Matt Damon: JJ Abrams Wants A Much Younger Kirk

A while back we squashed the Matt Damon will play Kirk rumor being trumpeted by IGN, and now (ironically) IGN has a video of Damon both denying the rumor and starting up a new one. Damon says that he talked to J.J. Abrams about the ‘internet rumor’ and recounts how Abrams told him they are looking ‘much younger,’ and that the film is ‘the early years’ of Kirk. Watch it… 

Damon thinks they are looking for an actor around 20 years old. Although has reported that they are looking at ‘younger’ (and lesser known) actors, it isn’t clear that they are looking as young as 20. From what I have heard I think the new Kirk will be in his mid or maybe even late 20s.  However, if they want to do the usual trilogy of films (or more) around the new cast, then it helps to start as young as possible. [btw rumored possible new Spock Zachary Quinto just turned 30] Hopefully we will know more next week when reports live from the Star Trek/Paramount presentation at Comic-Con  

Still open?
Damon still seems open to the idea of Kirk, noting how he would be interested if they do future movies where the character was closer to his age. However it seems unlikely that they would recast Kirk again for the second or third movies.


sometimes I get asked…so here is a quick transcript

IGN: have you been approached to play Captain Kirk?

Damon: No, that was an internet rumor. In fact I saw William Shatner commented on it which I thought was great. He said "I think he would make a good Captain Kirk" which I thought was really cool. But now, in fact I know that JJ is directing it and I talked to JJ and said "what is the deal" and he’s like "no, the Kirk in my movie is much younger, it’s like the early years." So I think he is hiring probably like a 20 year old actor or something.  So no it’s just an internet rumor.

IGN: oh, it would have been awesome…

Damon: oh thanks, maybe if they do the progression then I can play him

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It’s common practice for actors to play characters 10 or more years younger. Damon is young-looking enough to play a pre-TOS Kirk and would do a good job.

well shit, I was actually looking forward to Damon as Kirk. He has the demeanor and self-confidence.

It might be best for them to go with a relative unknown. Actors like Damon have “baggage” (like the Borne Indentity et al…Team America) that will run interference and distract.

If they choose a low time actor who is good…all that is mitigated.

Josh Duhamel for Kirk.He was in Transformers.

OK I say Jensen Ackles to play Kirk

I wish they would just announce some stuff so we will know for sure what to rip on. Sounds worse all the time.

Well, hell. This is the second news item about this movie to disappoint me. I’d much rather see a story with Kirk in the early years of his command than to see him as a 20-something, *particularly* if they insist on bringing in other characters like Spock. It starts to feel like “Young Sherlock Holmes.”

Too young unless it’s Ensign Kirk. Not good.

We are back to believing what ONE person said again… why?

JJ is quoted by Damon as saying “…no, the Kirk in my movie is much younger, it’s like the early years.” DAMON says…”So I think he is hiring probably like a 20 year old actor or something.”

He’s guessing like everyone else. He said “early years” and didn’t define it, secondly JJ is NOT quoted as saying 20 year old.
Be patient, wait until ComicCon. Til then, don’t believe everything on the internet.

But Quinto looks NOTHING like Nimoy or Spock for that matter :-(

But Quinto looks NOTHING like Spock or Nimoy for that matter. :-(

20 year old…?!?!?

I don’t want to see that. I want to see the first voyage of Captain Kirk.
He should be about 30.
20 year old? What is this Harry potter…?!?!?

gonna suck

About 25 I’d say.

Let’s say that Kirk started Starfleet Academy at 18…17 at the youngest. If it is a four years coursework…23. Then maybe one year of Academy Shipboard Service (like what Spock was incharge of on the Enterprise in TWOK)…24.

I’ve had my theories of what does on there. Some say that the Enterprise had been relegated to a training ship. However, I think it is more involved than that.

Maybe when a ship is going to have a new crew…completely new. It serves as a training vessel where crewmembers are trained along side its old crew. Thsi is based on McCoy’s line…”Wouldn’t it just be easier to put an experienced crew back on the Enterprise?”

I’ll bet that the Enterprise was going to have a major crew replacement, losts of academy graduates with some older ones…maybe Uhura and Scotty. Chekov was one hsi way up as first officer of the Reliant. We have often mused…my brother and I, that the “Khan thing” basically ruined Chekov’s career.

In any case, I woudl say that the first real adventures for Kirk on a ship…likely the Republic or the Faragut, woudl have been at 25 or so years of age.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I have NO interest in seeing “Star Trek Babies” or Starfleet Academy. I will not pay ONE PENNY to see that.

Pay heed, JJ!

I’ve said this before: check out actor Jesse Lee Soffer who plays Will Munson on the CBS’ soap, “As the World Turns.” Looks like a young Shatner.


