John Cho Is The New Sulu [UPDATE: A Takei Endorsement] |
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John Cho Is The New Sulu [UPDATE: A Takei Endorsement] October 11, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: ST09 Cast , trackback has another exclusive scoop for JJ Abrams’ new crew. According to sources Korean born actor John Cho has been tipped to be the new Hikaru Sulu for the new Star Trek. Cho is probably best known as a comedy actor for his roles in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and American Pie. At 35, Cho is older than the character calls for (and older than George Takei was when he originated the role), but Cho tends to ‘play younger’ as they say in Hollywood. Cho was not available for comment, but at an event last year he told he would jump at the chance to play Trek’s original helmsman saying "are you kidding? to drive the Enterprise, that would be so cool!"

Sulu not necessarily Japanese
Although the film’s casting sheet called for a Japanese-American, Gene Roddenberry originally envisioned Sulu to be more of a general representative for Asia (as Uhura was for Africa). In fact the name Sulu was chosen based on the Sulu Sea which has coastlines throughout Asia (instead of more nationality specific as most Asian name are). At the recent Star Trek convention in Las Vegas George Takei told "he doesn’t need to be Japanese. They should cast the most talented and most appropriate actor for that role." Takei did note that there was a resemblance between Quinto and Nimoy (the two Spocks) and thought that the new actor playing Sulu should be "credibly a younger me."

UPDATE: Takei on Cho has just posted this reaction to the Cho casting from the George Takei

Sulu’s in good hands. John Cho is an exciting actor. I’ve seen Cho in many productions at East West Players and he always brings a vigorous sense of individuality to his roles. Under the leadership of J.J. Abrams, the Star Trek franchise is being infused with new energy and I hope John Cho plays a critical part for many years — and films — to come.

Active career – Abrams & Yelchin connection – trend setter
Over the last decade Cho has racked up 53 film and TV credits. His seventh job was a guest spot on the JJ Abrams show Felicity, making him the third cast member who has worked on an Abrams project (Simon Pegg was in MI3 and Zoe Saldana did a guest spot on Six Degrees). He also has a connection to his Star Trek co-star Anton Yelchin (Chekov) as both had supporting roles in the 2001 film Delivering Milo. But it was Cho’s role in the 1999 comedy hit American Pie that really got him noticed. His breakout character is even credited with popularizing the term ‘MILF’ (see clip below) and he also appeared in two Pie sequels. Cho then hit the big time with Harold and Kumar in 2004 and the actor recently finished shooting Harold and Kumar 2 which is slated to come out sometime next year. However, it isn’t all acting for Cho, he is also the lead singer in the band Left of Zed.

UPDATE:’s scoop has been confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter



Cho at:   IMDB    |   Wikipedia

Cho in Harold and Kumar

Cho’s ‘MILF scene’ in American Pie (contains mature language)


1. JCool - October 11, 2007

The eyebrows! Wow!

JJ sure loves them thick.

John Cho as Sulu? good choice!

2. Sean4000 - October 11, 2007

then it’s set. now only bones ans kirk remain

3. Noleuser - October 11, 2007

Interesting choice

4. valentine - October 11, 2007

It doesn’t matter that John Cho isn’t Japanese. He’s Korean, which looks very similar, and no I don’t mean that in the cliche’ “All asian people look alike” way. Even a Japanese person would be hard pressed to distinguish between the two just by looking at them, the same way you couldn’t tell a Brit from an American just by looking at them.

5. jooz - October 11, 2007

I gave 10 points for his low voice!


6. Noleuser - October 11, 2007

Great job guys on the exclusives!

7. Star Trek Casting: Simon Pegg as Scotty, John Cho as Sulu; Budget $150M+ | /Film - October 11, 2007

[…] source: Variety, moviehole, trekmovie Related Stories:   • Confirmed: James McAvoy cast as Scotty in JJ Abrams Star Trek?  • Star Trek Casting Rumors: Mike Vogel, Paul McGillion and Adrien Brody  • Casting Star Trek: Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Eric Bana as Villain  • Run, Fat Boy, Run Movie Trailer  • Star Trek 11: Big Casting Announcements at Comic-Con, Shooting Begins in Novemeber […]

8. TrekSucksHard - October 11, 2007

Has a resemblance to Takei compared to any of the other Asian actors out there so I think that was probably the deciding factor.

On the Kirk casting I do hope Abrams does a turnaround and puts Matt Damon in. Damon is a proven box-office smash and won’t be such a risk as compared to an unknown as Kirk.

9. cd - October 11, 2007

Star Trek: The Comedy. Star Trek: The Joke.

10. Pragmaticus - October 11, 2007

Matt Damon is too old. Good Lord, how many times must I say it?

11. Noleuser - October 11, 2007

Matt Damon would be awesome, but unfortunately he is too old, especially if they show him at the academy.

All in all I say the casting is pretty good, and I have put my complete faith on JJ and the crew.

12. Harry Ballz - October 11, 2007

It looks like Abrams is going to spend $120 million of Paramount’s money to make a cosmic joke! What a sad day for TREK!

13. Pragmaticus - October 11, 2007

According to the Hollywood Reporter article, Chris Pike and Kirk’s parents are confirmed as being in the movie in major roles.

14. Robogeek - October 11, 2007

I gotta concur with #8’s post (though not his name).

The fact that they’ve just cast a 37-year-old as Scotty and a 35-year-old as Sulu makes me think (and even hope) that the (just-turned) 37-year-old Matt Damon should no longer be ruled out as being “too old” to play Kirk.

Concurrently, I can’t help but wonder if it’s best to cast a lesser name actor (Chris Pine) as Kirk than they’ve cast for three supporting roles (Bana, Pegg, Cho).

No offense to Pine, but I still can’t help but think that Damon would kick unholy ass as Kirk.

P.S.: John Cho is exceedingly cool.

P.P.S.: And btw, #4, you’re… wrong, actually.

15. cd - October 11, 2007

Just cast Will Farrell as Kirk. He can bring the phenomenal success that he had in Bewitched to Star Trek.

16. om - October 11, 2007

“Next week, on Star Trek: Sulu and Chekov go to Deep Space 9!”

