Damon Says He Would Play Kirk | TrekMovie.com
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Damon Says He Would Play Kirk December 11, 2006

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Cast,Uncategorized , trackback

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…

 

Comments

1. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!

2. Dr. Image - December 11, 2006

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

3. JON - December 11, 2006

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.

4. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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).

5. StillKirok - December 11, 2006

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.

6. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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. :)

7. Demode - December 11, 2006

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.

8. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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

http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/heleny/hollywood/chris_evans.jpg

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

9. Picardsucks - December 11, 2006

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

10. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!

11. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

#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.

12. Stanky McFibberich - December 11, 2006

Man, I don’t want to see this movie!

13. THEETrekMaster - December 11, 2006

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.

14. Daniel Shock - December 11, 2006

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.

15. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!

16. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

#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.

17. Picardsucks - December 11, 2006

#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

18. StillKirok - December 11, 2006

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.

19. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!! ;)

20. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!! ;)

21. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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 a “name” more than an appropriate “actor.” Damon is not a bad actor, but in my humble opinion, he’s no Jim Kirk. If you’re going to go for a famous star or total unknown, make it an actor that fits the role properly. That’s all I’m concerned about.

22. Dom - December 11, 2006

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. :)

23. SithMenace - December 11, 2006

#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 needs to get through so that he can move on to his dream project, this IS his dream project. That in my opinion is the most important aspect.

24. Josh - December 11, 2006

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.

25. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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. I would say the best a new Trek movie could do in terms of box-office nowadays is around $125-150 given its track record and the diminishing trend for moviegoing in general. Star Trek will always be profitable because it has licensing value– the hardcore fans always help by buying toys, models, etc. which supports the property significantly. Over the last 40 years, Star Trek has made most of its money off of merchandise sales as opposed to straight box-office receipts. In an ironic way, I’ve just deduced that the “hardcore fan” is more essential than the casual moviegoer (a fickle creature with no attention span!). Honestly, I think the casual and hardcore fan are both important, but the billions derived in merchandising overshadow the respectable, yet modest, box office performances of the films.

Prejudice be damned! We “real” fans gladly pay our Star Trek tax if the shows are good. :)

26. Eric Augst - December 11, 2006

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.

27. Dom - December 11, 2006

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. This will be a film about young people out exploring the universe, full of piss and vinegar and enthusiasm. It should be vibrant!

28. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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 general. Remember, the metrosexual George Clooney almost killed Batman.

29. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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

30. Lao3D - December 11, 2006

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.

31. Lao3D - December 11, 2006

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!

32. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!

33. Dave - December 11, 2006

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

34. Dom - December 11, 2006

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

35. stallion - December 11, 2006

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.

36. stallion - December 11, 2006

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.

37. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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).

38. Agent69 - December 11, 2006

I would love it if Matt would play Kirk.

39. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!!

;)

40. Horn - December 11, 2006

#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.

41. DB - December 11, 2006

“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.

42. Doug - December 11, 2006

how bout Daniel Craig as the new Captain Kirk ;)

43. Roger - December 11, 2006

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.

44. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

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.

45. trekmaster - December 11, 2006

Patrick Stewart for Kirk!!! ;-p

46. SithMenace - December 11, 2006

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

47. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

#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.

48. Admiral Deem - December 11, 2006

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

Anyone do worse than that???

49. Dom - December 11, 2006

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!

50. JON - December 11, 2006

.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.

51. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

Dom, Spock ain’t supposed to be so darned pretty! He’s the freak! Tom Jane, I can say without any reservations or concerns about my own sexual preference, is a handsome man.

52. StephenMartin - December 11, 2006

If Damon became Kirk, and the script was good, then the movie could draw a huge mainstream crowd. That, and the fanbase participation, could make the movie a blockbuster. Unless of course, most mainstreamers said, “I like Damon, but Star Trek? I don’t think so.” Hope not, but fear it’s true.

53. JON - December 11, 2006

Spock has an unusual appeal.If He were a real person He’d probably be an alcholic or some emotionally unreachable guy with a false identity and lots of unresolved personal conflict as there’s really no such thing as a Vulcan.Some actor will probably pick-up on this and portray him similarly.

54. V'ger - December 11, 2006

A good story, unknown actors that don’t resemble the original cast but fit the characters and a good mix of action, adventure and effects that are soly used tosupport the story. With a mix like that this film could be succesfull.

BTW I think it’s about time that Paramount becomes more interested in the International fanbase.

55. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

I may be a selfish fan, but I honestly am not worried about mainstream participation in seeing this movie. I mean, yes, I would like to see the movie be a hit so we could get more movies, etc., but what constitutes a hit for a movie like this? I’ve said earlier, we’re in the $100-150 million range if this is a well-received project, but I hope the studio (and the media, fans and the world at large) are not expecting this movie to make $200 million or anything like that. Is it possible? Sure, but past performance in the series points to something a lot closer to $100 million in the end. I think its worrisome that the buzz around this project is raising expectations to an artificial level. Paramount was quite upset with the so-called “disappointing” box-office performance for Mission: Impossible III. Will Star Trek do better than that movie? (M:I-III grossed $133 million and had a budget of $150 million). To be honest, if Trek XI made that much money, I would be ecstatic. And assuming we don’t have too many A-listers on the payroll, it will be a profitbale movie from its box-office alone. Tom Cruise’s ridiculous compensation arrangment took a lot of money out of Paramount’s hands. But back to the point, $130 million or so is attainable. Does Matt Damon guarantee that? I would say no, a great story does that repeat business.

56. JON - December 11, 2006

I think they re going to have to use known stars whether it be a or b listers.Audiences are going to have to be able to relate emotionally to a actor(s) they know cast in the roles they understand as they’ll no longer have the familiar Shantner/Nimoy as a reference.Hiring unknows will serve to distance the audience further away emotionally.

57. Orbitalic - December 11, 2006

Please No A listers…
I don’t want to see anyone’s name above the title of the movie.

58. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

#58 JON

I hear what you’re saying, but Daniel Craig as James Bond and Christain Bale as Batman prove a lesser known/generally unknown actor can fill the shoes (or boots) of a well-known character and connect with a mass audience. One could equally argue that casting known actors would only serve to distract the viewer from accepting them, especially if the actor doesn’t fit the role all that well. I would say that in looking at JJ Abrams’ past in television and film, he goes for quality actors, not huge celebs. I think in that sense, it bodes well for the movie. Good acting immediately connects with audiences.

59. Magic_Al - December 11, 2006

Shatner was not unknown before Star Trek. With many supporting roles in film and very frequent guest-star parts on TV series, he would have been in the “familiar face” category at least. Not quite as big as Matt Damon perhaps, but considering how today’s media saturation tends to dilute and fragments star power (wouldn’t a frequent guest star in a 1960s three-network TV universe be relatively much more famous?), I think one could argue that Damon isn’t too famous to take this on.

60. Agent69 - December 11, 2006

just look how much publicity Trek XI is getting thanks to Damon and this news. It’s all over the web.

61. Gp - December 11, 2006

Wesley Snipes as Kirk. End transmission.

62. Norbert Steinert - December 11, 2006

Hmm… Damon as Kirk?

http://www.trekspace.gmxhome.de/forumdaten/startrek11/damon_kirk.jpg

63. DIL - December 11, 2006

I would rather have properly remastered, with ALL SCENES, in 16×9, 1080p, HD audio, NO deletions: the whole shebang! Then, we’ll talk.

64. JON - December 11, 2006

The challenge would be to cast a known actor whos performance fits the character. Christian Bale would be my idea of a b list type from my post #56.There was alot of positive buzz about the casting of Batman Begins due to his work in films like American Pyscho that contributed to the success of Batman Begins.That’s kinda what I was saying.

65. JON - December 11, 2006

Sorry ,meant to address #64 as a response to Adam’s #58.Adam ,it seems we re in agreement.

66. StephenMartin - December 11, 2006

55. Adam Cohen
I agree 100%!

67. steve - December 11, 2006

Adam,

Funny you mention Tom Jane. When I saw “Deep Blue Sea” a few years ago, all I could think of while watching it (since it was such a lousy movie) was what a great Kirk he’d make.

And would it be sacreligious to suggest Connor Trinneer as McCoy? I think the guy deserves another chance!

68. JON - December 11, 2006

Sorry.Not getting in the Tom Jane thing.He’s too CalvinKlien underwear model everystar, for me.I’m staying in the Matt Damon camp.

69. Dom - December 11, 2006

How about Connor Trineer appearing as an ancient Trip checking out the warp engines in a scene mirroring McCoy’s in Encounter at Farpoint? I mean, the books have already overwritten Trip’s death, so the movie could follow suit and have him show up with his sexy Vulcan wife!!!

T’Pol and Spock could have a tete a tete about life on a USS Enterprise. Arguably T’Pol is the one character who could transfer over from the other Treks (not that it’s likely to happen!)

