Kurtzman & Orci to direct (and ruin) Venom, Star Trek 3

In case you haven’t heard the news, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who together are one of the most profitable screenwriting duos ever, have decided to officially part ways, and will no longer collaborate on future scripts. I haven’t been quite this despondent since Hall and Oates split up, but never fear, everyone; despite this conscious uncoupling, both men will continue to individually write exactly the kind of screenplays you expect from them for years to come.

But more importantly, both men look poised to take the next big step in their careers: Soon they’ll also be directing the same mediocre films they write.

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Alex Kurtzman has been hired to direct Venom, the Spider-Man spinoff that Sony swears it’s really going to make. The last we heard of this film, Kurtzman and Orci were working on a script, but that was before the breakup, so the project’s status is unknown. But considering the negative reaction to Amazing Spider-Man 2, which they also wrote, it remains to be seen if Sony will let either of them near its planned Spider-verse again. (Spoiler alert: They will.)

And in late breaking news, Roberto Orci, already writing the screenplay for the next Star Trek film, is now considered the “frontrunner” to direct the film as well. This, despite having no prior experience directing a film, let alone one of this magnitude.

So with the two men looking to move up the showbiz ladder and expand their already vast influence in Hollywood, is this bad news for Star Trek fans, Spider-Man fans, and fans of sci-fi and comic book movies in general?

I’ll answer that question in due time, but first, let’s make sure everyone’s up to speed.

Who are Kurtzman and Orci?

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (both born 1973) are two of the highest profile screenwriters currently working. It’s been less than a decade since their first feature film, and the movies they’ve worked on together have collectively earned $3.7 billion in worldwide revenue.

Kurtzman & Orci to direct (and ruin) Venom, Star Trek 3

As teenagers, they both attended Crossroads, a private school whose alumni includes plenty of celebrity kids like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Jake Busey, Jason Ritter, and the Deschanel sisters. There, Kurtzman and Orci bonded over their love of movies, and after college, Kurtzman got a job working for Sam Raimi’s production company, which at the time was producing the syndicated shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. Kurtzman and Orci submitted a spec script for an episode of Hercules, and eventually wrote 16 episodes of the series. By the end of its run, they had worked their way up to being the show’s head writers.

From there, they moved on to producing and writing Alias, the ABC spy drama created by up and coming writer-director J.J. Abrams. After Alias ended, it wasn’t long before they got their first break in the world of feature films, polishing up the screenplay for the DreamWorks film The Island, directed by fellow Crossroads alum Michael Bay.

Kurtzman & Orci to direct (and ruin) Venom, Star Trek 3

The Island ended up becoming an inauspicious way to kick off a career in movies, particularly when DreamWorks and Bay were sued for copyright infringement by the makers of the low budget ‘70s sci-fi film Parts: The Clonus Horror.

You may remember the eerie similarities between The Island and Clonus being detailed extensively on this very site. And if you don’t remember that, you may recall hearing about it on Cracked when they shamelessly copied my comparison screenshots without permission (it’s ironic, because the article about rip-offs is itself a rip-off!).

You may also recall that all parties involved eventually agreed to an out-of-court settlement (mostly shutting out the original Clonus screenwriter) which of course included the standard gag order and no admission of wrongdoing. So it’s still unclear as to how the obvious Clonus similarities made their way into The Island. Were they in the original script by Caspian Tredwell-Owen, or did Kurtzman and Orci steer things in that direction during their rewrites? We might never know, but given that it took Tredwell-Owen until 2012 to get his follow-up screenplay made into a film (and an extremely low budget film at that) while Kurtzman and Orci went on to become millionaires, it’s clear who took the brunt of the blame for the lawsuit.

Despite the controversy, and despite The Island going down in flames as Bay’s biggest flop, the two men continued to get high profile gigs. They next wrote The Legend of Zorro, a campy sequel derided for its flimsy plot and clichéd dialogue. Then came another sequel, Mission: Impossible III, directed by their old friend J.J. Abrams, which fared somewhat better with audiences and critics.