17. Data_Lives_in_B4 - October 11, 2007

This is soooo friggin awesome! My older brother used to work with him even before he was on AMERICAN PIE.


18. Robogeek - October 11, 2007

Another thought…

It may not have been the wisest PR move on Paramount’s part to announce these two casting decisions in tandem, because on the surface, it makes it appear like the film may headed into spoof territory — given the (primarily) comedic backgrounds/strengths/associations of Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) and Cho (Harod and Kumar, American Pie).

Thankfully, given it’s J.J. Abrams and his team at the helm — and not, say, McG or Stephen Sommers (thank God) — we should all be assured that’s not the case.

I would urge my fellow fans to look past the obvious and take a closer look at their work, which reveals considerable depth. Look at Cho in Better Luck Tomorrow, for example (or the episode of House he guested on). These are actors of considerable talent, who bring a lot to the table.

They’re also, to my knowledge, considerable geeks – so I think they will pick up the mantle of these roles with appropriate respect, relish and reverence.

Now let’s just see who gets cast as Kirk, McCoy and Pike.

19. sean - October 11, 2007

Hear, hear, Robogeek.

These are both great casting choices, which are only getting bad responses here because of the good comedic work done by both actors in the past. I’ve actually got more confidence in these two than I do for Quinto.

20. Devon - October 11, 2007

I might can accept him for Sulu.

“which are only getting bad responses here because of the good comedic work done by both actors in the past. ”

That’s an assumption. I don’t like Scott Pegg 1. Resembles absolutely nothing to Scott 2. I don’t like his acting!

21. sean - October 11, 2007

I’m not sure who this “Scott Pegg” guy you’re talking about is, but I like Simon Pegg’s acting.

22. Devon - October 11, 2007

Okay, “Simon.” Now what does it change? Nothing.

23. max - October 11, 2007

I have no problem with the casting of all the comedic actors. Between drama and comedy, the latter is the more difficult. If an actor can do comedy, he can probably do drama. Besides, I don’t want a humorless Trek film, and I don’t think anyone else does either. Trek has always had humor in every incarnation, even in the deathly serious TMP.

The humor in Nemesis felt uncomfortable. Hopefully Abrams movie will do a better job in that department this time. Welcome to the Star Trek family, Mr. Cho.

24. Robogeek - October 11, 2007

Devon, I realize we’re in the wrong article thread for this, but since you’re so fixated on Pegg, I have to ask…

Have you actually seen “Hot Fuzz”? “Shaun of the Dead”? “Spaced”? His guest appearance on “Doctor Who”?

Because I frankly know no one who doesn’t like Pegg who’s actually seen his work.

Granted, Pegg doesn’t look like Doohan, nor is he a Scot. But he’s a brilliant talent.

As Kirk told Scotty in Star Trek III, “Young minds, fresh ideas – be tolerant.” ;-)

25. Chris Clow - October 11, 2007

Keep in mind, Scotty was the oldest (besides Spock) of the crew anyways. Cho is a good Sulu, he looks young enough even if he’s truly not.

I’m very pleased so far, Christmas ’08 can’t get here soon enough!

26. Trekee - October 11, 2007

I think it was Joss Whedon who said that he would always want to cast comedians for dramatic roles, comedy is HARD, and after that, the timing needed for real drama is easy (for a given value of easy).

I doubt very much that this will be a ST 5 style knockabout though it would be wrong to think that it will be a BSG dark as midnight film either. There has always been comedy in Star Trek and when it is done well it makes for really good Trek.

I don’t know enough about John Cho’s work to comment but if he has done both comedy and drama then that’s all to the good.

What I’d really hate is someone with zero comic timing to have to try to ‘be funny’ when they can’t. That would be bad…

What we want is for the cast to play it straight (this goes especially for Simon Pegg who is great in Hot Fuzz but looks really bad in Run Fatboy Run which seems a more ‘traditional’ comedy). If you doubt his SF credentials, go and watch Spaced, the man is simply steeped in film and sci-fi.

If he wears the uniform, gets a shave and loses the glasses, he should be fine. I think though that he looks so completely unlike James Doohan though that he *is* going to pull us out of the film a little though as someone on the other thread said, so for that reason only I’m a little dissapointed though I expect he’ll be awesome and scene steal for Gloucester. I’m really, really not expecting a black toupe…

And apologies as this has become more a Simon Pegg comment.

27. - October 11, 2007

Doesn’t anyone else see a problem with a Christmas Day Release…..

28. Devon - October 11, 2007

“Devon, I realize we’re in the wrong article thread for this,”

I’m not “fixated” on him. I was merely responding to someone who claimed anyone who didn’t like these two were only juding them for their comedic roles, which isn’t true.

I’d be more than happy to discuss this further on the Pegg thread.

As for my opinion on Cho, he may very well work!

29. Cygnus-X1 - October 11, 2007

John Cho – good actor, good choice.

As with Simon Pegg, I’m excited to see how Cho will play Sulu. He also brings the added dimension of comedic timing to the role. This could make for some killer scenes between Scotty and Sulu….think Star Trek IV…..

Words worth emphasizing, by George Takei:

“They should cast the most talented and most appropriate actor for that role.”

As they should with all of the roles, even if some of the ladies would like a given actor to have his eyebrows tweezed.

30. Nelson - October 12, 2007

I don’t know Cho and I never saw American Pie, nor do I have any desire to.

He does not look like a younger Takei and I bet he can’t say, “Oh My!”.

Seems the fear is true, this is going to be either really good, or Star Trek 90120.

I’ll try to wait before I make a judgement, but so far I am not too impressed with Pine or Cho.

31. USS SANTA - October 12, 2007

Like It Or Not Its Meant To Be

I Guess We’ll Have To Wait And See

But Either Way ITS HERE TO STAY!

Let STAR TREK LIVE On Christmas Day!!

HO HO HO !!!

32. - October 12, 2007

Cho is 35….90210 I think not.

33. Andy Patterson - October 12, 2007

15. cd – October 11, 2007

Just cast Will Farrell as Kirk. He can bring the phenomenal success that he had in Bewitched to Star Trek.

I love well placed sarcastic wit. Well put.

34. Shatner_Fan_2000 - October 12, 2007

#29 “As with Simon Pegg, I’m excited to see how Cho will play Sulu. He also brings the added dimension of comedic timing to the role.”

