Star Trek: Insurrection has been released on DVD in Letterboxed (LBX) and 16x9 Enhanced (16.9). Running time is 103 minutes plus behind the scenes featurette and theatrical trailer.
The Science ship with it's "gigantic cavity of metal girders" using a real 4-story set and computer generated model of the structure and Picard and Rua'fo climbing and fighting on it will be very exciting. Also Rua'fos command ship, two Son'a battleships of the same design, a scout ship and the science vessel mentioned above all prove very interesting. The palm pet is cute.
In Sci-Fi Entertainment's article (January issue 1999) by Melissa J. Perenson:
Stewart saw the draft while filming the USA Network production of Moby Dick on
location in Australia and didn't approve, describing the story as 'dark' and 'dreary.' After
numerous conversations, Stewart made it clear that he wanted this Star Trek film to be
more light hearted than the past two efforts, which is why Berman brought up the original
fountain of youth idea again. Stewart was immediately intrigued, and "there we were on our way
to the movie that we have now," says Piller. "So you can give Patrick Stewart the full credit of
getting us back on course. It was not the end of our discussions or disagreements, Patrick and
Rick and I, but from those disagreements came a far more textured piece than I think it would
have been without it. The bottom line was we wound up with a script that I think really has the
potential to turn into one of the finest movies in the franchise's history."
Stewart wasn't the only actor offering input at this early stage--Pillar also conferred with Brent
Spiner regarding the role of Data in the film. "The first meeting I had with him was a little
awkward for awhile and I wasn't quite sure why. and then we were having lunch, and he sort of
leaned over and said, "You know, I'm kind of worried that you don't know my character." and I
smiled in surprise for a moment, because I wasn't quite sure where that came from. I'd written
Next Generation for five years and it seemed remarkable to me that he would think that I
didn't know this character. And when I was running Next Generation, I either wrote or
rewrote virtually everything that was on the air, so if there was a Data show in season 3, 4, or 5, I
fundamentally rewrote it. This, I think, sort of set a tone for our relationship during the course of
the film. We talked a great deal and Brent had ideas that we incorporated into the movie. But I
think he harbored a suspicion that I was trying to take his character backward. And in a way,
frankly, he was right because I really didn't like the emotion chip. And Rick and I both agreed
that we had no particular interest in exploring any new part of Data's emotional growth in terms
of the technology of the chip in this movie.
What is explored, however, is the effect the planet has on the crew both while in orbit and on
the planet. LaForge's human eyesight is returned, Riker and Troi resurrect their long-simmering
relationship, and Worf gets a pimple. "Essentially what you you've got for the second half of the
movie is the Magnificent Seven with all of the main characters involved in this battle
against the forces of evil. Everybody has a fairly interesting role to play," insists Piller, who also
concedes that, once again, Dr. Crusher is a bit underutilized in the film.
What's also back is the ensemble-based storytelling that characterized Next Generation
at the height of that series' popularity. "To me it was a primary goal to show the family of the
Enterprise. In one way, it was because I felt that Picard's greatest strength was as a
leader of a family whose crew was so dedicated to him they'd follow him to the end of the
universe to do what he felt was right," Pillar explains.
The toughest thing about writing for Star Trek, states Pillar, is "to keep it meaningful.
And I mean it in the simplest terms. We have to resist the natural forces of the entertainment
medium to write down for broader audiences. There really is a fundamental difference between
good drama and bad. It has nothing to do with science fiction or not, but I can say proudly that
the best work that we've done on Star Trek has been good drama. Not just good science
According to Piller, the early cut of the movie is close to what he originally intended. "I think
Jonathan has done a terrific job in translating the script to the movie and I think that he's gotten
fine performances; he treated my work with the greatest respect," says Piller. "The things that
work in this movie work remarkably well, There are those here who believer it will be
considered certainly the beast since Star Trek IV, and maybe the best in the franchise's
In Sci-Fi Entertainment's article (November issue 1998) by Dan Perez and Mandy Slater:
Star Trek's next big-screen incarnation could very well be the best yet.
