A Scene with Kirk-almost, cont
The full roundtable consisted of Jonathan Aibel (Kung Fu Panda 2); Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern); Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon); Christopher Markus (Captain America: The First Avenger); Ashley Edward Miller (Thor; X-Men: First Class) and Roberto Orci (Cowboys & Aliens). The writers talked about collaborating not only with directors and producers, but also with factors laypeople might not think of (“the toy industry, comic-book companies, merchandising entities, rabid fans, marketing execs, storyboard artists, the laws of physics, previous movies and source material and, often, a host of other unseen writers.”)
To THR’s question about input from fans, Orci replied: Orci: I think screenwriters have become more visible than they’ve ever been. The screenwriter in the minds of many is the most realistic or accessible entry point to having the dream come true of coming and working here. Because none of us have to look like a movie star to do it. You just have to have a good idea and you have to be able to work hard. So part of it is kind of acknowledging that dream a little bit, and I personally like transparency. I like to try and explain as much about the process as possible. Some people, by the way, don’t like that. Some people don’t like to see how the sausage is made at all. You tell them that some plot decision came out of wherever it came from, even if you think it works great, and some people can’t handle the truth. [laughter] They think it all has to be: I’m going to go in an ivory tower, and I’m not going to be seen for three months, and when you see smoke come out of the top, the script is done. [laughter] It is a little bit of proving you’re a fan, and you only do it on the properties where you have the true respect. Because they can smell it otherwise. Lyndon Johnson used to make sure that whenever anyone wrote him a letter his staff wrote a letter back the next day, within 24 hours. So there is a bit of politics to it. As many hands as you can shake.”
THR: Do you guys ever write scenes into the script that you know aren’t going to be in the movie?
Orci: We wrote a scene for William Shatner at the end of the movie where Spock, played by Leonard, gives his young self, played by Zach Quinto, something he’d kept with him. And it was basically a recording of Kirk singing “Happy Birthday” to him for the last time before he went off to die in Star Trek VII. J.J. had determined early on that he felt it might seem like it was, a) too small, and b) pandering to the fans a bit. But we wrote it anyway because as a fan you’re always trying to protect that thing where you want to be able to look fans in the eye and say, “We were ready.”
For the full interview,click here: Writers’ Roundtable.