Berman and Braga Reloaded: Episode I: “A New Hope”
Written by Jason Reichstetter
It is a dark time for Paramount Pictures. Star Trek, under the leadership of Rick Berman and Brannon Braga is in dispute. After the abysmal box-office performance of Star Trek: Nemesis and the lackluster performance of Enterprise, Paramount is in a bind.
Facing a lawsuit by Activision Enterprises, Paramount has turned toward Berman and Braga to produce a new kind of Star Trek.
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have teamed up with Revolution Studios, makers of the smash hits The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and xXx and hitmaking director Paul W.S. Anderson of Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat to tackle head-on this new threat to Star Trek...
FADE TO BLACK...
INT. STAR TREK PRODUCTION OFFICES, DAY
The Star Trek production office of team leader Rick Berman is filled with many high-profile writers and directors. At Berman’s conference table, at which he is the head, clockwise from Berman’s left are, Brannon Braga, Rob Cohen, Paul W.S. Anderson, McG, Academy Award-winning writer Akiva Goldsman, Dean Devlin, and Roland Emmerich. Also sitting adjacent to the table in chairs are Ronny Yu, of Freddy vs. Jason fare and Neal H. Moritz, the producer of I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the Wachowski Bros.
Each of these people are eyeing Berman suspiciously. Berman is sitting in his pleather chair, staring intently at each and every person in the room in the eye before moving on to the next unfortunate soul. He is tapping his fingers on the conference table to the beat of “Faith of the Heart.” Not the remix, mind you, but the original Enterprise version.
Sweat is beading on Rob Cohen’s forehead, and the Wachowski Bros. are biting their fingernails, reducing them to shreds.
Berman: Gentlemen, you may be wondering why I have asked you here this afternoon.
The group nods in agreement.
Berman: I have called you here today to discuss a matter of great importance. Some of you I know, some of you I don’t. Mr. Anderson, your reputation precedes you.
Paul W.S. Anderson bows toward Berman.
Anderson: Thank you, Mr. Berman. I, too, have heard wonderful things about you.
Dean Devlin rolls his eyes.
Devlin: *coughcough*KISS ASS*coughcough*
Berman: Bless you, Mr. Devlin. Do you require a Halls?
Devlin: (Waves Berman off) No, I’m fine.
Berman: Are you sure? I have the cherry flavor. You must take one, they’re exquisite.
Devlin: No, that’s quite all right. See? I think it’s already passed.
Berman: Very well. Now, gentlemen, as I’ve already said, I’ve called each and every one of you here because you are the best of the best.
Braga: I loved The Skulls, Mr. Cohen. Truly breathtaking.
Cohen: Your words bring honor to my family, Mr. Berman.
Berman: He’s Mr. Braga, I’m Mr. Berman.
Cohen: My sincerest apologies. Please accept my condolences.
Berman: That’s quite all right.
Braga: No apology necessary.
Emmerich: Good God, how long are we going to sit here and listen to you guys kiss each others asses?
Berman: (Eyes Emmerich suspiciously) Right. As I was saying, we are here today because Star Trek is in grave danger. Due to the fan base, Star Trek has stagnated and become a barren wasteland of non-viewership. Mr. Braga and I here have slaved day in-day out to put quality programming on UPN, and the fans do nothing but badmouth us. They apparently believe Scott Bakula is a completely inept captain, and they will have nothing to do with him or our high-concept 22nd century setting.
Braga: They complain about the Borg. They complain about the Ferengi. They complain about the Nausicaans. They complain about us writing Kes off of Voyager. They complain when we bring her back. We give up.
Berman: Gentlemen, I have called you here today because we are going to team up and give the fans something they can be happy with.
(Cue thunder and lightning, that illuminates the room blue.)
Berman: We are going to recast and reboot Star Trek!
(The group looks stunned.)
Braga gets up and starts passing out packets of information to everybody in the room.
Berman: If you will please thumb through this pamphlet, you will see that Mr. Braga and I have come up with an intriguing concept. A “Best of Both Worlds”, if you will...
(At this Berman and Braga start chuckling merrily. The rest of the group just stare at B&B blankly.)
Berman: Right. As you can see, if you thumb to page 25...
(The group thumbs to page 25.)
Berman: To appeal to fans of both sides, this new Enterprise, which will be completely CGI, will be commanded by Captain Kirk...
Yu: Wait a sec... Captain “Jimmy” Kirk?
Berman: Yeah. We’re going to go for new, hipper, updated versions of character names. Please see his first officer for more details.
Cohen: Commander Johnny Picard?
Berman: There ya go.
Braga: See, we plan to draw back all of the fanbase by merging Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Berman: A hybrid, if you will.
McG: So, let me see... (goes through the list) Captain Kirk, Commander Picard, Doctor Spock, Lt. Sulu, Lt. Chekov, Commander Data...
Braga: Data will be a kewl Stan Winston studio creation.
McG: And who did you have in mind for these roles?
Berman: Well, we’ve certainly been doing our homework, and we’ve noticed a correlation between high box-office and a certain young man by the name of Ashton Kutcher.
Braga: Truly talented.
Berman: Ashton Kutcher is in negotiations to play Kirk, and we’re currently in talks with Vin Diesel to play Commander Picard.
Braga: Did I mention that Data will be created by Stan Winston Studio?
Emmerich: Yes, you did.
Braga: Oh, nevermind, then.
Berman: Your insolent tone is leaving a lot to be desired, Mr. Emmerich. You’re crossing the line. Now, if you’ll flip to page 33, you’ll see the rest of the proposed cast...
(The group flips to page 33)
Devlin: Ben Affleck as Ensign Riker, Jennifer Lopez as Uhura, Matt Damon as the voice of Data, Paul Walker as Chekov...
Anderson: Don’t forget, Milla Jovovich as Seven of Nine.
Berman: There you go.
Moritz: I must admit, Berman. You’ve got me intrigued.
The Wachowski Bros.: Our curiosities are piqued.
Emmerich: Well, I think this is bullshit.
Berman: Mr. Emmerich, Mr. Devlin. I have been patient. But, if you do not deviate from your current track, there will be consequences to be dealt.
Emmerich: Mr. Berman, you, sir, are a hack.
Berman: Mr. Devlin, Mr. Emmerich. You are dismissed.
(Berman pressed two buttons, one marker “Mr. Emmerich”, the other marked “Mr. Devlin”. Their chairs lurch backward, and deposit them into a fiery pit and flames shoot upward.)
Berman: Gentlemen, this is our new plan. There will be no one to stop us this time. Let’s make this happen.
(The group nods in agreement.)
(Berman’s conference room clears out)
To be continued...