Collins Confirms Star Trek Villain Details

Clifton Collins Jr., who plays General Ayel, the right hand to Eric Bana’s Nero in the new Star Trek has finally come clean and said on the record what we have all been talking about for months. In a new brief interview with E!, one of Star Trek’s new bad guys spills some beans [spoilers spoilers] .



Talking Romulan
Confirming Trekmovie’s Star Trek Villain Spoilers article, Collins tells E!’ Marc Malkin:

Me and Eric are the new Romulans, they had a linguist come in and invent Romulan!

Although there have been a few phrases of Romulan spoken and seen in past Trek, primarily TNG (see Memory Alpha article on the Romulan Language), it has not been as realized as Vulcan or especially Klingon. Bringing on a linguist is nothing new for Trek, Marc Okrand (author of the Klingon Dictionary) was brought on to most of the TOS era films (and as recently as the fourth season of Star Trek Enterprise) to help actors with Vulcan and Klingon.

Clifton Collins = Johnny Depp?
In the past Collins has described he and Bana’s characters as "real bad dudes," and now is spilling more:

Collins said his and Bana’s Romulan look could have been somewhat inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean. “We’re space pirates,” Collins explained. “Think of Johnny Depp as a Romulan.”

Surprise cameo?
More from Collins on Star Trek, including comments on possible cameos, at at E!

Collins February 4 (during the Star Trek shoot) at Hollywood Party


Sort by:   newest | oldest
Harry Ballz
August 14, 2008 3:36 pm

“Think of Johhny Depp as a Romulan?”

I got a bad feeling about this…

August 14, 2008 3:38 pm

Very interesting. I wonder if he means anything beyond that these are independently working Romulans by calling them pirates. By “think Johnny Depp” does he mean that there’ll be a charming likability and eccentricity to these villians, or just that they don’t believe in rules and stuff?

I wonder how much of previous phrases they’ve incorporated into this version of Romulan (like when they incorporated Doohan’s sounds in Star Trek III).

August 14, 2008 3:45 pm


August 14, 2008 3:49 pm

I don’t think any of this is a bad thing. By Johnny Depp I am sure he’s not talking about the Jack Sparrow-type goofy pirate. It’s probably more about lawlessness and the carisma these characters are going to have. Depp always makes his villains dynamic and interesting.

August 14, 2008 3:49 pm

BND raises his mast… avast ye’… time ta’ ravage Enterprize!!!!! Savage her sexless and take off wit’ tha’ di-lithium!
Yo-ho-ho! And a bottle o’ rum! Hoist tha’ main sail cuz here I come! Ain’t no room on board fur tha’ insincere! Yer me witness, I’m yer mutineer!!!!


August 14, 2008 3:51 pm

Best bloody news yet!


Harry Ballz
August 14, 2008 3:52 pm

Does this mean the movie will be ARRRRRRRRR-rated?

Beam Me Up
August 14, 2008 3:54 pm

Why is the Romulan Ale gone?

August 14, 2008 3:55 pm

well in that case, would the makers mind if i just got a piratted version of the film, instead of paying to see it??

That One Guy
August 14, 2008 3:57 pm


Because it is a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels!

August 14, 2008 4:00 pm

8. “Why is the Romulan Ale gone?”


August 14, 2008 4:01 pm

I still don’t see any points on those ears!

August 14, 2008 4:03 pm

Johnny Depp? Will we see drunk Romulans? I see lots of Romulan Ale in this movie…

LOL @ #7 I didn’t think anyone would bring out that oldie.

Papa Jim
August 14, 2008 4:05 pm

This is the guy who said Star Trek was lame.
I agree with #1.

I have a bad feeling about this

August 14, 2008 4:05 pm

Why would someone being compared to Johnny Depp make anyone uncomfortable? Depp is easily one of the finest actors doing the rounds today. He can be both mainstream, and underground. He can do Raul Duke, JM Barrie, Edward Scissorhands, and then back to Jack Sparrow. He’s so versatile that comparing anyone to Depp is like saying “we’re going to kick ass at everything”.

