FanMade: Phase II In Pre-Production On “Origins” Prequel Story – Exclusive Details and Cast Photos

Today TrekMovie kicks off a week of special coverage of the Star Trek fan films. We begin with big news from the big daddy, Star Trek Phase II, who are planning to do their own prequel episode, telling the ‘prime timelinestory of a young (recast) Kirk meeting Spock for the first time. We have exclusive details and cast images below, plus and updated schedule for Phase II releases in 2010.   


Phase II explores "Origins"

The fan made series Phase II is now in pre-production on "Origins" a special episode that will tell the story of young James T. Kirk "as he starts his Starfleet career", including his time at the Academy and his first meeting of Mr. Spock. To tell the story they will be casting a Captain Pike, George Kirk, Sr. and a younger James Kirk  Sound familiar? Phase II star/executive producer James Cawley tells TrekMovie that is no accident. Cawley (who had a cameo background role in JJ Abrams Star Trek) says that he wanted to tell "the Phase II version of how Jim Kirk meets Spock for the first time." Of course, throughout its history Phase II (and New Voyages) has gone out of its way to try and stick as closes as possible to the canon of the original 1960’s Star Trek. Cawley explains:

We are honoring the JJ Abrams movie, but this is a different look at what could have been. This is the prime timeline.

"Origins" is being written and directed by veteran Star Trek writer David Gerrold. It will touch on many elements that would be familiar to Trek fans including Kirk dealing with his  Starfleet Academy nemesis Finnegan, and his relationship with his best friend Gary Mitchell. But Cawley says that the story is "not just what people expect". The producer wouldn’t reveal details on the plot, but did say that it does not involve time travel, and the origin story will be told in a series of flashbacks. Cawley and some others from the main crew of Phase II will appear in the episode. Although the story will be tied to the canon of the TOS version of Star Trek, Cawley tells TrekMovie it will also reference elements from the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie.

Poster for "Origins" the Star Trek Phase II ‘prequel’ episode

Casting has been completed on "Origins". Matthew Ewald (pictured above) will be playing the younger Kirk. The 27-year old Ewald starred in the FOX/ABC Family television series Galidor, and has also appeared a couple of films. Cawley says he had no doubt Ewald was the only one for the part when he auditioned, noting “Matthew is truly a special young man, and I’m looking forward to the great job he’ll do playing a younger “me’!”.

The story of "Origins" will include an appearance of an earlier USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, who will be played by Chuck Huber. Huber is known for his extensive voice work for FUNimation and in such series as Full Metal Alchemist and Bleach.  Playing Pike’s “Number One” will be Michele Specht, who has previously appeared on TV, including I Hate My 30’s and is currently filming Backyard Wedding. Specht was also featured in the Phase II episode “Kitumba”. The role of Spock on board Pike’s Enterprise will be played by the same actor who also plays Spock in Kirk’s Enterprise, Brandon Stacy, who happens to be Zachary Quinto’s stand-in for the 2009 Star Trek movie. 

Huber and Specht are playing Pike and ‘Number One’ in Phase II’s "Origins"

Vic Mignogna will be taking on the role of George Kirk, James Kirk’s father. Actor, director, composer, producer Mignogna, is best known for his prolific voice work in such anime hits as DragonBall Z , Full Metal Alchemist, and Bleech. He earlier joined Phase II in the role of an Andorian captain in “Enemy: Starfleet”, and as the Klingon villain in “Kitumba”: an episode he also directed. 

Mignogna plays Kirk’s father George

Rounding out the cast, fans can expect to see some of James T. Kirk’s most famous Starfleet Academy classmates. Gary Mitchell, Kirk’s student and friend, will be played by Brian Tubbs. Tubbs was featured in the film Touched and Melancholy and also had a role in Phase II’s “Kitumba”. Finally, Jeff Johnson, an experienced voice actor, will bring life to Kirk’s most energetic Academy nemesis – the perpetually jokester Finnegan.

Jeff Johnson is a good fit for Finnegan (his head looks just right when photoshopped into the scene from "Shore Leave")

Brian Tubbs is Phase II’s Gary Mitchell

"Origins" will begin shooting in June of 2010, for a targeted release in 2011.

TrekMovie will have more updates on this exciting project, so stay tuned.

Updated Star Trek: Phase II 2010 Schedule

James Cawley has also provided us with a new schedule for upcoming Phase II releases. Right now the Phase II team are in various stages of post-production on three different episodes, all of which Cawley plans to release this year. Cawley tells TrekMovie "The days of years between releases is over." Here is the  (tentative) breakdown:

  •  "ENEMY: STARFLEET!" — April 1st, 2010

  • "THE CHILD" — Early Summer 2010

  • "KITUMBA" — Halloween 2010


Fan Productions Week Continues

All week long TrekMovie will be providing updates on the world of fan films and audio productions. We have the latest news from some of the well known groups and news on new ones as well, so stay tuned.


