Thursday, May 23, 2013

How Star Trek Into Darkness Was Written


I'd like to post a SPOILER WARNING here, but as Star Trek Into Darkness is already pretty rotten, it seems redundant.

You may not know it, but the FBI frequently does surveillance tapes of Hollywood producers.  I just got this one from an FIA request.

INT. EMPTY WAREHOUSE - DAY
 
               ROBERTO, DAMON, and ALEX (indistinguishable Hollywood types
               wearing blue shirts and ties) wait at a conference table. 
               Damon throws pencils at the ceiling, but they keep landing on
               his face.  Roberto flips through a notepad.  Alex spins
               around in circles in his swivel chair.
 
               JJ, their boss, enters.  He's a short man with glasses a gold
               halo taped to the back of his head.  The other three kneel as
               he comes in.
 
                                   JJ
                         Hey, you don't have to kneel just
                         because I'm Hollywood's golden boy.
 
                                   DAMON
                             (looking up)
                         We don't?
 
               JJ sits.
 
                                   JJ
                             (laughing)
                         I'm just kidding.  If you didn't
                         kneel I'd fire your asses.  Okay,
                         you can get up now.
 
               They all return to their chairs.
 
                                   JJ (CONT'D)
                         I've been thinking about the next
                         Star Trek movie.  As you all know,
                         I hated the TV shows.
 
                                   ROBERTO
                             (clamoring to agree)
                         Too much science!
 
                                   ALEX
                         Not enough lens flares!
 
                                   DAMON
                         All that thinking and philosophy!
 
                                   JJ
                         Now I can make Star Trek as high
                         budget, mindless action flicks, I
                         love it.  But I've hit a snag.
 
               All three yes-men gasp.
 
                                   ROBERTO
                         No!
 
                                   ALEX
                         It can't be!
 
                                   DAMON
                         Say it ain't so, JJ!
 
                                   JJ
                         I've run out of ideas.  I've only
                         got one. (rummages around in his
                         pocket and pulls out a cocktail
                         napkin and reads off it) "Rip off
                         Wrath of Khan."
 
               The yes-men applaud.
 
                                   JJ (CONT'D)
                         We still need a confusing plot
                         that's never explained, an evil
                         government, and a woman who takes
                         her clothes off for no reason. 
                         Just like all my movies.  Ideas?
 
               All three men raise their hands.  JJ points at Damon.
 
                                   DAMON
                         There's an admiral who wants to
                         start a war with the Klingons. He
                         has a fake terrorist kill the other
                         admirals.  He uses that excuse to
                         send the Enterprise with seventy
                         special torpedoes to kill the
                         terrorist on Kronos.  But the
                         torpedoes are secretly filled with
                         invasion troops.
 
                                   JJ
                         Good.  Let's do it.
 
               Alex and Roberto look chagrined they didn't get picked.
 
                                   ALEX
                         Wait, wouldn't Kirk ask why they
                         need dozens of torpedoes to kill
                         one man?
 
               JJ snaps his fingers angrily, and they all turn to him.
 
                                   JJ
                         Did you forget the Bad Robot motto?
 
               He points to a giant banner hanging behind him: NOTHING
               SHOULD MAKE SENSE.
 
                                   DAMON
                         Maybe the terrorist secretly hid
                         troops in the torpedoes to keep
                         them safe.
 
                                   ALEX
                         How are you safe in a torpedo?
 
               JJ snaps and points to the banner again. Alex hangs his head.
 
                                   DAMON
                         Also, he gets to the planet with a
                         super transporter thingy.
 
                                   ROBERTO
                         If they have super transporters,
                         why do they need ships?
 
                                   JJ
                         Doesn't matter!  Now, we need a bad
                         guy with a Texas accent.  His
                         daughter will have a British accent
                         because I know an actress who'll
                         off her clothes.
 
                                   ALEX
                         Weren't we going to have Uhura take
                         her clothes off?
 
                                   ROBERTO
                         She got naked in the last movie. 
                         Let's have her get choked by a
                         Klingon instead.
 
                                   JJ
                         Yes, and throw in the words "cold
                         fusion" because I don't know what
                         that means.  And Kirk should lose
                         his ship and get it back five minutes later.
                                                            
 
               Alex, Roberto, and Damon all jump out of their chairs and
               cheer.
 
                                   ROBERTO
                         Brilliant!
 
                                   ALEX
                         You've done it again!
 
                                   DAMON
                         You're still the golden boy!
 
               JJ smiles and waves, modestly.
 
                                   JJ
                         These things practically write
                         themselves.

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