This seems to be a week for Star Trek casting rumors and news. TrekMovie.com has confirmed that Karl Urban (Eomer of Lord of the Rings) is being considered for an unnamed role in the new Star Trek movie. IESB.net is reporting the Kiwi actor has been made an offer to play the villain in the film, but a source close to the production tells TrekMovie.com that Urban is not up for the film’s villain (nor is he being considered for Kirk). The source would not go further when pressed, but based on the Actor’s age (35) either Scotty, Bones may be a good guess (or possibly Captain Garrovick?). Regarding the casting of the villain a studio insider recently told TrekMovie.com that they are looking for well known brand name actor (especially one who will help the film play in foreign markets). This fits with the report that there is interest in Russell Crowe for the part.Read More
In a new article, IESB is reporting that they have ‘new’ rumors about Star Trek XI. Apparently they are hearing the some of the same things that TrekMovie.com is hearing (and published over a week ago in our latest Trek XI Update). Specifically that a draft is complete, Abrams has held auditions, the film includes Scotty & Pike, and the story jumps around in time. Hopefully IESB’s ‘close source to the film’ wasn’t just reporting what he read on TrekMovie.com, but is actually confirming our report. If you missed it, make sure to read our latest Trek XI Update for even more details on Star Trek XI.
Although JJ Abrams and Paramount aren’t confirming that Star Trek XI takes place before the Original Series and features a young James Kirk, William Shatner has no problem talking about it. In a brief interview with SciFi Wire, William Shatner repeated previous comments that he and producer JJ Abrams have met and that Abrams wants him in Star Trek XI. The Shat also told SciFi Wire "Yes, we know the story is based on young Kirk." The original Captain Kirk still seems fixated on how this will all work, but in this case he implies that he expects to be interacting with the young Kirk: They need to figure out how to put the dead captain in with the young captain…It’s a very complex, technical problem of how to write the character in, and I’m not sure how they will solve it.
For Star Trek XI news, 2006 was both exciting and frustrating. In April and May we first learned about the project and got some public statements from producer JJ Abrams and his cohorts, then the cone of silence descended and it became almost impossible to learn anything about the film. This is actually quite normal for a film this far out. Paramount know that Trek is an important franchise and that there is really no upside to talking a lot about a film at this very early stage. For 2007, some of that will change…and it promises to be a big year for Trek XI. This article is to summarize where we are now (Much of the following has been reported before, but some is new)
Harve Bennett was the producer for the golden age of Star Trek films back in the 1980s. After the lackluster performance of Star Trek V in 1989, Bennett (along with writer David Laurie) developed a script called ‘Star Trek: The Academy Years’ which was to reboot the franchise with younger actors playing Kirk and Spock at Starfleet Academy. In the end the studio decided to give the original cast one more go and Bennett left the franchise. Earlier this year when Variety broke the first news about Trek XI and used the word ‘Academy’ in their brief plot outline many thought that Bennett’s script was back. Even after J.J. Abrams called the Variety article ‘not entirely accurate’ many still speculated there was some link, including Mr. Bennett himself.
With so much reporting on other things, thought we should update you all on that other little Trek project Although Trek XI is still just in ‘development‘ there already is quite a lot of activity going on. According to studio insiders the assumption is that Trek XI will get a greenlight and will be one of Paramount’s tentpoles for Summer 2008. Apparently the first draft of the script is due shortly and the Abrams team are already seeing actors for the major parts. Although no names are available, TrekMovie is told that "many A and B listers have been in and out of Abrams offices" (which are actually still on the Disney lot). One Paramount source tells TrekMovie that it is possible there will be a casting announcement even before the script gets final approval and the film gets the greenlight (which should be sometime in December/January). "Although it hasn’t been greenlit yet, it is as close as you get around here," said the source. Still unclear how many TOS roles are being recast, but another source indicates that the treatment included the characters of McCoy and Scotty in addition to Kirk and Spock. The ‘Kirk’s first Mission’ plotline (which TrekMovie first reported in August) still seems to be the prevailing assumption amongst those TrekMovie has spoken to, but still nothing firm so it is still in the realm of ‘rumor’.
