Simon Pegg Pegged For Scotty [UPDATE: Doohan Responds] [UDPATE 2: McGillion Responds]

The search for a Scot is over… and it’s an Englishman! Variety is reporting that British actor, writer and comedian Simon Pegg has won the role of Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. The 37-year-old beat out a number of others who were up for role of Trek’s most famous engineer, including Stargate’s Paul McGillion.  Pegg, who is best known for starring in the hit British comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, had previously worked with Abrams and many members of his ‘Trek’ team on last year’s Mission: Impossible: III, in which Pegg played IMF technician Benji Dunn (essentially the ‘Scotty’ of M:I:III).

Hailing from Gloucester, England, Pegg began his showbiz career as a stand-up comic before moving into television and film. He first gained recognition as the creator, co-writer and star of the British sitcom Spaced, receiving a British Comedy Award as Best Male Comedy Newcomer. He then starred in and co-wrote the "romantic zombie comedy" Shaun of the Dead, which became an international success in 2004. Two years later, he made the cop comedy Hot Fuzz, which enjoyed even greater success.

Pegg is the second Star Trek cast member with a strong connection to comedy, following Eric Bana. Pegg is also the second actor cast to have previously worked with Tom Hardy (Shinzon from Star Trek Nemesis): Pegg worked with Hardy on HBO’s mini-series Band of Brothers, while Bana and Hardy both appeared in Black Hawk Down. Pegg himself is no stranger to the science fiction genre, having guest-starred on the new Doctor Who in 2005.

Not a Scot?
The original casting call for Scotty required a ‘flawless Scottish accent.’ Most English Actors are capable of doing Scottish (and American) accents and Pegg is no exception. Here is a clip from a comedy show Pegg shows off his Braveheart

UPDATE: Chris Doohan backs Pegg
James Doohan’s son Chris (who himself lobbied for the role) just sent in this note regarding Simon

Well, that came out of left field. I guess he pegged theaudition. I must say that even though Paul McGillion was my first choice,  I believe that Pegg will do a great job. No,he doesn’t look like my Father and he has a little less hair then Scotty did,but his accent is passable and he’s a great actor. I send my congratulations toyou Simon and I hope you “giver all you got laddie”.  

UPDATE 2: Paul McGillion on Pegg
Two weeks ago broke the news that Stargate actor Paul McGillion had audtioned for the role of Scotty, sparking a series of reports and a lot of well wishes from the geekoshere. Paul just sent a message to all the fans who wished him well:

I’d like to thank you all for your tremendous support especially Chris Doohan who rallied behind me to fill his father’s footsteps.  Obviously I have close roots to Scotland; having an opportunity to play an iconic Scottish character would have been an honour.

That being said, I have not had the pleasure of "meeting" Simon Pegg but I am familiar with his work and I think he’s a terrific talent. I wish him and the rest of the cast & crew great success with the new Star Trek film



Pegg at IMDb | Wikipedia

Scene from MI3 (opens new window)


Trailer for Shaun of the Dead


Trailer for Hot Fuzz 

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Danya Romulus
October 11, 2007 9:24 pm

Solid– a nice nod to the indie/foreign/low-budget/whatever genre fans.

October 11, 2007 9:25 pm

what…. seriously? I can’t really see it. They have to dye his hair at least.

October 11, 2007 9:25 pm

It seems abit odd to read something on the internet that starts with,,,
The search for a Scot is over,,,


anyhow Im looking forward to the “new” crew,,,




Danya Romulus
October 11, 2007 9:26 pm

Um wait a second Anthony, who is John Cho playing??

October 11, 2007 9:26 pm

So much for the guy from Atlantis. I was pulling for him.

October 11, 2007 9:26 pm


He was born in 1967-Age 37
He is not a pretty boy -character actor
he is funny-I love his movies


Looks nothing like Scotty
Simon Pegg-Seriously?

October 11, 2007 9:27 pm

dam,,, two other messages in the space of 30 secs!

gee it pays to type fast!!

make that,,,


October 11, 2007 9:27 pm

oops I mean 1970

October 11, 2007 9:29 pm

Here’s Pegg on a British comedy show lampooning Braveheart, giving us an example of his take on a Scottish accent:

October 11, 2007 9:31 pm

If the Alternative universe timeline is true

I have a feeling McCoy is going to be played by a black actor
that would be cool!

October 11, 2007 9:32 pm

Even though he looks absolutely nothing like Doohan (the other actors have at least shared a broad similarity). Simon Pegg is made of awesome and win. One thing though… being known, well ONLY, really, as a comedic actor. I wonder if Scotty is going to be more of a comedic relief character in this film. Not that that would necessarily be bad. Especially not with someone as talented as Pegg in those shoes.

