Simon Pegg Says Paramount Worried Original Star Trek Beyond Draft Was “Too Star Trek-y”

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg won the hearts and minds of nerds long ago, but the Shaun of the Dead actor keeps racking up impressive achievements that keep him at the epicenter of everything geeky in Hollywood. Currently, the actor is co-writing the script for Star Trek 3 (believed to be titled Star Trek Beyond), in which he’ll also reprise the role of Scotty, and trying to strike a balance between the more commercial feel of J.J. Abrams’ big-screen predecessors (2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness) with the more adventurous tone of the original series.

Speaking with Radio Times, Pegg revealed that it hasn’t been easy getting the script right for the threequel. Before he came aboard, Paramount had some odd concerns with Roberto Orci’s treatment for the film (last year, the producer had convinced the studio to let him direct the pic on the condition that his script was up to scratch – which it evidently was not).

“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,” Pegg explained, a strange sentiment given that Orci was writing, um, a Star Trek movie. But the actor went on to articulate that Paramount is worried about broadening the appeal of Star Trek so that the franchise is seen as less of a “niche” commodity:

“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 $1 billion worth of box office that don’t go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why.”

Pegg opines that the reason Star Trek isn’t making nearly as much as Avengers is that audiences don’t really “see it as being a fun, brightly coloured, Saturday night entertainment like the Avengers.” What’s a studio to do? According to Pegg, the solution is 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.”

Now, before all the die-hard Trekkies get up in arms about Paramount messing with their beloved franchise, it must be noted that Star Trek was a series that often put its characters in scenarios like the ones Pegg is mentioning. Creator Gene Roddenberry cited Westerns like Wagon Train as an inspiration, and certain Star Trek stories found Captain Kirk or Spock going undercover for espionage missions not dissimilar to stuff you’d see in a James Bond movie. Could it be that Paramount is actually onto something here? It would certainly be preferable to see Star Trek Beyond shift genres a little bit if it means avoiding another bland story like Into Darkness. What say you, Trekkies?

Source: The Guardian