Karl Urban plays Bones and Zachary Quinto plays Spock in Star Trek Beyond

Karl Urban on why Star Trek franchise has survived the test of time 

Photo: Paramount Pictures

As Star Trek celebrates 50 years with a new movie, Dr ‘Bones’ McCoy, aka Karl Urban, discusses the franchise’s positive vital signs

THE RED BULLETIN: How has Star Trek survived five decades?

KARL URBAN: There’s excitement and adventure, and it has retained some of the sex appeal and swagger of the original series. But I think the appeal is what it stands for in terms of humanity. Mankind has evolved beyond warring, genocide and persecution, and has joined together to explore space. It’s a very positive vision of the future. 

That’s one of Star Trek’s rare qualities. Movies usually portray a darker future, as you did in Dredd…

Unfortunately, I feel the dystopian future represented in Dredd [Urban played the titular role] is closer to where the human race is currently heading. But I’m not giving up hope.

Watch the trailer: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

© Paramount Pictures // YouTube

Classic Bones – always the optimist. How essential do you think these characters are to its enduring appeal?

I have a deep admiration and respect for what the late, great DeForest Kelley did so successfully for 30 years, so it’s important to me to retain an essence of that. But, at the same time, I very much feel I’ve taken ownership of the character.

Talking of changing ownership, action director Justin Lin is now onboard. What has he brought to the captain’s chair?

It’s a world that [previous director] JJ Abrams established, and there’s continuity in the visual style, but Justin brings a long-standing love for Star Trek and the characters. He gets the archetypes, understands the complexities, and was able to elevate the material and evolve those relationships to a point where you feel there’s a richness and depth that’s earned. 

Sounds like it’s in good hands. So, where do you see Star Trek in another 50 years’ time? 

Damn it, man – I’m an actor, not a fortune teller! 


Movies that go where no film has gone before…

Star Trek Beyond (2016)
Part of the latest instalment in the franchise was filmed in a new panoramic, triple-screen format called Barco Escape. Find a cinema with the right projection set-up (currently only in the US, Mexico and Belgium) and watch the bridge of the Enterprise under attack in super-immersive widescreen.

The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
While this wasn’t the first movie to use Technicolor, Dorothy arriving over the rainbow wowed audiences and won over studios sceptical about abandoning black-and-white film. 

Interstellar (2014)
Director Christopher Nolan is a cinema traditionalist, but, to promote his space odyssey, a VR experience was created for Oculus Rift, allowing fans to fly aboard the film’s ship, float in Zero-G, and enter a black hole.

Star Trek Beyond is out on July 22. startrekmovie.com

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08 2016 The Red Bulletin

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