Comic Con 08: Chris Pine Talks Quantum Quest, Star Trek and Shatner

Quantum Quest, a new animated 3D film that blends science and science and science fiction, sports an voice cast including a number of Trek stars such as Bob Picardo, Brent Spiner and both Kirks, Chris Pine and William Shatner. At a panel at Comic Con on Thursday, Pine ‘appeared’ in a taped video to talk about the film, and he also talked about the new Star Trek movie…and Shatner!

Quantum Quest, written and co-directed by Harry Kloor (who also wrote some VOY episodes), is part educational tool and part entertainment and was initiated by JPL and NASA. It tells the story of Dave (voiced by Chris Pine), a photon who leaves the Sun on a quest to save his fellow photons from being annihilated by The Voice (voiced by Mark Hamill) and his anti-matter forces lead by Admiral Fear (Samuel L. Jackson). The Core (voiced by Shatner), and his team including characters voiced by Bob Picardo, Brent Spiner and others, lives in the Sun and leads the fight against The Void. 

Pine stated that making the film "was a blast" and that he has always wanted to do voice work. He also noted how in making the film he has learned a lot about science, and photons and neutrinos, something that the film tries to impart to the audience.

During his taped comments, Pine discussed the new Star Trek movie and his predecessor:

Pine on Star Trek:

I will be playing James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek that comes out in May of next year. I really hope it is received well and will do well. All I can say is that we did our best and we had a lot of fun and will give people a good two hours in an air-conditioned dark room.

Pine on phasers:

Phasers are pretty rad. The phaser — we had big discussions about this on the movie — the phaser is really not modern warfare technology. Modern guns are supposed to have a heft to it. Phasers are great because they are light and they are very mobile, but they don’t have the grit, like you wouldn’t see John Wayne carrying around a phaser.

NOTE: It isn’t clear if he was speaking about phasers in general, or specifically about the ones in the new Star Trek movie.

Pine on Shatner

The interesting trivia is that William Shatner, the O.G. original James T. Kirk, is playing The Core in movie and I have a small scene in the beginning where The Core kind of surprises me, and The Core is essentially God. So Bill, Mr. Shatner, hello.

Dave the Photon (L, voiced by Pine) & The Core (R, voiced by Shatner)
in Quantum Quest

Picardo and Spiner on Quantum Quest
Bob Picardo (VOY: The Doctor) was at the event and Brent Spiner (TNG: Data) was supposed to be there, but was caught in traffic. However, Spiner did call in and spoke via the producer’s cell phone briefly, but with his usual wit, about his character ‘Coach McKay’ who coaches the Solar Winds ‘Novaball’ team. Picardo voices Milton, who he described as a ‘crusty old fighter,’ noting that as an actor he has apparently entered his "crusty old years." This project is very much something close to Picardo’s heart as he is a long-time space and science advocate and is a member of the board of the Planetary Society. Picard spoke about the film’s goals of being educational and entertaining:

This is the kind of project I am really proud to part of because it really encourages people to become passionate about space and space science. … I have been like a cheerleader for [the Planetary Society], involved in several educational challenges for kids that the Planetary Society does and it is exactly what I find most exciting about this movie. It works as pure entertainment, but you are also going to learn something. 

Coach McKay (L, voiced by Spiner) & Milton (R, voiced by Picardo)
in Quantum Quest

So there will be a space-based sci-fi movie with Chris Pine and William Shatner next year. The voices of the two Kirks, with the help of The Doctor and Data, will face off against Luke Skywalker and Mace Windu in September 2009.

Much more information on the film is available at


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First….ly I’ll say that I like the colors of this article. Now I’ll read it.

ultra cool

This will surely be the greatest movie of all time!

2 Kirks + 2 bots = Gots to see!

(I consider the Doctor a ‘bot)

I’d still take the phaser.

Without a doubt, one of the most interesting premises I’ve seen in a very, very long time. I will definately be checking it out. An imaginative story grounded in solid science fact…very cool. And a great cast to boot.

#6—Yes, but I’m afraid I would be too tempted to stun my kids…

Wow this stupifying amount of meaty news coming out of comic con has been awesome!!!! I mean sure Watchmen ,also coming next summer, is generating huge buzz in the major media and sure they may have actually brought the friggen Owl Ship to Comic Con and shown a number of finished scenes and shown set pieces and even had Zach “Friggen” Snyder on hand to mingle and promote a film that doesn’t come out until next summer, same with Terrminator and Wolverine, but he smoke them with non news news a headshot poster and flying enterprise toys that have nothing at all to do with the concepts of the film!!!! WOOOOOOO WEEEE Trek is on fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will this be out on DVD?