Skippy 2k
October 11, 2007 9:33 pm

Hmm, didn’t expect that one. I was pretty set (hopefull) about Paul Magillion. I remember Pegg from end part I saw of Shawn of the Dead and the Doctor Who ep he was in but not anything else, have wanted to see “Hot Fuzz” which he’s in.

Anyway I look forward to seeing how it turns out, allthough he wasn’t a “good guy” in the who ep I though he was good.

Danya Romulus
October 11, 2007 9:34 pm

Is John Cho Sulu? Not to like, racially profile or anything, lol… just seems like the only one that would make sense…

October 11, 2007 9:37 pm

ooops….coming soon

October 11, 2007 9:38 pm

This is very gutsy, interesting casting.

Simon Pegg is obviously awesome, and brings substantial comedic talent to the mix. The only danger I see is him potentially taking viewers out of the movie, so to speak; at first blush, it strikes me as borderline stunt casting, which could be distracting in terms of “hey, it’s Simon Pegg playing Scotty” instead of “it’s Scotty”. And obviously, this film is / must be a drama, not a spoof. But all that said, I have faith in J.J. and company – and Simon, who is a bonafide, hardcore megageek. I’m sure he’s jumping up and down with glee to join the crew of the Enterprise, and will commit fully and faithfully to the role.

Meanwhile, JOHN CHO HAS BEEN CAST?!?! You just snuck that in there, Anthony. When did that happen? Assuming he’s Sulu, I must admit a slight twinge of disappointment that we aren’t getting a Japanese-American in the role (just as we aren’t getting a Scot for Scotty), but John is another fantastic actor. (Though, if memory serves, in both these cases they seem to be casting a little older than originally announced.)

October 11, 2007 9:39 pm

He certainly sounds like a FUN choice, I guess. And it’s not like Scotty is going to be central to the plot anyway; he’ll just pop up for a few scenes probably.

October 11, 2007 9:39 pm

Can’t argue with the choice, since I love Mr. Pegg, but I do have a lot of trouble picturing him as Scotty.

October 11, 2007 9:43 pm

“By The Power of Greyskull!”

Interesting choice. Not my first pick, for sure, but he is a very good actor (I LOVED Hot Fuzz!!!) I wonder if he will end up wearing a wig in the film though, as he is a bit thin on top.

October 11, 2007 9:43 pm

I haven’t seen any of his movies, but I’m cautiously optimistic. At least, I don’t see this as the crushing blow that some on another thread have made it out to be.

With the comedic background, I worry too that Scotty is going to be the “buffoon Scotty” from movies IV-V rather than the tough-as-nails Scotty of “A Taste of Armageddon” (“The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank.”)

Of course, Scotty was always a source of comic relief in TOS too. “It’s … it’s … it’s *green*.”)

If Pegg can combine the two effectively, I don’t really care about the looks. I mean, they can dye his hair, and Doohan did have a bit of a grizzled look to him, even if it’s not the same grizzled look.

(Side thought, though: Pegg has red hair, is only 5′ 9″ tall, can obviously handle kick-ass violent roles, and is clearly not the prettiest guy in any room. Why exactly isn’t this guy playing Rohrshach?)

October 11, 2007 9:45 pm

Thank you, Anthony, for your inadvertant slip-up. John Cho is PERFECT for Sulu.

October 11, 2007 9:45 pm

John Cho as Sulu?

JJ sure likes to cast guys with heavy eyebrows !

October 11, 2007 9:49 pm

One other, more general comment about the casting news that’s adding up:

I’m very, very relieved to see that they are casting older than the age ranges listed in the leaked character descriptions from a while back. I was having problems with a 23 year-old Uhura and a 32 year-old Scotty. But the ages are working out to be much more in line with the age spreads of the original actors, making this feel much less like a UFP 90210 in the making.

And, so far, thumbs up from me for all of the casting choices.

October 11, 2007 9:50 pm

What do you mean by “ooops….coming soon”?

That tells me that you know MUCH more than you have been saying.
Are you in cahoots with JJ & Company?
Just feeding us the info on their schedule?
I am disappointed, but jaded enough not to really be surprised

So, give us the REAL scoop on Shatner.

October 11, 2007 9:51 pm

guys keep this article focused on Pegg. make Cho comments in the Cho article

here is the behind the scenes. I had two scoops…Pegg and Cho. I had chuck writing the Pegg while I was doing the Cho. the plan was for the cho one to go up first and that is why he mentioned cho…then godamn Variety scooped me and we had to rush out the cho. The same thing happened with Chris Pine and Hollywood Reporter.

October 11, 2007 9:52 pm

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.

Harry Ballz
October 11, 2007 9:55 pm


October 11, 2007 10:05 pm

OK Anthony, I’ll buy that! LOL
Sorry you were scooped.

You could make it up with some Shatner news!!! LOL

Pegg could be fine in the role. I still have faith in JJ and his team.

October 11, 2007 10:05 pm

I don’t know. I mean he looks NOTHING like Scotty! I like the guy, but I’m sorry he’s not Scotty, they might as well cast me as Sulu, and I’m a white dude

October 11, 2007 10:06 pm


No, I am the worst choice for Scotty they could have made. Some perspective, please.

October 11, 2007 10:17 pm

Great. Why don’t they just cast Will Farrell in it? I should have known: time travel, the villain is a Romulan named Nero, and now this? They are either not making a serious Star Trek or they don’t get it.

October 11, 2007 10:21 pm

Aintitcool news is reporting that the budget has gone way up, and that’s definitely great to hear!

October 11, 2007 10:24 pm

I have to say I’m really disappointed. He looks nothing like Scotty and this probably means Scotty will be nothing but the comic relief… :(

October 11, 2007 10:25 pm

You know, Scotty doesn’t necessarily have to be fat in this movie. For all we know, he was really skinny at the start of the 5-year mission. But let’s see how he looks with his hair dyed.

October 11, 2007 10:25 pm

Frack. I want Paul McGillon.

October 11, 2007 10:26 pm

This is really turning out to be an interesting cast. I wonder how many movies they are planning on having these guys do together.

I also wonder what will happen for the next series.

Either way, this is good news on both Pegg and Cho. I guess the only one’s left are Bones, Nurse Chapel, confirmation for Kirk, and casting news on how many Red Shirts the new film is going to have (I’d love to play that!). :D

Harry Ballz
October 11, 2007 10:28 pm

Mr. Orci, how can you explain this obvious lapse in sanity on Abram’s part? Simon Pegg is wrong for the role of Scotty on so many levels!!

The Wild Man of Borneo
October 11, 2007 10:30 pm

This is ridiculous. This is probably the worst casting I’ve heard in a long time.

October 11, 2007 10:32 pm

#33 – No, Scotty wasn’t fat in TOS. You have seen Star Trek, the original series, haven’t you?

October 11, 2007 10:37 pm

Yikes, BAD choice, IMO. Pegg for Scotty and Cho for Sulu? After a steady stream of solid casting choices, these ones are really a step down, I think. They should have gone with unknowns……..too bad.

October 11, 2007 10:39 pm

#38 — Not only wasn’t Scotty fat in TOS, he was positively wiry in “Where No Man Has Gone Before”:

The Wild Man of Borneo
October 11, 2007 10:41 pm

It sounds like it’s going to be a really funny movie.

October 11, 2007 10:43 pm

38 – of course I have. And Scotty seemed to get huskier with each episode.

October 11, 2007 11:00 pm

Oh, shut up, whiners.

Do you know anything about Pegg and how seriously he takes geek stuff like Star Trek? Do you think he’s going to somehow just waltz in and make this a “funny movie”? He’s primarily known for being a comedian, but he can do serious stuff when he wants to. He’s an unconventional choice, but a great one, and one that rises above the caliber of some dude who was once on Stargate.

October 11, 2007 11:01 pm


Well as long as the STORY is still taken seriously, it shouldn’t matter if more comedic actors are cast in the roles. In fact they would probably bring a lot more life to their characters than your standard “serious” actor.

October 11, 2007 11:02 pm
Harry Ballz
October 11, 2007 11:05 pm

Who cares if he’s into geek stuff like Star Trek? That is totally irrelevent! It comes down to hiring the best cast possible and this man is lacking the talent needed to play an iconic role like Scotty! ANYBODY would have been better than casting this jack-off!

October 11, 2007 11:06 pm

#26 Totally agree…Paul McGillion was ROBBED. Honestly, I’m obviously disappointed it’s not Paul but I was hoping it would be someone who suited and honoured the role and Doohan’s portrayal. He looks nothing like Doohan, he’s an englishman playing a Scottish hero (oooww thats not going to go down well) and he’s a comedian, they’re making a joke out of ‘Scotty’. Even if he plays it straight it’ll be taken as satire. This is the worst casting ever! And so much for all those who said Paul was ‘too old’ Simon looks OLDER then Paul!!! I was excited about this film, but now I’m not so sure, they’re making a joke out of it…

October 11, 2007 11:10 pm

Easily the worst casting new so far. I have to agree with this last sentence:

“I was excited about this film, but now I’m not so sure, they’re making a joke out of it…”

October 11, 2007 11:16 pm

“ANYBODY would have been better than casting this jack-off!”

So, you’re basically admitting that you don’t know the work the guy’s done, then — from Spaced, to the movies, to being the voice of Strontium Dog to being in Doctor Who, etc. etc. etc. Great, thanks for playing!

Casting like this is what Star Trek needs — people who can act, who are interesting to watch on the screen, and who don’t slavishly fit the mold of their predecessors.

This is awesome news.

October 11, 2007 11:19 pm

So, basically, the only significant criticism of Pegg so far is that he doesn’t look as much like Doohan as McGillion does.

Um, okay.