‘Star Trek’ sequel: A cosmic cast reunion on the Sony lot

Jan. 13, 2012 | 5:37 p.m.
jj abrams Star Trek sequel: A cosmic cast reunion on the Sony lot

J.J. Abrams in Pasadena on Sunday. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

The “Star Trek” sequel is still way off in deep space — it won’t reach theaters until May 2013 — but  there was a cosmic cast reunion Monday on the stretch of sidewalk in front of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf over at the Sony lot in Culver City.

Throughout the morning, the crew members of the Starship Enterprise were scheduled for fittings with the wardrobe department and the atmosphere was a bit like the first day of school with big grins, backslaps, hugs and handshakes. There was Simon Pegg (Scotty) and John Cho (Mr. Sulu) ducking into the coffee shop just before lunchtime and, on the patio out front, Bruce Greenwood (Capt. Christopher Pike) and cast newcomer Peter Weller discussing their golf swings and the enduring allure of John Le Carre novels. Pegg, with a toothy grin, stopped by Greenwood’s table to pay his respects: “Nice to see you!” Greenwood responded with a “My man!”

Sipping Red Bull and waiting for a lunchtime session with the cast and director J.J. Abrams, Greenwood said the “Trek” experience has been a true highlight in his career and he quickly added that  he wasn’t referring to the box office receipts or strong reviews. He pointed instead to the friendships he has now with people such as Chris Pine (Capt. James T. Kirk) and Anton Yelchin (Mr. Chekov).

quinto2 Star Trek sequel: A cosmic cast reunion on the Sony lot

Zachary Quinto as Spock, left, and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk in "Star Trek." (Paramount Pictures)

“The family deal that happened was just amazing,” Greenwood said. “I loved the first one and I loved making it too. Usually when you work on a job and you love the experience, it’s rare that the film matches the experience. You get one or the other but this was one of the few where it was all there. It was just great. I was talking to Anton the other day and he was saying that they all got together on the bridge a few weeks ago and it was just like no time had passed at all. None. I had dinner with Chris a few months ago and he said he couldn’t wait to get back with the gang of people that makes this work. The same with me. They’re wonderful people and the show is like the icing. What’s great is the family. I know it’s an overused term and people roll their eyes but it really feels that way to me.”

The “Trek” sequel was aimed for a 2012 release at one point but Abrams became caught up in “Super 8,” a passion project that was relatively small in its budget and shooting schedule but loomed large in the writer-director’s personal history. Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof were in a sort of holding pattern waiting for Abrams to return to Federation space.

Greenwood said it’s clear already that the project has been worth the wait: “Everybody’s got their script — all printed on red paper with every actor’s name stamped across every page — and their brown bag and we’ve all signed these releases that are as long as your leg. The script is good, as you would expect.  You won’t be given anything by anybody when it comes to the movie. It’s easier to push the building than get anything out of anyone. We have a huge stage here, I haven’t seen it. It’s exciting.”

jj abrams and michael g Star Trek sequel: A cosmic cast reunion on the Sony lot

J.J. Abrams and composer Michael Giacchino at a recent Bad Robot party. (Michael Underwood/AB Images)

About half an hour later, it was as if the entire coffee shop had been transported to Federation space; there was Pine,  Zoë Saldana (Lt. Uhura), Karl Urban (Dr. “Bones” McCoy), Yelchin and Cho all parading by out front. “Hey man, you’re back!” Pine said to Greenwood, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. Saldana chimed in with a “Welcome back!”

A moment later Greenwood came back to the seat on the patio with a big smile. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?”

A few days earlier, on Saturday night, J.J. Abrams hosted a party on the rooftop of Bad Robot, his production offices on Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, and at one end of the chilly patio there was an orchestra in scarves and winter coats sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. The reason? The event was a salute to composer Michael Giacchino with a special emphasis on his work on “Super 8.”

greenwood trek Star Trek sequel: A cosmic cast reunion on the Sony lot

Bruce Greenwood in "Star Trek" (Paramount Pictures)

The starry sky party was attended by some of the top filmmakers in the Comic-Con sector of Hollywood (Jon Favreau, Brad Bird, Joss Whedon, Frank Darabont and Kevin Smith) and actors with Abrams connections (Urban, Jennifer Garner and Elle Fanning among them) and when the orchestra played the themes of “Lost” and “Super 8” there were plenty of smiles. When Giacchino conducted the musicians during the soaring theme from “Star Trek,” though, there were even more grins and Abrams bobbed his chin with a faraway expression. Another cosmic moment…

Principal photography started on the “Trek” sequel on Thursday. That day, by email, Lindelof answered a question I had asked him about the pressure and possibilities of this next voyage. His response was funny and revealing: “I have had the good fortune to once again step upon the Enterprise bridge, surrounded by the primary colors worn by, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest casts ever assembled. Every single person involved with this movie has the same ambition — to do everything they can to justify the long wait … to live up to the lofty expectations of 40-year ‘Trek’ fans and those who are coming to the party for the first time. The energy is crackling. The warp core is primed. And we are, at long last, ready to boldly go once again. I hope to God we don’t screw it up.”

