his ideas and hopes for what could be a true new beginning of Star Trek with SyFy Portal. And now that many observers have buried his project, Jendresen is talking again ... not just about where he thinks Star Trek should go, but quite possibly where Star Trek will go in a movie project that isn't as dead as people think.

The reception of "The Beginning" was a "classic case of Hollywood regime change," Jendresen told SyFy Portal's Michael Hinman. "A project is greenlighted by one regime, and by the time it's delivered, there's a coup d'etat."

Jendresen is referring to the replacement of Paramount co-president David DeLine with Gail Berman, which was part of the Paramount reshuffling after Brad Grey took over as chairman and chief executive officer of the studio in January 2005. DeLine, Jendresen said, was a supporter of the project and of Jendresen's concept. However, new management usually brings new ideas, and that sometimes makes it more difficult for older ideas, like "The Beginning," to peek its head above water.

It's not necessarily that Gail Berman and company aren't interested in Jendresen's idea. They are just trying to evaluate the future of Paramount's most profitable franchise of the last 40 years, and what the next step could be. Paramount could opt for a whole different approach, or officials there could very well re-explore the movie trilogy concept that has been proposed by Jendresen.

Jendresen said the idea of "The Beginning" came about because there was simply a "huge void" in Star Trek canon between 2164, the perceived end of "Star Trek: Enterprise," and 2233, where the original "Star Trek" series picks up. A lot of things are supposed to happen during that time, including the formation of the United Federation of Planets, and the dreaded Romulan War.

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