Thanks partly to that film, Abrams was tapped to direct the Star Trek reboot, and he brought Kurtzman and Orci along with him to write a contrived script that violated all known laws of time and space and common sense to get Kirk in the captain’s chair by the end of the movie. Michael Bay then called on them again to polish up his Transformers script, which started out as a screenplay called Transformers: Prime Directive by John Rogers (who also co-wrote The Core), but by the time the movie came out, the duo had somehow earned sole screenplay credit.

Kurtzman & Orci to direct (and ruin) Venom, Star Trek 3

The one-two punch of both of these movies earning obscene amounts of money made Kurtzman and Orci a hot commodity. From there, they penned several big, dumb sequels that were even bigger and dumber than the originals: the godawful Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the aforementioned Amazing Spider-Man 2, and the hopelessly convoluted Star Trek Into Darkness.

During all this, they also found time to write the screenplay for the snoozefest that was Cowboys & Aliens, co-create Fringe and Sleepy Hollow for Fox, develop the Hawaii Five-O remake for CBS, and do an uncredited polish on Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. And that’s not even getting into all the various projects where one or both of them have served as producers.

Okay, so what’s wrong with them?

In short, the two have become incredibly rich and powerful in an extremely short period of time by writing a lot of awful material. Don’t get me wrong; these guys aren’t the next Seltzerberg. In fact, they’re something more insidious. Because they don’t write movies for audiences. They write movies for studio executives and directors and accountants and other producers like themselves.

Their scripts are soulless, by-the-numbers efforts that can always be counted on to play it safe. In the cases where their movies succeed, it’s in spite of their scripts, not because of them. While watching a Kurtzman/Orci film, one has no emotional investment in anything occurring onscreen. Things happen for two hours, and sometimes quite loud things happen, and then they stop happening and everyone goes home.

Perhaps their inability to create real conflict and drama is why Kurtzman and Orci instead overcomplicate their screenplays, usually by bringing in shadowy conspiracy elements. The Khan/Section 31 boondoggle of Star Trek Into Darkness is well known by now (and really, what was up with that insane nonsense about hiding people inside torpedoes, anyway?). Amazing Spider-Man 2 also has a subplot (admittedly, borrowed from the comics) about a big Oscorp conspiracy where Peter has to learn the shocking truth about his father. And even in something like Transformers, you have a secret branch of the government called “Sector 7” that’s somehow able to cover up the existence of 30 foot tall robots.

But in their efforts to create complexity and mystery, Kurtzman and Orci mostly just turn out stories that barely make sense. People call them lazy hacks, but I don’t think that’s true. A lazy writer would do a simple, linear, A-to-B plot. It takes real work to turn straightforward comic book/action stories into films this incomprehensible.

I didn’t mention it earlier, but Venom, it if gets made, will not be Kurtzman’s directorial debut—that honor goes to 2012’s People Like Us with Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, an odd, one-off character drama written by the duo. But instead of revealing talents no one knew they had, the movie seems to mostly confirm that they’re probably not holding back much when they crank out vapid franchise installments.

They might be hacks, but they’re not pandering hacks. They’re not talking down to us. The scripts they write are about as intelligent as they are. In fact, most of their work seems to be the result of a couple of not-very-bright guys trying their hardest to write really smart movies.

Kurtzman & Orci to direct (and ruin) Venom, Star Trek 3

There is of course a dark side to all the conspiracy elements of their films, which is that at least one of them believes in them for real. Orci is a 9/11 truther who previously tweeted about the collapse of WTC 7 (just, you know, asking questions), and on the day of the Boston Marathon bombings, he told his followers to look out for “evidence of Government drills” in Boston (coded language for suggesting the attack was a “false flag” operation by our own government).

And while it may be old news, it’s always worth revisiting how Orci got pissed off on the message board of a Star Trek fan site when contributor Joseph Dickerson dared to write an article saying the Trek franchise was “broken”. These are the highlights of Orci’s responses (note that all spelling/grammatical errors come from the original comments).