Pine speaks! I gots some wood, now.

I must confess, that this is the very first thing I have ever heard from Chris Pine or, in fact, about Chris Pine. I think that’s why I like him as a choice fur Kirkie… he is an unknown ta’ me… not Matt Damon bein’ all quirky Kirky… same wit’ Quinto- no idea who dat bugger is…

1. yeah… colours be good… now rub yer eyes real real hard-like and look again!

Soooo… oh, dis wuz aboot photons? Uh… Pine is both a particle and a wave? So, during tha’ film we experience disgust and hurl particle projectiles (popcorn) at screen… then we have a cheering moment and enact tha’ wave. right-o?

Sounds great. I was hoping someone would create something like this for the kids. I wish in a few years I can sit my nephews down and show them a cartoon that explains Relativity, Newtonian vs Quantum Physics, the Unified theory, String theory, M theory.

Well, my queen to queen’s level three, Lord Garth™ is highly agitated today. Is Dr. Cory in his cell again? Marta???

Nonetheless, I bow to Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar™, and show much respek. aiiight?



This is one weird production.

Pine might as well go on a camping trip with Shatner and get to know him, they will be linked forever like Nimoy and Quinto are.

One question I’m wondering about… if this movie is a prequel, but leads up to Kirk taking command and with the crew on the Enterprise, what ill the next movie consist of? Will it then become a reboot, and revisit some TV show plots upgraded for the screen, or just show other adventures we never saw?

I just don’t know where it goes from here.

“All I can say is that we did our best and we had a lot of fun and will give people a good two hours in an air-conditioned dark room.”

Yeah!! Now I’m excited to see Trek! WOOOOH….hoo?

“Phasers are pretty rad.”


Ok…gotta remind myself Shatner spoke ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’…


BND, I rubbed my eyes and looked and squinted and now I see a bunny. Cute fella.

Derf, I thought the same thing once I stopped seeing the bunny. I don’t mean to be negative. but Mr. Pine, please don’t oversell this movie. Statements like that will just build this thing into a frothy frenzy of uncontrollable excitement for the next 10 months until our heads explode at the prospect of free air conditioning in May.

It’s funny how the ‘Star Trek’ actors are voicing one set of characters and the ‘Star Wars’ actors are voicing their enemies! LOL!

This Quantum Quest looks pretty trippy. Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds indeed.

If after the film they decide to re-do a TOS episode, I would hope it is The Doomsday Machine.

Wow, Quantum Quest has gone through some changes since it was first announced back in, like….. 2003! John Travolta was the voice of Dave and Michael York was The Core; apparently they were replaced by the two Kirks. The cast also included Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christian Slater, and Lacey Chabert. It appears the only original voice cast members that remain are Sam Jackson, Bob Picardo, and James Earl Jones.

i stared at tha core farrrrrr too long and now i am blind

I can think of a lot of things I’d like to do for two hours in a dark air-conditioned room. Star Trek XI is in the top 5.

BTW, “we did our best” sounds like an apology, especially after JJ’s “I’m sorry” in the EW piece.

It was about time for Chris to talk about the movie. I hope he will do it bit more often afterward.

#14—-There is 7.5 years of uncovered time in between TMP and TWOK, and another 5 years uncovered between TFF and TUC. IMO, that would be the logical place for future stories to take place. Moreover, there is nothing to preclude stories being told within the 5 year mission. I do not expect a rehash of TOS episodes.

#22—Are you referring to an apology made by JJ Abrams concerning the lack of Star Trek presence at Comic-Con? His “apology” about not giving a whole lot away? Or has he said something else?

If Chris had just said, “We did our best”, then I might agree with your interpretation. However, in the context above, it hardly sounds like an apology. IMO, it sounds like humility.

And it is not as if Chris has seen the film, in all likelihood anyway (even in raw format).

Actors (unless they are funding the project or doubling as a producer or director) are not normally involved in or privy to the editing process.

” but they don’t have the grit, like you wouldn’t see John Wayne carrying around a phaser. “

…I wanna tell ya, little feller, that The Duke could out-draw James T. Kirk even in an *unfair* fight. Compared to John Wayne, William Shatner was a stuttering pilgrim lawyer dude that even Don Knotts’ could out shaky-gun!

Koloth: “That is a lot of loud talk from a one-eyed old fat starship commander, Captain Cogburn!”

Capt. Reuben T. “Rooster” Cogburn: “…Fill your hand with disruptors, you Klingon son-of-a-bitch!”

Side Note: Wayne and Shatner had George Takei as one of their supporting cast, and both had to deal with Kim Darby as a troublemaking teen.

