The worst thing someone ever wants to hear in a relationship is that it’s over, and that “it’s not you, it’s me.”
Karl Urban almost sent that very message to Paramount Pictures last year when it came time for him to reprise his role of Dr. Leonard McCoy in “Star Trek: Beyond.” But it was actually new director Justin Lin that ultimately convinced him to stay.
“I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin,” Urban recently told IGN’s Scott Collura. “Because I had a conflicting schedule, and I had a decision to make about which film to do, and I was no longer under contract to do a third picture. So I had a decision to make, and it was talking with Justin that enabled me to commit to it.”
Urban didn’t share what was pulling him away from the new film or what Lin said that steered him back to Star Trek. But he said working on this film was a bit different from the past.
“It was a breath of fresh air, and I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics,” Urban said.
Lin, he added, “gets” Star Trek, and how much the actors invested in their roles. Urban said he had a great collaboration of what he felt was a strong team of Star Trek fans that included writers Doug Jung (and co-star) Simon Pegg, as well as Lin.
“There’s a lot of material in this film that long-term fans are going to be very happy with.”
One nod Urban himself did goes back to what he says is his favorite film in the entire franchise: 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” There, when DeForest Kelley first appears on the Enterprise transporter pad, it’s much different than we would expect from the cranky doctor.. Urban used an opportunity in “Beyond” to pay homage.
“I love when he reappears, and he’s got this huge beard and this big medallion around his chest,” Urban said. “And his chest hair. I love that. I actually put a nod to that in ‘Star Trek: Beyond.’ You’ll see at the end of the film, I’m wearing an open shirt and I’ve got a medallion on. Like not a big one, but it’s there, and it’s a direct nod to DeForest.”
To read Collura’s full interview with Urban, click here.
“Star Trek: Beyond” hits theaters July 22.