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Damon Says He Would Play Kirk

SciFi Wire is reporting that even though Matt Damon has not been officially approached to be the new James T. Kirk, he is open to the idea. Damon is quoted as saying:

If the script was good, I’d do it, but, yeah, I heard that [rumor]. I think J.J. Abrams or somebody said that at press junket or something, and it got picked up.

So there is still a chance Damon may be the new Kirk. We know that Abrams is interested and now it appears that Damon is interested as well. It makes sense that Paramount would want a big star with all the talk about Trek XI being a ‘tentpole’ movie for them. 

while we ponder if Damon can do Kirk we can be assured that he can do Matthew McConaughey. From Letterman this week…

 

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Dom
December 11, 2006 10:28 am

I can see the headline now . . .

‘Bourne to be Kirk!’

I’d always dismissed Damon as a bland prettyboy until I saw him in The Bourne Identity. With what is technically the ‘official’ Bourne trilogy coming to an end, although it’s being left open for more films, Trek would be a good series for him to get locked into for at least a decade, along side more Bournes.

Damon has a mass-audience appeal that Trek needs to break out of the fanboy ghetto it’s been locked in for the last few years!

Dr. Image
December 11, 2006 10:29 am

No….NO, please. Give us an unknown who could make the part his “own.”

JON
December 11, 2006 10:32 am

He’d be great.Especially if he he stook around for one or two sequels(ala Oceans series).Great if Trek could have that calibre of star power Oceans did.Fun casting.Just give me Beyonce as UHURA.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 10:38 am

Damon as Kirk? Personally I don’t like the idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s who they end up casting.

#3, I am not such a big fan of the “All-Star” for this new movie (e.g. Halle Berry for Uhura, Jet Li for Sulu, etc.). It is going to be really strange to see new actors in these classic roles. Having A-listers take over would be *really* tough to absorb (for myself at least).

StillKirok
December 11, 2006 10:47 am

I can’t think of too many worse choices for Kirk than Matt Damon. They need an unknown, preferably a stage actor. The LAST thing they need is a well known actor.

This movie needs to be about the CHARACTERS, not the actors. The biggest names in this movie should be William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, playing older versions of the characters.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 10:50 am

I would like to amend my earlier comment (#4) by saying that I would like to see Halle Berry in Uhura’s uniform. But not in the movie. :)

Demode
December 11, 2006 10:53 am

I think Matt Damon is a great choice. I’m glad to hear he is interested. And yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing Beyonce as Uhura.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 11:06 am

After some research, I’ve found an actor that I think would be good for a young James Kirk:

Chris Evans (and he lacks Damon’s cro-magnon features!)

Picardsucks
December 11, 2006 11:08 am

If Damon can play Kirk, not merely an impersonation of Shatner, and not do his own personal interpretation of Kirk either it could work. Kirk is like Patton, you don’t play him subdued, you don’t play an updated politically correct version, you don’t make him more sensative to appeal to the female demographic. Kirk can not only dropkick a demigod but he can out wit it as well. The character does not need to be reinvented, it was never broken in the first place and in this scarry yet still wonderous time we live in Captain Kirk’s heroism is more relevent than ever. If he can nail the self assured swagger, the…. romantic charm…..the quick emotional range… then Damon or anyone capable, regardless of A-list status, who resembles a early 30’s Shatner would be fine

Dom
December 11, 2006 11:11 am

Thing is, with Trek perceived as being in the doldrums, like it is now, it needs major star power (apologies for the pun!) to attract a mainstream audience and, indeed guest stars for the film.

The two leads need to be well-known actors, while the rest of the crew can be lesser-known players.

Gotta say, I’d love to see Jada Pinkett-Smith as a slinky, sexy, kick-ass Uhura!! And who’s to say we wouldn’t get to see characters from the animated series like M’Ress, now that there’s the technology for it!

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 11:20 am

#10 Dom, I agree that the franchise is coming out of a rut, however having “star power” alone won’t do much to make things better.

The question I think the filmmakers ought to consider is “Who’s the best actor for each of these roles?” Captain Kirk and Mister Spock are the stars of the show, not the actors chosen to play them. You reach a point where a character becomes a cultural icon (like Obi Wan Kenobi for example) and the actor playing that role is not as important (Ewan MacGregor is famous, but when he was cast as Obi Wan, he was only in a couple of films and his recognition only grew from being in Star Wars). Yes, Star Wars is a bigger franchise than Star Trek, but both shows have icons, and Kirk and Spock are among them,

Casting A-list actors seem like a gimmick to me. If they could do better in terms of actors, then they absolutely should do so. I think it would be a bit of a farce to have a “dream team” lineup in this movie– almost like a broadway version of the original text, etc. Well, I look forward to your response, Dom.