August 14, 2008 4:08 pm

Romulan pirates, eh? not a bad idea. Renegades much like the Klingons in Star Trek 3.

August 14, 2008 4:11 pm

I don’t want to hear space-pirates and Star Trek in the same sentence, EVER!

blake powers
August 14, 2008 4:14 pm

I agree with harry ballz on this one………. Wait…… That sounds awful.

August 14, 2008 4:15 pm

I think it’s just a bizarre analogy. nothing more.

August 14, 2008 4:16 pm

It makes sense that the Romulans in this film would be operating beyond orders.

It makes them more dangerous and unpredictable.

August 14, 2008 4:17 pm

The article says that he says the look is inspired…which I would take to mean .they are rag tag and eclectic in their appearance…He said very little about characterization..the article says the look..which was followed by the term space pirates and Johnny sounds like he is trying to convey the idea of what their overall appreance will be and give a frame of reference for context.

Romulan Tal-Shiarrrrrrrr Dude - TOG
August 14, 2008 4:18 pm

If we gunna be a-seein’ Rommies drunk, I demand that I be one of ’em. No one can get more drunk than a lon’ly lad on a ship.


I’m sorry, BND, I have not yet mastered your style yet. It’s harder than it looks.

August 14, 2008 4:20 pm

Not mentioned above is this other tidbit from the article.

“And get ready for some surprise appearances in the movie. “There is, but I better not say,” Collins said of possible big-star cameos. “There are certain things that as kids growing up, whether it’s Star Trek or other shows at the time, all you got to do is really just hear their voice and your heart warms.”

Asked if he was referring to characters and actors from the original television series, Collins simply smiled and said, “Maybe.”

Decker's Stubble
August 14, 2008 4:23 pm

We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!
We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate’s life for me.

iWe extort, we pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!
Maraud and embezzle and even hijack.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate’s life for me.
Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate’s life for me.

We kindle and char, inflame and ignite.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!
We burn up the city, we’re really a fright.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate’s life for me.

We’re rascals, scoundrels, villans and knaves.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!
We’re devils and black sheep, really bad eggs!
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate’s life for me.

We’re beggars and blighters and ne’er-do-well cads.
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!
Aye! But we’re loved by our mommies and dads!
Drink up me ‘earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate’s life for me.

August 14, 2008 4:25 pm

Sounds great to me, and it makes sense considering that the Romulans and Federation were talking peace at the end of ‘Nemesis.’

7: Harry, nice Squidward reference! :-)

Nathan Harvey
August 14, 2008 4:26 pm

Its hard to see how these the original romulans match up with these new pirate romulans, originally they were very imperialistic and seemed to be based on the romulans, how these two romulans fit together will be interesting too see i hope

August 14, 2008 4:28 pm

23: Glad you added that item — I was about to copy & paste myself. THAT is quite the juicy detail!

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
August 14, 2008 4:33 pm

Aren’t the klingons supposed to be the space pirates?? Or the Orions??

Not very encouraging news from a guy who looks like anything but a bad dude

Pat Payne
August 14, 2008 4:36 pm

“Asked if he was referring to characters and actors from the original television series, Collins simply smiled and said, “Maybe.””

OK, you know you WANT to.. Let the Shat-watch commence again ;)

August 14, 2008 4:37 pm

I think the romulan costumes resemble pirates

August 14, 2008 4:39 pm

#17 –

Weren’t the Orions essentially supposed to be space pirates?

August 14, 2008 4:44 pm

26. Well, I assume these pirates don’t have anything to do with the imperialist Romulans of any previous Trek, which is an interesting choice. If these Romulans are from the 24th Century (has that been confirmed?) then it seemed like the general Romulan government was working towards becoming a UFP ally. Perhaps these “pirate” Romulans simply don’t like the sea change (no pun intended) in galactic politics and travel back to the 23rd Century to do something about it.

