I liked Nemesis, but it has it's flaws, maybe we could compromise:
Shinzon still could have been a clone or something, but they really did NOT need to create the Remans. The plot would have gotten on just fine without them. The new Preator could have been a known Romulan. Like Tomalak or Sela; not some new character created just for the film.
Not that it would have been a successful film finanically given it's competition, but it would have been more enjoyable overall at least to me.
With your idea, I don't see the need for including a clone at all. If you want a Romulan praetor (who I am assuming would be the main villain) what is the point of having a clone? Unless you want to use the clone to replace Picard?
I did like some of the rumored ideas I heard about Picard already being replaced by a clone. I think that could've been an interesting way to go. But really, I don't think NEM needed a clone villain or the Remans.
I also don't buy that competition alone killed the film. It didn't just under perform, it bombed domestically. If the film had been good, to Trek fans alone, then it could've had a decent enough run, and you might could say that stiff competition kept it from earning more. But since it bombed, competition alone isn't the reason it failed. And I'm saying this as a person that came to appreciate NEM upon a second viewing. It's not completely bad, there are potentially good ideas there that just aren't realized.
No, competition by itself wasn't the reason, but it was a major factor, and especially when you compare the "hype" & attitude between the 2.
Return of the King was an EVENT, certainly for me. i took a day off of work so i could see the midnight show with about 10 friends. We were waiting a year for it.
And i would have been excited to see it again in the theaters (and still am, catching a few minutes when it re-runs for the 1,245th time on SPike).
The Phantom Menace a similar event, greatly anticipated.
With Nemesis it was more like "Well, it's got to be better than Insurrection, since it's an even-numered movie", and i planned to wait till Christmas to see it.
And while i went to see it with somefellow Trek fans....we certainly definitely didn't have the sense of excitement & urgency that i had seeing Return of the King on the first day.
I agree with most that the Remans were totally not necessary.
Romulans would have been great. And the "mind rape" thing could have been due to a "mutant" Romulan with special telepathy powers (due to be Vulcanoid). Maybe he could have touched Troi creating a sort of mind meld that can at least reach within a solar system.
If we had real Romulans instead of Remans, we could have an Undiscovered Country type of movie, which creates peace with the Romulans in a way that the Klingon peace treaty set the stage for a fuller handoff to TNG.
Tomalak would have been good, certainly for Trek fans, as a smart villain that could have a good reason to go against Picard (and maybe NOThave to die, as most villains do).