Orci: Having said that, two biggest Star Treks in a row with best reviews is hardly a description of “broken.” And frankly, your tone and attidude make it hard for me to listen to what might otherwise be decent notions to pursue in the future. Sorry, Joseph. As I love to say, there is a reason why I get to write the movies, and you don’t.

The implications of this are startling. It seems Orci is actually convinced that Hollywood is a meritocracy, and the only reason he gets to write billion-dollar films is because of his god-given talent. Clearly, it has nothing to do with say, coming from a wealthy family, or getting to attend an elite private school and make connections with famous/powerful families in the industry.

Orci: STID has infinetly more social commentary than Raiders in every Universe, and I say that with Harrison Ford being a friend. You lose credibility big time when you don’t honestly engage with the FUCKING WRITER OF THE MOVIE ASKING YOU AN HONEST QUESTION. You prove the cliche of shitty fans. And rude in the process. So, as Simon Pegg would say: FUCK OFF!

That’s a whole lot of craziness to unpack, but basically, earlier in the thread he asked for an example of a film that blended action and exploration better than his Star Trek movies, and someone reasonably offered up Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the bit at the end seems to be a reference to Simon Pegg’s reaction to Into Darkness being voted the worst Star Trek movie at the official Vegas convention.

Eventually, Orci sobered up and posted a much more coherent, contrite message. And he apologized on Twitter (sort of) before deleting his account. Regardless, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his little message board tirade contributed in no small part to the end of Kurtzman and Orci’s working relationship. When this much money is at stake, I’d imagine the last thing you want to deal with is a writing partner who gets plastered and goes online to call the fans “shitty” and tell them to fuck off.

Also, am I the only one finding it hard to wrap my mind around the idea of someone who makes millions of dollars as a writer not having a basic grasp of English grammar? In his defense, the guy grew up in Mexico, but still, I’m pretty sure Kurtzman was the one doing all the typing.

Actually, I’m kind of wondering if either one of them has a mastery of the English language after reading the original script for Star Trek, which has loads of profanity in the stage directions, and at times reads like fanfic of the Maury Povich show.

Kurtzman & Orci to direct (and ruin) Venom, Star Trek 3

Like their mentor J.J. Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci specialize in making films that are “good enough”. Good enough to make lots of money, good enough to get a grudging pass from critics, and good enough to make audiences shrug and go, “it’s okay, I guess, whatever”. (Also, for some reason there are droves of fanboys willing to defend them, though as long as I live I’ll never understand why some people are determined to go to the mat for mediocre films.) And with the two of them directing, this means we’re essentially going to have three slightly different versions of J.J. Abrams out there, all making exactly the same huge, profitable, empty films.

(You might notice that I haven’t mentioned their frequent collaborator, Damon Lindlelof, who co-wrote Cowboys & Aliens and Star Trek Into Darkness with them, and also has credits like Prometheus and World War Z to his name. Lindlelof definitely has the potential to turn this duo into an unholy trinity, but he hasn’t expressed a desire to direct… yet.)

So, getting back to the original question…

Come on, of course this is bad news for Star Trek fans, Spider-Man fans, and fans of sci-fi and comic book movies in general. It’s highly unlikely that a first-time director who compares Star Trek Into Darkness favorably to Raiders of the Lost Ark is capable of learning from his mistakes and making a better movie. And if a veteran director like Sam Raimi can’t do Venom justice, there’s not much hope for a guy who so far has only given us a low-budget Chris Pine drama.

But when these films get released and it inevitably turns out Kurtzman and Orci have ruined two different franchises, at least we’ll be able to sum up our feelings with three simple words: No they DIN’T!

Tag: Clonus v. DreamWorks

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  • Joseph Patrick

    I’ve always felt that Venom could hold himself in his own movie. However it isn’t reassuring that it’s going to be directed by one of these self-entitled jerks! :(

    • MichaelANovelli

      They should do Maximum Clonage!