Star Trek 90210.


You bring up a good point in post #10.

On the other hand if they are going really young in this film (Starfleet Academy?) I think it’s a bad idea.

The news keeps getting worse.

A) No Shatner
b) 20 year old Kirk

Likewise, if it’s Star Trek 90210, JJ can kiss my $7 (or whatever it will be for a ticket) goodbye! They had best carefully consider these creative decisions…too young and I stay home.

And won’t lose a wink of sleep over it. Star Trek will be “Dead to me”. lol

thank god lol
I like Damon but not as Kirk they need a unknown.

I’ve said all along that Matt Damon would not play Kirk, simply in terms of his being *way* too high in stature (and therefore salary). Consider even Patrick Stewart, who’s far and away the actor of the greatest stature (I’m talking in terms of star power here, not in terms of some subjectively assessed acting ability) to have played a Captain in Star Trek. At the time Patrick Stewart signed on, he was of a considerably lower stature than Matt Damon is now (that’s not true anymore, but go back to the early eighties). I feel vindicated.

Anyway, Damon may still look young, but he could only stand in for Kirk if this movie covered the same period as TOS, not Kirk’s Academy years. And that leads me to who they will find to play Kirk: he will not be 20 years old, he would have to be at least 24. Star Trek XI isn’t going to be about Kirk as a sophomore cadet, that would be boring. Kirk is going to be a little more seasoned than that.

Actors and producers lie to pique audience interest. I suppose that there are a lot of grognards on this board who refuse to watch the new Battlestar Galactica, but does nobody remember the “death” of Starbuck? Seriously, I still count Damon in the running until I hear otherwise.

Now if they wanted to make a good movie that would be relevant to the franchise, they should do a Captain Riker movie.


NZorak, I wouldn’t hold my breath on a Captain Riker movie. TNG ended (for better or, more likely, worse) with Nemesis.

“waa wa waaaa wa waaaaaa… i dont want a 20 something kirk!” some people here sound like my 5 week old.

fine, have fun watching new voyages. i’ll be seeing Star Trek in DEC 08 and its gonna be good.

First: The 20 year old Kirk is a speculation on Damon’s part. Enough with the “star trek: 90210” whining… That scarecrow argument doesn’t work anymore

Second: Damon sounded really disappointed that he wont be getting the part….

So like…it IS getting closer to ending up as STAR TREK:THE WONDER YEARS after all?

Maybe they should get a 10 year old Kirk and Spock and do a movie called Star Trek Babies.

#27 LOL!!!!


I was never married to the idea of Matt Damon playing Kirk, but at least he’s in the right age bracket. You people who just “go with the flow” on the casting of this movie (age and otherwise) are going to end up with Star Trek Babies and a box office thumping FAILURE!

I guess some people WANT Star Trek to die. Cos casting too young is the SURE way to kill Star Trek. Nobody wants to see that shit!

As someone said above, this isn’t Harry Potter or Star Trek: 90210!


Oh…one other thing: If they make stupid casting decisions or creative decisions like making it TOO MUCH OF A PREQUEL –i.e., too young –and it FAILS resoundingly at the box office — I can see it now, Paramount is going to say: Nobody wants to see Star Trek anymore…we tried Voyager, Enterprise, Nemesis and Star Trek Babies and nobody watched them

There’s no audience for Star Trek at the present time.

To that I will say BULLSHIT! The people in charge will be INCOMPETENT!

Incompetence will have killed Star Trek!

Austin Nichols:

Fans who insist that “Star Trek” must meet their narrow and specific expectations will kill Trek deader than any other possible cause.

I can’t think of anyone better to play Kirk than Matt Damon. If he’s not cast I will be very dissappointed. If the franchise is to be relaunched, it’s gonna need big names

What about Wheaton for Kirk? His Shat impressions were pretty decent, at least it’d be better than New Voyages or something.

I HATE the dam assumptions.
Shatner whines and some of you believe him. No confirmation.
Damon says something, based on no knowledge at all, and some of you assume Kirk will be a cadet. No confirmation.

I am not saying either RUMOR will not happen. I am saying wait for real information before assuming the worst. None of these are news.. these are rumors.

Oh please.

These “Star Trek Babies” rumours have been going on forever. It’s the ONE CONSTANT in every bit of news I ‘ve heard on this project! So, I have no doubt at all that they would try to go that route.

Dennis…others…what are you going to say when they make this film with a too young cast and timeframe and this thing tanks?

Hmm? What then? The time to protest is now! And there is plenty of reason to protest now based on the “trial balloons” Paramount is sending out! Certainly, not later when the franchise is dead!

Nothing will be sadder than the days after this film fails with you folks asking — when is the next film coming out? Cos there WON’T BE ONE if this film fails….well, maybe on when your GRANDCHILDREN are your age!


