Berman and Braga: The Negotiator (Part 1)

Written by Jason Reichstetter

Published September 24, 2002

We’re watching Access Hollywood. The host, a young woman of about twenty five is busy talking about news of Ben Affleck and J-Lo getting married and Judge Reinhold signing on to do fifteen more Beethoven movies for Universal Pictures’ Direct-2-Video Productions. But, something catches her (and our) interests.

Host: Apparently something very secret is going on over at Paramount Studios. Our Access Hollywood insiders claim that they saw producer Jon Peters a production office alongside Brett Ratner and Kip Kerosene. What does this mean? Access Hollywood is working on the story and we’ll let you know as soon as we find out! And, eight years ago, Star Trek fans mourned about the death of the beloved Captain James T. Kirk, killed in 1994’s runaway smash hit Star Trek Generations. The death started a controversy and fans from all over the globe started the “Bring Back Kirk” foundation, dedicated to bring back the legendary Captain from beyond the grave. Well, the group’s efforts have paid off. Franchise head honcho Rick Berman is scheduled to a press conference to announce the return of Captain Kirk sometime within the hour...


(We are sitting in Rick Berman’s office. Surrounding Berman’s desk are Brannon Braga, a young man of about thirty, John Logan, Jon Peters, JJ Abrams, Brett Ratner, and McG, the director of Charlie’s Angels.)

Berman: Now, many of you are probably wondering why I have called you here.

(The group nods in unison)

Berman: I called you here because I am forming a team to redo the original Star Trek in the form of motion pictures.

Peters: What does this have to do with us?

Berman: I was getting to that. I have read some various reports that you, Mr. Peters, are very good at reinventing movies. AFter all, you did cast Michael Keaton as Batman and you did cast Will Smith as Jim West in Wild Wild West... (Berman chuckled) a very very funny movie I might add.

(Brannon Braga starts giggling)

Berman: According to the trade papers, executives at Warner Bros. Pictures apparently thought that Mr. JJ Abrams’...

(Abrams nods in appreciation)

Berman: (Continues) new Superman script was the best thing since sliced bread. Not only did it involve Krypton not blowing up, but it left open the possibility of kewl superhuman battles that involve people throwing each other through buildings.

Peters: I’m afraid I’ll have to take the credit for that. (Peters salutes) It was, after all, my idea to make Jimmy Olsen gay. And Lex Luther a Kryptonian CIA agent.

Berman: Your efforts are exemplary, I assure you. That is the kind of motivation we need for our new Star Trek movie.

Braga: (Still giggling)

Berman: What is so goddamn funny?

Braga: (Snorts) Sorry, Mr. Berman. I was just thinking about that part in Wild Wild West when Kevin Kline punches that button and Will Smith gets tied to the pool table and it goes under the.... (Braga’s face turns red as he can barely contan himself) THE TRAIN! (A hideous fit of laughter)

Braga and Abrams: “I love this train!”

(Brannon Braga and JJ Abrams, co-writer of Wild Wild West start holding their guts from the sheer amount of laughter.)

(Rick Berman gets up from his desk, walks over to a cupboard. He opens the cupboard and removes a flyswat. He calmly walks over to Braga and Abrams, swats them both with the flyswat, and walks back to the cupboard, puts it up, and sits back down at his desk)

Berman: I need all of you to have clear heads through this difficult matter. I have been going through the story with my esteemed colleague, Mr. Braga, and now I was wanting to get some advice before we proceed with the script, which I want Abrams and Mr. Braga to write.

Peters: Let’s hear it.

Berman: (Flips open a notebook) Okay. Captain Kirk, who will be played by Kip Kerosene, is in a battle with a superhuman clone named “Caan.”

Peters: Is Caan gay?

Berman: No.

Peters: Okay. Continue.

Berman: Kirk and Caan are in charge of two Star Fleet ships... (Berman looks up to Abrams) “Star Fleet” is spelled with two words to differentiate it from the previous “Starfleet.”

Abrams: (Thoughtfully) Ah.

Peters: Is this... “Star Fleet” gay?

Berman: No.

Peters: Can we have a gay starship?

Berman: How in hell can you have a gay starship?

Peters: I don’t know. But the fans will love it. Kevin Smith didn’t put a gay robot in the Superman Lives script, and he got fired.

Berman: (Eyes glowing) We are not putting a gay starship in my movie!

Peters: (Rolls his eyes) WhatEVER! It’s your box office going down the toilet...

Berman: But, after fighting Caan, we go back to Kirk in the Academy days. He’s originally from Earth, but the Klingons came to Earth and blew it up. Luckily, Kirk’s parents loaded him into a spaceship...

(Peters is looking at Berman intently)

Berman: ...a NOT GAY spaceship...

(Peters curses and throws himself back down into the chair)

Berman: ...and Captain Kirk grows up on the planet Vulcan, where all the Vulcans go around being happy all day.

Logan: I thought the Vulcans didn’t show emotion.

Berman: AHA! It is this little plot thread that will set our Star Trek away from the Star Trek of yore. Basically, Captain Kirk and his classmates get in some mischief until we get to present day, and Kirk has to finish his fight with Caan, who turns out to be Kirk’s mutant clone.

Peters: Now that, my friend, is genious.

Berman: (Closes the notebook and looks satisfied) I knew you’d see things from my perspective.

Peters: (Shakes Berman’s hand) Mr. Berman, it has been an honor to see you work. I will work with Mr. Abrams and Mr. Braga and get the script ready immediately.

Berman: I have the deal locked to get Kip Kerosene as Kirk, but now I’m talking to the rest of the proposed supporting cast. French Stewart and Freddie Prinze, Jr. are almost signed on, and I have great faith that Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard and Jennifer Love Hewitt will not resist my temptation.

Peters: Good. My people will get with your people. Any idea on a director?

Berman: We’ve got a close race going between Brett Ratner and McG.