  • Thomas Stockel

    I decided I was off the ‘Trek train after Into Darkness. This just confirms my decision was the right one.

  • kuzefra

    I’m willing to sacrifice my enjoyment of everything Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof work on as long as Abrams doesn’t call them in to help him with Star Wars. Then it’s all over and I’m turning in my Nerd Card.

    • Immortan Scott

      Don’t worry, Disney’s keeping these three jokers far away from Star Wars. Lawrence Kasdan (writer of Raiders and Empire Strikes Back) and Abrams are going to be writing it.

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    On the other hand, those two are responsible for great shows and movies, such as, but not limited to: “Hercules – the legendary Journeys”, “Xena – Warrior Princes”, Alias, Hawaii five oh, and Fringe. So – yeah, they are not that bad.

  • You know, after Catwoman, The Cat in the Hat, Eragon, Transcendence and 47 Ronin, I’m starting to doubt this strategy of giving completely inexperienced directors $100 million budgets.

    • “Captain America: the Winter Soldier”, its directors did “You, Me, and Dupri”.
      “Thor the Dark World” was done by a guy who’s only worked on “Game of Thrones”.

      • StevePotter

        Joe Russo directed “A Fistful of Paintballs”, which had some solid action. The Russos also directed “Welcome to Collinwood”, which is apparently a caper film of some kind. I’m not saying they automatically scream “blockbuster franchise”, but clearly they were not completely inexperienced. And directing “Game of Thrones” seems like a perfect fit for directing a Thor film.

      • That’s what I’m saying. The Winter Soldier guys had prior experience directing feature films and Alan Taylor has a long history of direction including the film Palookaville.
        For comparison:
        Catwoman: Pitof only worked on commercials
        The Cat in the Hat: Bo Welch was largely just a production designer
        Eragon: Steven Fangmeier was a VFX supervisor
        Transcendence: Wally Pfister’s only experience was in cinematography
        47 Ronin: Carl Rinsch had done commercials and a single short film

        • Joel Schlosberg

          Catwoman is exactly the movie you’d expect someone who’d only done commercials to direct. Eragon is exactly the movie you’d expect someone who’d only done visual effects to direct. The Cat in the Hat is exactly the movie you’d expect someone who’d done the production design but not the direction of Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands to direct.

  • CAFR

    I’m willing to give them a chance on whatever they do next. They were NOT what was wrong with the Transformers movies, Transformers: Prime made that obvious, and I really enjoyed MI:III.

  • $36060516

    “The implications of this are startling. It seems Orci is actually convinced that Hollywood is a meritocracy, and the only reason he gets to write billion-dollar films is because of his god-given talent. Clearly, it has nothing to do with say, coming from a wealthy family, or getting to attend an elite private school and make connections with famous/powerful families in the industry.”

    The fuckin’ K.O. This member of the crowd all but “OOOOOHED” at that savage takedown.

    The excerpt from the Star Trek script you included is grotesque and amazing. I’m going to have to track that down to get a better insight into the childish thought process of these spoiled brats.

    It’s truly disappointing to me that half of this duo does so much to besmirch the name of the great Mad Magazine creator Harvey Kurtzman.

    • Animikean

      You scared the **** out of me! As far as I could quickly research they are not related.
      That would have been a shanda and a half!