Please tell me you’re kidding. “Comedic timing”? Excuse me, I think I’m gonna be sick … :(

35. Luke Montgomery - October 12, 2007

John Cho is a great actor and a damn hot guy. I’m stunned that the cast is a kick-ass killer as it is. Am I dreaming?

JJ Abrams was sooo the right choice for this. Inspired. Can anyone imagine Berman and Braga bringing this kind of cool to the game. Nope. Didn’t think so. This is really a new era for star trek and I’m on board 100%.

Now comes the wait for xmas 08 and who’s gonna be mccoy?

36. raffie - October 12, 2007

I’m a bit dissapointed with the ‘asian is good enough’ thing. Not Trek-like at all IMHO. Sulu was Japanese and proud of it, how credible is he going to be played by a Korean guy?

37. Kahless - October 12, 2007

I’m an Asian male, Cho is the best choice by far of the small pool of regularly working youngish Asian male actors in Hollywood. If Bionic Woman’s Will Yun Lee were younger, he might’ve been good too.

38. Cygnus-X1 - October 12, 2007

34. Shatner_Fan_2000 – October 12, 2007

— Please tell me you’re kidding. “Comedic timing”? Excuse me, I think I’m gonna be sick … —

I’m not kidding. I laughed at that elevator scene.

39. dave - October 12, 2007

raffle, Doohan was a Canadian, not a Scot.
Sounds like TREK casting to me….

40. Cenobyte - October 12, 2007

I have a few things to say about these actors, and the over the top tragedy a third of the people here are spurting off about.

First off, the recent choices. Simon Pegg will not screw around, I’m positive he will deliver a tribute to Scotty… out of any of the new guys cast so far he has already proven himself to be a fan of the horror/sci-fi genre. Those who have seen the darker moments of Sean of the Dead will realize he can act. He actually played the straight guy in Hot Fuzz, which was as much a tribute to horror/sci-fi flicks as it was cop/buddy movies. No one knows what they plan on doing to make him look a little more Scotty-ish, so why the hell comment on how much he doesn’t look like James Doohan? Pointless.

Next, Cho seems like a reasonable guy to cast as Sulu. I mean Sulu more than likely would be ranked number 5 of the 7 original main cast members (hint the last 2 were recently cast by basically unknown actors, who will more than likely have no more than 2-3 pages of dialog between them in this new movie), and many folks love him… however, he isn’t Kirk, Spock or Bones. So why not get a guy like Cho? He may not be a carbon copy of Takai, but you know what? He isn’t far off either. He’s also not a bad actor for a guest star in a movie. I’m guna go out on a limb here and guess that Spock’s mother will not be referred to as a MILF in Star Trek 11, so the comic styling of John Cho shouldn’t come into play so much. Think about it.

Kirk and Bones are huge and I trust they will go thru a careful casting process with their final choices to ensure these guys can deliver on these iconic characters… why the hell wouldn’t they?!

Next, J.J. Abrams and co seem like guys who grew up watching Star Trek in some form or another. Abrams and co also seem to love the genre and have given us a few very cool new ideas based on old fan boy stuff over the last few years. I trust them… those who bothered to read the interview with Orci on will realize that they all want to pay tribute and honor the Trek everyone grew up with.

Those pre-disposed to hate this whole idea of a new Trek film will continue with their objections i’m sure… however, it’s happening, you don’t have to like it… and frankly I don’t care if you do or not. I will make my own mind up when this shit opens up next year. But for now I’m ok with the casting decisions.

Final note, I do agree that Xmas 2008 is a shitty time to open this flick, I think it can compete with summer movies and it should! Also Gary Sinise for Bones, hard to believe you could do better! :P

41. NotBob - October 12, 2007

Star Trek XI: Sulu and Scotty Go To White Castle

I have seen Pegg in four or five movies. I like his movies and I’m sure he could probably do a serious dramatic role. It’s just when I see him I don’t really think Scotty. For the past few months I have been wondering who they would choose. I saw Pegg on Conan a few weeks and I did not find myself saying “Why, there he is. That’s the man who is the next Scotty.

Same holds true with Cho, but even more so. He’s really typecasted himself (or his agents did) with the Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and American Pie movies. I’ve seen him in other things and when I did I always thought of that pot smokin’ school horn ball kid. He’ll be driving the Enterprise and I’ll wonder if they are gonna end up picking up Neal Patrick Harris.

He’s not Sulu or my name is not Bob. What the hell?

42. Iowagirl - October 12, 2007

Well, now I’m sure they WILL change the timeline…

43. DJT - October 12, 2007

Harold… from Harold and Kumar?

Seriously? You mean, I didn’t just stick myself with a hypo full of cordrazine? No? A vulcan neck pinch, then? No?

No offense to Mr. Cho, but c’mon guys, wt_?

44. NotBob - October 12, 2007

The question is can we?

45. raffie - October 12, 2007

dave: I don’t think the Scottish/Canadian comparison works.
I study Japanese and am fascinated by Japanese culture, cinema, music (no not j-pop)… I could be a bit biased here, but i can’t help to feel this is a shame. From a Japanese perspective I know it would just be weird. Japanese have a very unique culture and language. I feel that an actor playing a Japanese should also be Japanese, not just happen to be from a country in the same continent, but as I said, from this movie’s target audience point of view, I’m probably going to be biased.
He does look as he could have been Japanese though.

46. NotBob - October 12, 2007

Possible titles:

Star Trek XI: The Wrath of Pot

Star Trek XI: The Search for Milfs

Star Trek XI: The Voyage To White Castle

Star Trek XI: The Undiscovered Eyebrow Trimmers

Harold is in the film. But still not sign of Skywalker and So…..I mean Shatner.

47. Londo - October 12, 2007

Gah, no! The MILF guy? This is the first casting choice I’m not happy with.

48. Snake - October 12, 2007

poor Jon Cho

his Sulu news has been COMPLEATLY overshadowed by pegg as Scot

EVERY website is running the headline PEGG AS SCOTTY…and just ignoring Cho as Sulu


49. Clint Colesmith - October 12, 2007

I’m all for it. John certainly played the straight guy in Harold and Kumar, and did a good job at that. As for Simon Pegg, i haven’t seen anything of his work, but I have faith in the crew that’s putting this together, and if they say he’s it, he’s it.

50. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - October 12, 2007

I don’t consider this casting choice to be a disaster, but I have to say: John Cho doesn’t look enough like Takei did in the ’60s. Takei’s Sulu really does look specifically Japanese. And John Cho really does look specifically Korean (though he could pass for Chinese if he needed to, in my opinion). I think there are certain people of Chinese or Korean descent who can pass for people of Japanese descent, but John Cho is not among these people.

51. TK - October 12, 2007

#45 raffie

I’m from Japan, but I am totally cool with this decision to go with a non-japanese actor. I agree with #37 who said that “Cho is the best choice by far of the small pool of regularly working youngish Asian male actors in Hollywood.” I mean, the young japanese actors that I know (based in japan) a. most can’t act b. won’t be able to do the american accent properly, let alone speak english. I don’t know about the situation in hollywood i.e. how many japanese american actors there are, but i guess JJ and team really wouldn’t have had much choice but to go with an actor with an oriental background rather than stick to japanese. So it’s cool. Really.

I’ll just add that I was a bit disappointed when they cast a chinese lady as the main character in the movie memoire of a geisha. Now THAT is a totally different story. We’re talking about a geisha, which is a quintessentially japanese thing. Come on Japenese actors!!!

From what I’ve seen in the clips above, Cho’s cute ;) So I am totally for Cho as Sulu.

52. CTIII - October 12, 2007

So Abrams and company are arrogant enough to assume that all Asians look enough alike that a Korean can play a Japanese role? That’s just lazy. With all the time they have left until the movie’s release, they could have taken some more time to do a proper search for a Japanese actor.

53. Cervantes ( Who's bright idea was it to cast a weed Englishman as 'Scotty'?... ) - October 12, 2007

Don’t know much about this actor, but my youngest son will be happy as he really liked that ‘Harold and Kumar’ Movie…

For myself, I like this casting a whole lot better than the ‘Scotty’ announcement…

54. Tim Handrahan - October 12, 2007

OH MY! That is a line I think Cho can deliver with his voice!

55. The Master - October 12, 2007

I do not like the choice for both Scott ie or Sulu, but who am I. I hope this works.
I really thought Paul McGillion would get the part of Scottie

56. doubleofive - October 12, 2007

Part of me is worried because this is looking like the Saturday Night Live version of Star Trek, but the rest of me is excited because there’s something for everyone. Even if I didn’t like Star Trek, I’d see the new movie now that Simon Pegg is cast (I know my wife is). Quinto is bringing the Heroes fans, Cho is bringing the R-rated comedy lovers, Pegg is bringing the British comedy lovers, Zoe is bringing the heterosexual males, Anton is bringing the young heterosexual females, Bana is bringing the older heterosexual females, Nimoy is bringing the Trekkies… What else do we need, besides maybe Shatner?

57. The Master - October 12, 2007

We need an awsome plot that strictly adheres to cannon. given the choices for Scottie and for Sulu, I think the powers that be can make up for it that way. now they need Shatner. I hope that they don’t make him a bad guy like the MI made Mr. Phelps and totally disted Peter Graves.

58. TJ - October 12, 2007

Interesting choice, probably not the best idea to follow it on or with Pegg’s casting as Scotty (dear god, what where they thinking? they couldn’t have got it more wrong!) and does make we wonder if we’re gonna have Trek the Spoof…next think you know Wil Farrell will be Kirk! Is it April 1st or something?

Cho does however, have almost the right look and in no way looks 35…more like 25!!! I like this casting infinitely more then Pegg….but am definately going to reserve judgement.

59. JRBINDFW - October 12, 2007

to Pragmatis on #13, i’ve heard the same thing about Pike and Kirk’s Parents over at…. very interesting

60. Brent Enloe - October 12, 2007

very interesting choice… I like it

61. Anaish - October 12, 2007

#24. [Have you actually seen “Hot Fuzz”? “Shaun of the Dead”? “Spaced”? His guest appearance on “Doctor Who”? Because I frankly know no one who doesn’t like Pegg who’s actually seen his work.]

That would be me then. He’s just not a good actor, and not particularly funny, except perhaps in a horrible cringy ‘I can’t believe how bad he is’ kind of way.

#25 [Keep in mind, Scotty was the oldest (besides Spock) of the crew anyways]

Wasn’t Bones the oldest of the humans?

62. Kenny B - October 12, 2007

Jesus, what a bunch of cry babies, let the man make his movie. One of Tom Hanks first big roles was in a sit-com about two guys who crossed dressed…..But I think he does drama OK……and he has the Oscars to prove it. J.J. likes these people for the parts, he must see something………I trust him. Can’t wait to see the final product.

63. startrackie - October 12, 2007

He or any other choice for this role isn’t likely to have much more to say than “Aye sir” or “Firing phasers”. There just isn’t time in a 2 hour movie to give a lot of screen time to supporting cast members who were barely in the original show to begin with. Cho will do just fine.

64. Dennis Bailey - October 12, 2007

Exactly. Can Cho sit at a station and push buttons? Can Pegg go over the top in complaining about being asked to do his job? Little more is required for either of these characters.

65. CmdrR. - October 12, 2007

So, they’re keeping the original ‘mix’ if not the exact formula. That’s fine. Will Sulu admit to being older than Kirk? That’s a different dynamic. Could make for a good scene or too. Hell, maybe Cap’n Sulu got his braid ripped off because of some scandal and he’s slumming on the E. We should be open to SOME changes.
Anyway, Welcome aboard John!

66. Scott Gammans - October 12, 2007

#56, several of the announced and speculative castmembers will also bring in teh gayz. :)

67. dalek - October 12, 2007

He best get practicing “Warp factor two”

68. Kahless - October 12, 2007

#52, what Japanese actors? There aren’t any youngish Japanese-American actors that I’m aware of, although they probably did look at a few unknowns. And no way were they going to cast someone from Japan that can barely speak English.

