Why Star Trek Beyond Is Filming Scenes In Dubai

The cast of the Enterprise is heading into uncharted territories of deep space in Star Trek Beyond, and that means exotic locations will be needed. After filming in Vancouver, Canada, production moved to Dubai, where they will film for 13 days around the city and in studio space. What will this location serve? As the cast and crew teased during a press conference, it’s the world of tomorrow.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Karl Urban (Bones), and Idris Elba (the unannounced villain of the film) will be setting up shop for scenes that include 200 extras. Star Trek Beyond producer Jeffrey Chernov said during the press conference that they came to Dubai searching for the future, and they found it.

He also said that both the script dictating the location and the location dictating the script led the crew to Dubai.

We’d drive around Dubai and look at things and we’d have to figure out how we can use those visual guides to tell our story. I’d see a building and say, ‘We have to figure out how to put that in our movie.'

Pine described the locale as "futureland," an environment that looks like "what tomorrow would be." Meanwhile, actor and script co-writer Pegg said the Star Trek series tries to imagine a conflict-free world, while Elba say Dubai as "a gateway to new cultures."

Dubai has served as the filming location for films like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Tom Cruise climbed up the side of the world’s tallest tower) and George Clooney’s Syriana, while the United Arab Emirates played host recently to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams, who directed the previous two Star Trek films, used the Abu Dhabi desert to film the planet of Jakku.

Justin Lin directs Star Trek Beyond, which also features Zoe Saldana (Uhura), John Cho (Sulu), Kingsman: The Secret Service star Sofia Boutella, Joe Taslim, and Lydia Wilson. Photos and video showing production on the Vancouver set leaked out and revealed Boutella as an unnamed new white-skinned alien, who is reportedly a lead role in the film. We also got a look at the new Starfleet uniforms, and the crew cautiously exiting their spacecraft amid a green-screened backdrop. Pegg said he hoped to tap into the Star Trek TV series with this story, which is rumored to be picking up well into the Enterprise’s five-year voyage into deep space. It’s also thought that Elba will play a Klingon in the film after the race made an appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness and teased further involvement in the future. However, Paramount has been keeping nearly all details under wraps and has yet to reveal an official plot.

Star Trek Beyond is scheduled for release on July 22, 2016, having been moved from its July 8 slot.