There was some backlash among longtime fans when J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot decided to run with the tagline ‘This is not your father’s Star Trek‘ during the promotional campaign. While the intention was to make it clear to new audiences that these were big budget action-packed blockbusters, the marketing ended up alienating a lot of the older fanbase who found it disrespectful to their appreciation of the various iterations of the series over the years.
The Kelvin reboot movies did decent enough business at the box office, but the numbers were hardly comparable to the rest of the major franchises in Hollywood, while opinion was split down the middle among older and newer fans. On one hand, those that grew up with The Original Series and The Next Generation felt like it wasn’t Star Trek at all, while the younger demographics got a kick out of the epic action and charismatic cast.
Alex Kurtzman was a co-writer and producer on Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, and he now holds the keys to the entire kingdom after spearheading the property’s recent renaissance on the small screen, with adventures to brave new worlds being a more regular fixture on the TV schedule today than they’ve been for decades.
In a recent interview, the producer revealed that he thinks that longtime fans should always be the primary focus of Star Trek, although he also admitted that the brand has struggled to draw in and retain younger demographics.
“I would actually say that you always have to sell the property to the deep fans. I think they scrutinize everything in a way that fans of Trek have done since the beginning. And so you can never be doing anything that seeks to sort of say, ‘Well, we are only going to hit one group here and we are not going to care about another’. That being said, I think that the death of great franchises is when you try and please everybody. I think somethings have to be really focused on specific groups or specific ideas. And you can assume not everybody will love it. And that’s very par for the course with Star Trek, so that’s okay.
We are always seeking to please die hard fans, but I think that one of the things Star Trek has not done effectively over time is bring in new people, particularly much younger people. And I don’t see any reason why this amazing, amazing story that has existed for 55 years that is so about everything that we are dealing with in our lives right now cannot be shared and enjoyed by younger generations as much as it can be enjoyed by diehard fans.”
With four Star Trek movies currently in the works at Paramount and the future on the small screen mapped out until 2027, there are plenty of opportunity on the horizon for Kurtzman to appeal to both sections of the fanbase, and we can’t wait to see what the franchise pumps out next.