POSITIVE BUZZ IS STARTING TO GENERATE ABOUT Star Trek: Insurrection, which will feature the Next Generation cast. Principal photography wrapped in early July, and the budget is said to be $85 million, about twice that of Star Trek: First Contact. Fans on AOL expressed their concern that the special effects would not be as good as those in First Contact since "Industrial Light & Magic" wouldn't be doing them. Producer Rick Berman responded by saying that ILM's best people were all occupied with Star Wars Chapter 1, and that the production could settle for second-string ILM employees (who cost just as much), or slightly cheaper, top-flight effects personnel at Blue Sky/VIFX, who handled effects for X-Files: Fight the Future. Sources who have seen early footage of the film are saying that Berman and director Jonathan Frakes have put together the best Next Generation movie yet (no mean praise after the outstanding First Contact), and possibly the best Trek film to date. It's also rumored that the title of the film will change before it's released. Paramont has registered no fewer than nine titles (including Star Trek: Betrayal and Star Trek: Prime Directive pending their decision. Sounds tantalizing, but we'll have to wait until Christmas to see for ourselves.
A Rick Berman Production
A Jonathan Frakes Film
Co-Producer Peter Lauritson
Executive Producer Martin Hornstein
Based Upon "Star Trek" Created by Gene Roddenberry
, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) travels to a planet that is a virtual fountain of youth. There, he discovers a dark conspiracy involving the highest levels of the Federation and their alien allies that betrays everything the United Federation of Planets is supposed to stand for. He resigns as Captain and leads his crew in a potentially treasonous fight of armed resistance in order to protect the remarkable alien inhabitants of this idyllic world."
In Mania Magazine (September 4, 1998) the article "Fall Movie Preview" informs us:
Star Trek:Insurrection (December 11, Paramount) The Next Generation cast all came back aboard for the newest big-budget feature. Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner have been given much bigger roles. Besides the regular Next Generation cast members, the movie stars Donna Murphy (as Anji), F. Murray Abraham (as Ru'fao), and Anthony Zerbe (as Admiral Matthew Daugherty). It's written by Michael Piller and Rick Berman, and was directed by Jonathan Frakes. In the story, Captain Picard must choose to help a group of 600 refugees who may have discovered the secret of eternal life on their planet, even if it means losing his commission with Starfleet and the Federation. There's a possibility that either Data has gone bad, or that Lore has returned, and Riker will rekindle a romance with Deanna Troi and gain command of his own starship (which is reported to be like the U.S.S. Prometheus, a new "multi-vectored assault mode" ship seen this season on Voyager).
In dreamwatch (issue August 1998) the article "Mutiny on the Enterprise"informs us:
ORIGINALLY BILLED AS A ROMANTIC COMEDY, THE NINTH STAR TREK FILM IS now being restyled as an action adventure, with Paramount finally settling on new, gritty title, STAR TREK:INSURRECTION.
Having originally favoured STARDUST, then PRIME DIRECTIVE, Paramount registered a total of nine titles with the Motion Picture Association of America on 1 May. Speaking before the title was finally settled, screenwriter Michael Piller revealed, "The studio wants a title that will get people into the theatres. Some of the titles have been discarded because they turned out to be identified with other creative franchises. Some seemed to misrepresent the movie. My favorite,'Star Trek: Sacred Honour', was rejected...I think we should have a contest to name that picture."
Meanwhile, Paramount has continued to adjust the film's tone. While the shooting script remains virtually unchanged, producers are working to enhance the film's space battles in a bid to make the ninth TREK production the most action-packed yet.
[Special effects] For the first time in a TREK film, all the spaceships will be entirely computer generated. GENERATIONS and FIRST CONTACT helped pioneer the use of CGI spaceships, but the decision to rely entirely on computer technology places STAR TREK IX at the forefront of film effects.
Special effects houses Santa Barbara and Blue Sky/VIFX will be responsible for producing the effects, including space battles, planet based conflict and computer generated creatures. CGI animals set to feature in STAR TREK IX include a "hummingbird", used in a sequence where Picard perceives time passing at a slower rate on the magical Ba'ku planet, and a "palm pet", described as resembling a sea-lion, and owned by native boy Artim.
[Special effects] Paramount's desire to market the film as an action adventure is illustrated by the first advance trailer. Respected minature pyrotechnics supervisor, Joe Viskocil, has confirmed that he worked on it, spectacularly blowing up the famous TREK insignia. However, final alterations, requested by director Jonathan Frakes, have pushed it from accompanying THE TRUMAN SHOW to a 19 June release.
