UGO is reporting that actor/writer/director Tyler Perry will appear in JJ Abrams new Star Trek film and TrekMovie.com can confirm this report. According to the UGO report Perry will be portraying the head of Starfleet Academy and he has already shot his scenes. Perry is probably best known for his series of ‘Madea’ films starting with the 2005 hit Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
Monday 12/31 UPDATE: AICN have posted a new related rumor + small update from UGO
More below…includes big spoilers.
According to the UGO report Perry’s big scene is overseeing an assembly at Starfleet Academy where Kirk (Chris Pine) is facing expulsion for cheating on the Kobayashi Maru. Apparently Pine delivers a stirring Kirk-esque speech and then discovers that the person who ratted him out was none other than Spock himself (Zachary Quinto). More at UGO
TrekMovie.com can confirm + more details
Back in September TrekMovie.com first reported that Kirk’s famed solution to the Kobayashi Maru ‘no win-scenario simulation’ would be seen in the new Star Trek. Just this week TrekMovie was tipped off about a role for Perry as well as the post-Kobayashi Academy scene. But UGO beat us to the punch while we awaited confirmation and more details (which is now moot). The only things to add are that this scene was probably shot in the Long Beach City Council chamber and that there is also some kind of student protest over Kirk not being expelled and actually being ‘promoted.’ The protest might be part of the same scene described at UGO or a different scene shot in the LB Council Chamber (standing in for a hall at Starfleet Academy). In Star Trek II Kirk noted that after being caught for cheating he got a commendation for original thinking. It is possible the source was talking about a commendation instead of a promotion, or maybe Kirk was also promoted.
UGO have run another story noting this TrekMovie.com story and our adding the Long Beach City Council to the mix. They now note:
Based on what my source told me (and for reasons that will become obvious in my next Star Trek scoop which I’ll post later today) I think that this scene happens further ahead in the screen story than the moments I spoke about yesterday. In any case, it looks like this location will be seen at least twice in the movie.
Unfortunately in a subsequent report UGO stated they have decided to not post the new ‘scoop’ in order to protect their source.
UPDATE: How Kirk Cheats?
Aint it Cool has a new rumor regarding how Kirk beats the Kobayashi Maru. Their ‘untested source’ claims Kirk “persuades a chick he is banging to alter the simulator so that it is winnable.” AICN also note that it could be total BS so take with a big grain of salt.
Kirk talks about Kobayashi Maru in Star Trek II
This will be the first time Perry will appear in a film project that he did not write or direct. TrekMovie.com has also learned that Perry is a bit of a Trek fan and that this may have been how he got involved. It is also worth noting that, although it may not be the reason Perry was cast, having such a high profile African-American celebrity may help the film have broader appeal (let’s face it…Star Trek doesn’t exactly have the most diverse cast).
Tyler Perry is a popular, highly-successful playwright, actor and director known for his comic morality plays. His most memorable character is that of Mabel “Madea” Simmons. Ticket and DVD sales for his plays have grossed over $75 million. Film adaptations have also turned out to be hits grossing over $200 million combined in domestic box office. In addition the 38-year old native of New Orleans stars in his own hit television series called House of Payne, currently airing on TBS (it is worth noting that Perry has written and directed every episode).
Perry has won two BET Comedy Awards, a Black Movie Award and has been nominated for two MTV Movie Awards and two Image Awards. He also wrote a best-selling novel called Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life, which was voted the Book of the Year and Best Humor Book at the 2006 Quill Awards.
Tyler Perry as Mable “Madea” Simmons in “Madea’s Family Reunion”
Tyler Perry at the 2006 Black Movie Awards
(note: this YouTube clip has been viewed over 1.3 million times)