— Geoff Boucher


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53 Responses to ‘Star Trek’ sequel: A cosmic cast reunion on the Sony lot

  1. helenofpeel says:

    Wait a sec? I thought Star Trek was shot on the Paramount lot? Are they using Sony soundstages for space requirements?

  2. Jay in Milwaukee,WI says:

    That's great, but what about the sequel to the Abrams movie that was better than Star Trek and Super 8 combined……Cloverfield?? We are waiting anxiously JJ …..

  3. Janice says:

    Great article. I'm SO happy that Bruce Greenwood is returning as Pike in the Star Trek sequel.
    It's easy to see he's glad to be back with his Star Trek "family".

  4. Ray Bailey says:

    Why didn't they make a series from the last movie with Zachary and Chris.

    • Tim says:

      They did, sorta. IDW Publishing is doing The Original Series stories, changed for the new movie universe & cast, as a comic book series. They're up to, I think, the 4th issue. They started with the new version of "Where No Man Has Gone Before."

  5. mseifman says:

    can't wait to see this movie when it's done. The first was very well done and a lot of fun!

  6. Genie says:

    I for one, can't wait until this film is released. I loved the first film so much. I think the cast is exceptional, especially Chris Pine. I've loved him ever since I saw him in The Princess Diaries. May they all "live long and prosper".

  7. karentookeycoffey says:

    I was smiling as I read this. Thank you. I am past ready for another Star Trek movie.

  8. Karl Lehn says:

    I was there for the first episode and I pray Star Trek never ends!

  9. pat says:

    i cant wait to see the new star trek movie im a big fan of star trek

  10. Bill Shatner says:

    Why aren't they shooting this at Paramount?

  11. Kaylee says:

    What better way to celebrate my 16th birthday then with the realease of Star Trek 2………

    *sighs dreamily* <3

  12. JON says:


  13. Gary Barclay says:

    Star Trek 2009 is my favorite Star Trek movie and I am looking forward to the next great adventure with Star Trek 2013!

    Live long and prosper \//,
    ADM Gary Barclay
    Chief Of Public Affairs Starfleet Command Q1 @ http://www.sfcq1.com/
    Chief Security Officer USS Endeavour @ http://www.ussendeavour.net/ http://www.myspace.com/garyfitness https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=174370579https://www.facebook.com/groups/179274080353/ http://www.walterkoenigsite.com/waltersstar.html http://www.starbaseindy.com/

  14. no it all says:

    Cant wait.

  15. albert says:

    who do you keep us star trek fans waiting .now we have to wait until 2013 do you know that the world will end in dec 2012 and if this happends i will be pissed of ha ha .can not wait for the new movie .keep us posted

  16. Alan R Vermillion Sr says:

    Having been a true fan since TOS first aired, I will say I enjoyed this alternate storyline. The original cast felt that they were family and I'm please to hear that this crew feels the same. I now look forward to seeing more Trek.

    • J.R. says:

      The original crew did NOT feel like a family, ESPECIALLY during the TV series.
      If you read George Takei, James Doohan, or Nichelle Nichols' books, you would know this.

  17. Charles says:

    It's about time.Been a Trekkie for 45 years.

  18. Jonathan Taylor says:

    The Star Trek continuum of shows and movies are the best thing to ever happen in modern motion pictures !!…Todays' Trek movies, namely the latest one, have brought such a much needed beginning to the whole (hopely never ending), saga! Who knows, Gene Roddenberry may have possibly been from the future to give us insight of what is yet to come !…I only wish I was part of the Trek family…..continuing to go where man will go in the future ….Engage !

  19. Captain Nick says:

    Loving this :)

  20. willsy says:

    i am so stoked if abrams gets best director at the 2014 Oscars he will have earned it

  21. Arye Michael Bender says:

    What many forget is that it took nearly two decades of prompting before Paramount would seriously consider making even the first 'Star Trek' movie. Personally, I am no fan of the original series – except for its vision. But Paramount expressed little vision in consistently turning Gene Roddenberry down in his quest to see the movie created.

    • Tom Black says:

      You might want to check your facts. You're way off base regarding the first Trek film.

    • Kang says:

      Two decades? Original series cancelled in 1969. New series (“Star Trek: Phase II”)planned for aborted “Paramount Network” was to start production in 1977 and air in 1978.