69. Jay - "The Real Jim Kirk" - October 12, 2007

good choice in my opinion, i just hope he can do that Sulu stoner japanese accent! and of course be a little camp!

based on the age of the cast members so far, i see no reason why we cant have Damon as Kirk and Sinese as McCoy – that would be perfection

still abit pissed with the pegg announcement :@

70. TK - October 12, 2007

#58, To me, Cho actually does look like he’s in his 30’s. If you’re used to looking at Oriental people (and if you are one yourself like I am), you would be able to tell that he is in his 30’s rather than 20’s.

71. TK - October 12, 2007

#69 Yes yes yes! Gary Sinese as McCOY!!!

72. TrekLog » Blog Archive » Trek XI - Casting (fast) komplett - October 12, 2007

[…] Hikaru Sulu: John Cho (NEU und mit 35 Jahren eigentlich zu alt für die Rolle…) […]

73. ZoomZoom - October 12, 2007

I like this guy- very good in Kitchen Confidential.

74. Gary Lee - October 12, 2007

With so many of the actors in this movie are older than Chris Pine maybe there are more than two Kirks at different ages and time if it is a time travel story ? Maybe Chris Pine is the youngest Kirk , then a Kirk in his 30’s on the Enterprise, then at the end Shatner is there as the older Kirk.

75. sean's clone - October 12, 2007

They are definetly casting older than I expected them to with Scott and Sulu. Both good choice though, IMHO.

Does anyone know what the age difference is between Kirk and Scotty on the show?

76. sean's clone - October 12, 2007


I agree that, given the age of the cast thus far, Sinese would be an excellent choice for Bones – However, given the calibur of the cast so far, I more nervous than ever with the Pine selection – not sure he has the acting chops to keep up…

77. Danya Romulus - October 12, 2007

People–please–if you couldn’t tell from the casting already, this film is about a YOUNG Enterprise crew. Gary Sinise is 52 years old.

78. Demode - October 12, 2007

You know who I think would make a great Dr McCoy? Simon Pegg. He tends to play grumpy well, is witty, and has bags under his eyes. All he needs is a good wig, and voila! I wonder if he would be available for the part?

79. Jay - October 12, 2007

*77 “Gary Sinise is 52 years”

big deal! he doesnt look it, and lets be honest bones always looked about 20 years older than he was!

80. Robogeek - October 12, 2007

Ditto to #77.

People – Gary Sinise is FIFTY-TWO. He would’ve been a perfect McCoy a decade or so ago. (DeForest Kelly was 46 when he first played McCoy, I believe.) Besides, Sinise’s shooting schedule on CSI: NY precludes his availability anyway.

(And yes, I realize my earlier comment about Matt Damon stretches logic a bit as well, as this film’s Kirk will be the “untested, youngest starship captain in Starfleet history”. But wow, just imagine Damon as Kirk and Sinise as McCoy – if only they were ten years younger!)

81. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - October 12, 2007

52 years old isn’t a problem now, but what happens if the movie is a big success, and it spawns a TV show, and more movies, etc. What happens 20 years from now, when he’s 72 and he’s playing McCoy, and everyone else is in their 50s? I grant you, this is looking rather far ahead, but it seems to me that this project needs the potential to expand, which is a reason why I’m not thrilled about the inclusion of Simon Pegg, since he’s unlikely to want to “stoop” to a TV spinoff, etc.

82. Dr. Image - October 12, 2007

Yeah, Sinise is 52, so drop it already!
Cho? Hey, they could have done A LOT worse!!
I’m really pulling for Pine, and reeling from Pegg- I don’t get it.

83. Paul Martin - October 12, 2007

A prequel… with older actors?!…. what happens in the next film if some of them are pushing 40? Still, I can pass this all by, I’m counting on a cracking story :)

84. CTIII - October 12, 2007

Remember people Sulu was a physicist to begin with so if this is a prequel he shouldnt be sitting at the station we saw him at for so many years…and again the CMO wouldnt be McCoy it would be Dr. Piper…unless canon is thrown out the window or this whole time travel garbage is used to explain away all the violations.

85. Demode - October 12, 2007

Couldn’t Sulu be BOTH a physicist and helmsman on Enterprise? He can’t fly the ship all the time. Maybe being a helmsman was a secondary duty at the time. If they can have a scene with him acting as a physicist (or advising Kirk on the bridge from the Helm as such) that would be good.

86. Nelson - October 12, 2007

I wouldn’t assume that the writing and direction of this film will have Sulu and Scotty and Uhura and Chekov in minor bit parts. They may have more substantial contributions then was possible on the TOS. That’s why I worry a bit about the casting. One person said this is starting to look like a Saturday Night Live skit. I would have to agree!

But I will put my trust on the team for now. But first appearances does make this look like a youngish kid version of Trek, where they will say things like, “Cool dude, Warp factor 12.” Maybe Janice Rand will serve Sulu food in this film and he’ll call her a MILF.

One last thing about Cho, Sulu was said by Roddenberry to represent the Asian continent. Takei happen to be Japanese. Does Sulu have to be Japanese? To some perhaps. One the other hand, hiring a Korean actor sort of shows what our current culture is going, that South Korea is a raising power anyway. It has a global reach now, economically they are raising to where Japan was years ago.

That does not mean I endorse or dislike Cho. I really know nothing about him, other then what you guys said. I didn’t know he was the person who uttered the MILF line. As an actor, he did his job.

87. Jesustrek - October 12, 2007

Cho -Sulu??? Bad,,,bad,,,bad.

88. Just Say No - October 12, 2007

No way!! Bad choice!

89. Johnny Ice - October 12, 2007

John Cho as Sulu works for me.
p.s. Sinise is too OLD c´mon guys, He is 53 years old.

90. Luke Montgomery - October 12, 2007

To all the Cho haters… F**k off already. Just because YOU only know this guy from a few comedies doesn’t mean he can’t act in any other genre. In fact, it only shows your lack of vision and experience. Do you really think you have a better handle on things than Abrams and Co. just because you saw Harold and Kumar? You haven’t seen the auditions, you haven’t seen his other work. You just spout off with arrogant ignorance and dig yourself into a hole of looking like some dork in fly-over country. The team behind this has talent far superior to your limited understanding of things and I’m looking forward to what they put out. They’ve approached this project with revernece for the material and as fans… cut them some slack.