What I’ve been saying all along to you Damon and Senise supporters… JJ wants younger actors for these roles…
As far as the 20-year-old comment, I’m sure that Damon doesn’t really know… I expect we’ll see actors in their late 20s early 30s for these roles…
no worries, gang, JJ and his screenwriters are gonna blow the doors off the Star Trek franchise… you can stay out of the theaters and protest all you like, but when this movie comes out, Star Trek will be on everybody’s lips once again…

I reckon we will see Kirk graduating from the academy, starting out on his first assignment. Meeting Spock and talking about his dream of captaining the flagship USS Enterprise.

Or perhaps it will be ironic, saying he’d never wish to be a starship captain, and hating the flagship.

Either way it will see him learning his early lessons, and things that led up to him becoming the legendary officer…

Well, since we’ve gone into sewing-circle mode, I might as well toss in a recent thought of mine:

Leo DiCaprio as Capt. James T. Kirk.

Recall his performance as Howard Hughes in “The Aviator”…

It could work.

And, now, for a little misdirection, I add, “DiCaprio has yet to deny the rumor that he’s in talks with Abrams about the role.”

Why does it feel so good to be so bad?

Damon not playing Kirk is great news. I think it would be best if they just went with an unknown actor.

Still pissed about no Shatner in Trek XI, though…….

I also hope they go with unknown or lesser known actors for the leads. I don’t want to see Leo DiCaprio in a TOSish uniform as Captain Kirk. My brain will not see Captain Kirk…it will see Leo DiCaprio in a TOSish uniform playing Leo DiCaprio.

33. Xai (just the facts)
First of all, I don’t recall Shatner whining. He made some statements which you interpreted as whining.
Second, you are basically correct in stating that most of these things are unconfirmed rumors. Personally, I wish they would quit putting these rumors out there so that people can feed on them. I catch myself doing that sometimes and it disgusts me.
Third, we do know that recasting is going to happen. I don’t care whether the fake actors are 20, 30, or 50, they are still not right, no matter who they are.
Fourth, Stanky is getting really cranky and needs a vacation from all this bull crap.

Shatner did not whine. He told the truth. I don’t understand why you don’t get that Shatner is a first hand source?

The question is, “is William Shatner going to be in Trek XI?”

William Shatner answered it.

And you think that’s not a qualified source? He may not know plot details, but he sure would know if HE is in the movie.

Same goes for Matt Damon, who I still think is a horrible choice.

Matt Damon may not know who Kirk will be, but he would know whether or not it’s HIM.

Not rocket science.

#34 The trekmaster
Sorry, because a rumor has staying power doesn’t mean it has a kernal of truth. Any and all of this may come true, but we don’t have CONFIRMATION.
which leads me to..
You are almost on the right track.
William Shatner answered it, very true..he did. And he’s even a first hand source…. no quibbles there. Is he a CONFIRMing source?… not for this. It’s still one man’s word. If he were the producer, director, production company, finance agent and lead actor… hell yes he could confirm it. But he’s not..
He may well be hired yet, or not. The point is…. WE don’t have complete facts. And take into account Shatner likes to “embelish” his statements at times. In my opinion, JJ will confirm or deny and then we all will know for sure.
The same for Damon… he was guessing when he made the “20 year old” statement.
I’m not sorry that I won’t accept one man’s word on this… after seeing how inflaming all this is, and how some people will believe dam near anything, I personally want to have the people that are running the show tell me who they hired.
If you like getting worked up over rumors, enjoy.
ComicCon is coming soon.

Well, since Damon KNOWS JJ and JJ told him he was casting MUCH younger…what’s not to believe?

#43 thetrekmaster
THe 20 year old part… that was Damon’s opinion of JJ’s comments according to the article. JJ wasn’t quoted as saying that.
All I am suggesting is that people find and consider real confirmed facts, not these rumors, before flying off the handle… such as protesting to Paramount as you suggested. What’s to protest? It’s written, likely cast and in preproduction and you and I know nothing of the content, casting or production. We hear rumors. This ISN’T a movie being made by a group of fans. (And please don’t say it should be… we both know better).

LMAO!!! Yeah, on that we know better! :-)

The advantage of not using a big-name actor like Damon is that you don’t ned to pay him a big-name salary. Remember, Paramount r-e-a-l-l-y wants this movie to make a profit. They’ve no financial incentive to use established stars.

Damon certainly sounded pretty gutted that he wasnt gonna play Kirk…

He sounds like a fan…

boy i hope its not a frickin 20 year old actor as Kirk :(

What about Chris Evans from Sunshine / Fan Four? After seeing him in Sunshine i thought he’s be pretty good