Over the last week The Trek Movie Report has got a number of tips regarding an article in the new Star Trek Magazine titled “Blank Slate / New Film Producers Deny Kirk and Spock Recasting Rumors”. Coming from the officially licensed Star Trek magazine this at first did seem like significant news. A few other websites ran ‘news’ that the Kirk and Spock recasting rumor had been ‘officially denied’, but the Trek Movie Report noticed something a bit familiar to the story and decided to dig deeper. After speaking to one of the editors at Titan Publishing it is clear that the headline was not based on any recent conversations Star Trek Magazine had with any Trek XI producers. Although Titan (who also publish the official magazines for both Lost and Alias in addition to the Star Trek Mag) work with Trek XI and Lost producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof regularly, the editor confirms that they were not contacted for that particular article. “As far as we know Paramount have a policy to not confirm or deny any plot details on Trek XI and our article was trying to convey that” said the editor.
It looks like JJ Abrams can add ‘graphic artist’ to his growing list of credits for Star Trek XI. Recently our intrepid ‘VegasCon Correspondent’ DavidofLondon picked up an anonymous tip that the Star Trek XI teaser poster was designed by Abrams himself. Today the Trek Movie Report contacted David’s source as well as an additional studio insider who both confirmed this tidbit. One of the insiders pointed out that it is not surprising since Abrams is an experienced designer and even did some of the design work on his debut film Mission Impossible III. It is surprising when you consider that in July Abrams was co-writing Star Trek XI, signed two Hollywood megadeals, co-wrote a script for Lost, and put the finishing touches on the MI:3 DVDs. This shows a serious hands on approch for Abrams. The possible hints he embedded in his design truly make it live up to the description of ‘teaser’.
Trekkies want to know: when and where exactly is Star Trek XI going to be set? The teaser poster and the few comments from the film’s creators have led us to expect a prequel to Original Series, but that leaves a lot of room. Much of the speculation to date has focused on the rumor of a ‘Cadet Kirk’ and an Academy setting. When the Matt Damon as Kirk rumor surfaced many scratched their heads tyring to put the two rumors together (eg: a mid 30s actor playing a cadet) . Well the Trek XI Report might be able to clear that up with a little tip from a trustworthy insider who reports: Star Trek XI will feature the first voyage of Kirk as captain of the Enterprise. This report makes the Matt Damon report make a lot more sense (he is about the same age as Shatner was during the Original Series). This could also fit within Star Trek history since Kirk’s first mission on the Enterprise was never depicted on either the Original Series or in any of the 7 movies with the Kirk character.
Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett (the team behind the 1998 cult hit Free Enterprise) may be friends but they don’t see eye to eye on Star Trek XI. Their semi-autobiographical indie film about two struggling filmmakers who meet their childhood hero William Shatner (who plays himself) demonstrates that these two take their Star Trek very seriously. In the latest issue of CFQ (of which Altman is a co-Publisher) the pair square off…
It has been 10 days since Paramount announced the first teaser poster for Star Trek XI. This was big news and has been picked up all over the world in both the geekerazzi and the mainstream media, even Christianity Today. Most of the news analysis came to the same conclusion as the Trek Movie Report, that the poster is an indication the new film will be ‘old school Trek’ from the TOS era. Now Playing Magazine puts it succinctly: “The Trek poster would seem to indicate that the new film will return to the era of the original Kirk and Spock adventures” obviously picking up on the two major clues, the insignia (only used on the Original Series) and the colors (matching Kirk and Spock’s uniforms). But of course being about Star Trek…the speculation doesn’t end there.
Marina Sirtis (TNG’s Deanna Troi) and Levar Burton (TNG’s Geordi La Forge) attended a panel (at last September’s DragonCon) to discuss their work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In a video posted this week to YouTube (below) you can see their answers to questions about their most recent Trek films as well as Paramount’s plans for switching from the TNG cast to a TOS prequel for Star Trek XI (NOTE: since this video was shot Paramount have cancelled plans for one prequel project from Rick Berman and greenlit another prequel project produce by JJ Abrams…but both concepts are rumored to be set pre-TOS and not include the TNG casts)