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Heroes Star Lee Wants To Be Sulu August 11, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Cast , trackback

Will there be even more Heroes connections to Trek? In a Comic-Con interview with IESB.net star James Kyson Lee said he wanted to join his co-star Zachary Quinto (the new Spock) in the new Star Trek movie – as the new Sulu. It does not appear that the actor has had any contact with the production, but he does know some people with director J.J. Abrams’ phone number (like Greg Grunberg and Quinto). The leaked casting sheet says Paramount would ‘prefer’ a Japanese actor so the Korean-born Lee would still qualify, however at 32 he is probably too old for the part. A few months back another Heroes star Masi Oka told TrekMovie.com that he "would be honored" to play Trek’s original helmsman, but noted that he didn’t think he would be able to work it around the Heroes schedule. Although NBC Universal and Paramount came to some understanding for Zachary Quinto, it may be a bit much for them to spare two Heroes cast members to the new film.

Lee’s interest and other recent reports just shows the level of buzz in Hollywood around the casting of the new Trek film…something never seen before for Trek.

[by the way - the original Sulu ,George Takei, recently told TrekMovie.com that he didn't think it was important for the new Sulu actor to be Japanese- the full video interview will be available soon]

Comments

1. Big E - August 11, 2007

Well, he looks a lot more Suluish then his co-star Masi Oka that people used to pitch as the new Sulu.

2. Lou - August 11, 2007

I could get into that. :) I think he’d be fine, should they choose to audition/hire him.

3. Stanky McFibberich - August 11, 2007

I have been in some local plays and have watched Star Trek and I want to be a redshirt in the movie…even though they probably won’t wear red shirts :)

4. Dom - August 11, 2007

Although Sulu isn’t a Japanese name, Hikaru is, so we have to assume that Sulu will probably be at least half-Japanese. Another Japanese-American would be creating an honourable tradition. These days, having more Asian castmembers is hardly a problem, so I would anticipate a more ethnically diverse secondary cast and cast of extras than the 60s show had!

Having a real Scotsman running engineering would be higher on my list of priorities. Jimmy Doohan was amusing enough, although his accent was dreadful. The guy in New Voyages does a worse Scots accent than me (an that’s saying something!) I’d like to see Dougray Scott play the role. I know he’s older (42), but, then again, Doohan was 45 when Star Trek began!

5. last o' the timelords - August 11, 2007

Well I said months ago, lets use the whole Heroes cast for the new ST film!

So I ask again….Who else from Heroes can we use?

Can we fit a cheerleader on the bridge? Somehow they shoehorned a “counselor” on there!

6. Craig - August 11, 2007

I see some fans on other Trek web site upset about the recasting. I still don’t get why they upset about recasting the Kirk and crew?

7. Craig - August 11, 2007

Sorry I typed to fast and forget to add some words to my last sentence.

8. IrishTrekkie - August 11, 2007

hmm at 32 he might be too old , wow hes 32 ! , looking at the picture of him there ,and seeing him in heros i would have thought he was younger .

9. CanuckLou - August 11, 2007

Claire – the cheerleader from Heroes could play Yeoman Rand!

10. Dragonflygurl - August 11, 2007

I had a weird dream a couple of weeks back that the entire cast of Heroes ended up playing parts in this Trek movie. Seems like parts of it might be coming true, lol

11. toddk - August 11, 2007

no he dosent look anything like sulu. those of you who want a movie shot and released quickly are going to run this movie project right into the ground. It scares me to think that the “star trek powers that be” may actually read these posts and try to shape star trek according to fan praises and complaints..Especially from a bunch of bitter nerds!..

If you want to re-create an old house, You cant just say: “put it anywhere, it’ll be fine”..that is what appears to be happening here. If you want to find somone who looks just like takei, You’ll have to try harder than just picking them up off current and not so current shows, besides shatner and nimoy, the rest were complete unknowns.

and another thing, seems that cbs and paramount are again licking their chops at the prospect that fans of the shows that quinto and the others are from, may or will tune in or go to see their favorite actor in a star trek movie. “Gee how many new movie goers can we pull in from “sold out showings of lord of the rings?” “Nah dont worry about it, I think mister hardy looks like picard, and the audience will accept it because its star trek” …”gee mister berman, the suits at paramount want the borg to look scarier, no one will get why the borg are supposed to be more dangerous because of of their technology.” “Hey!, lets make them look like zombies, the audence will love it.” and while we’re at it, lets kill off spiner’s charecter, “it’ll be wrath of khan all over again” yeah!! say the nodding studio executives as they again high five each other thinking they are unstoppable..

