Chris Pine credits director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof with marrying the adrenaline bursts of a huge action movie with the thoughtfulness of a smaller, character-driven story in his second outing as Capt. James T. Kirk in “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
“I think the film takes people on a journey from Point A to Point B, and Kirk is still on his way to Z, let's say. He's still on his way to becoming the captain that we all know him to be,” Pine told The Oklahoman in a phone interview last summer.
“I think the effects and explosions are just as great if not greater in this new installment, but I think it's matched by really strong and really interesting character development.”
It wasn't surprising to hear the star of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the follow-up to Abrams' successful 2009 “Star Trek” reboot, still speaking in vague terms about the new movie 11 months ago.
What is surprising is how vague the filmmakers and Paramount Pictures have kept the details of such an eagerly awaited sequel, particularly in the age of spoiler alerts, online script leaks and preview-dissecting entertainment blogs.
Even the many trailers, while thrilling, have revealed little more than clips of “Trek” newcomer Alice Eve in her underwear and the requisite fleeing-from-explosions sequences.
Like Pine, Kurtzman only promised in last year's interview that “Star Trek Into Darkness” would be bigger and better than its predecessor.
“What was really kind of fun for all of us on the first movie is that we basically got to show the bridge crew coming together. And I think that the mistake that we didn't want to make in the sequel was assuming that just because they're together they're the finely tuned machine that you fell in love (with) from the original series. They still have a lot of work and a lot of growing to get to that place,” said Kurtzman, who also co-scripted 2009's “Trek” with Orci, his regular writing partner.
“So it's a lot of fun, I think, to watch the characters struggle through a lot of insanely huge challenges. I can certainly speak to the scope of the movie — and as big as the first one was, the second one's even bigger. And the key for all of us was making sure we were holding on to character the whole time. But I think it's gonna be a lot of fun.”
“Star Trek Into Darkness” reunites Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Plus, Bruce Greenwood returns as Adm. Christopher Pike, Leonard Nimoy reprises his legendary role as Spock Prime, and Peter Weller (“RoboCop”) enters the “Trek” universe as the hawkish Adm. Marcus.
Benedict Cumberbatch (the BBC series “Sherlock”) joins the sequel as the mysterious baddie going by the vague moniker John Harrison.
About the movie
“Into Darkness” has a timely terrorism storyline: The Enterprise is summoned back to Earth after Harrison commits a deadly terrorist act, but Kirk strikes out on his own manhunt to capture Cumberbatch's weapon of mass destruction.
For months, the filmmakers have kept Trekkers guessing at whether Cumberbatch was covertly taking on the famed role of Khan Noonien Singh, the genetically engineered superhuman Ricardo Montalban played in the initial TV series and film “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan”; the part of lesser-known villain Gary Mitchell, an old friend of Kirk's who battled him in the original “Trek” episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”; or an entirely new sinister character.
Some of the overly eager early reviews have revealed the answer, but no spoilers here.
Pine, 32, did reveal that his maverick character's venture “Into Darkness” would leave him a changed captain.
“You'll probably find pieces of that rebellious Kirk in the new installment, but I think really what Kirk's personal adventure is about is learning how to be a captain, learning what it means to be a leader of men and women, learning what it means to be a true, responsible kind of fully realized man in a position of incredible responsibility,” Pine said.