  • Doc Skippy

    If you want to know what I think (you don’t), I think computers make possible the careers of guys like Kurtzman and Orci. With Star Trek: Into Darkness, for example, the plot is almost nonexistent (it becomes difficult from moment to moment to understand the motivations that drive characters from place to place and action to action). The overall scenario is simply a poorly rehashed Wrath of Khan. BUT, what you get is a lot of things moving fast, and big ships, and laser blasts, and ‘splosions, and spectacle. Now, these things were all DOABLE before the all-conquering advent of CGI, but a generation raised on CGI spectacle likely believes that the CGI spectacle is WAY MORE IMPRESSIVE than the “real” thing. Perception, in this case conditioned by repetition, engenders reality. So, the studios probably reason that the CGI spectacle is the priority, and everything else (plot, characters, action) exists to serve the spectacle. That approach also works great for marketing movies in foreign territories, where less dialog and more spectacle means easier marketability. So, hacks like Kurtzman and Orci get their writing assignments because they can put together the basic rudiments that will transmigrate spectacle to screen. The computers take care of the rest. Could you and I do their jobs? Probably.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Their work has always been lazy to the point of being nonsense. That script looks dictated, that’s really lazy. I doubt being directors is gong to make them put any more effort into their work. Probably a lot less. My guess is that they’ll pass all the serious directing work to second and third unit crews, maybe show up a couple of times a week to make sure they end up in the behind the scenes footage.

  • Muthsarah

    This…isn’t bad news. Trek was dead already; the best thing that can come now is for the third movie to fail spectacularly and turn the new franchise toxic – Into Darkness’ under-performance and the general trend of Part IIIs point to the third movie doing even worse than the first two at the box office. And with an inexperienced, immature, and paranoid/defensive psychotic director at the helm of what is certain to be a very expensive, much-hyped movie, this could turn into one of those beautiful disaster shoots that get talked about for years (and for months before the movie even comes out). Despite coming off of a genuine hit and a highly-qualified follow-up, the way they’re treating this, the third movie could still kill the new franchise for good.

    Odds are, it’d be rebooted as something very similar (a la Spiderman), but I’ll settle for schadenfreude at this point. They’re not offering me anything else.

    • I’m hoping that after the disaster that it will be the Orci Trek movie, that the Star Trek franchise goes like the Batman franchise did before after the debacle that was Batman And Robin and rebooted into Batman Begins. I’m hoping the same thing happens to Star Trek after Orci Trek.

  • Sofie Liv

    This just goes to confirm it doesn’t it?

    Hollywood is not nearly as much about talent as it is about luck and connections, it’s the privieleged few those whom get to roam about over there.

    Sigh, I actually got an audio commentarie track with them on the re-release of “Star Trek Wrath of Khan.” where yes.. for some reason on the DVD they got to make an audio commentarie..

    It really wasn’t worth it, instead of approaching the movie as writers having any-thing of value to say about the movie or what they see in it.

    They just sounded like two big fan-boys spending half an hour goshing over Leonard Nimoy.. not that there is nothing wrong with being a writer and a fan-boy, that’s a good thing.

    But they didn’t sound like writers! Only fan-boys.. and they are getting millions pr script..

    Urgh these two clowsn, these two arrogant clowns -_-;

    • E.Buzz Miller

      Yeah connections are huge, and being able to shmooze is another.
      I also think just becoming a name in the inner circle of Hollywood is really hard to dislodge yourself from, and so the same old names pop up again and again no matter if they have high-profile bomb.
      It’s really conservative industry that way. The way the studios will always prefer a big name actor as a calculated risk over putting their head on the block with something like John Carter.
      The logic being ‘well we did everything by protocol, it’s not our fault’.
      A prime example is someone like Brett Ratner who directed one film that got some acclaim in his whole career (Red Dragon) and last big hit was X-Men 3 is always being linked to things.

      • Sofie Liv

        I’m afraid that’s how show bizz works just about… every-where.
        The hardest part is getting inside, though ones you are inside, you will also be kind of stuck at where you are, unless you are pretty lucky.

        Connections is what will get you far, I have never.. never ever, been offered a role in any-thing on the background of auditions.

        All the roles I ever had in short films and theatre productions were either because I knew the people making it, and they asked me if I wanted to be a part of it personally.

        Or it was my own project I made from the buttom as a writer, i’ve gone to tons of auditions in my time, but they are not the way for me, they never ever got me any-where.

        Heck, haha.. I just got offered a new acting job, all though.. hehehe.. ahaha.. ehh.. It was my dad whom offered to me as he is the director of a new play they are going to make next summer.