      When the the network idea fizzled, production of The Motion Picture began, which was then released in 1979.

      Two decades? Not even one….

    • J.R. says:

      really? two decades? so the show ends in 1969, two DECADES go by, and the first film comes out in 198— Oh, wait. No, it came out in the seventies. So MAYBE one decade, but thanks for playing…

  22. Rob says:

    It should be a good movie. I work next to the Tustin Air Station where there are the two largest blimp hangers in the world. They film tons of movies there and I saw them making the first Star Trek there. it was the scenes with the space shuttles. Hope they shoot their again.

  23. Rebecca says:

    Can't wait for this!

  24. Jerry Schwartz says:

    I remember being intrigued by "Star Trek" when my parents had it on in the late 60s, and became a fan when it went into syndication. I watched every episode numerous times throughout the 70s, and was ecstatic when I learned of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". I couldn't wait for each following feature. I loved each and everyone, yes, even "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier". Then "TNG" came along and I was in TV heaven until the final episode of "Enterprise".

    I've been a fan for a very long time, and I have to say the most entertaining, exciting, enthralling of them all is "Star Trek" by J. J. Abrams. I hope he keeps making more and more. I simply cannot wait until May 2013!

  25. debjay says:

    Super! Can’t wait! Been a lover of the Star Trek universe since TOS. Live long and prosper! But over a year to wait???

  26. lela kapothanasis says:

    Been a trekkie since 1966 and the first episode.what an amazing phenomena.To think that this all started from the sick bed of a little boy called Gene!!!!!FASCINATING!!!!!!!

  27. mplayer1 says:

    Let's see the crew of "Star Trek Next Generation" back for a movie. You don't start a movie series with charactors no one relates to. Watched the last "Trek" movie. Not impressed. They should have keep the previous actors instead of starting with new ones.

  28. G baughan says:

    Star Trek TOS ended 1969. Star Trek The Motion Picture came out 1979. That's 10 years..

  29. Stephen says:

    The only member of the cast I don't like is Simon Pegg who was rubbish as Scotty.

  30. StarTrekWars Vet says:

    To continue with Abrams' 'Star Wars-ification' of nuTrek… this sequel will be the 'Empire Strikes Back' of the series?

    Looking forward to Spock slicing up a Horta to stuff Kirk inside it… or Uhura confessing her love for the Vulcan before his brain gets stolen… or Khan/Harry Mudd/Balok showing up to say, "No, Kirk — **I** am your father!", then.


  31. Trek fan says:

    2009's Star Trek was a great movie, but as a long time fan of the franchise, he killed the Star Trek I knew and loved and left only ruins in it's place.

  32. ken says:

    I love the Last Movie, but I am wondering how these can be considered Prequels to the original story line. As in the last movie the entire Star Trek Time Line is changed. Paradox is a bugger. But, Now this will throw off the original stories, into I guess Alternate time lines. I guess it works. But , I will always go see any star trek movie as I am a child of the 60's Star Trek and Love all the different story lines.

    Would be nice to see an after effect of Voyager return, and DS9 after words also.

  33. Steph says:

    The only reason I was able to forgive JJ for his first debacle called Star Trek is because we got the actor who became Thor out of it. I think I'll pass on this one, even if it does have Benedict Cumberbatch,

  34. Clay Thrasher says:

    I've let go of my old beloved characters…..This new crew sizzles! They have an edge the old ones lacked…This new vision has style! Tired of the old…."we are better humans" theme….I like the."Yeah, we're better….but we got a little whup*ss for you when you screw with us!" idea so much better….and the re-tooling of Spock just WORKS….

  35. charles riddick says:

    Sorry but in my opinion any Trek movie without the Shat man sucks

  36. charles riddick says:

    Sorry any Trek movie wihout the Shat man sucks The only thing that saved the previous movie from bombing completely was Nimoys appearance

  37. EngineerScott says:

    I really hope they get the engineering right for the Enterprise right this time.
    The facilities they used for the first show looked like a grain storage area not a matter anti-matter
    reaction chamber.Having a big grain silo with a trifoil sign on it doesnt cut it.
    Weapons were useless might as well been using gum bands.
    Instead of insulting Gene Roddenberry dream and engineering try to at least look at what the
    science of it is.
    The camera was terrible couldnt see anything properly.

  38. DJ, Littleton, NH says:

    It was wonderful how they caught the essence of all of the original characters…… Great to hear that the whole cast will be back……….. I wonder if any of the surviving original series actors will have cameos????

    Cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. connor says:

    Geez, i need to get an acting career together soon. Lol

  40. charlie snow says:

    I want Paramount do think ouyside the box and give us Stat Trek Academy on TV, plus I know Alice Eve plays Rand or call me a lier…

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