Back in May, J.J. Abrams delighted fans and newcomers alike with his mass audience-friendly (yet still fan-serving) reboot of "Star Trek." It's been a six month wait, but finally we all get to enjoy the movie at home thanks to today's Blu-ray/DVD release. What many people may not realize however, is that the wait could have been longer.
"Trek" was originally set to hit theaters on Christmas Day in 2008. Paramount chose to delay that release to May 2009, which turned out pretty well. Abrams didn't mind either, since it gave him extra time to ensure that the movie would have something for all who might be interested. "We had the luxury of time," he said in a recent interview with MTV's Josh Horowitz. "I would argue that literally the last ten days of our post process we did 30% of the work."
Pretty incredible when you think about it, to think that so much of the polish that made the movie such a joyful work of eye candy came down to the final week and a half. Which isn't to say that the movie wouldn't have been finished if the release date had stayed put.
"Post production time is like closet space, you fill as much as you’ve got," Abrams explained. "If you’re told you have three months, you kick and scream and say its impossible and then you get it done. If you’re told you have a year and a half you think 'oh my God I have a year and a half' and you still get it done."
Of course, the extra time wasn't just spent on polish. As fans will soon learn from the home video release, a fair bit of material was left on the cutting room floor. Considering how much a labor of love this project was for Abrams, how much effort he clearly put into it, you might think it was hard for him to dump anything. Not so.
"I tend to not really kick and scream much about that stuff," he said. "I’m happy to lose something if it makes the movie work. None of those scenes felt like they were going to be cut but when you’re looking at the movie you realize this confuses people or you realize that is redundant."
That's all well and good, but there's a saying in the field of journalism: you have to learn to kill your babies. It's bleak, sure. But it speaks very directly to the editing process, how some things, no matter how much you like them for one reason or another, simply don't belong. When pressed, Abrams relented; there was one cut in particular the he would have preferred to keep.
"The one scene that I really did want to keep for a number of reasons was the Nero in prison sequence," he said, not at all regretful. "For many reasons I think the movie benefited from having cut it."
Have you picked up the home video release of "Star Trek" yet? Does the movie hold up for you, six months later? Do you have any thoughts on deleted scenes that could've/should've been kept in?