Entertainment

Damon Lindelof On Whether Violence In “Star Trek Into Darkness” Is Insensitive

“I think any time that you do an escapist kind of movie like this, you run the risk of being out-played by current events.”

LAS VEGAS — Hours after yesterday’s explosions in Boston, Paramount Pictures was scheduled to give a special presentation that included an extended look at next month’s Star Trek Into Darkness at the annual movie exhibitor conference known as CinemaCon. The movie’s action includes a bombing in London, complete with a fireball set against the cityscape and crowds of terrified civilians racing to safety.

Several of the film’s actors, including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, along with producer and co-screenwriter Damon Lindelof spoke with the press before the event. Lindelof addressed the question of how much filmmakers hope audiences will, or will not, connect events in a film to similar events in real life.

“That’s a particularly sensitive question given what’s happening today in Boston,” Lindelof told BuzzFeed. “I think any time that you do an escapist kind of movie like this, you run the risk of being out-played by current events. And our movie is a movie. It is an escapist piece of fantasy.”

“At the same time, Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek to make a direct commentary on the state of the world. That show basically came out at a time where we were in the midst of the Cold War — we had nuclear missiles pointed at Russia and they had them pointed at us — and it needed to feel like it was escapist and yet relevant at the same time.”

“When something like this happens,” he continued, “at first your heart goes out to the scenario that’s unfolding. And then you go, ‘Oh my god, is our movie being insensitive?’” Lindelof pointed out that the sequence in question is not just a “set piece” done for “pure pyrotechnic value,” but the central catalyst for the entire story. “I do feel like if you treat it with gravity, [if] it has emotional value too, that’s all you can really do as a storyteller. It means something.”

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