Grunberg Wants To Be Vulcan – Says Trek XI Script Almost Done |
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Grunberg Wants To Be Vulcan – Says Trek XI Script Almost Done January 24, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Cast,STXI Status , trackback

Greg Grunberg (the only semi-confirmed cast member for Star Trek XI) has decided what kind of alien he would like to play in his best friend’s new Trek feature. "I’d love to be a Vulcan, it’d be great. That would be incredible," Grunberg tells Rotten Tomatoes. This may be due to his repeated concerns about sitting in a make-up chair for too long, assuming ears are easy to do. More interestingly Grunberg reveals that the script for Trek XI is almost complete, saying:

He [JJ Abrams] is finalizing the script right now so I just talked to him today and he said, ‘I’ll send it to you as soon as it’s done’ so hopefully it’ll be very soon. sources are saying similar things about the script. Sources also say that Paramount have set aside a number of stages for Trek XI to occupy in the near future. More on that hopefully soon.


1. Captain Pike - January 24, 2007

Okay you can be Vulcan but only if you wear a catsuit and get implants.

2. scott - January 24, 2007

if he puts on another 30 pounds or so, his man-bosums might preclude a need for implants.

Unless you meant lip implants.

3. Thomas - January 24, 2007

A young Sarek perhaps?

4. Thomas - January 24, 2007

A lot of anti-Greg venom here isn’t there?

5. Jim J - January 24, 2007

Good to hear the script is about done!

6. Anthony Pascale - January 24, 2007

yah i was thinking same thing Thomas

what did GG ever do to you guys…he is a nice guy and not too bad in Heroes. And he has given out more details on Trek XI than Abrams…which makes him OK to

7. Scott V. - January 24, 2007

Maybe i’m a little confused. Didn’t they just turn in the first draft not too long ago? Unless things have changed film scripts usually go through several drafts and rewrites dont they? All they do is keep the basic themes intact. Finalizing means a shooting script right?

8. Anthony Pascale - January 24, 2007

actually we reported the script draft was one over a month ago. the final script would mean the one that gets approved and a budget assigned to it.

things will probably evolve on that one until shooting starts in a few months

9. Still Kirok - January 24, 2007

I wouldn’t cast him as Spock or Sarek, but some generic Vulcan is fine.

Just give me post-Generations Kirk, and Grunberg can be Nurse Chapel for all I care.

10. Cameron Boehme - January 24, 2007

Personally, I like GG.

He\’s ah – iite on Heroes, and the few other things I\’ve seen him in. He\’s a personable person when interviewed, he likes Star Trek (outside of the possibility of him cameo-ing) and, though not dead-sexy, he\’s a pretty good looking Goy.

Judging by the detection of beta-decay from my inverse tachyon field, I\’m being flooded in anti-Greg neutrinos. What gives?

Love to all,

Formally Cameron of Dallas,
Now (new and improved) Cameron of Austin!

11. Grover Sald - January 24, 2007

Hey, if STXI is to take place in the “past,” would it be a cute idea to
join Forbidden Planet to the Trek mythos by having Leslie Nielsen
do a cameo as an “Admiral Adams” at a launching ceremony or
something like that? He has said himself that FP could have been a
pilot for Star Trek (figuratively speaking). FP takes place around
2200, doesn’t it, maybe 50 or so years before pre-TOS, and FP
was made 50 years ago, so he’d be the right age…

This is my 1st posting here, so I hope it didn’t suck…

12. hitch1969© - January 24, 2007

Grunberg™ is very mac in the pants. You dudes are just jealous that he has been friends with Kurt Russell since kindergarten. Personally, I think they should cast him in the role of James Tiberious himself and let him carry the movie.



13. Xai - January 24, 2007

#9 Kirok… we’ll send Shatner over to the house, just to appease you. I do suggest you lock the fridge and hide the small children, however.

Grunberg’s ok. I certainly hope JJ drops him in a minor role.. I hate to think that a major part would be his purely out of friendship.

#11 heeeyyy Grooooovereer!
Welcome to the edge of the galaxy. Be careful where you step, mind the aliens and don’t feed the Hitch.

14. John N - January 24, 2007

It’s amazing how some people can take a Grunberg casting rumour and spin it into another “Bring Back Kirk” campaign… ;)

15. Buckaroohawk - January 24, 2007

Actually, If Grunberg dropped some weight and got himself in shape, I could see him playing James T. Kirk himself.

