This week, the Watch spies with its little eye: Shat’s Raw Nerve being delayed; J.J. Abrams producing an earthquake; Patrick Stewart endorsing beer; a SAG faction challenging Scott Bakula’s candidacy; Christopher Lloyd playing an elf; and gardening advice from Mr. Homn. Also: is Chris Pine the new Brad Pitt?.
J.J.’s producing an earthquake
J.J. Abrams is adding another project to his slate by producing a disaster movie involving earthquakes for Universal Pictures. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, this new project, which Abrams is developing with screenwriter David Seltzer (The Omen, Dragonfly), is not intended as a remake of Universal’s 1974 film, Earthquake. As was done on Trek, Abrams will be producing the film under his Bad Robot banner, along with Star Trek exec producer Bryan Burk and Cloverfield exec producer Sherryl Clark. If this earthquake flick is anywhere near as intense as Cloverfield, I’m there.
But will JJ’s be in ‘Sensurround’?
Shat’s Raw Nerve pushed back + signing video autographs
William Shatner (he who was Kirk)’s chat show, Shatner’s Raw Nerve, was scheduled to debut on the Bio Channel on August 19th, but it now appears the show’s premiere has been pushed back. According to Paul of WilliamShatner.com, the “unofficial word” is that Raw Nerve has been moved to later in the year. It would have been nice if A&E (owners of the Bio Channel) announced this more than a week before the show was supposed to debut. In other Shat news, the actor launched Live Autographs, a new video service in which celebrities appear on camera to deliver a personalized greeting as they sign an autograph (see TrekMovie story). Reuters has a couple of reports from the signing events: here and here. Here is some behind the scenes video of the event:
Stewart’s new beer ad + Biography profile airing Friday
Beer brewer Stella Artois has launched a new commercial in the UK which features a voice-over by Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), according to The Publican. The new ad began airing today and chronicles the history of the Belgium-born brew. In other Stewart news, the actor’s 2003 "Biography" profile will air on the Bio channel Friday at 9AM & 3PM EST. You can also order the DVD from the A&E TV store here.
It’s Bakula and Carradine vs. Begley and Perlman
Oh, boy! Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer), Keith Carradine (A.G. Robinson), and the other MembershipFirst candidates (see our earlier story here) are being challenged by another faction within the Screen Actors Guild. The group is known as Unite for Strength and its ranks include VOY guest actor Ed Begley, Jr. (Henry Starling) and Star Trek Nemesis actor Ron Perlman (Reman viceroy). Unite for Strength believes that the SAG majority (which includes MembershipFirst) have been mishandling the current contract negotiations between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. On their side are heavyweights like Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, and Sally Field… that doesn’t bode well for Bakula and company. For more info on this epic battle, see The LA Times and The Hollywood Reporter.
Chris Pine = the next Brad Pitt?
As you all should know by now (if you don’t, shame on you), Chris Pine will be playing James T. Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek. There is no doubt that Pine is a rising star, having already attracted attention with leading roles in kid-friendly rom coms Princess Diaries 2 and Just My Luck and having won acclaim with his roles in Smokin’ Aces and the recently-released Bottle Shock. But Get Da Goss asks the all-important question: Could Chris Pine be the next Brad Pitt? Of course, they’re apparently asking this based on his resemblance to Pitt in Bottle Shock rather than comparing acting ability, but the question still stands. So… what do you all think? Is Chris Pine to become the next Brad Pitt?
Judd gives voice to a good cause + premieres new projector
Actress Ashley Judd (Robin Lefler) has lent her voice to a narrative that’s part of an interactive story-writing competition launched by MTV and MySpace, as reported by PinkNews. Each story written for the competition, called “Untold Stories,” gives an HIV-related scenario to help listeners get a better understanding of HIV, how to avoid it, etc. In more Judd news, the actress will be at the Paramount Arts Center on September 5th christen Paramount’s new movie screen and projector, at least according to the Huntington Herald Dispatch. I’m sure she’s never been prouder.