        Yeah I am no better, but when you stand in the situation you are not going to say now to such things offered to you <_<

  • Sykes

    I barely have the strength to whine about these two any more. At least here I’m unlikely to be told that it’s somehow my fault that I don’t like the work of these guys. No, I’m pretty sure I actually don’t like it because they are terrible screenwriters.

  • Muthsarah

    Oh, and thank you for this article, Dr. It’s only been in recent months that I’d even heard of these guys, and I’ve been slowly asking around about them. They really do seem like a cancer on Hollywood – a symptom, not the cause – and one that, of course, I’m a lil’ extra-sensitive to as of late. It’s nice that you summed up basically everything one should need to know about them.

  • nejiblue

    “Also, for some reason there are droves of fanboys willing to defend them, though as long as I live I’ll never understand why some people are determined to go to the mat for mediocre films” Because someone might disagree with you? Know that might be a blow to your ego but whatever. Oh and sam raimi on venom. Funny, but yeah. The studio forced it on him. He had no interest in it from day one, and it fucking showed. The notion that he “tryed” to make it work at all is absurd. And I’m not even really a fan of venom. But this entire article is a “preaching to the choir” type farce, so whatever. I’ll just say this. I enjoyed the amazing spiderman(haven’t seen the sequel yet, but I will.) I enjoyed the star trek movies for what they were(and no, they were not as good as wraith of khan. not even close). And no, I don’t know kurtzman and orci in real life. I’ve never read their online tweets, their interviews, etc. I don’t care if their assholes in real life. Know who else is a asshole in real life? James cameron. And I liked aliens. Also, I liked how you didn’t post what the forum trolls actually said in that thread you were taking his responses from. Good way to make anyone look bad. But yeah, bottom line, I get if you don’t like a movie it’s a bad sign about the future of the series. But I forgot you’re psychic. You know venom and star trek 3 are terrible movies. You say it’s “highly unlikely” he can learn from his mistakes. The truth is, putting aside the notion that I agree it’s a “mistake” in the first place, you are obviously implying that there’s 0 chance of him learning his lesson. Because you’ve been to the future and seen them. I know you and people like you don’t actually do “reviews”, because there basically nitpicky bitch fests created for online forum trolls. I guess I just miss when you didn’t take yourself as seriously as you do know. Because you seem to think you’re a real objective movie critic or something. But whatever, I’m sure this entire post was like talking to a brick wall and well be treated as such. Good-bye.

    • JessE

      Well bully for you and your delusional apologist drivel taking a BIG STAND against all these haters who’re gonna hate with their negative vibes cuz they don’t know what they’re talkin’ bout and blah blah blah. I’m sure that insular, over-educated, hipper-than-thou Richies like kurtzman & orci REALLY appreciate the loyalty and support of open-minded, all-inclusive, “tolerant” persons like yourself so their conscience is clear in bleeding Billions of Dollars out of the general movie-going public by spoon-feeding soulless, indifferent, corporate claptrap onto them because as far as kurtzman & orci are concerned, the audience not only doesn’t know any better, they don’t DESERVE it either. With your smug, snotty scribbling, you’ve only proven how much YOU fit *their* target audience to a tee. So congratulations for being a card-carrying member of the Anonymous, Unquestioning Sheep who’ll take the crap their given and enjoy it. That’s a real BIG achievement there, slim.

      • Sofie Liv

        Why would they care what we say or write about them?
        They all-ready do make billions of dollars and gets sweet sweet directing jobs noobs like us can only dream about in our deepest sleep.

        All we can do as content contributors on this site is to share information and opinon, and then it’s up to you, dear reader, what to do with that opinon or information.

        Ignore it or use some time for thinking, it’s all up to you, we are not making you do any-thing, how can we?
        All we can do is to write things, what you do with them, or what other people do with them, is their buisness, not yours, not mine.

        So well, no need to be rude to each other guys, we are all here just to have a good time and appreciate movie culture.

        Calm down, relax. We are all good.

