SacTown Con Report: Nimoy To Play Sarek?

TrekBBS friend Sean brings TrekMovie this new con report: 

Nimoy and Shatner Look Back, Express Hope for the Future
Two legends, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, shared the stage on Sunday to celebrate Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary at Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Sacramento, California. As usual, they didn’t disappoint the sold out audience gathered to hear them share their memories of the franchise. Nimoy appeared first, looking fit and happy. He shared with the audience that he had “been contacted” by JJ Abrams, director of Star Trek XI. He did not go into anymore detail, except to express positive impressions of Abrams and hope for the film. One audience member asked him if the movie was supposed to be about a young Spock, would Nimoy consider an offer to play Sarek? After a brief pause, Nimoy said “Someone get Abrams on the phone right away!” Nimoy went on to say in all seriousness, that he was retired from the movie business, preferring to focus on his photography and spending time with his family. When it came time for Shatner’s appearance, he began with the statement that, although there was no Star Trek right now, “Something is in the wind. Something exciting.” He was referring obviously to the new movie, and also had praise for Abrams. “He seems to be a bright and talented young man.” Shatner said he did not know whether or not he would be asked to appear in the film, but did not rule out an appearance.

Shatner and Nimoy then appeared together, sharing their memories of the show and the films. One very interesting exchange came about when Shatner discussed shooting Star Trek V. He said that he learned a life long lesson about the difference between “going with the flow” and “compromising yourself”. He talked at some length about what he had wanted for the film (“Search for God, find the Devil”) but that the studio pushed him away from the concept, which he regrets. Nimoy responded “I’ve never heard you share that with anyone before.”The two stars shared a champagne toast with the audience, and stayed afterward to sign autographs and have photos taken with fans for several hours before leaving. Their appearance culminated a weekend long event, which included John De Lancie, Armin Shimerman, Dominic Keating, and Marc Alaimo. Additionally, Michael and Denise Okuda surprised the audience with an appearance on Saturday, in which they introduced the first clip reel of the remastered Star Trek episodes. The impressive clips were received very well by the fans in attendance.

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Written by Sean, AKA 1001001
TrekBBS Moderator, Science and Technology Forum

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I’d have to disagree with most of the opinions here. I think that one earlier post had it right. This film is shaping to be a “win-win” for Paramount. Bring in the old guard to bookend the film.

The original characters are going to be recast… we know this. Paramount is gunning for the younger action-oriented audience. That’s who buys tickets. Abrams’ built his rep on the clever use of flashback to propel the narrative. The elements are there. 20 to 30 mins of Shatner and Nimoy, peppered throughout the film, where both timelines are dealing with parallel themes would work, in this fan’s opinion, and as stated earlier be a wise move for the studio who is obviously trying to walk the line between groundbreaking and nostalgic. Obviously Shatner and Nimoy can’t kick it like they did 40 years ago… hell, even 15 years ago. But, I expect they would be picking up the cerebral slack of the picture while their younger counterparts did the action and effects portion.

Odds are these guys are gonna be in this movie. If nothing else to show the old fans that they’re personally giving the new actors playing their roles thumbs up. I don’t care if they’re in it for a pre-credit sequence. As long as we see these icons wearing the burgundy jackets one more time.

My only concern is a “star” taking over these parts. I think the two actors chosen to play Kirk and Spock should be unknowns, thus bringing no baggage to the role. We’re never going to accept Matt Damon, just as an example, as the good captain. Never mind that he doesn’t have the gravitas to pull it off. Any actor with a resume is going to be seen as “such and such” trying to be Kirk… or God forbid doing a William Shatner impersonation.

Shatner was hardly unknown when Star Trek came along. I could certainly accept Matt Damon if he can act the part and recreate the chemistry between his new Kirk and a new Spock and McCoy. What Star Trek needs at this point, when the spin-offs have ended and the original cast is no longer complete, is for the original and best characters to become separated from the actors who played them for the first time, so that the CHARACTERS can live on. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy form a classic trinity of courage, reason, and passion from which great stories almost naturally flow. All the spin-off series, although sometimes great in their own ways, were challenged by the need to be different, which meant they could not use the same simple, and best, formula as the original series. Having run only 3 seasons plus a dozen or so hours of feature film, the original formula is the least played-out and the least exhausted of any Star Trek series. Being so simple, it is also more flexible for writers to work with. We’ve seen TNG, VOY, and even DS9 ultimately, in their later seasons, become somewhat straightjacketed by their own formulas, consisting of too many main characters with too much established history and too much reluctance by the producers to shake things up. Cut it down to the three basic heroes (plus great guest stars for them to play off of), loosen the rules, and an entire galaxy of ENTERTAINING stories can be unleashed. If Star Trek is to continue production, we need not only a new Kirk, but many new Kirks, played by generations of actors in succession. Just as there are many Hamlets and Lears, there can be many Kirks. As far as I’m concerned, we don’t need another spin-off series for a long, long time. The spin-off idea is what’s exhausted, not the idea of Star Trek. Bring back the original.

Yes, yes, & Yes! By the by, the original captain in the pilot, The Cage, was Jeffery Hunter, who was also a star by ’66. No reason that a star can’t play Kirk. Plus, I am hopeful of it being someone like Damon…wouldn’t you rather the “young” be played by someone in his 30’s, rather than some 22 year old talentless punk?
I don’t need old Kirk and Spock to bookend the movie. Clean break. They can live on in spirit, we already have those memories, who needs them to kindle more? I will just be sad when I see how OLD they have become, which means how old I have become.

I guess I’m in the minority here with wanting to see these two one more time. Ah, well. I still have the fingers crossed that these guys are being courted to bookend the film. Abrams is a flashback whore. He has tremendous respect for these two actors. I can’t see him passing up the opportunity.

Again, I stand by what I wrote about Damon being miscast as Kirk. I don’t think he has the weight to carry the role. Shatner was a man you believed could be in charge of a ship. He inspired people to follow him into battle. Damon… not so much. I think his name being dropped for the role was the prerequisite chore of naming a hot, young star off the top of the head who sorta, kinda fits the physical description. My guess is he will not be in this film.

As far as Shatner and Hunter having much experience when they took on their respective roles. I won’r argue that, however, the roles they took were original creations. My point was any “name” actor who takes on the role is going to be perceived as said name actor pretending he’s Captain Kirk. I’m all for casting a lesser known performer. No 20-somethings, that’s for sure. Someone age appropriate who has experience but is not a well known star. I think they are apt to be more successful giving their interpretation of the role without the baggage of prior fame hampering the audience’s accepting of their portrayel.

“Additionally, Michael and Denise Okuda surprised the audience with an appearance on Saturday, in which they introduced the first clip reel of the remastered Star Trek episodes.”

Ahh man I haven’t been to a convention in say 10 years, this is what I get for not keeping up!