Thoughts on Justin Lin’s Development Deal Transform Hot Wheels To Screen

Justin LinBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Famed director Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond, Fast & Furious movies) is the perfect choice to adapt Mattel’s Hot Wheels toy line for the big screen. Usually, I get critical over big names, but when considering how successful he has turned the latter into one freewheeling and adrenalin pumping action franchise, this news sounds really good. He will not only develop, produce and direct the film but also have the option (with his Perfect Storm Entertainment company) to co-finance the movie, as reported by The Wrap.

Will his idea take away from what Mattel’s product is? Most likely not. There’s no established core theme/mythology to these toys. I played with these miniature cars — admittedly by putting firecrackers under them and using them in Steve Jackson‘s tabletop game, Car Wars — but I’m guessing the live-action deal will have some form of explosions too. When considering how he’s propelled Fast and the Furious, I’m betting there will be a lot of fun involving race cars, regular vehicles and roadsters clambering for a lot of screen time. The product placement can potentially be through the roof, and I’m betting Nascar or Formula One will somehow be involved. To turn this movie into something like The Wachowski’s Speed Racer or even borrow from either PIXAR’s Cars or DreamWorks T.U.R.B.O. will not surprise me. I really hope the team will do their research and offer a different kind of tale.

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Star Trek: Beyond Explores the Wild West But What’s Next?

The only thing Star Trek: Beyondovie series has not done is to transcend beyond the material set in the series bible.

Star Trek Beyond PosterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Half-way through the five-year mission in Star Trek Beyond, the crew of the USS Enterprise are starting to plan for their future. Some have settled in to a comfortable life, finding relationships with fellow crew-mates, and others are just wanting it to be over. Before the end of the first act, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) mentions he’s looking to continue his career elsewhere, and still has a few daddy issues to mull over. Spock (Zachary Quinto) has his own share of problems and the rest of the crew are considering their options.

As for what happens next, a stop for supplies at a space station in the shape of a hexagonal orb is more like a new beginning. As options are weighed, one last mission is requested at a nebula that has not been fully explored. Here, shades of Star Trek Deep Space Nine is hinted at. Instead of a wormhole for wayfarers to go through, the expanse of space is filled with a different hazard — aliens not encountered before.

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Is Star Trek “Beyond” Hope? Action versus Vision

Sadly that means the final product may have very little regard for what made Roddenberry’s Star Trek series great.

Star Trek BeyondThe problem with the trailer for Star Trek Beyond is that it does not feel like classic Trek anymore. When the title implies it’s moving away from the ideologies created by Gene Roddenberry, who created this series, not everyone will take to the changes. Some themes from the television sagas must be kept.

Ever since the first movie rebooted the saga, the story has been more about re-imagining the series. J.J. Abrams, however visionary he is, has some good ideas. I appreciate him telling fans in the film that this series is set in a mirror universe. I’m okay with the first film, but the second one was atrocious. I was not okay with a new Kahn. Ricardo Montalbán owned the character. Nobody, not even Benedict Cumberbatch, could ever replace him. From “Space Seed” to Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn, he made that character.

In this third film, Idris Elba has some tough shoes to fill. Who will be playing? A Gorn perhaps? Most likely not but I get the feeling this movie will be a tribute to all the episodes where Kirk was forced into an a blood sport and fight it out to save his crew. In the trailer released today, Justin Lin shows just how fast and furious he’s going to get with a franchise that’s lost its direction.

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