I, along with much of the Trek admiring world, rolled my eyes at the new Star Trek trailer, which seemed to indicate a continuation of the franchise’s descent into being yet another safe, simple, action/space opera spectacular complete with all the usual one-liners.
Well, Simon Pegg, who wrote the thing, wasn’t happy either:
“I didn’t love it because I know there’s a lot more to the film,” the actor — who also co-wrote the screenplay for Beyond — told British website HeyUGuys when asked about the trailer. “There’s a lot more story and a lot more character stuff and a lot more what I would call ’Star Trek stuff.’”
“I found it to be surprising,” said Pegg of the trailer’s “very action-packed” tone. “I found it to be the marketing people sort of saying, ‘Everybody come and see this film, it’s full of action and fun,’ when there’s a lot more to it than that. … You know, they’ve got to bring a big audience in, they’ve got to bang a drum. To the Star Trek fans out there, I’d say, ‘Hang in there, be patient.’ ”
I’ve busted Bad Robot’s chops about their version of Star Trek plenty of times here, but I’m willing to give Pegg the benefit of the doubt, mainly because it reminds me of something that happened to Sidney Lumet a long time ago in a Hollywood far, far away (from Making Movies):
I once made a picture called The Hill. It’s a good piece of work. it’s the story of a British prison camp during World War II, but the prisoners are English soldiers who’ve gone AWOL or been caught selling black market goods or have committed any other crimes while in uniform. It takes place in the prison, located in the North African desert. It’s a tough, hard movie, never leaving the confines of the camp except for one quick scene in a cafe and a minor scene in the commandant’s bedroom. Physically, it was as tough a picture as I’d ever made. By the end, I was exhausted.
Long after the ordeal of making it was over, I went to the distributor’s office to look at the opening day ads. It consisted of a full page drawing of Sean Connery, mouth wide open as if screaming in rage. Above his head, in a “thought balloon” right out of the comics, was a drawing of a belly dancer. But there was more. Across the top of the ad, in big white letters, the copy read: “Eat it, Mister!” I couldn’t believe my eyes. Even if it had anything to do with the movie–and it didn’t–it made no sense. It was blatant insanity.
That night at dinner, I literally burst into tears.
Lumet goes on to talk about how much fighting is involved with making a worthwhile picture. Fighting with studios and financiers and actors and distributors and marketing people. Tons of fighting. If there’s anything about Star Trek Beyond worth fighting for, I wish him the best of luck in the fights he’s got ahead.