Just to add a little something to my previous post (24):

It is one thing for Quinto, Pegg, and Urban to be bold and confident in expressing themselves about how the fans will receive it.

Given the strong feelings by some over Shatner’s absence in the film, it might be best if Pine were to come off a bit more humble and let the others be more aggressive. There are still alot of fans who will find fault in anything Chris Pine has to say, no matter what it is (despite the absurdity of that). He should let his performance speak for itself, and carry himself personally with a larger degree of humility. I think that is what he is doing in that interview, along with preserving JJ’s edict about secrecy.

“I will be playing James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek that comes out in May of next year. I really hope it is received well and will do well. All I can say is that we did our best and we had a lot of fun and will give people a good two hours in an air-conditioned dark room.”

Obviously Pine is new to Star Trek, as phaser RIFLES (very prevalent in the Star Trek world) have the heft that John Wayne would appreciate.

#27—I still saw them as being extremely light, particularly in comparison to some of the assault weapons to which I am (or “John Wayne” is, for that matter) accustomed.

Old-skool phasers had no heft and that was what made them so brilliant. Star Trek was different from westerns and war shows. That was the point, and that was precisely the attraction to 70s kids like me. It was obviously the future, with elegant slick futuristic cool stuff. There was a whole different aesthetic that transcended grit and heft. It was the slickness of mondo power, a rocket packed into a cigarette lighter! Damn right they were rad! They were fragtastic!

#25, LOL


I don’t think Pine needs to be humble at all. He’s playing James T. Kirk, for Christ’s sake, and may make the cover of Teen Beat next May.

I would rather have heard the usual “this movie is gonna rock for the fans, and impress regular movie goers!” than the “two hours in a room” thing. Maybe it’s his character.

“All I can say is that we did our best and we had a lot of fun and will give people a good two hours in an air-conditioned dark room.”

Obviously he’s never been to a cinema in Denver (where “climate control” means either “turn up the heat” or “try fanning yourself with your ticket stub,” even when it’s more than 100 degrees outside). But, I’m glad to see that he understands that movies are _supposed_ to be air conditioned, and on those grounds alone I hereby accept him as some actor dude :)

#30—“Maybe it’s his character.”

That certainly could be it. Just because he is playing Jim Kirk doesn’t mean he has any of that arrogance or cockiness in him. I just meant that he is probably somewhat aware of the awkward position he is in with some of the older fans of Trek, and that has to play into his choice of words to some degree at times. Remember the backlash over a simple comment about adding some of the realism to action scenes that his favorite actor brings to the table? Geez, if he had read even a little bit of that, it might make him hesitant to talk about his portrayal of Kirk at all!

Anyway, I think he is just being humble in that statement above.

Priory to his role as Michael Corleone, Al Pacino was unheard of. Many had the same reaction “Why did they cast a nobody for such a high profile role”? But the producers saw something they liked there, in one previous role that convinced them he was capable. They were right. Lets hope these directors know what they are doing also. There is no reason to be so pessimistic about Pine. He looks real good on the poster.

Pharers and laser blasters are a classic staple of sci-fi. They look cool, they shoot cool plasma beams, or whatever.

But honestly I don’t think they’ll be something the military would use in the future. This is not saying the federation is the military, so don’t get all ticked by this. But, the federation did take part in wars and battles in the series.

But, think about it. Shooting a beam tells the enemy one thing. Where you are. It would be like shooting tracer rounds at night. They serve their purpose, but they also tell the enemy where the shooting is. A phaser does this even more because the beam leads directly to the barrel of the phaser. In the future bullets will probably still be in use. They have been around for hunders of years, they probably will be around for the next few hundred.

Plus, a bullet also has a psychological advantage. Think about having your buddy, next to you, get shot. He’s bloody and torn up. This is not a fun thing to see.

With that said, phasers and laser blasters are pretty cool. I just doubt they would get used. I could honestly be wrong.

#33—Very good point. The studio, in that case, wanted someone less-ethnic looking and more well established. Al just nailed the audition. It did not matter that the public didn’t know him. It took quite a bit of fortitude on Coppola’s part to stand his ground on Pacino, and its a good thing he did. Robert Redford as Michael Corleone wouldn’t have been the same.

What’s all that crap at the end about The Core and Shat and God??

What the hell was he rambling on about?

Is Pine incapable of forming a cohesive sentence?

#36—-I’m guessing you’d have to hear the actual voice-inflection on the part of Chris Pine for that to come off right, Harry. Or maybe he had a few drinks….Maybe Bill walked in the room…who the Hell knows?

