STAR TREK BEYOND co-writer Simon Pegg is back in a new interview from CinemaCon earlier this month, speaking to Collider about not just to the status of the film’s post-production standing – including those reshoots last month – but also coming to a vigorous defense of director Justin Lin’s leadership.
A salient portion of the interview was about the March reshoots in southern California, which Pegg cleanly calls a routine endeavor – contrary to some online chatter of “damage control” we’ve seen in many discussion groups.
This always happens in filmmaking. Often, when you get into the edit and you look at the movie and think, “Oh, it’s a shame we didn’t get that reaction shot” or, “Maybe in this scene we could have brought in [some] aspect of the developing plot.”
So, having a cut of the movie, we were able to assess – and thankfully, given the freedom – to go in and do touch-up kind of things on what we already had, which is a great opportunity.
Of course, when you write a screenplay and you film the whole thing, [the running time] is usually a lot longer than you anticipate it being, and invariably it’ll have to come down. When you cut stuff out of a movie, sometimes you have to go back in and make sure the [story flow] is all shored up.
It was just a bit of that, really. A very routine, very quick, and fun thing to do since we got to see each other again.
I think the term ‘reshoot’ often feels like “Oh, you’ve got to do it again?” When in actual fact it’s more like pickups, more like looking for moments where the film can just be finessed.
In addition – while admitting to Lin’s well-versed knowledge of stunt and action production – Pegg spoke directly to the detractors focusing on the director’s previous films.
Justin had clear ideas about a few of the set pieces in the movie, and we would work with Justin to make sure the story tracked through those moments so if there was a big event, Doug and I would make sure we tracked every character in that event and make it track with Justin’s idea for the visual spectacle, which he is very good at.
I hate people saying that because it’s Justin Lin it’s just going to be “Fast & Furious in Space!” It’s a kind of reductive, asinine criticism.
Justin’s history as a filmmaker started off with a Sundance movie called ‘Better Luck Tomorrow.’ He’s a smart, sensitive guy.
The fact that he was able to energize the ‘Fast & Furious’ series is a testament to his smarts as a filmmaker. He’s not just the car chase guy.
Pegg also confirmed that Justin Lin’s mystery photo from the set was actually from the first day of shooting in Vancouver, all the way back in June 2015.
A last thoughtful moment allowed Pegg to comment on the nature of how Star Trek is represented in this July’s picture:
Being given the keys to the Star Trek universe was an extraordinary privilege. It was extremely important to me that we did it justice. I know Star Trek means a lot to a lot of different people. It means an enormous amount to some people.
And at the same time, it should be something that everyone can enjoy as well, so you have to look at the means of writing a screenplay as well, which is an invitation to the un-inducted of the Federation Fan Club, and those who have been watching the show for fifty years and knowing it and loving every element of it. And also what’s available to us now and the state of cinema now, and the spectacle to bring people in.
Let’s combine the philosophies and tenets of the Star Trek universe with bigger set pieces and exciting stuff. Let’s see Kirk and the guys doing stuff we haven’t seen them do before because we just literally haven’t been able to do that – but that’s not at the expense of the other stuff.
Star Trek is a very thoughtful story. It’s a very intelligent, hopeful projection of our own futures, and that’s something we have to hang on to.
The full interview with Pegg, including discussion of next year’s Mission: Impossible 6, can be viewed here.