The villain in the new Star Trek film will be played by an Australian, but not (as rumored) Russell Crowe. Trek’s new bad guy will be played by Eric Bana, star of the 2005 Steven Spielberg film Munich . According to Variety the 39 year-old Aussie has signed on to play a character called ‘Nero,’ but no other details have been provided. In a strange coincidence Bana co-starred with Tom Hardy (Shinzon – Star Trek Nemesis) in the 2001 Ridley Scott film Black Hawk Down – making two Trek movie villains in a row from that movie.
Bana Smash Kirk
The new Star Trek will not be Bana’s first foray into genre films as he starred in the 2003 Hulk film as the the ultimate guy you do not want to get angry…Bruce Banner. Bana’s career spanning thirteen feature films seems to give him plenty of experience to play the role. He has played a stone cold bad guy (Chopper), an epic warrior (Troy), a Roman (Romulas, My Father) and a time-traveler (The Time Traveler’s Wife). He won the Australian Film Institute Best Actor award for the title role in Chopper [highly recommended for a rental by TrekMovie.com]. Bana is currently filming The Time Traveler’s Wife, but apparently there is no conflict with the Trek shoot which starts in a month.
A source tells TrekMovie.com that Nero is a Romulan. The name fits with Trek’s penchant for portraying the Romulan Empire as a futuristic version of ancient Rome.
A comedy Trek connection?
Bana got his start in comedy and was a star on the Australian sketch comedy show Full Frontal. That show actually gave Bana his first crack at playing a Star Trek character when they did a TNG parody and he played Worf (turning the crab head into a real crab). Unfortunately there is no available video, but here is a screencap from the opening credits featuring Bana as Worf.
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Fight scene from Bana in Troy
Trailer for Chopper
Bana showing off his comedy skills in Full Frontal sketch (he plays both parts)