Sounds cool to me. Although this may mean we still don’t get a movie that features Romulans as we know them. Perhaps TPTB think that cunning and devious but polite and civilized spies are too dry for Trek on the big screen?

capt Mike
August 14, 2008 4:49 pm

ARRRRRRRRRR isn’t romulan ale Illigal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. ARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! Who Carees.Will Damn the torpedoes on there Enterprise and Kill The swine Kirk And take All of her secretes and All the ALe I can!!!!!!!!. ARRRRRRRRRRR. OK. Im no pirate and I can’t talk like one. But at least give me a half a point for even trying.

7 of 5
August 14, 2008 4:49 pm

Every so often, something like this leaks out and it scares me spitless.
If Abrams wanted Johnny Depp, he should have simply gone out and signed him. I’d bet Depp wouldn’t be averse to doing a Trek. Probably would have been a little more expensive than Bana & Collins put together, but the marquee value would have been incredible.
Some of you may be old enough to remember what the producers did to get the original ‘Superman’ made. It was floundering because they couldn’t agree who would play Big Blue. Paul Newman? Robert Redford? Ahhhnold and Stallone were even considered. Then they signed Marlon Brando for two weeks’ work at an unholy salary to play Jor-El and then signed Gene Hackman to play Luthor for about the same amount for 2 movies. Instant credibility and bankability. Then they cast pretty much unknown actors for everyone else.
Star Trek 11 started out with Nimoy, who gave them an air of credibility insofar as to reassuring us it would still be recognizable as Star Trek, but signed no one to give them that big bankability like the name Johnny Depp as Nemo would have. If they are truly playing to that rogue image for their villains, why not go first class and take a shot at the maestro, Johnny Depp?
Or did they and I am just ignorant of it?

capt Mike
August 14, 2008 4:52 pm

Ok. # 24. That was fantastic and I loved it. Ok. Any one for scoty and a romulan pirate getting into a sword fight. You know that would be so Kool.ARRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Beam Me Up
August 14, 2008 4:55 pm

I wonder if his dad is Keith Richards!

August 14, 2008 5:05 pm

According to the original Romulan episode, “Balance of Terror,” Humans and Romulans had never met face-to-face before the events in that story. Do we know how that point factors into this movie, if at all? Could that have something to do with why Bana’s ear looks so mangled in the poster? I’m not one to get all worked up over what is and isn’t canon, but it would feel a bit weird to see a young Kirk & crew square off against Romulans that they supposedly see for the first time several years later. Or is the whole thing supposed to be some alternate timeline? And if it is, isn’t that an awful lot to explain to a mainstream audience that’s new to Trek? Anyone out there got this figured out yet?

Trek Dude
August 14, 2008 5:10 pm


I never understood why all the races have to resemble some sort of stereotype. I mean it’s very well possible that there is a lot of diversity among them. Personally I do like the idea a lot to get to see different kinds of factions among the Romulans. I’d say it’s about time that it happens, because in my opinion it’s just natural.

August 14, 2008 5:16 pm
#28—-I think it makes perfect sense. This is a rogue faction within the RSE which is unhappy with the changes in the political climate on Romulus, which is of course being facilitated by the influence of Spock (who was last seen on Romulus). That would explain Old Spock’s pursuit of the villains attempting to disrupt the past. I think it is likely that their scheme is both desperate and unsanctioned by the Romulan Senate. I think that is about all that should be inferred from this actor’s comments concerning these Romulans being at all like “pirates”. He probably would have been better off using a term like “renegade”. Orci cited “Balance Of Terror” as specific research on the part of the STXI “Supreme Court” in preparation for this production, and he and Lindelof are big fans (of TNG in particular), so these guys know who the Romulans are, and what conventional Romulan military personnel would look like. I suspect that these Romulans are rather unconventional (perhaps former or Tal-Shiar), however. I picture these guys as members of a faction of Romulans committed to the “old ways” and determined to somehow tip the balance of power in their favor (maybe even by murdering a young Spock). I think that they may even make several attempts at whatever their plan at multiple points in the timeline. I would like to believe that the motive is even more personal for Nero –as the illegitimate son of Spock and the Romulan commander in “TEI”–but… Read more »
Martin Pollard
August 14, 2008 5:18 pm

