Today TrekMovie kicks off a week of special coverage of the Star Trek fan films. We begin with big news from the big daddy, Star Trek Phase II, who are planning to do their own prequel episode, telling the ‘prime timeline‘ story of a young (recast) Kirk meeting Spock for the first time. We have exclusive details and cast images below, plus and updated schedule for Phase II releases in 2010.
Phase II explores "Origins"
The fan made series Phase II is now in pre-production on "Origins" a special episode that will tell the story of young James T. Kirk "as he starts his Starfleet career", including his time at the Academy and his first meeting of Mr. Spock. To tell the story they will be casting a Captain Pike, George Kirk, Sr. and a younger James Kirk Sound familiar? Phase II star/executive producer James Cawley tells TrekMovie that is no accident. Cawley (who had a cameo background role in JJ Abrams Star Trek) says that he wanted to tell "the Phase II version of how Jim Kirk meets Spock for the first time." Of course, throughout its history Phase II (and New Voyages) has gone out of its way to try and stick as closes as possible to the canon of the original 1960’s Star Trek. Cawley explains:
We are honoring the JJ Abrams movie, but this is a different look at what could have been. This is the prime timeline.
"Origins" is being written and directed by veteran Star Trek writer David Gerrold. It will touch on many elements that would be familiar to Trek fans including Kirk dealing with his Starfleet Academy nemesis Finnegan, and his relationship with his best friend Gary Mitchell. But Cawley says that the story is "not just what people expect". The producer wouldn’t reveal details on the plot, but did say that it does not involve time travel, and the origin story will be told in a series of flashbacks. Cawley and some others from the main crew of Phase II will appear in the episode. Although the story will be tied to the canon of the TOS version of Star Trek, Cawley tells TrekMovie it will also reference elements from the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie.
Casting has been completed on "Origins". Matthew Ewald (pictured above) will be playing the younger Kirk. The 27-year old Ewald starred in the FOX/ABC Family television series Galidor, and has also appeared a couple of films. Cawley says he had no doubt Ewald was the only one for the part when he auditioned, noting “Matthew is truly a special young man, and I’m looking forward to the great job he’ll do playing a younger “me’!”.
The story of "Origins" will include an appearance of an earlier USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, who will be played by Chuck Huber. Huber is known for his extensive voice work for FUNimation and in such series as Full Metal Alchemist and Bleach. Playing Pike’s “Number One” will be Michele Specht, who has previously appeared on TV, including I Hate My 30’s and is currently filming Backyard Wedding. Specht was also featured in the Phase II episode “Kitumba”. The role of Spock on board Pike’s Enterprise will be played by the same actor who also plays Spock in Kirk’s Enterprise, Brandon Stacy, who happens to be Zachary Quinto’s stand-in for the 2009 Star Trek movie.
Huber and Specht are playing Pike and ‘Number One’ in Phase II’s "Origins"
Vic Mignogna will be taking on the role of George Kirk, James Kirk’s father. Actor, director, composer, producer Mignogna, is best known for his prolific voice work in such anime hits as DragonBall Z , Full Metal Alchemist, and Bleech. He earlier joined Phase II in the role of an Andorian captain in “Enemy: Starfleet”, and as the Klingon villain in “Kitumba”: an episode he also directed.
Mignogna plays Kirk’s father George
Rounding out the cast, fans can expect to see some of James T. Kirk’s most famous Starfleet Academy classmates. Gary Mitchell, Kirk’s student and friend, will be played by Brian Tubbs. Tubbs was featured in the film Touched and Melancholy and also had a role in Phase II’s “Kitumba”. Finally, Jeff Johnson, an experienced voice actor, will bring life to Kirk’s most energetic Academy nemesis – the perpetually jokester Finnegan.
Jeff Johnson is a good fit for Finnegan (his head looks just right when photoshopped into the scene from "Shore Leave")
Brian Tubbs is Phase II’s Gary Mitchell
"Origins" will begin shooting in June of 2010, for a targeted release in 2011.
TrekMovie will have more updates on this exciting project, so stay tuned.
Updated Star Trek: Phase II 2010 Schedule
James Cawley has also provided us with a new schedule for upcoming Phase II releases. Right now the Phase II team are in various stages of post-production on three different episodes, all of which Cawley plans to release this year. Cawley tells TrekMovie "The days of years between releases is over." Here is the (tentative) breakdown:
"ENEMY: STARFLEET!" — April 1st, 2010
"THE CHILD" — Early Summer 2010
"KITUMBA" — Halloween 2010
Fan Productions Week Continues
All week long TrekMovie will be providing updates on the world of fan films and audio productions. We have the latest news from some of the well known groups and news on new ones as well, so stay tuned.