McAvoy As Scotty – Again? [UPDATE: Rumor Denied – Again]

In February Scottish actor James McAvoy was reported  (by a British tabloid) to be in talks to play Scotty in the new Star Trek movie (story denied to by publicist a week later). Although  McAvoy himself later stated "there is no truth" to the rumors, the actor seemed to be interested in the part. Now the story is back – the UK’s  Sunday Mirror reported that McAvoy "had won the role" of Scotty and a follow-up in The Scottsman claimed McAvoy "was up against famous names and total unknowns." Although this may just be another ‘retread’ story from the tabloids, one source did indicate to that there may be some truth to the rumor. Initial calls to McAvoy’s representatives provided no concrete information.

UPDATE: Denied
A spokesperson at McAvoy’s publicist’s office contacted to say "James McAvoy is not attached to the Star Trek project." When pressed for more info the spokesperson could not give any more details.

The 28 year old actor is currently in Chicago filming Wanted an action film in which he co-stars along with Angeline Jolie. McAvoy is very much a rising star, especially after his BAFTA nominated performance in 2006’s Last King of Scotland. McAvoy may be hot right now, but he is a self-avowed Star Trek fan and has expressed his interest in seeing a real Scot get the role. The leaked casting sheet called for an actor between 28-32 who could do a ‘flawless’ Scottish accent. McAvoy is on the young side of the age range, but certainly has the talent (and of course the accent) for the part.

Shatner confirmed?
Some versions of this story contained the line:

According to the Sunday Mirror, original Enterprise Captain William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, now both 76, have signed up to play Captain Kirk and Mr Spock once again in flash-forward scenes.

There is no indication at this point that this is actually true and is likely just based on the reports that Abrams is hoping to put Shatner into the film. This line doesn’t actually appear in the online version of the Mirror story and if Shatner had been signed it is likely not to be burried at the end of a wire service story about McAvoy. As of now Shatner is still not in the new Star Trek movie.

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August 20, 2007 7:16 am

Honestly, I don’t buy anything from a British tabloid.

Somehow I think if there was something more legit, Trekmovie would get the news fairly quickly and put it up.

August 20, 2007 7:16 am

These British tabloids are notorious for running with any rumour they can find. If you ask me McAvoy is too young to play Scotty, seeing as Quinto is 30.

August 20, 2007 7:19 am

#2 … I agree, David. If Spock is 30ish, then hopefully Scotty and Bones would be mid-30’s at least.

August 20, 2007 7:21 am

shouldnt the actors who play scot and bones be a good 5-10 years older than the ohers?

I mean Kirk should be late 20s/30. I wouldnt want to see any young than late 20s…26 at the minimum really.

Quinto is 30 – thats fine

Bones actor should be about 35

Scot – the same – 35

Chekov – late teens like the guy they have cast

Sulu – early 20s

Uhura – early 20s..

August 20, 2007 7:24 am

actually i meant 35 at least….Scot and Bones should ideally be late 30s..

August 20, 2007 7:31 am

I don’t think it’s at all likely that an actor’s agent is “unsure” whether the actor has been auditioning for a part. If these folks went from denying McAvoy’s involvement the last time they were asked and are hedging now, something’s up. IMAO, of course.

August 20, 2007 7:34 am

James McAvoy is a very good actor and a rising star but Scotty needs to be older and more masculine than McAvoy Scotty needs to be played by an actor like Gerard Butler so I hope this is false in fact it probably is false.

August 20, 2007 7:36 am

When are we likely to actually get a finalised Cast announced by?

August 20, 2007 7:40 am

7 – Gerald Butler would be PERFECT…however i think hes gonna be filming the Escape From NY remake soon …with Len Wiseman directing…

WTF bother eh?

Still i guess if you were offered Scotty (who’ll be about 5th billing in the movie…if that) or Snake in the EFNY remake i guess you’d choose the latter.

August 20, 2007 7:43 am

McAvoy would be good as Scotty. If they cast an African actor to play Uhura that would be great. With all the lip service given to the “international crew” of the original series an actual international cast would be charming. :)

August 20, 2007 7:48 am

The poll should read “Which Star Trek actor rumor is the worst?”
All of them are bad, but Ryan Gosling as Kirk is worst.

August 20, 2007 7:53 am

Beyonce for Uhura!!

Ewan McGregor for Scottie? All though hes too high profile now due to star wars….

then again he’s always going on about about shit he thinks the prequels were and how he hated doing them so maybe he’d be open to star trek?