Jeez. Opinions about this movie are up and down more than a Vegas hooker during convention week…

Beam Me Up
August 14, 2008 5:26 pm

What he means by pirate is that he’s probably just stolen a ship and out on his own. Kruge was like a pirate in Trek III

August 14, 2008 5:28 pm

“BND raises his mast…”

…HEY! There’s children present here! Keep that thing stowed away, you limey swabbo git! :-P :-P :-P

August 14, 2008 5:29 pm

#40—Only for some people. I have yet to see or hear anything which warrants any sort of apprehension about this. IMO, you have to take comments like the one made by Mr. Collins with the proverbial “grain of salt”.

Collins is an actor with a relatively minor role in all likelihood. He is not a Trek fan, so what he knows about the overall big picture is probably very limited.

“space pirates”? I doubt that is a very accurate description…

August 14, 2008 5:33 pm

i don’t think they’ll literally be ‘pirates’, more that they are rogue / renegade types. i also agree with several others who think depp to be one of the best actors out there at this time and would love to see him in trek.

their time travelling shenanigans lead them to require a disguise to fit in on the earth of their past, hence the chopping off of ear points to and tattooing of faces, perhaps to masquerade as a never before met species. (thus preserving your blessed canon to explain why in ‘balace of terror’ they’ve never seen what romulans look like)

Beam Me Up
August 14, 2008 5:35 pm

Han Solo was a Space Pirate. There’s nothing wrong with that.

August 14, 2008 5:53 pm

I still think Riker & the Titan are gonna have a cameo early on in the movie.

August 14, 2008 5:56 pm

“I tried to watch some of the old ‘Star Treks,’ and with all due respect, they were probably cool at the time, but I couldn’t watch them.”


August 14, 2008 6:11 pm

There is nothing to indicate that Kirk and co. will meet any Romulans face to face. That isn’t neceesarily what will happen. Orci is aware of “BOT” (he has said so here).

With that said, he also has stated that “anything which appears to violate canon will have a canon explanation”.

Let’s keep in mind that these rogue Romulans could indeed alter the timeline. The whole “surprise aspect” of the original visual contact with the Romulans may be rendered irrelevant by events in this film. An alternate timeline, as a result of Romulan interference, could very well be that “canon explanation”.

My guess is that Nimoy’s Spock is partially successful in preventing whatever Nero is trying to do, but is unable to prevent some subtle changes in the timeline that we previously recognized as correct.

Of course, none of that will matter at all to a 14-15 year old who has never seen TOS, and wasn’t even alive the last time Kirk or Spock was depicted at all on the big screen. It will only be pertinent to those of us who feel a need to canonically justify anything that happens in Star Trek, despite the fact that this is all predicated upon a major suspension of disbelief to begin with…

August 14, 2008 6:30 pm

#47—-Sounds honest to me…He doesn’t have to be a fan. Most of the target audience do not belong to the fraternity of established fans, and there are alot more people out there who share his opinion than there are of us.

Collins is not a fan. Neither was Nick Meyer. William Shatner said that, until recently (while recovering from surgery), he had never even tried to watch it in syndication. The difference is, Collins is just an actor with a couple of scenes in the new movie. Who cares what his opinion of the show is? He just has to deliver from to time JJ says, “action” to the time he says, “cut”. He is being well paid to do so.

August 14, 2008 6:31 pm

I think this guy needs a talking to. He’s off the reservation trying to impress E! at a Hollywood party by clumsily divulging secrets about the movie. Abrams controls the media leaks for a good reason as evidenced by some of the baseless conclusions drawn by fans whenever they read leaks out of context.