Oh and here’s another thought . . . Jim Carrey as Spock, getting a major dramatic role, reigning in his OTT persona . . . nah! Didn’t think so! ;)

!Please note, people, my above remarks are tongue well in cheek, so don’t flame me! I’m off to bed now. Nightey Night! :))

70. Adam Cohen - December 11, 2006

#66 StephenMartin– thanks for your support! I re-read your exchange with Dom from yesterday. It’s an interesting debate, and I think its equally interesting that we fans are so keyed into the business-side of this project. Say what you will about Star Trek fans, but they are a saavy lot!

#68, JON, as far as I’m concerned, William Shatner c. 1966 was a dashing fellow, a handsome man. Tom Jane *wishes* he was that good looking! And Damon’s face is… odd looking at various angles.

71. acb - December 11, 2006

#55 – I agree completely. This movie is going to be decided on its story alone and not who is in the roles though i would say that the odds of it being more accepted by the audience lie within unknowns as Kirk and Spock to help believe in the characters as true. The main thing that will win over the audience is if the actor is actually in the moment, and not “playing” the role. best recent example of this: daniel craig for Casino Royale. Not a hugely known star given a globally known character and because he managed to find Bond [or at least a notion of how Bond would be in the real world and a portrayl that differed greatly from his predecessors] he managed to overcome any hesitation. Now i do feel Damon is a good actor, but i dont think he has enough of the elements to capture Kirk. I am looking at this from my own acting and casting experience that i am involved in on a day to day basis. Shatner’s Kirk garnished authority while not being overly strict, was playful with Spock and McCoy but pulled no punches when he disagreed, a natural curiosity and enthusiasm for the unknown built in with a energy of pushing forward and never back built into a confidence that never crossed into ego.

As for the budget, I have been attempting to do the math on this one, and if they were going to get a listers to do this movie there is a good chance that a listers would not sign on to more than one film. And i am pretty sure that there is someone at Paramount who went through some old contract somewhere and saw what happened with Nemesis (Patrick Stewart’s 14 mill take vs. Nemesis 39 million draw) and willed see a more viable solution in casting unknowns who could be signed for at least 2 films with only some much budget devoted to their pay. Similiar to what was done between X-men and X2, those films were done for 75-110 mill because the studio banked on new faces for known characters and the result was in their favor.

72. JON - December 11, 2006

I googled Thomas Jane and he’s like squinting and pouting in all the photos I’ve seen.

73. Doug - December 11, 2006

re 67:

connor trineer would be a good choice for mccoy. when watching him on enterprise, i actually thought he had more of a classic trek feel about him. He’s one of the few things i liked about enterprise.

Doug

74. Adam - December 12, 2006

As much as I think he’s a ‘reasonable’ actor and was underused in ‘ENT’, I can’t really see, nor accept, him as Bones. I mean, not only wold the canon-ists go mad, he just doesn’t seem the right actor for me.

75. Ralph F - December 12, 2006

The problem is that you do NOT want any big name actors in what is hoped to be the first film in a franchise. Think money and cost of upkeep of the cast.

76. Ralph F - December 12, 2006

Oh, and you could get Ray Liotta to play an aging Christopher Pike. I’ve said this for years; I always wanted to see him get tapped to play Pike in a TNG flashback episode.

77. Ralph F - December 12, 2006

And Billy Zane as Spock.

78. SPOCKBOY - December 12, 2006

LOL
Billy Zane is a creepy looking cock-eyed actor who is best suited to play aloof bad guys than our favourite vulcan.
As far as Liotta goes, excellent idea.

79. Trekfan - December 12, 2006

Is the idea that he’d play Captain Kirk or Cadet Kirk? If the latter, he’s way too old. Damon is actually older than Shatner was when he first sat on the bridge of the Enterprise. If this is a Starfleet Academy movie, they need to get a 20-ish kid.

80. Longwinded - December 12, 2006

Think about this…they cast A-listers as certain members of the Enterprise crew and the movie does alright, even has a sequel. Now they decide to go to a tv series with this format and your A-Listers want nothing to do with it, now what? You’ve gotten used to those actors in those specific roles and now you’ll get all new people playing the crew. Don’t you think we’ll be here a few years from now rehashing some of these same points again and wondering why Paramount didn’t get lesser grade actors in the first place?

Instead get B or C listed actors as the crew, get a couple of A-listers to play Pike or some other Federation types and a A-lister for the bad guy(s). Having a big name does help draw in the undecided crowd but it will be the story that brings them back. Heck you could even have some stars from J.J. Abrams shows cameo as red shirts getting wasted by the bad guy. Paramount could keep those names quiet from the press and when the movie finally hits the buzz on the tv & internet talking about those scenes would generate some more interest for those that were on the fence. As it has been said before and I will say it again, it’s all about making money to keep the story going.

