TrekMovie.com has another exclusive scoop for JJ Abrams’ new crew. According to sources Korean born actor John Cho has been tipped to be the new Hikaru Sulu for the new Star Trek. Cho is probably best known as a comedy actor for his roles in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and American Pie. At 35, Cho is older than the character calls for (and older than George Takei was when he originated the role), but Cho tends to ‘play younger’ as they say in Hollywood. Cho was not available for comment, but at an event last year he told TrekMovie.com he would jump at the chance to play Trek’s original helmsman saying "are you kidding? to drive the Enterprise, that would be so cool!"
Sulu not necessarily Japanese
Although the film’s casting sheet called for a Japanese-American, Gene Roddenberry originally envisioned Sulu to be more of a general representative for Asia (as Uhura was for Africa). In fact the name Sulu was chosen based on the Sulu Sea which has coastlines throughout Asia (instead of more nationality specific as most Asian name are). At the recent Star Trek convention in Las Vegas George Takei told TrekMovie.com "he doesn’t need to be Japanese. They should cast the most talented and most appropriate actor for that role." Takei did note that there was a resemblance between Quinto and Nimoy (the two Spocks) and thought that the new actor playing Sulu should be "credibly a younger me."
UPDATE: Takei on Cho
STARTREK.com has just posted this reaction to the Cho casting from the George Takei
Sulu’s in good hands. John Cho is an exciting actor. I’ve seen Cho in many productions at East West Players and he always brings a vigorous sense of individuality to his roles. Under the leadership of J.J. Abrams, the Star Trek franchise is being infused with new energy and I hope John Cho plays a critical part for many years — and films — to come.
Active career – Abrams & Yelchin connection – trend setter
Over the last decade Cho has racked up 53 film and TV credits. His seventh job was a guest spot on the JJ Abrams show Felicity, making him the third cast member who has worked on an Abrams project (Simon Pegg was in MI3 and Zoe Saldana did a guest spot on Six Degrees). He also has a connection to his Star Trek co-star Anton Yelchin (Chekov) as both had supporting roles in the 2001 film Delivering Milo. But it was Cho’s role in the 1999 comedy hit American Pie that really got him noticed. His breakout character is even credited with popularizing the term ‘MILF’ (see clip below) and he also appeared in two Pie sequels. Cho then hit the big time with Harold and Kumar in 2004 and the actor recently finished shooting Harold and Kumar 2 which is slated to come out sometime next year. However, it isn’t all acting for Cho, he is also the lead singer in the band Left of Zed.
UPDATE: TrekMovie.com’s scoop has been confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter
Cho in Harold and Kumar
Cho’s ‘MILF scene’ in American Pie (contains mature language)