When the film Star Trek Nemesis laid an egg at the box office, the brass at Paramount were perplexed. A flop at the box office, panned by critics, yawned at by hard core fans, ignored by non-nerd movie goers, the fabled franchise made famous by Shatner and Nimoy finally ran out of gas.
Movie execs are creatures of habit. This explains Godfather: Part III. It explains the two Alien Vs. Predator movies. It explains Adam Sandler’s film career. Given a choice, movie executives will go for the safe, dumb, moderately profitable choice versus the visionary, ground-breaking choice.
A few years after the flop of Nemesis, Star Trek’s corporate parents, Paramount, declined to make the safe choice, and instead put their brand in the hands of someone outside the company.
February 24, 2007 After months of speculation, J.J. Abrams has signed on to direct the next installment of the “Star Trek” feature franchise, sources said late Friday. “Star Trek XI” revolves around a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, chronicling their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first space mission.
J.J. Abrams (creator of Lost, and Alias) decided to take the film series in an entirely new direction. He rebooted the franchise, recasting the characters from the much-loved original series as their younger selves. The new film, titled quite simply as Star Trek, hits theaters in May, and at $150 million has the largest budget of any Trek film to date. Talk about boldly going…
What does all of this have to do with newspapers? It’s simple. Recast the entire newspaper with younger, fresher talent. And not with journalists, either. Recast them with younger actors playing journalists. Something to make younger readers pay attention. You know, like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
We don’t need new media, and we don’t need new journalists. What we need are actors playing the part of journalists. Because if America has learned anything in the last few years, it’s this:
1) Don’t eat peanut butter.
2) The people running our banks are insane.
3) Actors can be trusted to bring you the news.