August 2007

Abrams Close to Casting New Chekov – Looking For Big Names For Villain and ‘Federation Captain’

The casting news is coming faster and faster these days…now from the Hollywood Reporter no less. According to trade paper, the up-and-coming  (and Russian-born) Anton Yelchin is in negotiations to play Pavel Chekov for the new Star Trek film. THR also confirms that casting is under way (in New York and London) for "Kirk, Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, the film’s villain and the Federation captain." It is not entirely clear what they mean by ‘federation captain,’ it is possible they actually mean ‘fleet captain’ which would be Chris Pike. THR reports that Abrams is expected to sign bigger-name actors for the villain and the ‘federation captain.’ roles. Yelchin is only 18, but has been working steadily since 2000, most recently with a recurring role on the Showtime drama Huff. He is starring in two feature films opening in the fall of 2007 (Charlie Bartlett and Fierce People).

Damon Still Too Old To Play Kirk

Another Star Trek movie rumor that seems hard to kill is the Matt Damon as Kirk rumor. A few readers have sent in links to a long MSN Movies article on Matt Damon that had a paragraph about him playing Kirk, starting off with the line "After "The Bourne Ultimatum," Damon has agreed to play Captain James Kirk." Although some thought this was confirmation it was actually just a bit of rumor inertia working its way into the article. In the last couple of days MSN has updated the article and the paragraph on him playing Kirk is now gone. Damon recently denied the rumor and now in a new interview with the Australian AP he repeats he is too old to play Kirk, saying…

Return of the Tom Cruise Rumor: Now As Pike! [UPDATE: Rumor Denied]

Remember last fall when crushed the Tom Cruise in Star Trek rumor, when his own people told us it wasn’t true. Well it is hard to keep a good rumor down and now IGN are saying that JJ Abrams wants Tom Cruise to play a cameo as Chris Pike…the captain of the Enterprise before Jim Kirk (originally played by Jeffrey Hunter). cannot confirm or deny this report at this time. IGN has good sources, but some of their previous casting rumors didn’t pan out. UPDATE: Rumor DeniedArnold Robinson, a publicist for Mr. Cruise, tells that this story is "not true." has also not been able to get any confirmation of the story from any sources.   

Leaked Character Casting Sheet For ‘Star Trek’ – Entire TOS Crew Being Recast

It was long rumored, and has since been confirmed, that the new Star Trek film will recast the Original Series characters Kirk and Spock (with Spock already cast with Zachary Quinto). TrekMovie.reported last October that the film will also have McCoy and Scotty and now (if a new report is to be believed) it appears we will get the whole gang. AICN claims to have obtained a partial character casting sheet for the new Star Trek film which includes Kirk, Scotty, McCoy, Uhura and Sulu (but no Chekov who didn’t join until the second season).  Details below:

Review “Death In Winter”

August 2007 features the re-release of "Death in Winter" a paperback release of a 2005 hardcover TNG novel.  This release sets up a series of post-Nemesis TNG novels starting in September (just in time for TNG’s 20th anniversary). "Death in Winter" by Michael Jan FriedmanI’ve been reading books for nearly thirty years and reading Star Trek books for about twenty-two years. In all those years, there have only been a few novels that I couldn’t finish. The only reason I finished Michael Jan Friedman’s "Death in Winter" was to write a review. 

Details On ‘Star Trek Conquest’ For Wii (and PS2)

Last week reported a game called ‘Star Trek Conquest’ showed up on the Gamefly rental service. At the time Bethesda was playing mum, but today they have released details for the Wii (and PS2) game.’Conquest’ is described as a ‘blend of strategy and intense action.’ The game is being developed by 4J Studios (who also made last years PS2 game Star Trek Encounters). Players can take control of Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Dominion, and Breen forces and lead them in a campaign to control the Galaxy, one planet at a time in a turn-based strategy game. conjectured that the game would be a ‘Dominion War’ game but it seems to be less DS9 specific and more generic to the Next Gen era. Conquest will be the first Trek game for the Nintendo Wii and Bethesda promises it will ‘fully utilizes the Wii Remote.’

Abrams: New ‘Star Trek’ Revolves Around Spock

Entertainment Weekly had a Comic-Con round table discussion with Star Trek director J.J. Abrams and his Spocks: Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto. When asked why to include Nimoy in the film, Abrams gave some insight into the film’s story: The story needed his participation for a number of reasons. One, the plot. In many ways, the story revolves around the character of Spock. Two, I think it’s critical if we’re going to look at reintroducing these characters — I didn’t want to disrespect what had come before, for those who care about that. But we’re making this movie for people who don’t care about Star Trek too. This isn’t about pleasing the fans, this is about making a great film. And to do that, you have to both please the fans and please the people who’ve never seen Star Trek. So having Leonard in the film shows that this film exists in a continuum of Trek history, as opposed to an absolute, page 1 reinvention. Abrams was also asked if he was ready to take on this project and such a big franchise…

Review “This Side Of Paradise” Remastered & The First TOS-R ‘Season’

PARADISE LOST: LOVING THE ALIEN After watching last weekend’s ‘remastered’ version of “This Side of Paradise,” it’s not hard to imagine how Philip Kaufman got the idea to cast Leonard Nimoy in his 1979 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, one of the most underrated genre films of the 70’s (re-issued in a the new  Invasion of the Body Snatchers DVD (Collector’s Edition) next month and definitely worth buying, BTW). Re-imagined as a paranoid sci-fi film noir, Kaufman’s film is sheer genius (which doesn’t taken anything away from the original which is also a superlative film) which managed to showcase Leonard Nimoy in a role that we seemingly had not seen him in before in which he goes from an emotional psychoanalyst to a cold, logical pod person in a heinous corduroy suit transformed by alien spores.  It was while watching “This Side of Paradise” again that I realized what a debt of gratitude this wonderful episode owes to Jack Finney’s classic “Body Snatchers” tale, but not in a goofy, body switching piece of sci-fi theatrics like The Next Generation’s “Power Play” in which Data, Troi and O’Brien go all Kryptonian on the crew of the Enterprise D, but rather using the body snatching motif to illuminate character nuance.

Interview With Leonard Nimoy – Part 1

In a exclusive, Leonard Nimoy talks for the first time about returning as Spock in the J.J. Abrams new Star Trek film. In this first of two parts the original Spock talks about the script and new team, why he didn’t appear in Generations and why he decided to come out of retirement for this film. click more for the full interview