Fans of big summer genre movies will already know the name of Alex Kurtzman, probably when paired with his long-time collaborator Bob Orci on movies like Transformers, Star Trek, the television shows “Fringe” and “Hawaii Five-O.” This summer, he’s making his directorial debut with a terrific character drama called People Like Us, though just four days later, it faces Sony Pictures’ The Amazing Spider-Man as it slams into theaters. It’s somewhat ironic since Alex and Bob recently signed on to write the sequel to that anticipated superhero reboot.
We had been wondering why these guys, who have been writing and producing a lot of their own original ideas and material in recent years, became so interested in joining a licensed franchise character like Spider-Man, which would mean going back to their days of “Transformers” and working with a lot of different cooks.
He responded by paying a great compliment to the upcoming film’s director, Marc Webb, who SuperHeroHype recently interviewed:
“We jumped on (it) because we were so impressed with the movie and what Marc Webb has done with the movie,” Kurtzman told us in an interview earlier today. “I just adore Matt Tolmach, who is the producer of the movie, and everyone at Sony has been so supportive of us. We felt really good about it and really passionate about it. When you’re growing up, if you’re a superhero lover, it’s like Batman, Spider-Man and Superman are the holy trinity of superheroes, so the opportunity to get involved with any one of those is like you get to let your kid play again.”
“We’re exec. producing as well and they’ve been very generous about letting us be involved with the process,” he continued. “But certainly what we don’t want to do is step on any toes and we’re really just there because we love Spider-Man so much.”
That sequel is already scheduled for the summer of 2014, but Kurtzman and Orci are also producing two anticipated sci-fi movies coming out in 2013, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel (scheduled for May 17) and a movie based on Orson Scott Card’s hugely-popular Ender’s Game (scheduled for November).
Many people are wondering why J.J.’s movie isn’t being brought to Comic-Con considering that it was the cast’s introduction at the annual San Diego geekfest that got fans so excited about the original 2009 movie in the first place. There’s no conspiracy though and part of why it’s not going to be there is because they just wrapped shooting, as Kurtzman told us:
“Here’s the thing about Trek. Part of why we delayed a year was because we didn’t want to rush it, just because we feel very beholden to the franchise and we feel very protective of it and the worst thing we can do is to put it out there before we felt like we were ready and we were still working on the story.”
There’s almost as many eyes and as much interest on what they’re planning for Ender’s Game, since Card’s book is so beloved by sci-fi fans, and Kurtzman helped to alleviate any concerns.
“We’re certainly huge fans of the book, too, so I think we felt extremely protective of it,” he said. “I know that Gavin Hood, our director, really felt protective of it, and he wrote a beautiful script. Orson came in and gave us his blessing, which I think was a huge, huge thing for all of us.”