Last December it was announced that writing partners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay would be joining Roberto Orci as the lead writers on 2016’s Star Trek 3, the next installment in J.J. Abrams’ reimagined Star Trek movie series.
Aside from their rather empty IMDB listings, there’s been virtually no information available on either of these newcomers — but two new interviews with Payne have surfaced on a pair of Mormon-centric websites, and the writer talks about not only his initial collaboration with McKay, but his entry into the world of Star Trek as well.
From LDS Living:
So what’s in store for Star Trek fans?
I can’t really talk about much… at its core, “Star Trek” has always been about adventure, exploration and wonder, with an optimistic sense of the future, and all its possibilities. It’s a massive playground; we’re so excited to be diving in on it.”
“Star Trek” is unique in that it often grapples with complex ethical and moral dilemmas – we’d love to create a situation like that where you really could be a person of any background, and come down on both sides of how you should respond. Where you can walk out and say, ‘You know, I really don’t know what I would do. What would you do? What’s right to do?‘ And get the audience to really engage.
From Mormon Artist:
Patrick McKay is your longtime writing partner—how did that association begin? What is it like to have a writing partner?
Patrick and I met in high school and started collaborating creatively when we directed a short play together for the school’s One Act Festival. We quickly found that the things I was lousy at, Patrick was great at, and vice-versa. We continued working together throughout high school and into college.
Since then, Patrick and I have written something like seventeen scripts together. Each one is a journey, and there’s no one in the world I’d rather have at the helm with me than Patrick. The work itself is a joy, but engaging in it day in and day out with a partner who’s also my best friend takes that joy to an entirely different level.
There has been quite a bit written about the fact that the upcoming “Star Trek” will be your first produced script. However, you are pretty seasoned—how many screenplays have you written in total?
“Star Trek” will be our 17th script from the first one we wrote when we were in college; our tenth from the time we got agency representation (though only seven of those have officially been in development at a production company and studio). I’ve read that the industry average is thirteen scripts in development for every one that ends up getting produced. I’m definitely still bullish that several of our other projects will make it to the silver screen, so we’ll see how that ratio ends up working out with our slate.
How did you first become involved with Bad Robot? What was it like to work with J. J. Abrams and the group involved with the film?
We had a great initial general meeting at Bad Robot, after which we pursued a project that came to be known as “Boilerplate.” From there, things took on a life of their own. We feel like we share a creative sensibility and point of view with J. J. and his team. They’ve been fantastic to work with every step of the way on each of the projects we’ve developed together. It’s a relationship we feel very fortunate to have stumbled into.
I could go into more detail about the nuts and bolts of the collaboration, but I should probably leave it at that. People think Edward Snowden got exiled from the country for the NSA Wikileaks scandal; in actuality, I heard his real crime was leaking a super-secret pizza recipe from the kitchen at Bad Robot’s offices.
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