12. Kahless - August 11, 2007

they’ll have a hard time casting a Japanese American actor, aside from Masi, I’m drawing a blank on any youngish actors currently working.

13. Dom - August 11, 2007

toddk, now who sounds ‘bitter?’

Fans can apply pretty much zero pressure to the filmmakers. But we can come here to discuss things. If you don’t like that, then go to somewhere like danielcraigisnotbond.com for real bitterness!

The project has a shooting date and release date set, so there’s no ‘rush,’ as such, merely a deadline to hit.

Chill out dude!

14. Scott Gammans - August 11, 2007

I can totally see James Kyson Lee as Sulu. And think of the synergy–he and George Takei are already interacting on the set of “Heroes”… George could give him Sulu pointers!

15. Craig - August 11, 2007

What about Daniel Dae Kim as Sulu?

16. redstatesrule - August 11, 2007

I’ve thought he would make a good Sulu since before anything was even mentioned about Sylar as Spock.

I would support this guy.

Of course there are very few big asian actors, probably making Takei the biggest asian actor around … how overwhelmingly, painfully sad is that.

But being one of the few in the public eye, and Masi Oka not being a contender because he looks and acts NOTHING like Takei, I think this guy would be a good choice.

17. TrekNerd - August 11, 2007

Gedde Watanabe for Sulu.

18. Devon - August 11, 2007

This sort of ties into some thoughts I’ve been having.

The one thing about Sulu was that he did look Asian, but didn’t have “too much” Asian, especially in some facial expressions. He looked like he might have been half asian. This guy really doesn’t look like Sulu to me. Nothing against his acting abilities. To me not just “any body” of Asian decent would automatically pass as Sulu obviously as that would almost be a little careless to do. So I hope they choose this new actor a little more wisely in that he acts and does look like Sulu, not just be in the movie because he is Asian just as Sulu was.

19. Pragmaticus - August 11, 2007

I was actually thinking of this guy for Sulu. I’m iffy on whether he’d work, though.

20. Pizza Hotdog - August 11, 2007

Hey, let’s hire the entire Heroes cast and rename the movie Heroes in space!

As good as the actors on heroes are this would be too much of a distraction for me thank you.

502 dtst

21. Jeffrey S. Nelson - August 11, 2007

3. Stanky

Those would be fake red shirts, mister.

22. Richie G - August 11, 2007

Save the cosmic cheerleader, save the galaxy. LOL.

23. Trekgeezer - August 11, 2007

Lee could play Sulu at the prescribed age. Asians tend to look younger than they are. Lee already plays younger than his real age on Heroes.

As far as the casting of young TV performers, where else are you going to get lesser or unknown actors?

24. Stanky McFibberich - August 11, 2007

re:21. Jeffrey S. Nelson
Thank you for beating the drum.
I had a nightmare last night that the uniforms in the movie are the familiar red, blue, and gold, but are rubberized skin-tight uniforms like in the Batman movies.

25. Jeffrey S. Nelson - August 11, 2007

Just got the retro Kirk and Klingon Mego figures. Pretty cool, but the uniform has a snap in the back with a big gap between the two ends of the fabric unless pulled more snug.

26. Jeffrey S. Nelson - August 11, 2007

No remastered Trek episode in the Portland, Oregon market tonight. What’s up with that?

27. Kahless - August 11, 2007

#18, as an Asian person, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, Takei looks fully Japanese.

28. Cygnus-X1 - August 11, 2007

Though I’m not Asian, I concur with #27.

29. dalek - August 12, 2007

Daniel Dae Kim too old. He’s not youthful anymore.

I can’t see both the guys out of Heroes holding a fencing foil in their hand and looking anything other than comedy.

The guy who’s in Prison Break from “the company” is a lot more believable and less… wussy.

30. TJ Trek - August 12, 2007

People are going to have to get away from “well….he just doesn’t look like sulu.” I mean come on. nobody is going to looke quite like Takie did in the original series, and nobodys going to look just like Shatner did..etc,etc. So people are going to have to get around that fact. Now I would have a problem if these actors didn’t at least try to act like the original characters, like the original actors might have acted the character.