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          Well, Sofie, in general I would not count out the fact, that they would care and look at what people would be thinking about their works on the interwebs. I mean, as any producer of content I would love to know what people think about my works.

          And I’m sure – but then, I can only speak for myself – if I would make money with my content, I still would want to know, what other people think of said content.

          Honestly JessE – I don’t think there is anything wrong with watching those movies and say “Hey, I enjoyed them.”

          • Sofie Liv

            I know, I of course also care about people actually liking my stuff, but it is a very difficult balance to keep.
            Who to listen two or not, when in reality, we are talking ocean waves upon ocean waves of voices saying multiple different things.

            Honestly, I am not nearly as famouse or well known as those two but well, my thumb rule is to listen to the people I actually know and respect, if they have some-thing to say, it’s probably valid.
            If I am in doubt, i’ll ask some-one to have a look and i’ll listen to what they have to say.. I might even disagree with what they are saying and if I do.. well that’s kind of that and it’s up to the masses.

            If some randomn person on the enternet I have no idea who is, just trash talks me for no good reason, I will ignore to the best of my ability.

            And here’s another thumb rule I use for myself while listening to critism for strangers.

            If just one person, says some-thing, then it’s just an opinion, a voice among many.

            If two, three or even more people, says the exact same thing about my work, then there must be some-thing about it, and it’ll absolutely be worth taking up for consideration!

            There will never be an excuse for flying off the handle and call people names or use harsh languet.
            But choose what critisism to listen to and why, then make your considerations and choose what you decide to focus on in altering.

            That’s my genneral approach to just about every-thing in my life.

    • $36060516

      “I liked how you didn’t post what the forum trolls actually said in that thread you were taking his responses from. Good way to make anyone look bad.”

      In pretty much any industry, it’s considered highly unprofessional and unflattering to talk to the consumers of your product in the manner he did, regardless of the comments being replied to. The Coca-Cola company doesn’t send an official representative to online forums where people are having a conversation about how much they dislike the taste of Coke in order to tell them to fuck off and how much their opinions don’t matter. They are big enough to know that everyone doesn’t have to like what they do and keep such tirades to themselves.

      In the end, I don’t see much in your angry and overly personal reply to this article which gives you the moral high ground in public discourse in comparison to what you label as a “bitch fest for online forum trolls.” You responded to a bitch fest with a bitch fest about how bitch fests are morally indefensible.

    • Magdalen

      I never tire of this guy. XD

    • CaptainCalvinCat

      Well I agree – not to the entirety of that wall of text, but to some points.
      Fact is: We don’t know if Star Trek 3 and Venom will be terrible movies – we don’t even know if Star Wars Episode VII will be a terrible flick, which I say “Let’s wait and see how it develops.”
      We can bitch, moan and yell how much JJ Abrams killed our childhood AFTER he destroyed it – and honestly: We know next to nothing about Episode VII. For all we know, the movie could be good.
      Same thing with Star Trek 3 and Venom.

      What do we know?
      Yeah, there will be a third Star Trek movie and for all intents and purposes, it will be more or less like the other two movies of the revamp…
      And honestly? I didn’t find those two flicks THAT bad. Wouldn’t even go this far and say, it is a bad movie.

    • So some people enjoy medriocre movies and the mediocre filommakers who made them just to disagree? Is this what passes for rebeliousness this days?

  • Ripley

    Why would someone expect social commentary in a film called Raiders of the Lost Ark?

  • DamonD

    Well, look at that. It IS genuinely possible to dislike someone within two minutes flat.

    This dynamic duo’s resume is like a tick-list of several things that disappointed or annoyed me over the years. If you’d said they also wrote Catwoman and cast Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom I’d have barely twitched an eyelid.

    Thanks for the rundown on these chuckleheads. I can now spot their names on any upcoming production as the red flag it is.

  • Immortan Scott

    Well, Orci’s officially directing Star Trek 3. Is Alex Jones going to play Harry Mudd?

