Greetings, Earthlings. This week, the Watch brings you news on upcoming Shatner projects, what Quinto was doing during the writers’ strike, a new Colm Meaney moment, interviews with Eric Bana, two Kurtzman/Orci movies getting pushed back, another award for Trek’s new composer, and much more! What, you don’t believe me? Just click “more” below and find out for yourself.
Shatner does a doc and heads for Oprah
This week Big Screen Entertainment announced they have joined forces with William Shatner (James T. Kirk) for a number of film projects. The company is currently in production on a Shatner documentary which they hope will be the first of many Shatneriffic projects. Big Screen tells TrekMovie.com that the doc includes in-depth interviews with The Shat where he reveals “never heard before facets” of his famous self. The doc is likely to hit cable TV this summer. In the meantime, you can see Shatner on Oprah this coming Tuesday. Is any stage big enough for The Shat and The Oprah?..tune in to find out.
The writers’ strike is over, but what exactly did Zachary Quinto do during that tumultuous period in Hollywood history? Well, besides playing the part of Spock in a little film called Star Trek, Quinto tells TV Guide:
[I have been] following the politics of the negotiations and the politics of our country very closely these days. It is a time of enormous sweeping change.
Well said, Mr. Quinto. Well said.
Quinto is obviously very happy that the strike is over
Hail to the Chief: Meaney On Miles
In an interview with Variety, Colm Meaney says that his theatrical background helped prepare him for his role as Chief Miles O’Brien on TNG and DS9.
When you looked at the ‘Star Trek’ dialogue, you needed actors with a strong theater background who could play Shakespeare, as it’s heightened drama. Suspension of disbelief is required.
Meaney has numerous other projects in the works (including David E. Kelley’s adaptation of the British series Life on Mars, which Meaney calls "a page-turner"). The former Chief was also just cast is a Brit indie comedy called Three and Out. And if that wasn’t enough, Meaney received the "Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish" award tonight (Feb 21) at a pre-Oscar party in LA (note: Last week CelebWatch reported the date as the 14th…oops). Meaney wasn’t the only Trekker there as JJ Abrams himself was spotted walking the arrivals red carpet. With all this going on Meaney is in no hurry to return to Trek, telling Variety "seven years in space was sufficient.” Ummm..technically speaking, Colm… it was thirteen years. :)
Meaney went Wilde in LA last night.
LeVar reroutes power to speaking tour
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) sure has been doing a lot of speaking lately to mark Black History Month, but after spouting technobabble and describing various ways to reroute starship power for seven-plus years, I suppose addresses and lectures are a walk in the arboretum. Burton’s latest presentation — according to the Beaumont Journal — will take place at Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas, where Burton will be the “Distinguished Lecture Series” speaker on February 28th. After that, Marketwire reports that Burton will head to the Women’s Festivals in Santa Barbara, CA, where he will again give a speech, as will one-time VOY guest star Ed Begley, Jr. (Henry Sterling). In the meantime, the Patriot-News has a brief interview with Burton in which he discusses his work as an activist and advocate and his many lectures. Burton feels that there has not been much progress for blacks working in the entertainment industry, stating
America is still trying to live up to its original ideals. There is still not a person of color at a studio who can green light a motion picture.
Bana Bo Bana Banana
Trek’s new villain, Eric Bana, briefly talked Trek in an interview with DarkHorizons. The report notes that Bana has yet to begin filming his Trek role, but he is looking forward to tapping into his dark side to play the villainous Nero and is excited to be a part of the film.
When I read the script, I was like, ‘Wow, this is just too good to be true, and too much fun to miss out on. I just have to be a part of it.’ So when J.J. offered me the part of Nero I just couldn’t say no.
Bana also has an interview in the March 2008 edition of Los Angeles magazine, which even features Bana on the cover. Asked if his Trek character was a human being, Bana replied, “I think that’s a question that’s too complex to answer.”
Bana looking cool on the cover of Los Angeles
Bana may be Trek’s new villain, but all last week he was every man’s hero. Promoting his new film, The Other Boleyn Girl, Bana attended multiple European premieres (Berlin, Madrid, London) and in each he was seen arm in arm his gorgeous co-stars Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. Lucky bastard.
Bana: Oh, yeah. I’m the man.
Ethan Phillips in November
Star Trek: Voyager‘s Ethan Phillips (Neelix) is currently performing on the Broadway stage in the David Mamet play November. Phillips portrays the “Turkey Guy”, a representative of the National Association of Turkey By-Products Manufacturers. The play is performing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, and according to Broadway World, the first thirty people who leave the Theatre after each performance get a balloon with the play’s logo and the slogan “CHARLES H.P. SMITH FOR PRESIDENT.” Isn’t that special?
Who the hell let this guy in? Ethan Phillips (center) with Nathan Lane (left) and Dylan Baker in November
Kurtzman/Orci Movies Pushed Back
The release dates for two movies being executive produced by Star Trek writers/exec producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have been delayed. SlashFilm reported that the DreamWorks thriller Eagle Eye is now eying a September 26th release date, having been pushed back from August 8th (possibly due to going behind schedule). Touchstone’s romantic comedy The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, has received a bigger push. Instead of opening Valentine’s Day of 2009, Variety reports that Proposal is now slated for release on September 25th, 2009.