Stanky McFibberich
December 11, 2006 11:22 am

Man, I don’t want to see this movie!

THEETrekMaster
December 11, 2006 11:23 am

I prefer unknowns. I don’t want an “all star cast” for this film. The only known star I would support is Gary Sinise as McCoy.

Daniel Shock
December 11, 2006 11:26 am

I agree that uknowns for most of the cast is the way to go – but for Kirk, I think Damon fits the bill perfectly. Damon has the sense of humor and drama that Kirk needs. If they tried to get Affleck play Spock, I think I would throw up. But, Matt Damon is the right guy for Kirk.

Dom
December 11, 2006 11:32 am

Sinise, like Deforest Kelley is a character actor rather than a star!

The presence of big names will make it clear that the studio takes the film seriously, which will hopefully make the general public sit up and pay attention. The reason stars make so much money is that their presence on a project alone increases the chances of a good-size audience.

With all due respect, this film isn’t being made for the sort of people who post on this forum. We’re always going to see it (even the ones who say they won’t probably will out of curiosity! ;)) This film’s being made for your workmates, your next door neighbours, the blokes you see down the pub. For Trek to rise again, they have to be attracted to the film. If they aren’t Trek’s blown it!

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 11:44 am

#15, I agree that this movie will be marketed to the masses, why shouldn’t it, right? But the measure of a movie’s success isn’t who is in it, but rather if the movie is in fact good. Star Trek is a known commodity. I think the fact that it is a movie about a young Kirk, Spock and crew is enough to get folks in the theaters.

Kirk is like James Bond, Superman, Batman, etc. Recently, unknowns have been cast in those roles and it has done nothing to hurt their respective box office performances. You can go with an unknown without losing mass appeal. I don’t think it’s an either/or sort of tradeoff.

Picardsucks
December 11, 2006 11:44 am

#15 Agreed!!!!!!!! This film is not made for most of the hardcore trek fans, it’s being made for the 14-30’s something kids playing xbox and Wii who think Captain Kirk is a cool superhero who gets the chicks and knock dudes out and will always watch The Wrath of Khan when it’s on. While we all know Star Trek and Kirk, Spock, McCoy mean much more, that’s who Paramount thinks and needs to see this movie to make the franchise profitable again. By the way Gary Sinise must be McCoy!!!!! Everthing else is open to debate

StillKirok
December 11, 2006 12:00 pm

The attitude that the die hard fan will see it no matter what is completely off base. If that were the case, why didn’t anyone see the last movie or watch the last 2 shows? The reason is because they DIDN’T cater to the die hard fan.

Matt Damon as Kirk is just a bad idea. He isn’t even that good of an actor, let alone dynamic enough to play James T. Kirk.

He’s more of a Gary Mitchell type at best. James T. Kirk is not a Massachusetts liberal. He’s a midwest farm boy. Matt Damon is all wrong.

Dom
December 11, 2006 12:08 pm

Hi Adam.

I understand what you mean about casting unknowns in the other franchises. But you have to look what has come before in them.

Die Another Day was a hugely successful Bond film, even if it did send the series up a creative cul-de-sac. Daniel Craig was a gamble they could only have taken because of the success of Die Another Day and Brosnan’s other films (weak though I thought they all were!)

Superman Returns picked up from an old franchise and bordered on plagiarism in its ‘homages’ to the originals. Although Routh was an unknown, playing Clark Kent, the other roles were taken by Frank Langella, Marlon Brando, Kevin Spacey and the like.

The Batman franchise had gone down the toilet, but the series’ history of big stars and big budgets left it wide open for a successful revamp. For all Christian Bale’s less starry status than George Clooney or Val Kilmer, he was surrounded by names like Michael Caine, Rutger Hauer, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson.

The only way to cast unknowns as Kirk and Spock would be to cast names in other major roles. But, if the series has Kirk in charge of the Enterprise, we can’t really see our chief decision-maker cow-towing to a name actor in a higher authority role.

Of course, Guinan could be a friend he hangs out with!! ;)

Dom
December 11, 2006 12:17 pm

Hi StillKirok.

