We haven’t heard that much from STAR TREK BEYOND scribe Doug Jung, who teamed up with co-writer Simon Pegg for the final version of the script at the beginning of 2015 (after Bob Orci and the other writers were let go from the project).
Today, however, a new interview with the Writer’s Bone podcast gave Jung the forum to talk a bit about his career to date, and of course, his involvement with BEYOND. While the entire interview lasts almost forty minutes, the Star Trek discussions starts at about 24:00.
In addition to talking about the now-well-known short lead time that he and Pegg had to take BEYOND from script to screen, Jung also gave his perspective about taking on such a well-known property:
I was hesitant to take [the job] because, I mean, you’d have to be kind of an idiot to not see that opportunity – but it’s a little intimidating. There’s just a huge amount of information and so many years and layers that go into [the Star Trek] canon.
Once he and Simon Pegg began their work, it wasn’t just another job — their shared history with Trek had an impact.
There were definitely times when we were sitting there together and we would both be like, “All right, this is just weird. We need to think of a really good Spock line.” Or whatever – A really good Bones quip.
We’d have some cool idea, but think, “Did they do that once in some Next Generation episode? Is that what’s coming to us? Is that where we’re getting it?”
It was stuff like that that came up.
Not only did they do their own research when needed, they also welcomed feedback from other Trek experts during the writing process:
[We had] so many people who were such fans of Star Trek, who knew it so well; [we were able] to lean on those people a little bit. We had this guy who did all the alien dialect, and in the script where there was something about Vulcan theology, and I got it wrong…
He sent me an email saying “In the Original Series, we did establish that Spock…” And I literally was like, “That’s great!” How fantastic is it that?
We would take that from anywhere we could get it.
Jung also spoke at length about the writing partnership, and how Pegg’s familiarity with the material added to their efforts.
What I liked about [Simon’s] point of view is that he is an actor in the new reboot franchise, and he could kind of take a different point of view on it at certain times.
That was really cool, because we would be doing scenes where there was heavy back-and-forth dialogue, and he could sometimes say, “You know, I don’t think he’d say that.”
He knew the characters and the actors really well, so he would even sometimes tailor things to certain actors, as Simon knew what their strengths were.
Lastly, he also talked about the pair’s work to try to build the characters of the Enterprise crew in this new outing:
One of the other things were trying to determine while we were doing it, was what are all the inter-dynamics between these characters? I remember we were talking one day… “Have Chekov and Sulu ever had a conversation on-screen?” We went through the other two movies and they actually, literally, never had a conversation on-screen.
So just because he was there, he knows all that how it sort of went down and we were able to go, “Oh, there’s an opportunity.” Something where we can maybe build certain relationships that haven’t been explored before.
STAR TREK BEYOND hits theaters this July.
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