One final thing, the people who are going to play the crew need to be young because if this does go to a trilogy that will take some time to complete. You don’t want some people who are already in their mid 30’s playing the crew. By the time it ends they may well be older than the original crew during the making of TMP! And this was supposed to be a trilogy (hopefully) of the beginning of the five year mission not jumping all over it. Besides you want them young enough to be able to perform stunts or at least believe they could be physically doing it.

And that’s my two credits.

81. Adam Cohen - December 12, 2006

#79 Trekfan,

The scant information out there seems to say that TREK XI is going to take place on or near the time James Kirk becomes a Captain, and thus assumes command of the Enterprise.

Personally, I would love to see a scene where Admiral Nogura and the brass discuss Lt. Kirk’s promotion amongst themselves, weighing the man’s gifts and potential weaknesses. I mean really, what was Starfleet Command thinking when they decided to hand over their flagship to a 35 year-old Lieutenant? Was there a shortage of officers in the fleet? What insights were behind this decision? I think it would be really awesome to know these things.

82. acb - December 12, 2006

#81 I wish they would wait to tell how Kirk recieved the enterprise for at least the 2nd film (preferably the third), that way the first and second film can be about establishing such pondered reasons. I would mainly go with Kirk’s actions at the academy as part of it, but i would actually suggest that Pike is the one who pushes for Kirk when he steps down (and the reasons for that could be shown through out the second film in a story that involves both men in one issue, leaving Pike to 1. take notice of Kirk 2. be impressed by the young mans actions.)

83. Dom - December 12, 2006

My suspicion is that they’ll go for the popular trilogy format. One way to handle things like the cast aging, for me, would be:

First film: Kirk takes command. The five year mission begins. Some plot threads are left open. Possibly Bones won’t be on the Enterprise yet.

Second film: Midway through the five-year mission those threads become relevant again amidst an adventure. McCoy is now the ship’s Doctor.

Third film: The loose threads come together as the Enterprise completes her final mission and heads for home.

Any further films could then fit into the substantial gap between TMP and TWOK.

84. TomBot2006 - December 12, 2006

Hmmm, sometimes, I think, the idea of this Star Trek XI is more troubling than exciting… If it’s a sucess, especially with A-list stars, we at the most will get a trilogy… If it’s a failure; it’ll doom Star Trek in many forms for some time to come. Much as I wanted Enterprise to win me over and it didn’t, at least it gave it a solid shot. I’m concerned that too much will be riding on this project to let it actually “breath” new life into Star Trek, and not recycled Star Drek.
My dream scenario would be this:
A crew of unknowns for the most part with a smattering of known actors to fill out guest roles. Sinese, I agree would be great, and would mean the end to that awful, in my opinion, CSI:New York. The story of Star Trek XI would be epic, groundbreaking, and set the course for a enduring franchise. It would be my hope, that rather than a Trilogy, that if the movie was a successful reboot, we would get something along the lines of a HDTV only television series, as by this time, supposively HDTV will be standard. The series could pick up with threads and momentum from a successful movie, and perhaps, also tie into two later, feature presentations. This hopeful idea, I recognize, is highly improbable.
Instead, I will simply hope for a Star Trek XI that is successful enough to do the same goals in the trilogy format… and perhaps we could have some sort of fill in the gaps CGI TAS to fill in the intervening years.
Wishful thinking, I know.

85. TomBot2006 - December 12, 2006

Re:#83… that’s nice idea Dom. :-)

86. Adam Cohen - December 12, 2006

Straight-up opinion time: I’ve said it before, we would be better off with a genuine “reboot” instead of wedging Matt Damon (or whomever) into the gaps of continuity left throughout TOS. A reboot is a fresh start. Make Sulu a girl and cast Ving Rhames as Uhura. My casting suggestions are absolutely toungue-in-cheek, but the point is that a reboot invites creativity and does in fact “breath new life” into the franchise. James Bond does this sort of thing all the time. Its movies make a lot more money than Star Trek too.

87. Dom - December 12, 2006

Yeah, Adam. I feel much the same. That said, it should be possible to ‘reboot’ the series without contradicting anything that’s been shown elsewhere.

During its five-year mission, the Enterprise was usually far away from Federation starbases and mainstream colonies (part of the attraction of TOS for me was that ‘out there alone’ danger!)