Takei, Take Two
Cinemafantastique posted the second part of their extensive interview with George Takei (Sulu) in which the actor discussed competition on Trek, his experience in the internment camps, and his homosexuality. Regarding his lobbying for Sulu to be a bigger part of Trek, Takei noted:
In the WRATH OF KHAN, there was actually a scene written for me where I got my captaincy, but as you know, it wasn’t in the film and I guessed it was not meant to be. I had given up because it wasn’t going to happen. But, the seed was planted, and it not only germinated but it also flowered when the sixth STAR TREK script came. I opened it up, and on the front page, the very first page, they had a brand new captain of a great, huge, brand new ship, and it was bigger than the Enterprise…the starship Excelsior and there was this confident, dynamic, new captain of the Excelsior, Captain Hikaru Sulu…and I was there in the first shot.
I’m the real Takei. All you other Takei’s are just immitatin.’
Giacchino’s Ratatouille Score Wins Again
Michael Giacchino, composer of the new Star Trek film, has earned another award for scoring Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille. Giacchino won the Best Original Score for an Animated Feature prize at the 4th Annual International Film Music Critics Awards. I’m sure this new award will look very nice next to the Grammy and Annie Giacchino won two weekends ago and the Oscar he will hopefully win this Sunday. Giacchino got a pre-Oscar profile in the USA Today, where he discusses his journey towards becoming one of the most sought-after film score writers. The article ends with a quote from Giacchino explaining how he selects his projects (including Trek).
I do pick projects because I love them. If I get into a project where I feel like either the people are there just because it’s a job for them and it’s not going to be an enjoyable process and it’s going to be a war zone to get through, I always say no to that, regardless. Money is kind of irrelevant in all of this.
Giacchino isn’t exactly sure what to make of his latest award… let alone where to put it!
(PS: No, this is not really an award.)
Yelchin at the Eddies
Anton Yelchin (the new Chekov) was a guest at the 58th Annual American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 17th. Yelchin appeared on-stage at the event alongside Alan Baumgarten, the editor of Yelchin’s new film, Charlie Bartlett, which opens this Friday.
Yelchin (left) at the Eddie Awards with Charlie Bartlett editor Alan Baumgarten
Alley’s Fat Flap
After her Showtime show "Fat Actress" only lasted a single seaon, Kirstie Alley (Saavik in Star Trek II) lost 75 pounds on the Jenny Craig system and went on to become the company’s spokesperson. But "after lengthy negotations" the now slimmer actress has parted ways with Jenny Craig and according to the AP is planning to start up her own weight loss company. Alley tells People magazine she wants "to create something new that will help millions of people end the seemingly never ending fatty-roller coaster ride." But before she launches that, Alley is fighting off rumors that she is porking up again, telling the USA Today she may sue to keep her reputation the right size.
Alley in October…still not fat now?
- Zoe Saldana (the new Uhura) will be seen on the big screen this weekend with the release of the film Vantage Point on Friday.
- BTTF.com reports that a bearded Christopher Lloyd (Kruge in Star Trek III) is reprising his Back to the Future role of Doc Brown… for a music video.
- Kim Cattrall (Valeris, Star Trek VI) attended the Laureus World Sports Awards in St. Petersburg on Monday, as noted by Athletics Weekly.
- Donna Murphy (Anij, Star Trek: Insurrection) performed in the New York stage production of Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words on February 18th, according to TheaterMania.
- Murphy’s Insurrection co-star, F. Murray Abraham, is expected to return as part of the cast of the Ethan Coen play Almost an Evening when it begins its off-Broadway run on March 20th, according to Playbill.
- Alfre Woodard (Lily Sloan, Star Trek: First Contact) is in Ohio this week to show support for presidential candidate Barack Obama. Tonight, she will be in New Philadelphia (Times-Reporter); tomorrow, she will be in Mansfield (Mansfield News Journal).
- And speaking of Obama, TMZ.com ran a story in which they attribute Obama’s potential presidency to Star Trek: Voyager actress Jeri Ryan
The Jeri Ryan/Barack Obama Connection: conspiracy theorists rejoice
- Actor Robert DoQui, who played the Klingon Noggra in the DS9 episode “Sons of Mogh,” died of undisclosed causes on February 9th at the age of 74. DoQui is best known for playing Sgt. Reed in the RoboCop movies. (Variety)
- Perry Lopez, the 78-year-old actor who played Lt. Esteban Rodriguez in the TOS episode “Shore Leave,” died of lung cancer on February 14th. Lopez was best known for playing Lt. Escobar in the film Chinatown. (Variety)
Thanks to Danny Lecouffe and Lawrence Boucher for sending in tips. Feel free to tip off Celeb Watch yourself by clicking the ‘got tips’ button on the right column.