No, really. I mean it. I’m serious.

Stop laughing.

16. Admiraldeem - January 24, 2007

I sure it’s time now for a colorful metaphor.

17. Adam Cohen - January 24, 2007

#15, I thought the same thing- GG drops 20 lbs he could be a good Kirk. GG is a very personable kind of guy onscreen, you like him. That’s an underrated and oft-ignored quality in discussing many actors. GG, you want to make a large check? No more Pop Tarts, beppo! Start jogging!

18. Mark - January 24, 2007

Logic dictates that Vulcans ain’t tubby.

19. SithMenace - January 25, 2007

I think Grunberg is the best thing about Heroes along with Hiro.

Hitch, two days ago you said Grunberg was a hanger on. Why the sudden change of heart?

20. Bobby - January 25, 2007

Ugh on the nay sayers! You peeps are really starting to make a lot of people not want to come here, and i kow a bunch who have stopped because of all of your B.S.!! Show some support and be open minded. Treak is great and the creative staff who is in charge now is capable and talented. Nay sayers, please don’t turn us all off to wonderful possibilities.

21. SithMenace - January 25, 2007

20., I agree. It’s not just on this site either. The amount of disregard for Abram’s talent is all over the net. Everyone says he’s the Hollywood flavor of the month, and that he’s going to ruin Trek by having his friends involved. I say, if it’s going to help him deliver a great Trek movie, then he should involve all of the people he’s ever been comfortable working with, which it looks like he is. I personally can’t wait to see what he does, because I think he’s going to go down in history as one of the driving forces behind Star Trek.

22. Flake - January 25, 2007

Grunberg is clearly going to be redshirt #1

23. JB - January 25, 2007

I suppose this wouldn’t be that different from the way Roddenberry went about casting decisions, a la Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols, etc.

24. Trevok - January 25, 2007

I’d be happy to see him play a Vulcan.

25. Adam Cohen - January 25, 2007

#23 FUNNY!

JJ: Sweetheart, do you want to help me make my little spaceship movie?
GG: For you, anything baby!

26. Old School Trek Nerd - January 25, 2007

Grunberg is already working for JJ. Much like Shatner and Lindeloff, Grunberg seems to be part of the approved ‘official leak’ campaign, where these guys wander from interviewer to interviewer and spit out cryptic comments to keep the buzz going.

27. Dennis Bailey - January 25, 2007

Let’s get real about the Abrams/Grunberg thing and what is and isn’t “proper.”

In the real world of business, academia, media, politics etc people hire based on personal relationships *all the time.*

If the employee is good at their job, it’s not usually a problem.

John Ford and John Wayne were personal friends throughout much of their lives.

Notably, Wayne did not need to be hired by Ford in order to find work.

Also, notably, Grunberg has an active and successful career in television working for people other than Abrams.

There’s not anything even a little unusual or troublesome about Abrams hiring his friend for what are generally pretty limited supporting roles in his projects.

28. scott - January 25, 2007

Regarding #4 and 5 – its a joke. He’s a little on the chubby side, especially to be playing a Vulcan. Why so sensitive, fellas? Characterizing a mild jab at a pudgy actor as “hate” seems like a catapult.

29. scott - January 25, 2007

Sorry, “venom” instead of “hate”. I stand corrected. Still a bit of a reach.

30. Daniel Shock - January 25, 2007

I’ve liked Grunberg since he was on “Felicity”. I don’t care if he’s getting the job because of his friendship. He brings something great to everything he does.

31. Father Rob - January 25, 2007

#11 – Welcome, Grover Said…

I love “Forbidden Planet” and understand that it was a part of what went into Gene Roddenberry’s thinking as he created TOS. I would love to see something related to it, except that we would need to make the C-57-D look a bit different…

All kidding aside, I wonder if one could alter Forbidden Planet into a Star Trek universe version.



32. Michael Appleton - January 25, 2007

#27 “John Ford and John Wayne were personal friends throughout much of their lives” This is the defense for Abrams maybe using Grunberg in the next Trek film?! Yikes!! This example proves the opposite. John Wayne was probably the worst actor in the history (except for Tom Cruise, of course) of cinema! Why not go all the way with this parallel and have Grunberg as Spock with his first line to Kirk on screen being, “Well, listen here pilgrim…” Oh my God, start the boycott campaign now!!