As for Cho being ethnicly Korean and not Japenese, have you ever seen an american playing German? French? English? Again, just the hostile rantings of negative people who can best be described as “nobody’s nothings.”

And Pegg as Scotty? Spot on. This guy has range and can bring our beloved engine-lovin’ enginer back from the void. Glad to have them both on board.

(Did I mention that Cho is damn hot also.)

91. Xai - October 12, 2007

#9, 12

I realize it’s your opinion, but please… you are assuming alot.

92. Kuvagh - October 12, 2007

DeForest Kelley was 47 when TOS started. Based upon the ages of the actors so far, I’d say we’re looking for someone who’s about . . . 42, possibly? I haven’t seen Sinese lately, could he pass?

And please, no youngster McCoy. He should be about 15 years Kirk’s senior.

93. Tony - October 12, 2007

Number 1

“JJ sure loves them thick.”


That is just wrong on so many levels….

94. OneBuckFilms - October 12, 2007

#85 Sulu probably has to be a physicist in order to effectively pilot a Starship.

In deep, unknown space, there could be all sorts of anomalies he needs to navigate, and he needs to know exactly what to do to deal with these.

Scientific knowledge and discipline are essential for navigating such anomalies.

Besides, his skills in both areas have been established as canon in the original series.

95. The Master - October 12, 2007

McCoy was only 6 yrs his senior accordng to the offical Star trek Site
Kirk was born in 2233, Spock 2230
McCoy 2227, Scottie in 2222, Checkov was born in 2245, Sulu was in 2237, Urhua in 2239 I merely point this out do iwhat you will with it.

96. Pragmaticus - October 12, 2007

Sulu does require some comedic skill. I, for one, would love to see John Cho chasing after crew members with a foil, or saying, “Landru, Landru…” while looking all spaced out. He can pull it off.

97. Pragmaticus - October 12, 2007

Well, there you go. If George Takei likes him, I think you guys ought to drop your objections.

98. Cranston - October 12, 2007

I’d love for them to give a nod to Sulu’s physics background in the film. I think #94 makes a good point – physics expertise makes perfect sense for a guy whose job is to hurl a 10,000-ton hunk of metal through space at faster-than-light speeds and have it end up in the right place without hitting anything. Not a small order, now that you mention it.

And I like Cho. He’s personable, engaging, and great at getting across a lot of character economically. He fits the personality of Sulu in the first season (back when all of the characters got nice little moments to shine, before Sulu became just the bus driver) — sharp, sense of humor, and a good guy.

As for the ages of the actors, I agree with some of the others: Sinise would absolutely rock as McCoy. Please — 52 isn’t that old, and McCoy aged visibly more than anyone else in the later film series. I think Sinise in his ’60s will still be perfectly believable as McCoy relative to the younger actors. Still have my fingers crossed for that one.

And even though I don’t think there’s a chance in hell of it happening, I also think that it would be hard for JJ to do better than Damon as Kirk. Just IMO.

99. ZoomZoom - October 12, 2007

why do people keep banging on about Sinise- Cos he looks like De? Well, looks are no longer a defining need- I point you in the direction of Pegg.

100. Cranston - October 12, 2007

#99 — No, it’s not just the looks (which are OK, but not spot-on), it’s the voice, demeanor, and the fact that he’s a really good actor. I can really see him having the back-and-forth with Spock, the drinking-buddy relationship with Kirk, and the little spark of moral outrage that’s always there in McCoy. It’s just very easy for me to picture him not just wearing the costume, but being the character.

101. ZoomZoom - October 12, 2007

#100 I’m not sure that really good acting ability is a defining need- I point you in the direction of Pegg again!

102. Pragmaticus - October 12, 2007

101 – Pegg can act. Come on now, to say otherwise is being ridiculous.

103. StillKirok - October 12, 2007

All the living TOS actors will happily endorse their replacements. It really doesn’t mean anything.

104. Robogeek - October 12, 2007

92. – No.

95. – Yes.

98, 100. – Read my post (#80) again. It just doesn’t work to cast someone 15 years older than Kirk (assuming Chris Pine, and per 95) who’d be pushing 60 by the third film – plus Sinise isn’t even available due to CSI: NY, so it’s a moot point.

105. ZoomZoom - October 12, 2007

#101 he can act to a degree, but I haven’t seen a huge range from him. Not at all. But then he may not need it to say ‘she canna take any more’. Don’t get me wrong, he is a serviceable comedic actor, and i like him. But as Scotty…? I’m just not getting it.
Unlike this Cho guy. Like him. A lot.

106. ZoomZoom - October 12, 2007

sorry- #102 at #105 ;)

107. Nelson - October 12, 2007

re: Post 90-

In my case, I wouldn’t say lack of vision, just lack of exposure to what he can and has done.

George Takei has said he’s done some great work in other venues and is enthusiastic for him to play Sulu.

Obviously JJ and Takei has seen his work and feel he is right for the new vision of Sulu. So I am open minded enough to see what they do here and with the other choices too.

I think people are reacting based on limted exposure to these actors and also typing them based on past work. I haven’t seen any of their work, except Hot Fuzz. So I can open minded and see what they do. It’s very easy though for people to assume Cho would act like he did in the MILF thing.

108. I AM THX-1138 - October 12, 2007

Well this certainly has proven to be an interesting couple of days in the old casting dept. hasn’t it? I gotta say, I just don’t know about these three decisions (Bana, Pegg, Cho). I am always going to be open minded about Trek, but I have to admit that I just ‘aint getting that intangible “Trek” feeling from these guys. I’m not going to be rash and say that Star Trek is ruined, but I’m also not going to jump on the Abrams & co. bandwagon and sing “Hallejulia”, because I honestly can’t get a positive vibe from these actors.

Like I said about Pegg in that thread:

Show me that you deserve the role.

109. Driver - October 12, 2007

Good choice. ^(thumbs up). The McCoy role should be equally offbeat as is Pegg for Scotty.

110. Cranston - October 12, 2007

#104 Robogeek — I see what you’re saying, but I touched on that in my post (#98). Even if he’s 52, he doesn’t look 52 (and believe me, 52 looked a lot older even as recently as 1966). And I think he’d still be fine in his 60s playing someone in his 50s. Kelley aged much more visibly during the films than Shatner did, so the “apparent” age spread wouldn’t be a problem IMO.

You’re right that, if they go with Pine, the 25-year age difference will be more striking than the 11-year difference between Shatner and Kelley (and I don’t care one whit about Paramount saying it was only 6 years. That never appeared on film, and that alone would be a silly reason to reject an actor). But I still think it could work, given (again) that I don’t think Sinise looks 52. Kelley was already good and grizzled by his mid-40s.

But if they actually went with Damon for Kirk, the match would be pretty perfect.

I guess I’m just saying that I think Sinise would be such a good choice for the character that it would be worth it, even if a slight age incongruity starts to accrue after 3 or 4 films (and we should be so lucky).

111. Cranston - October 12, 2007

[followup to my post #110, and Driver’s #109]

That said, I’m very open to other casting choices, especially “offbeat” ones that I would never have thought of. I just want whoever it is to really *feel* like McCoy when I’m in the theater watching the movie. The soul of the man was the important part of that performance. Other considerations (age, looks, even accent) are secondary to me.

The same goes for Kirk, frankly.

112. ECH - October 12, 2007

So who is going to be the space MILF that cho as sulu and Kirk which might be pine will go for.

113. Just Say No - October 12, 2007

George Takei approves of Cho, like he has a choice. The actor has been cast. Takei isn’t going to rock the boat.

It’s a regrettably poor casting choice. There are others who would have done a much better, more charisma and better acting skills. Despite having been in so many productions, Cho isn’t the right actor.

Oh well, the choice has been made. Onwards to McCoy…

114. Just Say No - October 12, 2007

Btw, can anyone see Cho as Captain Sulu years from now?

115. TB - October 12, 2007

Robert Sean Leonard from TV’s “House” would make an interesting Bones if he could pull off a subtle southern accent. I think he’s around 37 which is perfect, too.

If memory serves me, Japanese & Chinese are two distinctly different races & Korean is related to Chinese. I would have thought the Japanese would have been more offended than a Brit playing a Scot, but these are modern times, after all. As I’ve said before, why do so many Brits play Americans & vice-versa?

Maybe McGillion was too much of a Doohan lookalike for JJ’s taste & maybe both Cho & Pegg nailed their auditions.

116. JCool - October 12, 2007

I have a feeling JJ is going to cast a black actor to play McCoy

That would be so wonderful!


or I might be wrong …. but you never know ;)

117. Cranston - October 12, 2007

#115 — Leonard is an interesting choice. I’m not sure I see it, but I’m willing to consider it.

Leading off of that, I went to IMDB with the idea of just looking at all of the actors of the right age group (i.e. late 30s – early 40s), and seeing if any of them struck a chord.

This is probably a terrible idea, but the first one that made me pause and go “hmmm” is Jason Bateman. For some reason that one struck me as interesting, although I’m not sure why.

As I said, just trying to think of interesting angles….

118. Harry Ballz - October 12, 2007

#108 THX “I just don’t know about these three decisions (Bana, Pegg, Cho)”

Hey, THX, I am greatly reassured that you seem to be of the same opinion……..

119. Tim Handrahan - October 12, 2007

Now how about George Takei for Admiral Nogura!

120. Dr. Image - October 12, 2007

Takei’s endorsement should be enough. Leave it alone.

Can you guys imagine how bizzare the first cast photo (in character) is going to look??
Like I said once, other than the originals, we’re more used to seeing the New Voyages people in these roles!
All the more reason for JJ to GET THIS RIGHT.
(I still can’t picture Pegg…)

121. Gary Lee - October 12, 2007

Jason Bateman as McCoy if younger Chris Pine is Captain Kirk

122. Demode - October 12, 2007

I use to think that George Takei for Admiral Nogura would be cool, but not anymore, simply for the reason the Nimoy is playing Older Spock in the movie, If anything, Takei should play Captain Sulu!

Oh… and Jason Bateman as McCoy would be inspired casting!

123. Pragmaticus - October 12, 2007

Seriously, to everyone who can’t get the “MILF” thing out of their heads – it’s been 8 years already since American Pie. That’s a pretty long time.

124. DJT - October 12, 2007


Sulu is actually gonna be older than Kirk?

how the eff does that happen?

Might as well have Damon as Kirk after all.

Where’s the dude from STNV when you need him?

125. I AM THX-1138 - October 12, 2007

Harry, it would appear that we agree on a great many things. But according to some people, my opinions are irrational. Jason Bateman as McCoy? Hmmm.

I am so looking forward to this movie but I do not feel the need to swallow every decision about Trek like it was pablum. Many of the people who are disagreeing with me are the same ones that get into the “my Trek is better than yours” BS. They have strong opinions but nobody should dissent with theirs. Bah.

And I am looking forward to this movie. Did I say that already?

126. Greg2600 - October 12, 2007

I love Jason Bateman, but no!

Cho is probably a good choice.

127. JCool - October 12, 2007

Chris Pine better sign up for the Star Trek movie!

He’s perfect as Kirk!

128. Jeff - October 12, 2007

Shields…. Shields!

129. Robogeek - October 12, 2007

113: Like who exactly? Name three examples please. ;-)

And how much of Cho’s work have you actually seen? (Have you even seen Better Luck Tomorrow?)

110: Thanks for correcting my sleep-deprived math/typo. Yes, it would be a 25-year age difference between McCoy and Kirk if they cast Sinise and Pine, which would be so wrong as to be disturbing. And I don’t know if you’ve seen Sinise lately, but I think at best he could pass for late 40s, which would still be a 20-year age difference. Again, I share your feeling that, all things being equal, he would make a truly _great _McCoy. Unfortunately, in this particular context/universe/film, I just don’t see it happening/working.

108: “Show me you deserve the role.” That’s fair, just as long as you/we give him/them the chance to, rather than pre-judging the movie before actually seeing it… which would of course be irrational. ;-)

I think it’s only natural for us to have reservations about these casting decisions, and the project in general. But let’s all try to keep an open mind.

Thanks for listening/reading.

130. I AM THX-1138 - October 12, 2007

Geek, that’s what I’ve been saying. i don’t really like the last three casting decisions, so I shall feel a little less excited about this movie and wait for December 2008 for these guys, who IMHO have a somewhat tougher row to hoe showing me that they were the right choices.