Cervantes ( Born and bred under a glorious Highland Scottish sky, and consoling myself that at least it's not 'Spud' from 'Trainspotting' playing 'Scotty'... )
August 20, 2007 8:03 am

#7 ObiWanCon

Aaaargh…I come to this thread for respite from this rumour, and what’s it about… What I feared, that’s what…

Anyhow, I agree, James McAvoy is indeed a good enough actor…it’s just that like you, I have also previously hoped that the role would go to a more Gerard ( ‘300’ ) Butler type young actor, to better match the feel of James Doohan’s ‘experienced’ fightin’ and drinkin’ character persona…

If this is true, as is seeming more likely now…then at least J.J. is at least casting an actual Scot…as opposed to some actor that can ‘speak a flawless Scottish accent’, like say some English actor…shudder…

However, I will be underwhelmed and disappointed if this proves ‘concrete’, as although it may be a minor role, I really think he’s not ‘Chief Engineer Scotty’ material, compared to what I’d hoped for…and believe this is just lazy, uninspired casting of a currently in vogue Scots actor irrelevant of whether he ‘fits’ the actual character or not…so much so that only the casting of Scots actor Ewen ( ‘Spud’ from ‘Trainspotting’ ) Bremner could have been worse…but only just…and at least Ewen could probably ‘take’ James in a brawl, if the situation ever arose…

Now where are my paints Stanky?…I believe I have some placards to knock up… ;)

August 20, 2007 8:05 am

Gerard Butler has so many projects line up right now, it is unlikely he will take a role in this film. Two of his films (RockNRolla with Nemesis star Tom Hardy and Nim’s Island with Jodie Foster) are currently shooting. In addition, he’s gearing up to film a prequel to The Untouchables for Brian De Palma, and he has at least three other films in the works, including the Escape from New York remake. So I think it’s rather unlikely that Leonidas will take a role in Trek.

August 20, 2007 8:08 am

I’d like to believe this story is true, but I doubt it.

August 20, 2007 8:09 am

Nobody would beat Trek Movie to the punch on such a big story.

Terry B.
August 20, 2007 8:09 am

I like the idea of the international cast. I wrote this under another comment, but what would you guys think of Jensen Ackles as Kirk?

August 20, 2007 8:17 am

hey if Beyonce is Uhura they could get her to sing the theme…

August 20, 2007 8:20 am

Darn I wish the UK tabloids would stop pulling these rubbish casting decisions out of their a*ses…

August 20, 2007 8:21 am

YAY!… All is well again…for now… :)

August 20, 2007 8:32 am

GERARD BUTLER would be a good choice for Scotty! I completely forgot about him…and he has the accent!

August 20, 2007 8:47 am

Ok obviously it aint gonna be Beyonce..but I think Noemie Lenoir (Rush Hour 3) would be reaklly good as Uhura:

btw i hope Butler is like a HUGE Trekkie and desperatly wants to be Scottie and is willing to fit ST in between his projects…He’d be fantastic

star trackie
August 20, 2007 8:48 am

#14- “people should not expect the new crew to have the same exact relative ages as the old crew, nor the same exact physiques as the original actors. The key is talent, not copies.”

Noble thought Anthony, but I have to disagree.

Anyone remember Will Smith as Jim West in the re-imagined “Wild Wild West”? Will is a talented fellow, but c’mon. THAT is the danger of loose cannon re-imagining.

If Leonard Nimoy is in this picture AS Spock from the TV series, the other characters better damn well at least have SOME semblence of age and stature as their TV counterparts. Otherwise it has the chance of becoming “Wild Wild West” all over again.

Does anybody really want that??

Pizza Hotdog
August 20, 2007 8:50 am

Since we’re talking about casting, in the previous thread I read here:

(Zachary) Quinto let Nimoy in on news that the Chekov role had been cast with Alpha Dog actor Anton Yelchin.

If this is true, just curious as to why a new thread had not been started with some announcement and fanfare. This would be the third cast? Or would this announcement by Quinto be discounted for some reason? Or am I missing something?

493 dtST

fatman Bruno
August 20, 2007 9:00 am

okay, just seen this on YouTube, talk about look-a-likes

If this link doesn’t work try typing star trek KFC into the youtube search engine

August 20, 2007 9:10 am

wow that KFC was almost like a lost episode…

wonder what year its from? did shatner do the voice over?

August 20, 2007 9:26 am

That was finger lickin’ awful.

fatman Bruno
August 20, 2007 9:35 am

Being in the U.K. I haven’t seen that before, anyone know how old that advert was? I saw the comments on youtube that claimed it was1991 – but just interested when it actually aired
#30 awful it may have been but I still got a buzz watching it, shame ‘Spock’ wasn’t there

Mark Lynch
August 20, 2007 9:43 am

Just for the hell of it I have emailed the writer of this little tale at the Daily Mirror. Asking him to substantiate his story and what his comments are on the flat out denial from McAvoy’s office…..