33. CmdrR - January 25, 2007

32 – John Wayne was probably the worst actor in the history (except for Tom Cruise, of course) of cinema!

So, now you’re insulting John Wayne fans and JJ.

Just for the record, John Ford and John Wayne made an indelible mark on cinema. If nothing else, they corrected decades of historical mistakes (six-shooters from horseback anyone?) and showed Native Americans as realistic human beings, not just cliched savages.

John Wayne’s acting may not suit your taste. So be it. Shatner’s doesn’t suit the tastes of many. Both are ICONIC. That’s an amazing accomplishment. If XI has a star or stars who are even halfway to Wayne or Shatner, we’ll all be in for a good show.

ps- Not a fan, but even Tom Cruise was good in Collateral.

34. Captain Pike - January 25, 2007

I don’t hate Grunberg. I’ve never heard or him except in these news bits. I was just trying to be funny – Vulcan = catsuit and implants is a reference to T’Pol obviously.

35. Dennis Bailey - January 25, 2007

#32: “John Wayne was probably the worst actor in the history (except for Tom Cruise, of course) of cinema!”

That’s your opinion – and in *my* opinion it’s absurdly limited – but even if one agrees it doesn’t matter in this case because you missed the point of my post.

Ford did not continue to employ Wayne because they were buddies and he was giving the actor a leg up – Wayne worked constantly and was much in demand throughout his career with or without Ford’s favor (Ford did give him his early break as a serious lead). Similarly, Grunberg doesn’t spend his days sitting by the phone waiting for Abrams to give him work, either – he’s worked a lot for abrams and a lot for other people.

That makes the situation different from those where you *only* see a particular actor in films and tv shows produced by a friend.

36. CmdrR - January 25, 2007

No worries, Cap’n.
But, if you’re ranking worst actors… Jolene Blalock, implants or no, is dang near the bottom.

37. Michael Appleton - January 25, 2007

#33 “insulting John Wayne fans and JJ”
Hey, don’t get me wrong, John Ford was brilliant, a true visionary. He just showed bad judgement in casting such a weak actor as John Wayne. People can achieve the status of ICON, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re any good. Look at Madonna; not much of a singer, but she sure knows how to MARKET herself! Even a bad actor can be in a “well packaged” movie. That’s what I mean about Tom Cruise; a talentless f**k , but he’s been lucky enough to be packaged in some good movies. I personally think Cruise sold his soul to the Devil years ago in return for being made the biggest “movie star” in the world. My God, I’ve attended high school plays where the acting was far superior! Now wouldn’t it be nice if Abrams came up with a killer script, did his usual masterful job of directing AND cast TALENTED actors? What a combination, but nah, that makes too much sense!

38. Captain Pike - January 25, 2007

Isn’t it time for another “Tom Cruise to appear in Star Trek” rumor? Lets start one.

An unnamed source stated today that Tom Cruise will appear as the King of the Pakleds in the new Star Trek movie….

39. Al - January 25, 2007

Drops 20 lbs? Kirk wasn’t sylph like you know

40. Rodney King's Star Trek DVD Collection - January 25, 2007

“I personally think Cruise sold his soul to the Devil years ago in return for being made the biggest “movie star” in the world.”

They say there’s no devil, Jim, but I saw it … right out of HELL … I SAW IT!!!

41. Admiraldeem - January 25, 2007

I thought Rick Berman was King of the Packleds.

Tom Cruise should be the movie’s first death–he’s been practicing for that part ever since he began knifing his career on the Oprah show.

I’ve seen most of John Wayne’s movies. Ditto John Ford. Greg is neither. JJ must know this as well, given the small parts he has previously cast him in.

Oops–sorry #20 Bobby–naysayers are supposed to be seen and not read. Okay–let’s all hold hands and sing “Headin’ Out to Eden.”

42. Dennis Bailey - January 25, 2007

#41: “I’ve seen most of John Wayne’s movies. Ditto John Ford. Greg is neither.”

Again, not the point of the comparison.

Obviously, Abrams is no John Ford, either.

43. Adam Cohen - January 25, 2007


It just hit me, the guy who should play Kirk. I *know* you are all going to be skeptical to some degree, and I don’t blame you. It’s not an intuitive choice, but when looking at this actor’s career and talent, he could ABSOLUTELY pull it off, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took the role.×220-ewan.jpg

Ewan McGregor. And for reference, young Shatner:

44. Adam Cohen - January 25, 2007

I think those links may not be working, so I got them in photobucket:



Sorry for wasting anyone’s time (and Anthony, sorry for the double post).