31. Trevok - August 12, 2007

9 I totally agree.
He gets my vote and I don’t think his age is a big deal.
LLAP

32. Trevok - August 12, 2007

Also he may well be available as there is nothing to say he’ll be back in Heroes.
LLAP

33. Brent Enloe - August 12, 2007

To me, he definitely looks the part, but his age will probably be the deal breaker… nevertheless, if they do go with this man, I’ll support their decision.

34. Brooke Allison - August 15, 2007

I was thinking Levar Burton would be an excellent Sulu. Just hear me out. He’s got the look, he’s already experienced with Trek and he fits the age bracket their looking for.
And if I’m not mistaken, he was born in Hatchikatchishmatchi, Japan!

35. TrekLog » Blog Archive » Trek XI - Newsflash - September 21, 2007

[...] Was ist eigentlich seit der letzten Convention alles passiert? Eigentlich viel (was Meldungen des Trek Movie Report angeht) und zugleich doch recht wenig! Zunächst einmal hat sich das Casting-Karussell ein wenig weitergedreht. Nicht Sydney Poitier, sondern eine junge Dame namens Zoe Saldana wurde für die Rolle des Kommunikationsoffiziers der Enterprise, Nyota Uhura, hochoffiziell gecastet und unter Vertrag genommen. Somit sind schon 3 Mitglieder der Originalcharaktere gecastet worden: Spock, Chekov und Uhura! Als nächstes wird wohl der Chefingenieur Scotty gecastet werden, denn Berichten zufolge wird derzeit nach einem Darsteller gesucht! Daniel Dae Kim aus Lost (hat auch schon bei Star Trek: Voyager Gastauftritte gehabt) gilt ebenso als heißer Kandidat für die Rolle des Navigators Hikaru Sulu, aber wir Leser wissen ja, dass es dahingehend gleich mehrere Bewerbungen zu geben scheint. Der neue Spock-Darsteller Zachary Quinto bereitet sich hingegen ganz speziell auf seine Rolle vor. Anstelle des intensiven Studiums alte Star Trek-Episoden versucht er, sich mit der Person hinter Spock, Leonard Nimoy, zu beschäftigen. Somit verbringen die beiden sehr viel Zeit miteinander und laden sich gegenseitig zum Essen ein, wenngleich die Mythologie, d.h. die vulkanisch-romulanischen Ursprünge, dennoch in Quintos Interesse zu liegen scheint. Über die Plot-Details zu Star Trek XI hatte ich jüngst schon einen Kommentar abgegeben, und laut Quinto handelt es sich bei Trek XI um ein Projekt, dass weitere Fortsetzungen wahrscheinlich macht… damit bestätigt er auch den Wunsch des Autorenteams Orci und Kurtzman, die sich beide ebenso Fortsetzungen erhoffen würden. Zuguterletzt kann man noch sagen, dass nebenbei Russell Crowe kurzzeitig als Bösewicht im Gespräch war (was jedoch Hinweise auf das gesuchte Kaliber des gesuchten Darstellers gibt) und dass das uralte Jennifer Garner Gerücht im Zusammenhang mit einer Liebesaffäre Spock’s wieder aufgetaucht ist. Übrigens muss es sich bei dieser Liebesaffäre keinesfalls um ein Produkt des Pon Farr handeln, denn der neue Spock wird wesentlich emotionaler sein und damit wohl an Nimoy’s Darstellung aus dem ersten Pilotfilm The Cage anknüpfen. Trek ist also in aller Munde und wir haben dahingehend wohl noch spannende Zeiten vor uns… [...]

36. Cliven - March 24, 2008

With regards to #s 18, 27, and 28:

Although of mixed ancestry himself, Takei’s facial characteristics are VERY strongly Japanese, and certainly not as #18 said. While he might seem to have a rather unique look to many non-Japanese Americans, Mr. Takei is about as Japanese as you can get in appearance.

Trying to match actors to the Sulu role by appearance raises some issues, since there are few Hollywood actors who look at all like Mr. Takei; in fact, I can think of none.

The production finally decided on a Korean-American actor, Mr. John Cho, for the role, who looks very little like Takei, but who is accomplished in his craft. I haver never seen Mr. Cho outside of a comedic role, so we will see how he handles the very serious Sulu.

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