    • Adam Bomb 1701

      Not any more. Orci has bowed out. (Does that fact make this article moot?) I caught a glimpse of an article regarding an on-line movement to get Jonathan Frakes to direct and appear in it. I don’t know how far that will go; my guess is nowhere.

  • Meletaeus

    I’m still waiting for the real story on these guys. There’s more to it, than just what school they attended. I’m convinced they know where some bodies are buried. There’s no other explanation for their rapid rise to fame, give how they’re clearly the worst writers in Hollywood.

    I will never again watch any movie with either of their names attached. I even skipped Ender’s Game, which I had been waiting on for decades. Watching paint dry would be less boring.

    • Their scripts pander to the executives who commission them, incorporating whatever ideas they have into the story.

  • I can say that i once had the satisfaction to call stupid to Orci directly.
    Unfortunatly it was not to his face, but in an online forum back at Aint It Cool News, where Orci was a frequent poster and where he used to love to include himself in the forums to chat with the other geeks there.
    It seems from his posts he was expecting to be welcomed as a conquering hero, after all the bajulation he got from the media after the sucess of the first Abrams Trek film (that’s what i call to the first Star Trek film directed by Joffrey Abrams).
    And while half the geeks there did just that, the other half, unsatisfied and critical of his screenwriting on all the movies he worked on, didn’t shy to tell him what they though. Orci proved to be quite thin-skinned and sensitive to criticism and very soon showed an ugly side to him, quickly going on personal insults and belittling anybody’s intelligence who dared criticise his work. His usual comentsd were of “you are not smart enough to understand the complexities of my scripts” and “i’m rich and you aren’t, so i’m better”.

    I make no secret of my dislike for the Abrams Trek movies, and of what makes me so critical about them is, among other things, the trite dumb scripts they have. Having an oportunity to discuss what i see as the flaws in the scripts, i asked Orci questions regarding the plot holes and absurd characterization of the characters in those movies, specially the major contrast between how they are presented in this movies compared to the TOS TV show and films, and also the dodgy fantasy science in their movies. which goes beyond sciecen fiction into the real of total fantasy. Suffice to say, Orci was having none of that. He started with atemps at wititcism quips, gave evasive answer and send links to “vanguard scientists” that inspired the science in his movies who proved to be all just pseudo-science cranks, and finally when he saw that he couldn’t shup up both me and some other of his critics, he became personal and insulted us, calling us demented (“didn’t took the pills today” was a constant remark by him) and threw the usual “i’m rich and you aren’t” excuse for personal validation.

    Orci is quite an ugly person. He’s a manchild with expensive toys and act like one. The difference between him and his fellow Bad Robot collegues is that he seems to lack a self-censor screen to prevent him from acting like a petulant overgrown spoiled child. But at least he’s upfront, whilçe all his fellow Bad Robots, JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelf, who have the same personality traits and smug sense of self-importance, at least know how to disguise it better and not make a fools of themselves in public foruns.

    I don’t like this Bad Robot fellas, i think they are conmans who so gfar have nanaged to foll both the exeutives, the critics and the public alike, even the geekdom (who should be more aware of this type of con artistry). But i wonder to how long they will be able to keep up the masquerade. How long until the Mystery Box fails and get exposed for the creative scam it is?

  • Why would I put my name here?

    I very sincerely doubt you’ll actually see, much less read, this comment, but I feel I must point out one thing: saying that a native English speaker lacks “a basic grasp of English grammar” is nothing short of absurd. You may say that they failed to properly employ a prestige dialect in social circumstances that require it, but by definition whatever a native English speaker says, so long as they are understood by their peers, is grammatical. That’s just the way language works. Failing to know or use a prestige dialect is not the same thing as lacking an understanding of English grammar.

    I don’t blame you for not knowing this, since linguistics is not taught in schools at all before university, but this is nonetheless a very basic fact about language that you’d learn in the first give minutes in the first class of a Ling 101 course: there is no “right” or “wrong” use of language, only what is understood and what is not, and also what is socially acceptable under some circumstance and what is not.