45. Xai - January 25, 2007

John Wayne (Rooster Cogburn) as James Tombstone Kirk
Dan Blocker ( Bonanza) as Spock
DeForrest Kelley As McCoy (why not, he did plenty of westerns)
James Arness (Gunsmoke) as Scott

John Wayne could act, apparently a few here haven’t seen the body of work and are ill-informed.

46. Buckaroohawk - January 25, 2007

Adam (#17): Thanks for agreeing with me. I think Grunberg could do great things as Kirk, and since he’s not a very well-known actor, he wouldn’t be saddled with the “Oh, they just hired so-and-so because he’s a big name” problem. He was fantastic on Alias, and I’d love to see him in Trek XI.

Re: Hiring Friends. Abrams doesn’t just hire friends or people he’s comfortable working with. He hires people who will get the job done for him; people he KNOWS he can count on. With a high-profile project like Trek, that can only make the production go more smoothly. Sounds like a good thing to me.

Re: John Wayne & John Ford. Michael Appleton (#32), you got my ire up with your comments about John Wayne. He was by no means a weak actor. He was unfortunately typecast as a cowboy, but that’s mainly because that was the biggest money-making genre in Hollywood at the time. He won an Oscar for his performance in The Shootist, and he deserved it. His work in The Sons of Katie Elder has yet to be matched, in my opinion. He and John Ford worked together so often because (much as I pointed out above with JJ Abrams) Ford knew Wayne would get the job done, and Wayne knew that Ford would challenge him as an actor. Filmmakers like Ford aren’t going to hire actors who aren’t up to their standards just because their name is a box office draw. They hire actors who will give them the performances they want.

I’m not the biggest Tom Cruise fan by any means, but there is a reason why directors like Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone make movies with him; Cruise rises to their challenges and delivers strong performances. He is a very, very good actor. Yes, he can get by on his looks and his charm, but he never fails to bring more to his roles. Just watch him in “Born on the Fourth of July” and you will see what I mean. John Wayne was a similar kind of actor. He could have been just another swaggering cowboy, but his characters were always nuanced with a subtle depth that few other actors could manage.

I know I went a bit off-topic here, but sometimes we have to look beyond the iconic nature of some actors and look closely at what their body of work shows us. More often than not, you’ll find a true craftsman behind that face everyone knows. the same can be said of concepts like Star Trek. It’s so big, so iconic, and so many people hold it so dear that it can be difficult to think that it can be looked at in any way other than how we’ve seen it. The great thing about Trek, though, is that it has flexibility. In the right hands, Trek can be re-invigorated without being completely re-imagined. CBS Digital has shown us some of this with a fair amount of success. Trek XI has the potential to continue and expand on that. I’m excited about the possibilities. Let’s see what happens.

Damn, it is a GREAT time to be a Star Trek Fan!!!

47. Orbitalic - January 25, 2007

#45 …..and frankly… a real Iowan (Wayne) should play Iowa’s favorite son (in the future) Kirk

48. Orbitalic - January 25, 2007

#20 Bobby…. “Treak is great “… Trek is too.
The naysayers here are outnumbered… but their opinion has to be heard too.

49. Trevok - January 26, 2007

33 does the phrase those that can do, those that can’t critisise, mean anything to you.
John Wayne made 172 movies how many have you made?

50. Michael Appleton - January 26, 2007

#46 Buckaroohawk
Oh, puhleease…I’ve forgotten more about film then you’ll ever know in your lifetime! John Wayne won the Oscar(undeservedly) for True Grit (1969), not The Shootist. As to Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July, don’t make me laugh! That was 1989 and Daniel Day Lewis (a REAL actor!) won the Oscar that year for his brilliant performance in My Left Foot.
It’s absurd in the extreme to try to hold up Mr. Cruise’s posturing, mechanical one note performance (of someone in a wheelchair) against Daniel Day Lewis’s brilliant acting. Of course, ever since Art Carney won the Oscar for Harry and Tonto beating out Jack Nicolson in The Last Detail, the Oscars have lost all meaning anyway. Awards aren’t the point, it’s the quality of the acting craft itself. Get it through your skull, just because someone is a “big name”, doesn’t necessarily make them a good actor! Nuff said!