New plays for Enterprise guest Williamson
Ruth Williamson, who played Sphere Builder primary during Star Trek: Enterprise‘s third season, has replaced Rosie O’Donnell in the role of Madame Thenardier for the concert version of Les Miserables, according to Broadway World. Honestly, though, isn’t that for the best? Oh, wait a second… okay, apparently this news is a bit late since that production wrapped on August 10th. Heh… oh, well. As it turns out, Williamson has joined the cast of the Old Globe production of The Women, which runs Sept. 13-Oct. 26, as reported by TheaterMania. So, if you’re ticked about missing Williamson in Les Mis, you can still see her later this year. Enjoy.
Matt Winston pays tribute to legendary father
Speaking of recurring Enterprise actors, Matt Winston (“Crewman” Daniels) was on hand at SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles to pay tribute to his late father, effects legend Stan Winston. Matt shared some childhood memories of his father, which included the elder Winston scaring his son by dressing up as ghouls and werewolves. Matt also related how his dad would practice his make-up on Matt each Halloween. You can read more about the tribute at Animation Magazine.
Uhura opens Porthole
Nichelle Nichols (the original Uhura), along with astronaut Buzz Aldrin and others, participated in the opening for Jules Verne’s Portal at 7+Fig, which will be used for education and screenings by Jules Verne Adventures Film Festival (the same festival that had Patrick Stewart present William Shatner with a lifetime achievement award last year). More info on the Porthole theater at the Jules Verne site.
Nichelle Nichols helps cut the ribbon for the Jules Verne Fest’s new portal.
- Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) will narrate a concert called “The Planets” (how fitting) for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra on September 20th. (Beep Central)
- Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) and Nicole de Boer (Ezri Dax) has signed up to appear at this November’s Starbase Indy convention. (Reporter-Times)
- Christopher Lloyd (Kruge) has signed up to play a senior elf knight named Tesselink in the Sci-Fi Channel’s fantasy miniseries Mirabilis. (Reuters)
- John Larroquette (Maltz) will be hosting a couple of Democratic Convention fund-raiser campaign events in Denver and Minneapolis. (OpEdNews)
- Michelle Forbes (Ro Laren) has placed her three-bedroom house in the Hollywood Hills on the market for $1.15 million. (Luxist)
- Wallace Shawn (Zek) will direct a reading of the play Ice Cream at London’s Royal Court Theater to celebrate playwright Caryl Churchill’s 70th birthday. (Variety)
- Daniel Dae Kim (Gotana-Retz, Corporal Chang) attended the Barack Obama campaign fundraiser at the Katala Hotel in Hawaii on August 14th. (KHON2)
- Faran Tahir (Capt. Robau in Trek ’09) will be the guest of honor at the KRIA World Fusion Music and Dance Concert at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, on September 20th. (The Militas Post)
- VOY guest actor David Sparrow (Loth in “Renaissance Man”) has become the new federal National Democratic Party candidate for Don Valley West in Ontario, Canada.
- Actor and gardener Carel Struycken (Mr. Homn) discussed the benefit of natural farming as well as the methods he uses for growing crops in an interview with Pasadena Weekly.
Mr. Homn finds peace and quiet with self-grown plants and crops.
The Trek Continues…
Celebrating his 56th birthday on August 19th is TNG’s Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker), while his 2nd season co-star, Diana Muldaur (Katherine Pulaski), turns 70 that same day. The other Trek luminaries celebrating birthdays in the coming week are: writer/producer Harve Bennett (Star Trek II through V), 78; actress Barbara Bouchet (Kelinda, TOS: “By Any Other Name”), 65; actress Kim Cattrall (Valeris), 52; actor Josh Clark (VOY’s Joe Carey), 53; composer John Debney (TNG, DS9), 52; actor Patrick Kilpatrick (Razik, Reese, and Assan), 59; actor, editor Andrew Koenig (Tumak in DS9: “Sanctuary” and son of Walter Koenig), 40; actress Julie Newmar (Eleen in TOS: “Friday’s Child”), 75; artist, writer, and big-time Trek fan Bjo Trimble (the Star Trek Concordance and a major force in the first Trek letter-writing campaign), 75; and actor Clarence Williams III (Omet’iklan, DS9: “To the Death”), 69. To these and everyone not listed here, TrekMovie.com wishes you a very happy birthday!