When the first teaser trailer for Star Trek Beyond debuted, fans cried foul, claiming it looked too much like director Justin Lin's other franchise The Fast & The Furious. Many believed the director, who takes over for J.J. Abrams, has created something that doesn't fit into the Star Trek canon, and that this looks more like a fast paced action movie than a thoughtful sci-fi adventure that fits in with the tone of the original series. Franchise star John Cho, who plays Lieutenant Sulu, insists that simply isn't true. And that this next sequel, the third in the reboot series, is more like the 1960s version of Star Trek than anything that has come before it. He says this.
"When I read the script, my emotional impression was that it felt very much like the best of the original series. It felt like the series felt to me. And the first [film] that we made didn't entirely feel like that to me."
Star Trek 3 arrives this July under the direction of Justin Lin. He stepped into replace J.J. Abrams, who bailed to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Abrams successfully rebooted the Star Trek universe with his 2009 effort, which created a new timeline for these iconic characters. And he returned in 2013 for Star Trek Into Darkness, which was less well received by fans. The filmmaker did, however, forge a new language for this franchise, and having someone new come in took some getting used to. John Cho tells Famous Monsters that there was a challenge, but he has faith in Justin Lin's new vision.
"[Justin Lin] cared about the mythology, he cared about the world, he cared about getting it right, he cared about moving the characters forward. ... I think we all had question marks; it's tough to be told that the guy you made two successful movies with isn't going to be helming the third one. But we were all just really pleasantly surprised as we eased into working with him."
When Star Trek Beyond originally moved forward, it was with director Roberto Orci, who had previously co-written the first two reboots. He was going to work from a script he'd collaborated on with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. But Paramount Pictures was disappointed with their progress and chucked the whole thing. That meant they needed a new script, and in a hurry if they planned to celebrate Star Trek's 50th Anniversary. Timed to be released for the franchise's golden anniversary, Paramount hired new Beyond writers Simon Pegg, who already plays Scotty in the series, and co-writer Doug Jung to quickly hammer out a workable screenplay. John Cho doesn't think this decision could have worked out better.
"What you're going to get when you ask Simon Pegg to pen a script is a very human touch. And a warm touch. And that can come out in comedy, but doesn't necessarily have to. And there are some funny moments. But I think he and [co-writer Doug Jung], from what I could tell, were constantly looking for connections between the characters. And that, from the cast perspective, was what was spectacular about asking Simon and Doug to do it. It just felt like they were looking for human moments."
The latest issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland has even more with actor John Cho. It also contains a fitting tribute to the original 60s TV show from two 'Trek-sperts', along with interviews from Rod Roddenberry, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and Original Series star Nichelle Nichols, who played the original Lt. Uhura. The issue also includes a sneak peek at such anticipated upcoming movies as Conjuring 2 and Ghostbusters, while looking back at the 1986 classic Aliens with a special James Cameron interview. There will be two collector's edition covers for this exciting release. The first we saw earlier in the month for Alien Day, which featured the characters of Aliens. This alternative cover, which you can see here, features both Captain Kirks as played by Chris Pine and William Shatner.