While discussing the upcoming tenth film in the STAR TREK franchise this weekend with CINESCAPE, dubbed STAR TREK: NEMESIS, executive producer and STAR TREK head honcho Rick Berman let loose that he's certain an eleventh film in the ever-popular series will be made, regardless of how NEMESIS performs at the box office when it hits theaters on December 13th.
"I can tell you right now we'll be making another film," Berman says. "There's never been a STAR TREK movie that wasn't profitable for Paramount. One of the things about STAR TREK movies is there's no risk in making them because the studio knows if you spend this much money on producing the film, you're going to make that much money, or you might make that much money. But there's pretty much a window of the profitability of these films... unlike non-STAR TREK films which could be total wrecks and not make a dime, or could take off and make $200 million, there's a risk involved. There's very little risk involved in STAR TREK films, so I think we're a long way from seeing the end."
Paramount's ad campaign for NEMESIS seems to imply that this might just be the last of the NEXT GENERATION films, and while Berman is not ready to write off Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E yet, he is willing to discuss an idea that has been thrown about over the years in TREK circles: the notion of combining characters from various TREK incarnations to create a sort of smorgasbord cast for the next movie.
"As to whether the next film will include these [TNG] characters, or a combination of these characters with other characters from other series, [or] new charactersthat's all yet to be discussed. And that won't happen [the] Saturday morning [after NEMESIS opens] hopefully," he laughs. "They usually will give me a couple of months to breathe."
The executive producer stresses that "there's been no discussion whatsoever about the next film" on an official level, but he does believe that a mix of TREK characters is a viable option for the feature film franchise. He even has some ideas about which characters might or might not work in such a capacity.
"I don't know if putting [DEEP SPACE NINE's Captain] Sisko on the screen is viable," he says. "But in the last film we put Robert Picardo who plays The Doctor into the film, which was, I think, met with a lot of cheers, and in this film we've got Kate Mulgrew doing a cameo. I think there are certain characters from other [shows that would work]. Colm Meaney is a remarkable actor. Rene Auberjonois is a remarkable actor. Jeri Ryan, I can't imagine people would not love to see her on the big screen. So there are possibilities of combining other actors. But then again, I'm not suggesting that we're going to do that. It's just a possibility. It's even a possibility that we would include characters from ENTERPRISE even though they're 200 years earlier. Anything's possible with STAR TREK."
Berman also has an idea of what STAR TREK 11 should be called.
"The next film will be STAR TREK 12[we're] just keeping the even numbers," he jokes.