I think most fans still went to see Nemesis. Even I did!! The thing is, along with the mainstream audience, the fans didn’t go to see it again, didn’t buy or rent the DVD in great numbers . . . couldn’t bear to think about it again!!

The later TV shows were the reflection of a production team who no longer thought about any audience, let alone fans. Fans’ tastes, along with the general public’s, had changed after years of The X Files, Buffy/Angel/ 24, Alias, Firefly new Galactica. Berman and his team blithely continued making 80s-style TV Treks boldly going nowhere. I mean ‘Of Gods and Men’ looks more dynamic than anything ‘official’ Trek had pumped out in years!

As for Damon’s background and politics, well . . . he’s an actor. Why can’t he pretend to play an all-American Iowa farmboy? William Shatner, a Jewish Canadian, pretended to be an Iowa farmboy for years and we all still love him!! ;)

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 12:26 pm
Dom, I agree that Bond was a realtively healthy box office property when Craig took over the role, but ya know, after first glance, a lot of people said “This guy doesn’t look like a real Bond” only later to be counted among the millions of converts singing his praises after seeing Casino Royale. The Superman and Batman franchises were in not-so-good shape. Superman was a dormant series, with the last two entries in its series coming some 20 years prior to the current release, and those two movies (Superman 3 and 4) were terrible films. Batman, as you know, had the awful “Batman & Robin” feature as its last entry, dating back to the late 1990s. Both franchises bounced back because they are brand-names. Like Bond, these characters are durable cultural icons. I place Kirk and Spock in this category too. That’s why I’m not too worried that Star Trek couldn’t thrive among the mass audiences if the filmmakers chose to cast non-A-listers in these roles. I doubt that supporting actors (like Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, etc.) really entered into the calculus of young moviegoers when they decided to see “Superman Returns” or “Batman Begins.” Those actors augmented the movie in terms of quality, but that’s a result of good casting. But for the masses, all they wanted to see a “good” movie with their beloved characters. I see the benefit of casting a famous actor in this movie, but I’m concerned they’re going to go for… Read more »
Dom
December 11, 2006 12:30 pm

Adam. I understand your reservations.

I guess we have to cross fingers and hope. My wish is for a mix of names and unknowns.

Time will tell. :)

SithMenace
December 11, 2006 12:33 pm
#15 and #16, Adam and Dom, I actually agree with both of you. Yes, this movie has to be very good, but it needs something to draw people into the theater in the first place. They could play this either way, by having unknowns for Kirk and Spock with an all-star supporting cast, or they could have Matt Damon as Kirk with a bunch of unknowns. I think Matt Damon would be the way to go personally. If someone like Matt Damon is attached to star in this film (and it looks like it’s headed that way), it would seriously alter alot of the prejudices alot of people have about Star Trek and the next movie. It would go from “I’m not going to see Star Trek” to “Damn, Matt Damon’s in this?”. I think Damon is perfect for the role, but they need unknown but capable actors to surround him. Two things are going to get people other than hardcore fans into the theaters to see this, well known names (or a well known single name) and must see trailers and clips. I for one have alot of faith in both Abrams and this movie. With Abrams in charge we are all but guaranteed to get good writing, acting and characterization. On top of that, he knows how to structure a story, and let it unfold in a suspenseful and exciting way. Remember, this wasn’t assigned to Abrams by Paramount, he asked for it. This isn’t some project he… Read more »
Josh
December 11, 2006 12:42 pm

I like it

Damon has the self assured wryness so very necessary to Kirk. The relaxed confidence.

It helps that he looks like a young Shatner.

Bring it.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 12:53 pm
Dom and SithMenace, you have both mentioned this “prejudice” towards Star Trek on separate occasions, and it’s something I want to talk about here. I think I understand what you are both referring to when you mention “prejudice” against Star Trek, but I’m not sure what, it anything, can be done to reverse or diminish it. As far as I can tell, Star Trek had crossover appeal to the mainstream on a handful of occasions over the past 40 years. The first was the release of TMP, while not a mainstream-friendly movie, TMP came out amidst the clamor for blockbuster movies and after Star Wars, a Star Trek movie was a big deal. In today’s dollars, TMP’s gross would equal nearly $230 million. The next “big” hot for Trek was 1986’s Star Trek IV, which would have grossed in today’s dollars approximately $188 million. In terms of movies, these two features are the “big dogs” for TOS. TNG’s peak box office performer was 1996’s First Contact, with a gross-adjusted for inflation of $111 million. My citations above are meant to show that even when Star Trek has “appealed” to the masses, it’s success has been precipitously smaller each time out. TNG did boast 20 million viewers weekly at its peak, which is a significant viewership, but those numbers never translated into box-office dominance like Paramount had hoped for when they pushed TNG off the air. I think that whatever prejudice exists against Star Trek is something that’s hardened over time.… Read more »
Eric Augst
December 11, 2006 1:01 pm

