Rumor Control: George Takei NOT Appearing As Sulu In New Star Trek Movie

Once again TrekMovie.com has a Star Trek rumor to debunk. Today many Internet reports are popping up citing an article in the latest Starburst Magazine in the UK (issue 356) which states George Takei will appear in the new Star Trek movie, reprising his role as Hikaru Sulu. This ‘breaking news’ actually appears as just a sentence in the third paragraph of an article about the confirmed cast members for the film (such as Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, and Leonard Nimoy). From the article:

Leonard Nimoy, the only actor to have played [Spock] prior to Quinto will also feature in the film, it is thought during flash-forward sequence. George Takei is also thought to be appearing in these sequences reprising his role as Sulu.

Despite Nimoy and Takei opting to appear in the film, it is still not known whether William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, will be reprising his role to join them.

OM MY? OH NO
TrekMovie.com has confirmed from multiple sources that this is entirely not true. One source has told TrekMovie that there is no role for Takei as Sulu in the script (which is locked due to the WGA strike). Apparently J.J. Abrams has spoken to Takei (just as he has also spoken to William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols), but there is no indication that this talk was about a potential role for the actor. Mr. Takei could not be reached because he is currently on set for The Red Canvas, a martial arts film. However Brad Altman, Takei’s business manager and partner told TrekMovie.com “The Starburst Magazine article is erroneous, we will be as surprised as the fans if George is in Star Trek XI.”

George will be appearing all next week on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Perhaps Howard can grill him some more and ask Takei what he thought of Bill Shatner’s recent comments on the show, including when Bill said “George who?” when Howard asked him about Takei.

Bonus Nitpicking
And since this is Star Trek, it is worth nitpicking the Starburst article further by pointing out that Leonard Nimoy is not the only actor to play Spock prior to Zachary Quinto. Technically Spock has been portrayed by five others, making Quinto the 7th person to play Spock (9th if you count voice actors). From the Memory Alpha entry on Spock:

Carey Scott portrayed an infant Spock in Star Trek V, and Genesis-regenerated versions of Spock at 9, 13, 17, and 25 years of age in Star Trek III were portrayed by Carl Steven, Vadia Potenza, Stephen Manley, and Joe W. Davis, respectively. Spock’s screams in that film were provided by Frank Welker. The young Spock from TAS: “Yesteryear” was voiced by Billy Simpson.

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