51. Canonista the Cultist - January 26, 2007

OMFG…This is the sensitive guy from Felicity…Wait a minute…all of them were sensitive guys on Felicity….

Oh well…I hope “Felicity Trek” brings in that “mainstream audience” Paramount is banking on. Don’t quite see him as a “blood and guts” action maybe that’s a good sign for fans.

52. Xai - January 26, 2007

#50… how do you KNOW you’ve forgotten more about film than someone else? Do you know Buckaroo… or me? Don’t make claims you can’t back up.
And it’s time to step BACK… to Grunberg and his possible Trek casting.

53. Michael Appleton - January 26, 2007

#45 and 52 Xai
You say, “a few here haven’t seen (John Wayne) the body of work and are ill-informed”. On the contrary. I HAVE suffered through Mr. Wayne’s body of work (kept waiting for it to get better, but to no avail) so I’d say you’re the one making sweeping assumptions, not me. I then, quite rightly, pointed out how your pal Buckeroohawk was wrong on the simple facts in his therefore flawed argument. My facts were correct and his were incorrect and that makes me the bad guy? My we’re getting pissy, aren’t we?

54. Buckaroohawk - January 27, 2007

Indeed, I was incorrect regarding which film Wayne won his Oscar for. Mea Culpa. I didn’t, however, say that Cruise won anything for “Born on the Fourth of July.” I used that as an example of his acting ability, nothing more.

This all falls into the area of opinion anyway. Mr. Appleton doesn’t appreciate John Wayne’s work. I do. No big deal. He may well know a great deal more about filmmaking than I do, as well. I’m no slouch, but there are plenty of people who are far more educated than I.

I was just trying to show Mr. Appleton that there are some with a differing viewpoint on certain issues and back up my stance as best I could. I never for a moment believed I would change his mind about anything. Why should I? Anybody who can manage to use the phrase “Tom Cruise; a talentless f**k” so cleverly obviously has much greater wisdom than I about what makes a good acting performance.

55. Michael Appleton - January 27, 2007

#54 Buckaroohawk
Nicely put! Before we all get our “knickers in a knot ” let’s all remember (what you quite rightly point out) that this is simply a forum to express our opinions, subjective as they are. I also love when we chat about all things Trek so I apologize for taking this discussion off on a needless tangent. If people love different actors for different reasons, so be it. It would be a pretty boring world if we all felt the same way. Now, back to the point at hand. I’ve been burning up brain cells trying to think of a suitable actor to play a young James Kirk, so far nada. Do you think it’s possible that they can find a mucho talented unknown actor who bears a striking resemblance to Shatner in his youth? Thoughts?

56. Buckaroohawk - January 28, 2007


Consider any and all potential axes buried. I prefer carrying an olive branch anyway. They’re a lot lighter.

Anyway, on to your question. For me, the actor chosen to play Kirk doesn’t have to look so much like Shatner as he has to be able to portray the kind of person Kirk was (or is, or will be…whatever). Beyond being a male with short, medium brown hair and brown eyes, he doesn’t need to be a spot-on likeness for me to buy into him as James T. if he can bring the character I know to life. On the other hand, I want the actor to bring something new to the role as well. The problem I had with Brandon Routh in “Superman Returns” is that he was trying too hard to be Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent and Superman. He didn’t (or wasn’t allowed to) put anything new to the role, and the film suffered for it. Whoever becomes Kirk v2.0 needs to have the courage (and talent) to be the Kirk we all know, plus a little bit more. A daunting task to be sure, but not an impossible one.

All this talk reminds me of a mock movie poster I made in PhotoShop about six years ago for a faux movie that re-cast the original crew with new actors. At the time, I chose Casper van Dien as Kirk, Billy Zane as Spock, and Ron Livingston as McCoy. I don’t think those choices would hold up today, but at the time it seemed to work. I’ll have to dig through my archives to see if I can find it.

57. Michael Appleton - January 28, 2007

#56 Buckaroohawk
You bring up some good points. Personally, I enjoyed Brandon Routh’s performance as the Man of Steel. Where I had problems with that movie was the stupid plot. Once again having Luthor attempting to score big in real estate? Boring and insipid! How about Brainiac trying to conquer the world and showing off the city of Kandor to Supes? Now that we could get our teeth into. As to Kirk, there must be an unknown out there who would be perfect for this opportunity. Just surround him with a great cast backed up by a killer script! There are always possibilities… is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.