“I always thought of Mr. Spock as a Latino, he’s an alien, an immigrant,” the Latino producer said at Variety’s #Inclusion Summit on Tuesday. “Just between us, and only I can say this, I personally used to call him Mr. Spic.”
After a few uncomfortable gasps from the audience, Orci clarified: “I said that not as a way to denigrate him, but as a way to get in touch with what it’s like for an alien to come into what looks like a great world.”
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Orci, who has over 25 writing credits, including the last three “Star Trek” films, had been asked about the franchise’s multi-cultural films and TV shows over the years. A lot of his own experience would be inserted into Spock’s character when writing the projects.
“He comes from another land. He’s half-human, I’m half-Mexican,” he explained. “He has this cultural baggage that he brings in while trying to fit in as much as he can.”
The filmmaker said that while he strives to be upfront with his cultural upbringing, he also wants to make it seem invisible in his characters.
“I think one of the secrets to targeting my people, and my marketplace, is to make it slightly invisible,” he added. “Let the values and the culture of where I come from…when it’s right for the story, then by God make it obvious. But it’s not the point at the end of the day.”