When J.J. Abrams first took over the Star Trek franchise for the 2009 reboot, the self-proclaimed Star Wars fan made it no secret that he was aiming to make his film more inline with something from LucasFilm than the original 1960s sci-fi TV series upon which it is based. Writer and producer of that first movie Roberto Orci had been hired by Paramount to continue the franchise with Star Trek 3 shortly after J.J. Abrams bailed on the series to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As many fans know, Roberto Orci was soon fired from that movie, and Star Trek 3 star Simon Pegg moved into replace him alongside Doug Jung. While many thought that maybe Roberto Orci 's first draft, which he wrote with newcomers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, was simply awful, Simon Pegg reveals it was quite the contrary. The real reason the first Star Trek 3 draft was dropped and recreated from scratch was because it was just a little bit too Star Trek-y. Simon Pegg explains:

"They had a script for Star Trek that wasn't really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y. Avengers Assemble, which is a pretty nerdy, comic-book, supposedly niche thing, made $1.5 billion dollars. Star Trek: Into Darkness made half a billion, which is still brilliant. But it means that, according to the studio, there's still $1bn worth of box office that don't go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why. People don't see it being a fun, brightly coloured, Saturday night entertainment like the Avengers. [They want to] make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it's more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent".

Simon Pegg went onto blast current geek culture, saying that today's modern day blockbusters are dumbing down audiences. He cites recent films for not addressing anything currently going on in the world. And he admits that he wants to stop being a 'nerd' and take on more serious acting roles. But that might not be possible in today's Hollywood landscape. He goes onto say:

"Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection, gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed ... I don't know if that is a good thing. Obviously I'm very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema but part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we've been infantilised by our own taste. Now we're essentially all consuming very childish things - comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously. It is a kind of dumbing down, in a way, because it's taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about ... whatever. Now we're walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot. Sometimes (I) feel like I miss grown-up things. And I honestly thought the other day that I'm gonna retire from geekdom. I've become the poster child for that generation, and it's not necessarily something I particularly want to be. I'd quite like to go off and do some serious acting."

What do you think about Simon Pegg's comments? Are they a bit too controversial or right on the nose? And what about that Roberto Orci script? Maybe it wasn't so bad after all?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange