HOLLYWOOD — Paramount Pictures has given “Star Trek: Nemesis” the greenlight to head into production at warp speed, with f/x studio Digital Domain tapped to oversee the digital visuals of the 10th installment of the sci-fi series.
Director Stuart Baird (“U.S. Marshals”) begins lensing Nov. 28 from a script by John Logan, co-writer of DreamWorks/Universal’s Roman epic “Gladiator.” Rick Berman will produce. Paramount is eyeing a fall or holiday 2003 release date.
The ninth installment, “Star Trek: Insurrection,” hit theaters in 1998.
New pic is expected to once again feature the crew of the “Star Trek: Next Generation” television series and cast of the last three films in the franchise, including Patrick Stewart as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard.
Scheduling became an issue for Stewart, who after filming “Nemesis” then segues into his role as Professor X in “X-Men 2” for Fox.
While no f/x shot count has yet been determined, the number is expected to easily reach into the hundreds for Digital Domain. Company did not work on “Insurrection.” Blue Sky/VIFX took the lead as the primary f/x house on that pic.
New deal comes as the Venice, Calif.-based facility is finishing up work on “The Time Machine” for DreamWorks, as well as f/x for Par’s “We Were Soldiers” and Universal’s “Beautiful Mind.” Digital Domain has also completed several shots for “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”
Mark Forker will oversee “Nemesis” at Digital Domain as visual f/x supervisor. He most recently served as visual f/x supervisor for Tokyo DisneySea’s “Storm Rider” film ride. Other credits include compositing co-supervisor on “Titanic,” lead compositor on “Apollo 13” and compositing supervisor on “Terminator 2-3D” for Universal Studios.
The “Star Trek” feature franchise, which bowed in 1979 with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” is one of the most successful in entertainment history, having grossed more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide and generated more than $5 billion for the studio from ancillary markets, including merchandising and homevideo revenue.