US Release Date: 7/22/16
Star Trek Beyond, the long awaited third movie in the re-booted franchise, will soon warp into theatres, but one of its own is not here to celebrate.
In June, Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekov, the Russian helmsman of the Starship Enterprise, was killed in a freak accident involving his own car.
“I loved working with Anton,” recalls J.J. Abrams, who directed the first and second Trek re-boots. “He was a deeply good soul. I can’t believe or stand that he is gone.”
This time around, Abrams serves as producer, while Justin Lin is in the director’s chair. Lin – a veteran of The Fast and the Furious series – has always held a special love for the iconic universe, created by Gene Roddenberry, and considers the Enterprise gang to be an extension of his own family. He says:
“We had a lot of conversations about balancing the kind of action you can expect in a big budget action film, while preserving the essence and core of the show.”
The latest adventure catches the Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the Enterprise crew right in the middle of their five-year mission in space.
“It’s a chance to see the Enterprise having the kind of adventure you’d associate with the original series, out in the far flung reaches of the galaxy,” Abrams muses.
Doug Jung and Simon Pegg, who also plays engineer Scotty, have pumped out the screenplay in which the Enterprise is destroyed by a nasty being called Krall (Idris Elba) after following a distress signal to an unknown planet. Sofia Boutella plays Jaylah, a local scavenger who ultimately helps the crew, now dispersed on different parts of the planet, get back on its feet.
“The stakes are as big as they get,” says Abrams. “After they see the Enterprise ripped to shreds and torn asunder, the crew is thrown all these different directions and forced to survive and reconnect with the rest of the crew. It’s wonderful because we get to see how well these separate pairs work together towards a common goal.”
The original series frequently showcased the humorous relationship between Vulcan Mr. Spock and Dr. “Bones” McCoy, played by the late Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelly respectively, who almost always had very different opinions on problem resolution. That’s why the writers just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pair the two characters together once the crew become stranded.
“Historically, Bones and Spock are about as different as you can be,” says Zachary Quinto, who now plays Spock. “Whereas Kirk and Spock are two sides of the same coin, Bones and Spock just have completely opposite modes of operation.”
“You get to see the relationship with Bones and Spock develop like you’ve never seen before,” muses Urban, who portrays McCoy. “Both of our characters are at a crossroads and dealing with their own internal dilemmas, and being stranded on an alien planet forces us to confront these things together.”
Sadly, Nimoy, who appeared the first two new Trek movies, died last year – but the third chapter, says Quinto, has gone all-out in honoring his memory.
“I think he would have been really proud, grateful and a little embarrassed. It’s a fitting tribute and I’m glad it’s addressed and gracefully so.”
“Leonard Nimoy was a profoundly talented actor who became a good friend. We wanted to honor his legacy by referencing his passing in the film. I think it would have felt wrong to do otherwise.”
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Justin Lin
Stars: John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella, and Idris Elba.
Screenwriters: Simon Pegg & Doug Jung. Based upon “Star Trek” created by Gene Roddenberry
Producers: J.J. Abrams, p.g.a., Roberto Orci, Lindsey Weber, p.g.a., and Justin Lin, p.g.a
Executive Producers: Jeffrey Chernov, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Tommy Harper.
Image Info: Zoe Saldana plays Lieutenant in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment. Photo Credit: Kimberly French. © 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and all related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc.
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to Star Trek Beyond © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved