Bana Talks A Little About Trek

In the last few years Australian actor Eric Bana has graduated to leading man territory and has fronted big movies such as Steven Spielberg’s Munich and the upcoming Time Traveler’s Wife. So it was big news that he was tapped as the villain Nero in JJ Abrams new Star Trek. However in a new interview, the actor raises the question about how big a role he will play in the film.

The following was in today’s issue of the Australian Herald Sun:

In an interview to discuss the March release of his latest film The Other Boleyn Girl with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, Bana was also anticipating his next job, playing the villain Nero in the new Star Trek movie for Lost creator and Cloverfield producer J.J. Abrams.

He described the role as a cameo. “It’s just a great character, it’s J.J. Abrams. It’s a really well-written script, great part. Couldn’t say no. I don’t actually look at the size of parts ever.” has confirmed that Bana hasn’t yet started shooting on the project, but that his characterization of the role as a ‘cameo’ is an understatement. ‘Cameos’ tend to single scenes done by a celebrity, but the role of Nero will be more than just that. However, it not surprising that the villain character is not totally over-arching in the film. The film is very much an origin story for Kirk, Spock and the crew of the USS Enterprise and so much of the time of the film is spent telling their stories.

It’s not the size of the role, but…
Although Kirk, Spock and the gang are the focus, the character Nero is said to be key to the story. Star Trek co-writer Alex Kurtzman told GeekHeeb in June what they were going for with regards to the film’s villain:

For the “Trek” script a lot of it was what “Trek” meant to us as kids. We’ve been enormous fans of “Trek” since we were little kids. And what it felt like to be in the theater and watch “Wrath of Khan” for the first time was what we wanted people to experience … [want to recapture] that kind of an emotional ride. An incredibly great bad guy against an incredibly high-stakes story that’s just emotional. “Trek” for us is about family and friendship.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer likes to tell the story about how he was concerned when he showed Ricardo Montalban (Khan) the script which he worried didn’t have enough screen time for the actor. According to Meyer, Montalban stated “yes…but when I am not, they are always talking about me!”

The Other Boleyn Girl starring Eric Bana opens February 29, more at the official site.

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1701 over Gotham City
February 4, 2008 9:51 am

Good to hear, actually… we don’t need them to try to redo Wrath of Khan yet again… A villian can still have impast without dominating the story or the screen.
Works for me!

February 4, 2008 9:52 am

“I want Kirk dead. His friends, dead. His whole family: dead!”

That about do it?

Capt abe
February 4, 2008 9:52 am

woo hoo first! GOOD STUFF HERE

February 4, 2008 9:52 am

Sounds like he’s pretty happy to be on the project – that bodes well for the script, I’m excited to see the film.

February 4, 2008 9:53 am

Ya know Bana will make a great Romulan!

Captain Hackett
February 4, 2008 9:56 am

It was about time to see Eric talk about the new movie. We need to hear more from him as well as Simon Pegg.

February 4, 2008 9:57 am

I like the guy already!

February 4, 2008 9:59 am

What, no green blooded Hulk jokes?

February 4, 2008 10:06 am


…that the entire TREK XI film was ALL cameos, with about 237 different Name actors and/or characters!

February 4, 2008 10:07 am



February 4, 2008 10:10 am

“‘Trek’ for us is about family and friendship.”

That’s a good line to read!

February 4, 2008 10:13 am

Sounds good. Every bit of news whittles away a few more concerns :)

cugel the clever
February 4, 2008 10:23 am

I hope Bana is correct and that his role, although important, has relatively little screen-time. The value of this restart to the ST franchise is to re-introduce the main characters and their origins, to get everybody comfortable with the new “look and feel” of the Enterprise and the ST universe, and to set the stage for further adventures. There are already probably too many significant characters (judging by the casting announcements to-date). It would be a mistake to rob the major characters – Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhurha, Scotty especially – of screen time and bonding time with the audience.

cugel the clever
February 4, 2008 10:27 am

“Batman Begins” and “Casino Royale” set the gold-standard for doing exactly what Abrams et al. are attempting to do. Those films focused on the main character. The adversaries, allies, and gizmos were important, but were not the main focus of the films.

February 4, 2008 10:36 am

@8 I’ll bite. Its not the length of Bana’s screen time its how angry he gets during those minutes that count!

The adventure continues…

February 4, 2008 10:37 am

hey, how about eric bana in a cameo as orion in trek XII?

February 4, 2008 10:40 am

Hulk smash puny human starship commander grrrr!!!

Jay - "The Real Jim Kirk"
February 4, 2008 10:44 am

thats relieved me alot!! Bana is a really good actorand im convince he can pull of a Romulan baddy really well, im just relieved that he doesn’t have centre stage, my argument is that the less we see of the villain, the better, al la TWOK

Promising news…

February 4, 2008 10:47 am

Good to see a villain being used sparingly. The writers must be confident.

Now, if only they can slip something into the script about Nero being ENT’s Future Guy…

The Master
February 4, 2008 10:50 am

Nero influence of over Kronos the excutioneer

Can't Wait for X-Mas 2008
February 4, 2008 10:56 am

#19 I was just thinking about that! Maybe Nero is the Future Guy from Enterprise! I wonder if Nero will be similar to Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins. A character you see in the beginning and the end. And you have have Ayel being the one who carries out his orders by going back in time.

February 4, 2008 11:02 am


Agreed. Hopefully Abrams isn’t making his movie so incredibly plot-driven that there isn’t room for lots of character moments between the crew.

I would hate a repeat of Nemesis, where the characters were there basically just to further along the boring Shinzon plot and nothing more.

British Naval Dude
February 4, 2008 11:03 am

Arrrr… If instead of Nero, the villain be Caligula, then we may or may not want him ta have a bigger role… dependin’ on yer taste…

Sometimes the smallest parts, done well, are the most oft remembered…

February 4, 2008 11:24 am

Good to see a focus on the core of Star Trek: the characters.

Gustavo Valente
February 4, 2008 11:27 am

#2 CmdrR – February 4, 2008
“I want Kirk dead. His friends, dead. His whole family: dead!”

That about do it?

and the villain of Star Trek is…Al Capone!!!!! LMAO!!!

greetings from Brazil

February 4, 2008 11:32 am


Agreed. This movie is about Kirk and Spock, right? So let’s focus on them.

February 4, 2008 11:41 am

Well, until this post, I was a little worried about how much Abrams was going to change TOS Star Trek universe. But now we read about how more focus is going to be on Kirk, and Spock and their adventures they had.

February 4, 2008 11:59 am

This movie has me interested enough..Please dont disappoint!!!!

Irish Trekki
February 4, 2008 12:01 pm

#6 yeah, got to agree it’s nice to hear from one of the other cast members! kinda worries me that they might simply be glossed over in favour of Kirk and Spock’s storyline. What about Bones, Sulu, Uhura, Checkov and Scotty?

February 4, 2008 12:04 pm

Off topic, but i’m posting here as this is the most recent article and this was in today’s local newspaper (Edinburgh Evening News)

“Enterprising bid for Star Trek premiere

A CAMPAIGN has been launched for the European premiere of a new Star Trek movie to take place in Linlithgow – even though the town has no cinema.

The West Lothian town is already home to Scotland’s only Star Trek exhibition, as it is the future birthplace of Enterprise engineer Montgomery Scott, originally played by the late Canadian actor James Doohan.

Residents of the small town of Vulcan, in Alberta, Canada, have launched a bid to have Linlithgow host the European premiere of the movie, which will feature English actor Simon Pegg as a young Scotty.

Vulcan is hoping to host the world premiere of the film, set for release later this year.

The campaign has been given the full backing of West Lothian Council.

Provost Tom Kerr said he was confident they could overcome logistical problems, including the lack of a cinema. He said: “West Lothian would be honoured to host the first screening of the new Star Trek movie.”

The full article contains 166 words and appears in Edinburgh Evening News newspaper.Last Updated: 04 February 2008 10:19 AM”

Don’t fancy their chances much, and I’m curious to hear if anyone involved in the production has even remotely heard anytyhing about this.

However, if it does happen I’ll be delighted – Linlithgow is about half an hour away from where I live

Deep Space 913
February 4, 2008 12:15 pm

#29 Sadly I do believe the second tier characters will be glossed over. This isn’t like t.v. series where everyone can get their own episodes. They have to pack in all they can in this one movie, and their focus of course is going to be on the big two. I wish it were not the case, but I am afraid that is how it has to be.

February 4, 2008 12:15 pm

Excellent #14, agree with you 100%, couldn’t have said it better myself.

14. cugel the clever – February 4, 2008
“Batman Begins” and “Casino Royale” set the gold-standard for doing exactly what Abrams et al. are attempting to do. Those films focused on the main character. The adversaries, allies, and gizmos were important, but were not the main focus of the films.

February 4, 2008 12:24 pm

Something tells me this is going to be a fast-moving film, not dwelling too much on any one part by all of these different actors. Everyone is wondering just how long it will be based on all the parts by all the actors, but the editing will probably be quick, focusing mainly on the Big Three.

February 4, 2008 12:27 pm

And as far as the secondary crew members, they will all have their moments to shine, but that’s all it will be, a few moments, the rest as background. Which is how it was in all the TOS movies. Each one had their great lines and memorable moments.

David (Flaming Wings Forever!)
February 4, 2008 12:29 pm

32 – in total agreement.

With each new revelation, I am positively giddy with the potential the movie has.

February 4, 2008 12:53 pm

#31 Indeed. Look what happened in Generations when they had to split the focus between two captains. We ended up with a movie that played more like an episode marathon than a cohesive film. “Khan” was one of the best, and it’s storyline was very narrow – you could sum up the general story in a single sentence.

Trying to cover too much should be a major concern, and I’m encouraged by the signs thus far. Paying homage should be a secondary concern to telling a great story.

February 4, 2008 12:54 pm

“Pull the strings! Pull he strings!”

“Perfect! Cut, print, move on!”

If anyone here gets that, I feel for you.

February 4, 2008 12:56 pm

Liam Neeson played the villain in Begins, and his role wasn’t that big either. However, they had two more supporting bad guys, so with all the talk about Klingons and such, maybe we’ll get other villains besides him.

February 4, 2008 12:56 pm

I just can’t like this guy after seeing that absolutely horrible HULK movie!!!

The Guardian of Forever
February 4, 2008 1:02 pm

I’m glad they’re not going to have the bad guy totally own the movie. It worked for TWOK but I think it’s more important for a prequel with a new cast to focus more on the classic characters.

Eric Bana is hawt though.

February 4, 2008 1:21 pm

When Kurtzman said “Trek for us is about family and friendship.” then I realised they knew what made it great. The best Trek is when they lay it on the line for each other and they crew places their friendship and each other above the threat of the week. Those are the “give ya a chill” moments, when they risk all for each other.

I think it’s in good hands.

February 4, 2008 1:39 pm

I was not a fan at all of Batman Begins or Casino Royale. If this film is anything like them you can count me out. I hope it goes out and does it’s own thing.

February 4, 2008 1:43 pm

#42 –

I’ll agree that BATMAN BEGINS is VASTLY overrated, but CASINO ROYALE is awesome. AWESOME, baby.

Matty D
February 4, 2008 1:56 pm

Nothing to worry about. Hackman and Spacey shot very little for their Superman movies but no one would describe their roles as “cameos”.

February 4, 2008 2:12 pm

#37: Last I checked, Johnny Depp was a global superstar and Tim Burton had his share of fans, too, so if you’re sympathizing with anyone that gets a reference to one of their films, you might want to stock up on hankies in bulk at the Price Club :)

February 4, 2008 2:29 pm

Interesting how Bana describes this. The villain that motivates part of the story…. as was noted about Montalban’s comments about Khan…. So Nero (or Nhierraufv if you Rihannsu prefer) might be the cause, and the script scenes that unfold are the effect.

Even if Nero isn’t exposed to be Future Guy, unless something onscreen in Star Trek Zero contradicts that interpretation of FG… .we might all just as well make it fanon. It would even explain why FG suddenly quit interfering… he refocused his efforts on the 2250’s and 2260’s.

Consider it a “valentine to B&B”….

Dr. Image
February 4, 2008 2:45 pm

Batman Begins should have had Batman “beginning” without all the high-tech stuff being available at first. Really down and dirty, like Batman: Dead End portrayed him.
And burn down Wayne Manor?? WHY???

#37 Diabolik- Isn’t it more like, “Puuul deh STRINK!!”

February 4, 2008 3:25 pm

Yes a two hour movie limits what can be done with all these characters.

But to pick an example, I hope the fact Zoe Saldana has consulted with Nichelle Nichols means she’ll get to say more than “hailing frequencies open” or “Captain, I’m frightened.”

February 4, 2008 3:33 pm

Maybe Nero is a cameo because Spock totally kills his ass in the first 5 minutes… Rest of the movie is picking up the pieces… not bad….

Jon C
February 4, 2008 3:43 pm

Nero.I just can’t get past the image of a negligent Roman emperor who fiddled while Rome burned.