In a interview with the Collider, Simon Pegg spoke about how he ended up writing Star Trek 3, the script-writing process and his thoughts on the direction of next film.
SIMON PEGG: Terrifying!
When you started working on Star Trek, as an actor, could you ever have imagined you’d be in this position?
PEGG: On set, sometimes, there’s room for improvisation, especially for someone like Scotty who’s Scottish, but never anything more than little dialogue tweaks, here and there. Now it’s like, “Okay, now you’ve got to write the dialogue.” It’s scary! Also, the timeframe we’re working in is extremely tight. It means we’re having to come up with the goods. We can’t be lazy about it. We can’t procrastinate. We have to come up with the stuff because the production is hammering on the door saying, “When can we build this? What are we gonna we build? Who is in it?” I don’t know! Let’s right it and we’ll find out. It’s an interesting process.
How did that happen? Was it something you asked to do?
PEGG: No. Me and Bryan Burk, who’s one of the producers at Bad Robot, have worked together on a bunch of stuff. We were sitting around, talking about the direction the next film was gonna go in. They were thinking, “Maybe we should go back to the drawing board, a little bit, with the screenplay.” Bryan and I would just sit around and talk, and we’d get excited. And then, Bryan was like, “Do you want to write it then?” It was a difficult decision. I hemmed and hawed about it, a little bit, because it felt like a big responsibility. I owe J.J. [Abrams] and Bryan an awful amount. I love those guys. I want to do right by them, so I felt like I should man up and do it.
PEGG: Yeah. It’s weird to walk into something and take ownership of it, in a way. Everything else that I’ve written has been mine, from the very germ of the first idea, or shared with Edgar [Wright] or Nick [Frost]. But with this, I’m walking into a realm that doesn’t belong to me, and I have to treat it with a degree of respect. Obviously, I always treat things with respect, by I have to abide by certain rules and do right by the original series, and not be too post-modern with it and not be too aware of itself. I have to try to take on the spirit of the show, rather than fill it with stuff that people will just go, “Oh, yeah, that’s from episode something or other.” It’s more than that.
When are you supposed to be finished with the Star Trek script?
PEGG: Come hell or high water, June. I’m busy writing it. It’s an ongoing thing. I’m sure we’ll be finessing it, right through the shoot. You never really, truly start writing a movie until the edit. There’s a whole new lexicon that you’re confronted with, when you’ve shot the movie, which is the visual language that you don’t have on the page. And then, you start to realize, “Hang on, we don’t need that speech because that look says it all.” So, it will be an ongoing thing, right until next year.
Simon Pegg also spoke to Den Of Geek US and confirmed that the script he’s writing with Doug Jung has no relation to the earlier draft by Roberto Orci.
“It’s completely new. I haven’t read Bob’s script and they didn’t want us to. So we went back to the drawing board”, he said.
“We had creative meetings with Justin [Lin, director] and there were things he wanted in there. I haven’t written like this before. I’ve never been a custodian of something, it’s usually mine when I’m writing. Whereas with this, you’re given a bunch of stuff… so Doug and I go ‘okay, right, let’s try and get that into it’. So it’s an interesting process”.
“I had certain issues with Into Darkness as well”
“It’s interesting to be able to take those forward and be at the helm a little bit. You’re always learning when you’re working with a series of movies because you go okay, what did people like there? What did people not like? What did we like? And that’s a crazy way to work because we’re shooting in summer come hell or high water”.
Specifically on Star Trek Into Darkness, Pegg did clarify that “I really, really am very proud of Into Darkness”. But he did add that “I feel like the thing that for me was kind of jolting was that it kind of wanted to embrace itself a little too much, rather than take off and do what Star Trek did, which is to go off into the depths of the galaxy”.
“It was about referencing not only a previous film but also kind of hanging onto the coast of Earth a little bit. So for me it’s now about the spirit of adventure and exploration and also, in modern terms, just how would that be for people, to be away for that amount of time and that kind of stuff. We’re trying to evolve the story at the same time as not letting it go”.
Star Trek 3 is on course to hit cinemas on July 8, 2016