Thanks for the corroboration, Closettrekker…….so it’s not only me that doesn’t understand him?

RE: Quantum quest – I used to consider the ethical implications of wasting perfectly nice photons on watching ST: Voyager and Enterprise!

#30 – Well said. I don’t think one could play Jim Kirk effectively unless one had a certain amount of swagger IRL as well. Nobody’s THAT good an actor!

Go to Aintitcool right now!!!!! then return to our beloved home and discuss

Is it just me, or is this the first time we’ve heard anything from Chris Pine?

#42—It’s just you. You obviously were not around for the explosion surrounding his comments about Harrison Ford and his approach to action scenes…

>So there will be a space-based sci-fi movie with Chris Pine and William Shatner next year. The voices of the two Kirks, with the help of The Doctor and Data, will face off against Luke Skywalker and Mace Windu in September 2009.

I can’t be the only one who thinks about the (animated) Joker before SW when Mark Hamill’s being referred to..

Chris Pine either says nothing or says stupid things. I mean his comment about playing Kirk as Han Solo, or this comment that we can look forward an air conditioned theatre for two hours. I have posted before that I have a bad feeling about Pine, and it’s getting worse. I would love to see something positive, but I am becoming more resigned to his simply not understanding the character and Star Trek. This contrasts with Zachary Quinto, who seems to really understand and embrace his character. When Quinto speaks he radiates intelligence and thoughtfulness.
One source of hope is that Nimoy is also intelligent and thoughtful and understands Star Trek, and Shatner…..not so much. So maybe it will work out. That’s my only realistic basis for hope.

Now we know for sure that Shatner is God…

Hey husband, while I wholeheartedly agree to your statement about Pine, I don’t think it’s fair to say that Shatner has less understanding of ST than Nimoy. When you read Shatner’s most recent statements on Kirk (let alone watch “Mindmeld” or read his ST memories) there’s a lot of understanding and feeling for the character and the series. He just has a different approach, and a different way of expressing his thoughts. And I think he doesn‘t want to be “limited” to being Kirk, as he has done and is doing quite a few things in addition.;) Furthermore, it’s only natural that we get a lot of Nimoy’s elaborate thoughts on ST and Spock at the moment, as he’ll be playing Spock again after 18 years.

#45—“I mean his comment about playing Kirk as Han Solo.”

That is an irresponsible rephrasing of Pine’s actual comments, IMO.

“Not to say that I modeled my version of James T Kirk on anything in particular but I think I definitely have wanted to bring that kind of Harrison Ford humour to Kirk.”–Chris Pine

He is speaking about the influence of Harrison Ford upon him as an actor, and how he would try to bring “some” of the qualities Ford brings to action-sequences to his portrayal of Kirk.

Never, at any point, did he say he would be “playing Kirk as Han Solo.”

#46, My Beloved,

I have noticed that when Shatner writes about Star Trek he writes eloquently; and meaningfully about it. But when he speaks about Star Trek, he sounds like he doesn’t understand Kirk and Trek. I think the difference is that he has “assistants” who help him write his books. I think these assistants (I think Chris Keski or something like that is the main one) probably write the books for him, while he supplies the basic material.
I trust what a person says directly and spontaneously, as, for example, when responding to a question. Nimoy just radiates that understanding and depth of feeling for Trek when he speaks. Shatner radiates….well, Shatner.
We’ve survived, even grown, together when we have had our marital spats before, and I’m confident we will continue to enjoy our differences while continuing to cherish our mutually respectful and loving relationship.

This looks awesome! I must see it.


He’s speaking in the context of the movie. In the film, Shatner plays The Core. For Pine’s character Dave, the Core is essentially God. For Pine – as an actor playing JTK – Shatner is God. Voice actors rarely voice their parts at the same time, so they likely never met. He’s just giving a shout-out, essentially.

#’s 45, 46

Just because he doesn’t speak as voluminously or as insightfully as Quinto doesn’t mean he’s going to somehow ruin the character of JTK. Actors can give tremendous performances and have absolutely nothing in common with their characters. Quinto could understand Spock up, down, sideways and backwards, but if he isn’t a good actor it won’t help him. I don’t think Bill Shatner ‘got’ JTK until much later in life, and I don’t think it hurt his performance one tiny bit.

Also, Pine didn’t say he’d be playing Kirk as Han Solo. He said he wanted to channel some of Harrison Ford’s accidental hero characteristics into his performance of Kirk. There’s a considerable divide between that and just playing Kirk as Han Solo. As for the ‘air-conditioned room’ comment…eh, so he’s a man of few words. Let’s wait to see what he does with the whole thing before we crucify the boy.