While promoting his new movie Kill Me Three Times, which looks like a fun movie, Simon Pegg was of course asked about his new script writing chores for Star Trek 3 and the process he uses to keep both the studio and fans happy. While chatting with Collider, Pegg had some interesting things to say about Star Trek 3 and how his role has changed since the first two movies.
When asked about the transition from actor to writer in the franchise Pegg said:
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 time frame 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.
When asked how he was suddenly tasked with scripting Star Trek 3 Pegg told this story:
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.
Did Pegg feel comfortable enough with the various characters in the Franchise when faced with the decision to take on the scripting chores?
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 will he be finished?
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.
I’m looking forward to what Pegg comes up with. He certainly has the nerd credit and background to understand the Star Trek franchise as a whole. When Roberto Orci left over creative differences with the studio, or was kicked out depending on your view, I was glad that Pegg ended up in the creative mix. He’s just the kind of creative talent the franchise needs to bring the spirit of the original series back to the big screen.
Throw in Idris Elba into the mix as the villain of the story and you’ve certainly got my attention.
Now we just need to put Will Ferrell in charge of the movie’s musical score: