Indy trailer, Roddenberry’s Trek prequel, KITT’s new voice (News from the frontier, 2/9/2008)

Happy Saturday, everyone. This is a big weekend for Star Trek fans. Be sure to check out the remastered version of “The Ultimate Computer.” I’ll definitely be watching, and hopefully I’ll have time to write a review. As you may have noticed from our front page, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve put a new one up. And now, on with the show.

Indiana Jones trailer tries to capture hearts on Valentine’s Day
It’s a little hard to believe that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens in just over three months, on May 22, and there has not been a single preview trailer yet.

That finally changes on February 14 when a trailer for the fourth Indy movie debuts at theaters in front of The Spiderwick Chronicles. An online release of the trailer will follow shortly after that. Indy IV is directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and stars Harrison Ford. Okay, okay, maybe that explains why it has not needed a whole lot of advance hype.

Gene Roddenberry wanted to make a Star Trek prequel movie . . . in 1968!
I’m kicking myself here, wishing I had found this. Those of you who have been visiting this site since the early days know that The Film Frontier used to be “Star Trek: The Film Frontier,” a static site that covered behind-the-scenes production information for each of the original Trek movies. I pulled those production notes, since removed, from dozens of different books and publications. One important fact from one of those reference books slipped past me.

NCC-73515, a member of the forums over on the official Star Trek movie site, mentioned in a discussion thread that The Art of Star Trek revealed that Gene Roddenberry had tossed around the idea of making a Star Trek prequel movie way back in 1968, featuring Kirk and crew at Starfleet Academy.

I figured this guy had misremembered a reference to Harve Bennett’s concept from circa-1989. Turns out that NCC-73515 was right. From page 155 of The Art of Star Trek by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens (who are more than credible in the world of Star Trek):

“As early as (Star Trek‘s) third season, Gene Roddenberry had spoken of making a Star Trek motion picture. At the 1968 World Science Fiction Convention (. . .), he drew enthusiastic response when he told a rapt audience his plans for filming a prequel to the series, telling the story of how Jim Kirk and his crew had met at Starfleet Academy.”

Though I certainly respect Gene Roddenberry for creating Star Trek, I am not one of those fans who thinks he was a saint and looks at every Star Trek production with a critical eye of “What would Gene do?” Star Trek is a collaborative effort that many people have built and improved upon, not just Roddenberry. However, this reference is still pretty cool and a great find.

While we are on the topic of Star Trek XI, I’ll throw in a hilarious comment that I found from a movie critic previewing the most anticipated films of the year. Steve Salles, writing for Utah’s Standard Examiner, had this to say about Star Trek XI:

“The space nerds are already in a tizzy over the teaser trailer, as it shows an Enterprise being built on land and not in space dock! Plus the name is emblazoned on the ship before it’s even done! Wouldn’t Star Fleet wait to put the name on after the Rear Admiral’s final inspection!? I love it when sci-fi dweebs get frothy. It might be the only action they see this year.”

I’d call him out for being mean, except that this space geek knows Salles’ analysis is spot-on. Don’t deny it, my fellow Trekkies. (Read the entire article.)

It’s the car, right? Chicks love the car (GM Strikes Back)
About a month ago, I told you about the new Knight Rider movie coming to NBC on February 17. At that time, I mentioned that I wasn’t too happy with KITT’s new voice, not to mention his appearance as a Ford Mustang.

Turns out that the actor who was doing KITT’s voice for the 2008 movie, Will Arnett (Arrested Development, 30 Rock), has apparently been voicing GM commercials for years.

GM, which sponsored the original Knight Rider series featuring a Pontiac Trans Am, apparently asked Arnett to leave the project once they found out. Taking his place as KITT’s voice is Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, Top Gun). William Daniels (St. Elsewhere, Boy Meets World) voiced KITT in the original television series.

And the rest. . . .
· Newsarama: Geoff Johns Re-ups with DC Comics
· Newsarama: Kurt Busiek’s Superman exit interview
· Cinema Blend: Animated Star Wars in theaters?
· TrekMovie: Orci chats with fans on Star Trek XI
· IESB: Venom stand-alone film moving forward

Have a great weekend, folks. Troy the Space Geek out.