TrekMovie.com has another Star Trek casting scoop (remember we were first with Quinto as Spock). Sources close to the production tell TrekMovie.com that 29-year-old actress Zoë Saldana has been offered the part of Uhura – the USS Enterprise’s communications officer originally played by Nichelle Nichols. Apparently the deal is not yet final and one outstanding issue may be related to her schedule starring in the James Cameron sci-fi mega movie Avatar which is still in production. Sources indicate that Avatar will be doing location shooting starting in October and Star Trek is slated to start shooting in November. Dealing with a busy actor’s schedules is not new to the Star Trek producers – the same had to be done for Quinto. Insiders tell TrekMovie.com that casting for other Star Trek characters is still ongoing.
UPDATE: Confirmed – Zoe Saldana Is The New Uhura
Active film career + Abrams and Trek connection
Beyond Avatar Saldana has seventeen feature film credits but is probably best known starring along with Orlando Bloom in the 2004 drama Haven or for her starring role in the 2005 comedy Guess Who with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac. The actress also had a small role in the 2003 hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, but the lead in Avatar and being cast as the new Uhura puts her into the genre film top tier. Saldana has a connection to Star Trek producer/director J.J. Abrams as she was in two episodes in the recent ABC series Six Degrees produced by Abrams and fellow Star Trek producer Bryan Burk. But the new Star Trek is not actually her first brush with Trek. Saldana played a Trekkie customs officer in the 2004 film The Terminal starring Tom Hanks (see clip below).
More info on Saldana.
Excerpt from Wikipedia entry:
Zoë Saldaña was born in New Jersey to immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Her first languages are Spanish and English. She was raised in Queens, New York, but when she was nine, her father died in a car accident, and her mother moved her and her sisters back to the Dominican Republic. While there, she enlisted in a ballet class and gained experience as a dancer, enlisting in one of the most prestigious dancing schools of that country, which benefited her during her later role in Center Stage. Saldaña returned to the USA after her sophomore year in high school, and enrolled in the Faces Theater Program, an acting course. She also worked in Burger King as a cashier in the mid 90s. She is currently dating actor Keith Britton.
Trailer for Haven introduced by Saldana
AOL Moviephone Q&A for Guess Who with Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher and Saldana (launches new window)
VOTE: Thumbs up for Zoe?
The new TrekMovie.com poll asks for your thoughts about the Zoe Saldana being the new Uhura (see right column)
Zoë Saldana as TOS Uhura (as envisioned by TrekMovie.com resident artist Steve Moss)