CASTING IS NOW COMPLETE, with Italian actress Lorella Cuccarini cast as a Ba'ku native. Confirming roles for Armin Shimmerman as Quark ... and Max Grodenchik as a security officer, Piller saids: "Three cast members from DS9 [will be in the movie], including Worf." Piller also stated that "all of the regular characters will have substantial parts to play in the new movie," revealing that "in particular Troi, Riker and Geordi have significant subplots."
Although Pillar confirmed that STAR TREK IX will feature Data's emotion chip, "Jonathan Frakes also wanted very much to return to Pinocchio and although we haven't taken Data back all the way, I think we did resurrect a bit of the spirit of Pinocchio."
Star Trek Communicator Number 117, Rick Berman states
"there are at least four or
five sets that we've never seen
before which are on the
Enterprise-E. We also have
some very exciting visuals of
the ship itself. This film will
have the ship in a lot of jeopardy
and action as well."
Rick Berman Reply To: Are There Space Battles?
"Absolutely! You're going to
see some rip-roaring battles
on land and in the sky."
"There is also a young boy in the film who is marvelous actor named Michael Welch. Another large role is that of Gallatin, the other very important Son'a character, played by Greg Henry, who is a wonderful actor. He is doing a great job.
In dreamwatch (issue July 1998), "IN ADDITION TO A GUEST APPEARANCE by Armin Shimerman as Quark, the new film also features his DS9 co-star Max Grodenchick (Rom), who will discard his Ferengi make-up to play a Ba'ku security officer. Rumours persist that TREK fan Arnold Schwarzenegger will make a brief, camero appearance as a short-lived security 'red-shirt'."
"The entire NEXT GENERATION cast was finally reunited on 24 April, to shoot a sequence where Picard disembarks the Enterprise in the captain's yacht. Scenes set in the Ba'ku village have been shot on the shores of Lake Sherwood, near Woodland Hills, California, with additional second unit filming taking place at the San Gabriel Dam from 12 to 14 May, for a sequence where Data makes a startling discovery at the bottom of a lake, while the first unit shoots in the Son'a 'Body Sculpture Lab'."
Indreamwatch (issue June 1998), "Paramount Vice President, Don Granger, has confirmed that Tony award winning stage actress, Donna Murphy, who starred as Francesca Cross in the first season of drama series MURDER ONE, has been cast in the role of Anij--a Ba'ku alien woman and Captain Picard's love interest in the film. Best known for his Oscar winning performance as Mozart's nemesis Antonio Salieri in AMADEUS, F. Murray Abraham looks certain to play the devious Ro'afu, leader of the Son'a aliens. Rounding out the film's principal guest cast, character actor Anthony Zerbe, who played Milton Krest in LICENCE TO KILL ..., has been selected for the role of duped Starfleet admiral, Matthew Dougherty."
"The entire Enterprise bridge crew--with the exception of Data who is posted on the Ba'ku planet--assembled on Voyager's redressed briefing room to shoot a banquet sequence where a diminutive alien race is welcomed into the Federation."
In the May issue of dreamwatch some of the following information is wrong such as title, but most is correct. "The ninth film centres around a mysterious, life sustaining planet, located within an anomalous, nebulous area of space known as The Briar Patch. The planet's inhabitants, a peaceful, human-like alien race named the Ba'ku, are the subject of a covert anthropological study being conducted by a Starfleet science team in conjunction with a stretch-faced alien race known as the Son'a. When the secret observations are suddenly threatened by Data, who runs amuck on the planet's surface, his colleagues aboard the Starship Enterprise are called in to subdue him. Investigating Data's actions Picard uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the future of the Ba'ku, and test his own faith in Starfleet orders and regulations...
"Picard will fall for a beautiful alien woman named Anij, while Riker's romance with Counselor Deanna Troi is rekindled thanks to the planet's rejuvenating qualities. The presence of Troi's former lover, Worf , will be explained through a large, social gathering on the Enterprise, welcoming a new race into the Federation, with the Klingon in charge of an attending security detail.
"STAR TREK:PRIME DIRECTIVE features an atmospheric battle between two Starfleet ships, a revelation for Geordi LaForge, and a surprise appearance by a contemporary STAR TREK character."