IESB is reporting that Matt Damon ‘was quick to say he hadn’t heard anything about it’ in reference to him playing Kirk in JJ Abrams Star Trek XI. Damon’s publicist also told IESB "We’ve never heard anything on our end. I even called Endeavor, Matt’s agency, to see if they had heard anything – they hadn’t. There has been nothing from Paramount and I haven’t heard anything from JJ’s camp." The Damon as Kirk rumor was started months ago by Mark Malkin of the Insider and grew to monumental proportions when (briefly) IMDB listed Damon as being confirmed for the film (story). When TrekMovie.com asked Malkin about this he was quick to point out that he never claimed that Abrams and Damon were talking; only that Abrams was interested. And these latest comments from Damons publicist are essentially the same ones she gave the Wall Street Journal a month ago. TrekMovie.com did talk to a source inside Paramount about this who noted that that no one has been appraoched becuase (as we have reported here in the past) there is no script, no budget and no greenlight yet. So essentially no one can be approached for Star Trek XI formally.
Too early for casting?
Casting for Trek XI would start after the script is done which could be as early as the end of the year. Although TrekMovie.com has reported that Nimoy and Shatner have some kind of contract for Trek XI, it is unclear if they go beyond publicity. But Shatner and Nimoy are already part of the Trek family so to speak and would be the exception to the usual rule. Plus there involvement or lack of involvement would effect the script, so in a sense you would have to get at least a holding or optoin on them early on before you could finish the script.
IESB also states the following:
What we do know is that the story will deal with Kirk and Spock and also that it takes place before the five year mission that we have seen in re-runs for the last 40 years. We have also been told by reliable sources that while there is no script yet, we are going to see James T. Kirk in his "pre-captain days."
All of that would be consistent with what TrekMovie.com has heard and reported in the past, except the ‘pre-captain’ days. As we have reported here, TrekMovie.com has been told the setting would be Kirk’s first mission as Captain. But it is certainly possible that either rumor could be wrong. Either notion of the first mission as captain or the Kirk’s time as a Commander could be very appealing. One thing that seems less and less likely is the original Kirk as a cadet/Academy rumor.