Do you think I will get a reply? :)

August 20, 2007 10:09 am

#32 Mark Lynch

Probably not, but if you do, he will likely say something along the lines of “we received our information from very reliable sources. We don’t know why the story was denied, but it is possible they just don’t want to admit it just now. Chip-chip-cheerio and all that.”

August 20, 2007 10:20 am
I agree that it is a good idea to get actual nationals to play the parts. In TOS two of the leads (Kirk and Scotty) were played by Canadians. Which, of course is a great choice. Except Ryan Gosling (Canadian) as Kirk would be awful. By the 23rd century we are lead to believe that all Earth countries have attained equality in terms of technology and opportunity, so I’d like to think Uhura is actually from Africa, and it would be very cool to actually get an African actress to play her. One thing I can never forgive Nicholas Meyer for is Sulu’s line “I was born there (San Francisco).”. Of course, it’s very possible that a person of Japanese ancestry could have been born in SF (I imagine most 23rd century cities are multicultural), but it denied the Japanese the opportunity to have a real presence in the show. Anyway, it is more important to get the best actors for the parts than from the right country (and who can’t do a Scottish accent?). The most interesting thing about this is that if they are casting all of the peripheral parts, it seems more likely that the film is about Kirk, et al taking command of the Enterprise, rather than Academy days (which was the idea Harve Bennett wanted to pursue). In that case, it’s fine to have all the characters back (even Chekov, who we KNOW was on the Enterprise in season 1, because Khan met him). But… Read more »
August 20, 2007 10:30 am

35 – “it’s good to cast young people, so they won’t age too fast if we get a series of films! ”

yeah i guess if this one is a success (whick it fing well better be or thats it for Trek…at least in the movies) there will be a Star Trek 12, 13, 14 etc…a film every 2-3 years just like before…maybe it’ll be a trendy trilogy leading up to season 1 of TOS..

Thank god Abrams went with a movie instead of a tv series…

August 20, 2007 11:34 am


Wow, it’s amazing to think that someday there could actually be 14 Star Trek movies.

It’s bound to happen eventually though, even if Abrams’ reimagining DOESN’T take off. Paramount is going to keep their cash cow alive no matter what.

August 20, 2007 12:13 pm

The KFC commercial was funny, but did anyone watch this one?

I don’t need an umbrella you Wally! Beam us up!

Jeffrey S. Nelson
August 20, 2007 12:33 pm

Give Chris Doohan a screen test, please Mr. Orci. Make it so. I mean, energize…

August 20, 2007 12:46 pm

Anthony this is why I just come here now for news. You check it out to confirm the articles on the web about the new movie. I have even deleted all the other Trek sites I had in my bookmarks and now just go to

Lord Garth Formerly of Izar
August 20, 2007 1:23 pm

Bagdad Bob -editor in chief of British tabloids

Lord Garth Formerly of Izar
August 20, 2007 1:42 pm

Incidentally- Paramount and Dreamworks just announced they are HD DVD exclusive – No blu-Ray Trek!!!

As The Lord has both formats don’t you, my humble people, worry. Your Lord will be watching Trek films in HD, rest assured

August 20, 2007 1:43 pm

Apparently they call the paper “The Mirror” because it reflects fake news a week or two later.

August 20, 2007 2:05 pm

Where the HEZMANA did those old ads come from?!!??!
The one for Powergen looks like it had a bigger budget than Final Frontier!

August 20, 2007 2:17 pm

Only 2 casting announcements thus far. We just have to wait. Quinto said he had the part in june. They did not announce that till Comic con. Nimoy was not saying anything right up until comic con. I truly believe that the team is deep into casting. They have to be if the movie shoots in November. It shows that they are taking their time. There are probably deals being made or are made that we do not know about. This is just getting so exciting. This site I am sure will be the first to report as soon as possible.
Even when the stories or rumors are pure garbage, Anthony always warns everyone to hold the nose.

August 20, 2007 2:48 pm

#46 Tom

Three casting announcements, actually. Quinto just confirmed Anton Yelchin was cast as Chekov. Although, it’s not an official announcement, but it’ll do.

August 20, 2007 3:24 pm

Sorry, that KFC ad has me completely sidetracked. The Kirk and Scotty lookalikes were just about dead on. Who did the voices? That was a trip!

I know we are supposed to be arguing about a rumor right now but I’m more interested in chicken ads. Information, people! Curiosity is killing my cat!

August 20, 2007 4:01 pm

Man, when did that KFC commercial come out? The vid was posted back in 06. Can’t believe I never saw it. Strange that Spock wasn’t featured in it, I wonder what was up with that?

Fatman Bruno
August 20, 2007 4:01 pm

I’m guessing Shatner & Doohan did their voices, (they seemed to like working together in adverts considering the ‘History’) but the rest of the voices seemed to be taken from sound bites of the show, or impersonated.
Anyone know the names of the look-a-like actors?