Of Vulcans And Robots…OR…JJ and Michael, GET A CLUE!
Two of the biggest movie projects for the next two years are gearing up for war with the fans.
Star Trek (release date scheduled for Christmas Day 2008) and Transformers II (scheduled release date June 26, 2009) are two of the most highly anticipated movies of the next 24 months. But are the people in charge of them actually setting themselves up for a fall?
Michael Bay declared war with the fans earlier this week in an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, where he said the following:
"One thing I do know is I know how to screw them up more. We’re going to leak a lot of false information all over the place. I now know their game. They’re going to get a lot of script treatments that they think are going to be the script. They will never see the script. We’ve got scripts and treatments written up that we’re going to leak. No one’s going to know. Scoopers who currently think they’re sitting on a hot one, here’s a head’s up. "There’s one out that’s fake right now. There are going to be many others."
This from the man who bent over backwards to make sure the fans were informed of every little detail of the original movie and watched as those same movies turned the movie into the third highest grossing movie of 2007, with nearly $300 million in it’s coffers.
Why change your attitude now, after the fans were so loyal to the first movie? I’m confused. And if that attitude is in play from now until the next movie, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the fans out there scream a collective "F**K YOU" on opening weekend, and cause the movie to tank…just to show you their gratitude for your present "f**k the fans" attitude…
And JJ Abrams, writer, director, and producer of the Star Trek reboot, is having similar thoughts. He’s doing his damndest to keep ANYTHING from leaking. He’s paranoid about things leaking – look at the trailer for Cloverfield last year – not even a minute long teaser, really…and absolutely NOTHING about the movie…but BOY OH BOY it started a buzz.
But JJ has NEVER had to deal with the world of Star Trek fandom as yet…and it’s the biggest and by far the LOUDEST group of fans on the planet. They have shown their anger and support in the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS over the years. Why close that huge fandom off before it even begins?
Abrams is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just trying to hide what the uniforms look like, for pete’s sake…and he must be having "kittehs" (apologies to CuteOverload.com) about the photos of Zachary Quinto in full Spock makeup that got out onto the net last week. He can’t stand the thought of having someone know what they are doing until HE says so.
That kind of thinking is the exact opposite of what Gene Roddenberry would have done.
Abrams should follow Gene’s blueprint – starting with a photo of the cast, in uniform, in the new bridge set, IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, as Gene did when the first film, STAR TREK:THE MOTION PICTURE began production. You can keep the plot under wraps, Mr. Abrams, that’s fine with us..but we want to see how the new reboot cast looks, how much you have kept or changed things, and most importantly, whether or not you’re going to prove to be a WORTHY successor to the Great Bird Of The Galaxy.
If you are too paranoid to include the fans in your vision, it means that chances are good you are NOT going to be the worthy successor…or you’re deathly afraid the fans won’t give you a chance.
Let me tell you something, Mr. Abrams. As a nearly lifelong Trekker (please do NOT call me "Trekkie"), I can say this – you can TRUST the Trek fans to be honest and upfront. Sure, there are some who are a bit more obsessed with the show than most, but they’re important too. And as longtime fans of the show know, it’s Gene’s vision that is first and foremost in their minds.
BUT… I can say this in all honesty as a Trek fan…
If you’ve managed to piss off Harlan Ellison already, you MUST be doing something right…
Coming soon…Part two…why some Trekkers need to LIGHTEN UP about the new Star Trek movie