I think Damon would be great, he’s an amazing actor, but is he too old? It’s probably likely that this film takes place a little before the series, in which case it would ok, but if if is somewhere in the academy days, he’d be too old. As for actors, I say they need the big names, so this movie can get the buzz it needs. Of course the right person for the whole supercedes everything.

Dom
December 11, 2006 1:08 pm
Adam. I haven’t used that word that I’m aware of. I dont think there is as much ‘prejudice’ against Trek as some fans assume. Any new Trek has to broaden its appeal. It doesn’t have to dumb down and sell its soul like the new Doctor Who series has in the UK, but with the right names in the cast and the right publicity, I think Trek could regain the mainstream. There have been many times where Trek hasn’t been niche. There’s every opportunity for a new Trek to capture people’s imagination. It has to be both timeless and relevant to a contemporary audience. And, like it or not, to me that means big names, mainstream magazine covers. We don’t want the new Kirk and Spock just to be on the cover of fan mags like SFX or Dreamwatch. We need interviews in womens’ mags, with Kirk and spock stripped to the waist, showing off their muscles, Playboy, Maxim and FHM begging the new Uhura, Chapel and Rand to strip for them, Loaded to be running features asking how much of a womaniser the new Kirk is compared with the original. The new Trek needs to generate column inches galore. With a young cast (which, face it, hasn’t been the case in a Trek film before as the leads have always been middle-aged . . .) it can happen and almost certainly will. This film will have a different vibe from the others. It won’t be about getting older (dis-)gracefully.… Read more »
Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 1:23 pm
Ok Dom, now I remember. You and StephenMartin were talking about prejudice and he was saying how the mainstream isn’t entirely friendly towards Star Trek here in the States. It might be different in the UK, like you and he were discussing. Frankly, I don’t think people in the U.S. are “ashamed” of being Star Trek fans (there may be some, but those folks are in the minority and probably have other issues to deal with). However, there’s a prejudice that goes something like this: “I like Trek” or “I don’t like Trek.” People more or less have a general opinion on the franchise already. Sure, going into a new movie creates new opportunities to get folks back in the fold, but I think its safe to say that there is a definite ceiling to that number before what we currently conceive as Star Trek disappears and becomes a different show entirely. In its conventional format (Starship Enterprise, commanded by Capt. Kirk, along with mates Spock, McCoy, etc.) I honestly think that in its best possible form (A-list, awesome script, great director, action, top-notch FX, aggressive marketing, etc.) a new Star Trek movie will not make more than $150 million. If we were in Vegas, I’d handicap Trek XI’s actual domestic take here as closer to $100 million. I think there is a “buyer’s prejudice” when it comes to potential consumers of Star Trek. And FHM spreads of Young Kirk and Spock do kind of dumb down the property in… Read more »
Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 1:25 pm

Sorry, FHM spreads of Chapel, Uhura and Rand! Yes, the point remains, Jolene Blalock didn’t save Enterprise and she was a minx.

Lao3D
December 11, 2006 1:26 pm

I think Damon wouldn’t be the worst choice out there, but they never end up going with the early buzz on these things. I think it just makes for good press for both the star and the project. If they can get a decent lesser known actor for a lot less money than Damon is sure to ask for, you can bet they will.

Lao3D
December 11, 2006 1:32 pm

And Adam, that sounds like a pretty shrewd assessment of the profitabiltiy of the franchise — maybe Paramount should put you on the numbers-crunching team!

Dom
December 11, 2006 1:33 pm

Yeah, but Enterprise was a very flawed production! Still I suppose Jolene could make an appearance in the new movie! ;)

A good film with hot women and buff men would make it a lot more like TOS which had acres of female flesh via William Ware Theiss’s censor-baiting costume design.

My argument with Stephen was that I [i]don’t[/i] think there’s a prejudice against Star Trek, just a mainstream indifference, which good marketing should be able to overcome!

Dave
December 11, 2006 1:37 pm

wait a tick, isnt damon to old to play kirk, wether is a young kirk or tos kirk?