Given the ship’s distance from the Federation and the limited opportunity that brings to meet previously-seen guest characters (or the ancestors or descendants of characters from other Treks,) it should be possible to tell good stories without ever having to bother mentioning any backwards or forwards continuity.

88. Big Bill Cox - December 12, 2006

#27 Dom:

“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.”

You can’t be serious. The current Doctor Who series has successfully updated the classic concept for a modern audience. It is a huge hit in Britain and has swept the BAFTA Awards 2 years in a row, and is a Hugo award winner – something the original never was. I absolutely love the new show, and this is coming from someone who has watched it religiously since 1981. And if you think the new series is dumbed down, check out “The Empty Child” and “The Girl in the Fireplace”. They are two of the best pieces of televised drama I have ever watched PERIOD.

89. JON - December 12, 2006

Instead of burdening themselves with explaining a background “When kirk met Spock” first mission.They could always run with whats been established and do the second 5 year mission which was never covered.That way they would have creative liberty to re-fit the enterprise,sets,costumes and still have some continuity from TOS themes.That’s what I’d do.

90. Anthony Pascale - December 12, 2006

since you people are still talking about Damon I thought I would add a clip from his recent appearence on Letterman (see above)

91. TomBot2006 - December 13, 2006

Re: 89. JON, that’s a good idea, too! Like Dom, mentioned, we need never see another familiar Trek face forward or backwards continuity-wise… Of course, we wouldn’t have the drama of having the characters in dire jeapordary…. or could we? *eg* Anyways… I never did chime in on the Damon issue, and ya know what, I simply do not have anything bad to say about Damon as an actor, and wouldn’t ulitimately object to his casting, if he could adequately fill out that Captain’s Chair. But please for the love of god, do not ever bring his buddy, Ben Affleck around, unless we get a tv series or in a third movie, and he plays like Harry Mudd or something like that, small, small role. LOL. ;-)

92. Adam Cohen - December 13, 2006

#90 Anthony

That was a really funny clip. I heard the *real* McConaughey on ESPN radio yesterday and he’s a funny dude. And yes, he was not wearing his shirt during the interview. What a loon.

93. Dom - December 13, 2006

Big Bill Cox. Don’t talk to me like I’m an imbecile for not liking your programme. Your remarks read like a press release! Fifty million people in the UK don’t watch Doctor Who! Lots of us fans of the original Doctor Who loathe the new programme!

And never raise your ‘voice’ in capitals to me again! I don’t like your pet obsession, so deal with it or go back to Outpost Gallifrey and bitch about it there!

94. JON - December 13, 2006

Thanks TomBot2006.The focus on the second 5 year mission would put them (the Trek xi people)in a good place creatively.They’d actually have a creative jump on Star Trek ;the motion picture.they could do their own version of Star Trek’s future, post original series.

95. Dom - December 13, 2006

I have a feeling the Star Trek Phase Two concept would be their ‘back burner’ project if they get a couple of TOS-era movies under their belts and want to get around the actors getting too old

Hopefully they’d find a way around those dreadful costumes, though!!! Maybe they could have an episode where the characters spill red wine on their uniforms and decide on the TWOK redesign!!! ;)

96. Adam Cohen - December 13, 2006

#95 Dom!

“Hopefully they’d find a way around those dreadful costumes, though!!! Maybe they could have an episode where the characters spill red wine on their uniforms and decide on the TWOK redesign!!!”

LOL!!! (Unfortunately, red wine is a TNG drink, [Chateau Picard] on Kirk’s ship its whiskey, Saurian brandy or…. Romulan Ale! I am pathetic for even writing that sentence. To the agony booth I go…)

97. Longwinded - December 14, 2006

#95 & #96

Maybe not wine or any other booze but blood from fighting hand to hand.

98. Peter - December 14, 2006

If the producers/writers put together a great story and production, they should get Russell Crowe to play Kirk !!!

http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0000128/

99. rob olson - February 7, 2007

i think that matt would be ok for pike (a.k.a.} jeffery hunter was pike but
if you think may be the guy from starwars III {aka } anakin skywalker
i think he would be better ”
also who would be scotty?
and chekov may be jim cerry?”
why not get scot bakula to play archer to tie the enterprise tv show to tne movie ?
by a freind of captain kirk
r.olson

100. rob olson - February 7, 2007

i hope to see the late u.s.s.enterprise 1701 metting the enterprise -E
that would be an vision
may be you should ask the orginal crew of enterprise 1701 toadvise on the crew cearatures to get them right
i hope that bill shatner can play kirks older brother to pass on the careaturs torch .
r.olson

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