Bill Shatner is a little miffed.
He’s also full of his own sense of self-importance to believe that his former Star Trek character – James Tiberius Kirk – has any real import to a film to be made about the early period of Star Trek, prior to the The Original Series’ five year mission. The story will be more about the melding of a crew which hasn’t taken place and not the tale of a personally conflicted and egotistical Captain Kirk. The ‘crew’ of the Enterprise NCC-1701 will be the same names we’ve come to know – Kirk, Spock, Sulu, ‘Bone’ McCoy and even Chekov who didn’t appear until the second series of TOS. The players will, due to the passage of time, be entirely different.
Kirk will be played by 27 year old Chris Pine of ER and CSI:Miami; Spock by Zachary Quinto of Heroes; Sulu by John Cho of American Pie and Ugly Betty, ‘Bones’ by ; Chief Engineer ‘Scotty’ by British actor Simon Pegg and Chekov by Russian-born actor, Anton Yelchin. The villain will be played by Australian Eric Bana.
The plotline isn’t public yet but does include the character of Christopher Pike who we saw in the TOS first pilot, The Cage which starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike, Enterprises first commanding officer. Also Sarek to be played by Ben Cross and Spock’s human mother Amanda Grayson, played by Winona Rider. One wonders if Winona can manage to keep her sticky fingers to herself on the set.
The movie doesn’t have a name yet, but a working title of Startrek XI, due for release in December 2008. Frankly, in my view Kirk died at the end of Generations and should remain that way. Shatner wore a corset during the original Startrek series and I fail to see how any similar device could make him any more svelt today. Cameo part or not. Personally, I’m eager to see the performance of Zachary Quinto as Spock. Vulcans are always difficult characters to play, exhibiting no emotions. None have come close in my view, to that played by Leonard Nimoy. Quinto does, however, look the goods.