Dom
December 11, 2006 1:43 pm

Damon’s in his early-mid-30s, as was Shatner in TOS.

stallion
December 11, 2006 1:44 pm

I don’t think people will have trouble accepting a new cast of actors. New Voyage is very popular with fans already and the acting on that show isn’t really oscar worthy. I hear that up to forty million people downloaded the last episode they produced. Matt Damon kind of look like Kirk and I can kind of see him playing him.

stallion
December 11, 2006 1:45 pm

I wouldn’t mind seeing Archer or someone else from Enterprise appearing in this movie the same way Mccoy appeared in Next Gen or Picard on DSN but this J seems only interested in TOS and TNG.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 1:46 pm

Gene Roddenberry was a houndog. He never met a sexy actress he didn’t like (and subsequently cast in his show, or date, or marry, etc.). For this new Trek, I agree that its very important that Abrams honor Trek’s founder by finding the most beautiful ladies on Terra to act in this movie (but they gotta be good actresses).

Agent69
December 11, 2006 1:49 pm

I would love it if Matt would play Kirk.

Dom
December 11, 2006 1:52 pm

As Rand, Kristen Bell. As Chapel, Drew Barrymore. As Uhura, Jada Pinkett-Smith. As Pike’s former Number One, Kathleen Turner.

As the lead Orion slave woman . . . Krista Allen, surrounded by a posse of non speaking Playboy Playmates!!

;)

Horn
December 11, 2006 1:54 pm

#13

Gary Sinise would be PERFECT as Dr. McCoy. Great idea! I also wouldn’t mind Matt Damon playing Kirk. I think he could pull it off. He kicks ass in the Bourne movies and I think that would translate well to any Star Trek Movie Abrams comes up with.

December 11, 2006 1:57 pm

“The attitude that the die hard fan will see it no matter what is completely off base. If that were the case, why didn’t anyone see the last movie or watch the last 2 shows? The reason is because they DIDN’T cater to the die hard fan.”

Heh. About 90 percent of the hardcore fanbase did watch those shows and see the last movie…that amounts to a couple of million people.

It doesn’t matter who plays Kirk as long as they turn in a good performance. Doing a new “Star Trek” movie is not about placating the TOS fans who are waiting for some kind of vindication.

Doug
December 11, 2006 2:46 pm

how bout Daniel Craig as the new Captain Kirk ;)

Roger
December 11, 2006 2:51 pm

Captain James T. Bourne, bring it!
He could pull it off.
I also thought Thomas Jane would be good as well.
Keanu Reeves as Spock, seriously google his image and
alot of his shots have him arching his brow and straight faced.
Plus hes got the coloring and lean face.
Sinese as McCoy and Ray Liota as Pike.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 2:54 pm

Oh boy. the wheels have certainly come off now. Keanu Reeves as Spock. Woah, highly illogical dude!

I’m kidding. Y’all know that at most we’re getting Damon as Kirk. There will be no $200 million epic dream-team cast. It is fun to speculate though. BTW, Kristen Bell is my future wife.

December 11, 2006 3:34 pm

Patrick Stewart for Kirk!!! ;-p

SithMenace
December 11, 2006 3:36 pm

I say Mira Sorvino as Rand, she looks just like her.

Adam Cohen
December 11, 2006 3:38 pm

#43, I too have thought Thomas Jane would be a good Kirk. He is a fantastic actor, have you ever seen him in “Stander”? The guys got the chops.

Admiral Deem
December 11, 2006 3:45 pm

Paully Shore as Kirk, Adam Sandler as Spock and Gilbert Gottfriedn as McCoy.

Anyone do worse than that???

Dom
December 11, 2006 4:11 pm

Here’s a mad idea . . .

Thomas Jane as Spock!

He’s a total badass as The Punisher. Imagine all that rage and emotion seething under the surface of everyone’s favourite half-Vulcan.

Leonard Nimoy always said that the failing of most actors playing Vulcans is that they play them as unemotional, rather than fighting violent emotions.

We need a guy who can look like he can explode with every emotion, yet keep calm!

JON
December 11, 2006 4:15 pm

.The last Trek movie and TV show(s) were’nt sucessfull because ONLY trekkies went to see them.Trek needs to broaden it’s appeal beyond the trekkies and canon freaks. Re-boot and bring on Damon.The studio knows the trekkies that protest will see it anyway.

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