Cast and crew of Star Trek Beyond beam down to Dubai

During the press conference at the Burj Al Arab to announce the beginning of the shoot, producer Jeffrey Chernov hinted that the film could get some sort of preview in December at the Dubai International Film Festival.
Chris Pine (actor), Simon Pegg (actor and screenwriter) and Zachary Quinto (actor) during the q and a for the Star Trek Beyond press conference, at Burj Al Arab. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Chris Pine (actor), Simon Pegg (actor and screenwriter) and Zachary Quinto (actor) during the q and a for the Star Trek Beyond press conference, at Burj Al Arab. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

The cast and crew of Star Trek Beyond were officially welcomed to Dubai, where part of the sci-fi sequel will be filmed this month.

During the press conference at the Burj Al Arab to announce the beginning of the shoot, producer Jeffrey Chernov hinted that the film could get some sort of preview in December at the Dubai International Film Festival.

“In terms of the film festival, there are plans that I can’t really go into right now because movies have their own heartbeat, he said. “We do plan on doing some great things together but you’ll be hearing more about that from the Film Commission.”

With the film not due for release until July next year, a premiere is unlikely, but early footage or an extended trailer could be part of the plans.

Chervov was joined by the film’s director, Justin Lin, its stars Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Doctor McCoy), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Anton Yelchin (Checkov) and Idris Elba (whose role is still a mystery), and co-writer (with Pegg) Douglas Jung.

The producer was keen to emphasise the positive role major movie shoots can play in the development of a city and it’s film industry, using the good experience he had in Dubai with 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocal.

“We proved when we shot Mission Impossible with Tom [Cruise] in Dubai that when films come to a city, that helps the city to grow and brings tourism, and new buildings and architecture,” he said. “The more that happens, the more film makers want to come to shoot in the city.

“We’ve also established intern programmes and have interns in every department on the movie, and we want to help the new generation of filmmakers.”

“The experience I had here on Mission Impossible gave me a good understanding of what the city’s like. We wanted a vertical city, we did a lot of searching – and this city really does represent the future.”

New cast member Elba may have provided the scoop of the afternoon when the British actor appeared to confirm rumours that he would be playing the bad guy in the film.

“I must admit I do prefer playing a villain,” he said.

Producer Chernov then interrupted and joked: “Remember you’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement.”

Elba continued: “But I can’t confirm that I am one. I prefer villains’ roles because I’m such a nice guy in real life.”

Pegg – who last year visited former Star Trek director J J Abrams on the Abu Dhabi set of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – said that although he is now even more involved with the franchise, since taking on co-writing duties on top of playing Scotty, he is unlikely to progress to the director’s chair any time soon.

“Having watched Justin and realised what he’s done, it makes me realise I’m never going to direct a Star Trek film,” he said. “What he does is so exciting and fun and he has an incredible visual style.

“I see people do these things and I’m always impressed, but I could never hope to do them. I see people directing action and camerawork in such an exciting way and just think, ‘Oh what’s the point?’ It’s probably best for everyone who goes to the cinema if I don’t.”

Yelchin, meanwhile, revealed an unexpected love of architecture.

“This is going to sound so pretentious,” he said. “But as a student of architecture, I’m fascinated to be in this town and it’s even better to be here with friends and people I care about – and I’m very grateful to the city for having us.”

Urban said he was hoping to spend some quality time in Dubai in-between all the hard work.

“I have a few days off and brought my family, so I’m looking forward to exploring Dubai, its people, culture, religion and politics,” he said.

Sure enough, Urban was spotted an hour or so after the press conference leaving the Burj Al Arab with his kids in tow, presumably to seek out what lies Beyond.

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Published: September 30, 2015 04:00 AM

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