Better bring on some pics of the Enterprise, unis, and landing party gear that suits my need for hopeful Trek movie news.

131. girl6 - October 12, 2007

That’s hot.

132. Bubba Hotep - October 12, 2007

So in all of Hollywood they could not find a Japanese actor to play a Japanese role?

So typical of Hollywood to cast any Asian in a role calling for a specific Asian ethnicity. At least he isn’t a white guy.

133. Tj Trek - October 13, 2007

Can he pull off the drama…..Takie gets his vote, so I’m not going to give the guy a negative quite yet. Let’s just wait and see. I am over stoked about this movie. More then I was about Nemesis. And I mean I was nearly chomping at the bit to get off work on opening day to see it. I was going crazy. I think that is going to be the case with this one for sure.

134. Mr. Quatloos - October 13, 2007

Good choice!

135. Robert Bernardo - October 13, 2007

Demode wrote:

> Couldn’t Sulu be BOTH a physicist and helmsman on Enterprise?

Ooo, don’t remind me of the lead character in JAG. A U.S. Navy pilot and a lawyer at the same time! ;-)

136. Donovan - October 13, 2007

#61: I think Bones was older than Scotty, but it is interesting to note the temporal difference in their ages…seeing as Scotty was stored in a pattern buffer for 75 years…
and look. I know John Cho doesnt necessarily fill our trekkie expectations, but I think that we should all remember that Star Trek always sought to break stereotypes(all though I have to say that a Russian weapons officer was a strange choice(can you tell us vere they keep the nuclear wessels?…lol)
I have my doubts about Pegg as Scott, but…well to cross genres for a minute, they can make Johnny Depp look like Willy Wonka and Captain Jack, so why cant they make an Englishman look Scottish? lol.
As for Shatner…HELL NO. I loved young Shatner as Jim Kirk, but I honestly dont believe he needs to return to Star Trek. I don’t even like him as an actor anymore…but I suppose if he can cut the weight and quit acting like a travel agent…lol
Love ya, Bill, but you’ve really let yourself go.
I can’t wait for this movie…it’ll be AWESOME

137. Ampris - October 13, 2007

Hmm. This is only casting choice so far where I didn’t immediately (or heck, even eventually) see a reasonable physical resemblance between the original and new actor- he just doesn’t look like Takei at all. George Takei has a very distinct face, and Cho isn’t cutting for me. Besides… Takei was really, really hot. Really. And I’m not sayin’ Cho isn’t quite cute, it’s just… he’s not Takei.

Bah, but I’m speaking strictly in terms of physical resemblance here. (AKA, just bein’ shallow. :P ) If he has all those votes of confidence, from both the casting crew and George Takei himself, then I can certainly expect great things from him. Best of luck, Mr. Cho. :)

138. Norman - October 16, 2007

Just a small bit of info from the original series casting papers: Sulu is part-Filipino. That’s the reason why Sulu was used. Sulu Sea is part of the Philippine archipelago. I hope everyone in the new movie takes this into consideration.

With regard to the casting, remember that most of the original cast members were theater trained and not geared towards television acting, especially in a new genre as Star Trek was back in the late 60’s. So we’ll have to see for ourselves later if the selection pans out. Let’s give them a chance, guys!

139. The Vulcanista - October 16, 2007

“…as they should with all of the roles, even if some of the ladies would like a given actor to have his eyebrows tweezed. ”

If you’re speaking of Quinto, yeah; he needs some serious manscaping. Hope all that plucking don’t hurt too bad!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

140. Neuschwanstein-Castle » Blog Archives » that can trace its roots directly back to - October 17, 2007

[…] has another exclusive scoop for JJ Abrams’ new crew. According to sources Korean born actor John Cho has been tipped to be the new Hikaru Sulu for the new Star Trek. Cho is probably best known as a comedy actor for his roles in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and American Pie. … […]

141. Germany » Blog Archives » Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany 2001-06-14 - October 25, 2007

[…] Comment on John Cho Is The New Sulu [UPDATE: A Takei Endorsement] by… Cho is probably best known as a comedy actor for his roles in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and American Pie. … […] […]

142. Neuschwanstein-Castle » Blog Archives » The world wonders ? - TODAY: Travel - - October 25, 2007

[…] has another exclusive scoop for JJ Abrams’ new crew. According to sources Korean born actor John Cho has been tipped to be the new Hikaru Sulu for the new Star Trek. Cho is probably best known as a comedy actor for his roles in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and American Pie. … […]

143. ScienceNrdRlz - March 12, 2008


This is why you trekkies freak everybody else out. I’m pretty annoyed by all the speculations about the korean/chinese/japanese “races” in the discussion about John Cho being cast as Sulu. I may not know much about Star Trek but i DO know “Sulu” is NOT a Japanese name. It just so happens that George Takei is Japanese. I’m sick and tired of people ASSUMING how someone who’s Korean/japanese/Chinese would look. First of all, the few chinese people you may have met in your lifetime is not exactly an accurate sample of ALL chinese people in all areas of china. And those people who are into Korean and Japanese pop culture should ALSO know that the people they see in magazines are not exactly an accurate representation of the majority of the population (how many of us look like those people in underwear ads?).

And when people start discussing the “asian races”, I feel like I should give all of you a dose of history along with some cliff notes version of human genetics.

No, I am not a trekkie. I really don’t know anything about most Sci-Fi fandoms. However, I *DO* know science and a little bit about Asia which is why nothing irritates me more than a bunch of ignorant people talking about things they know nothing about.

144. jnmt - July 29, 2008

He is so hott ;)

145. Jammer - September 21, 2009

If Hikaru Sulu isn’t supposed to be Japanese, it’s ok with me. Since Sulu isn’t necessarily Japanese, I think that’s ok for John Cho to play him. As it was meant, Sulu was supposed to be representative of an overall Asian Race.

146. groepsex - November 29, 2010

What you should expect from Burlesque is almost two hours of high powered entertainment?

147. Kacie Wai - May 10, 2011

Well, this is good, but how about the other choices we’ve got here? Do you mind publishing another post about these also? Regards!

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