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Excellent! Way to go James C. and co.
I’m very excited to see how Kirk and crew REALLY met! ;-)

A lesson and warning to anyone who ever creates their own fictional universe – if you don’t establish an origin story someone else will!

Phase II will certainly get it a TOS friendly origin right as much as possible with today’s need for an origin story – looking forward to it.

I personally have always been content to think Kirk and Spock really met when Kirk took command of the enterprise. I doubt in the 60’s and 70’s there was any notion of any of these characters meeting as teenagers – save for maybe an obscure fanzine.

Good lord, Michele Specht is gorgeous.

I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s P2 releases! Thanks so much for everyone at P2 for their hard work and dedication.

Cool! Looking forward to this. Can’t wait!

I love phase II, but please, please James if you read this. The whole Irish accent (as seen on American TV) is really awful. Jeff Johnson, don’t try and copy a bad accent, most of us sound like Colm Meaney not Darby O Gill, like they did in Heroes season 2.

Other than my pet fear/hate, I love Phase II, and cant wait to see more.

As always, I’m excited and look forward to ST: PII’s new stories. They just seem to get better and better.

Kudos to Mr. Cawley and his fine crew!

BTW, off subject… sort of.. what happened to ‘Star Trek ; Exeter?’ Its website is gone… which is sad as their productions do rival ST: PII and ‘ST: Farragut.’ I find the other series intriguing as they fit in the TREK universe, but do so by using unfamiliar characters, a task that can be a bit more daunting… the same goes for ‘ST: The Hidden Frontier.’

Anthony, I look forward to your coverage on fanmade TREKs. Keep up the great work!

I respect and admire the Phase II company’s fidelity to events established in canon. Dedication and knowledge of this kind is as impressive as it is promising.

It’s interesting to me that the company has continually attracted professional talent to its ranks, and encouraging, as well, that fan films have the power to continue the original story of Trek even as the original producers and owners have held it in abeyance.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Or, as JMS of Babylon 5 fame would say, “Faith manages.”

^^Dedication and knowledge of this kind are as impressive as they are promising. (As corrected.)

I am interested, as well, in whether contributors such as D.C. Fontana are going to be involved in future projects. I think that the overall appeal of Trek was greatly enhanced by the “voice” such writers evinced. There was a real sense, in my mind, of classic SF tropes.

By the time I was deeply interested in Trek, I had already read a great deal of classic Asimov, for example, and saw much of the series as something of a reification of the archetypes in such stories.

I must admit that my sensibilities were shocked by such novels as Ellison’s Dangerous Visions, and even the stories of Bova and the non-SF fiction of Asimov himself (“Murder at the ABA”). My state of mind was not yet open to such things as I saw in those.

But writers such as Clarke, Simak, Anderson, and the like — they stirred a sense of satisfaction. Their products were intellectual comfort food, in a sense.

All of which goes to show that good writing is essential, and it turns a TV series from just an other show to actual literature — meaningful, insightful, memorable.

Best wishes for the New Voyages/Phase II crew in this and every other respect.

Great now we will be getting the proper origin story of Captain Kirk, this is cool.

So this will be the true prequel, I love Phase II.

I cannot wait for Origins. Casting looks good. Bring it on!

Cawley & crew will hit this out of the park!

2 : “I’m very excited to see how Kirk and crew REALLY met! ;-)”

The only TOS “retcon” that would have made sense now, was to have Kirk originally entering the Academy at 16-17, being posted as a young Cadet to the Republic during the Vulcanian Expedition, where he could have met the young Spock at the point Spock is considering going to the Academy. The “altered” timeline could have Kirk going to a merchant marine academy, such as the Coast Guard Academy (close enough to upstate to make the jaunt over to New London to film it). Kirk’s prime and alternate lives could have many parallel events….

Kirk would return to the Academy during the ST’09 same timeframe then, not as a cadet, but as a command studies postgraduate, and undergo the exact same Kobayashi Maru test year, the interaction with McCoy, Gaila, Uhura, etc.

If anything, I’d like to see the events of ST’09 overlaid with what we knew of the prime timeline.

@14 God, E:tFA really sucked. I re-read it recently. ST’09 did a much better job, even through altering the timeline. E:tFA had many good bits, but the general writing didn’t measure up to the level of Vonda’s other work in Star Trek with the novelizations. If you’re Sulu, do you really want to be on the Aerfen, or on the de facto flagship of the fleet?

id like to see a graphic novel of the star trek prime origin ‘movie’ – if it had been done as a straight prequel, i know theres been various novels and comics that contain elements of the various prime backstories and origins but never everything encompassed in one big graphic novel – as if it were adapting a movie. All drawn with the original actors likeness (actually itd have been fun if for the forthcoming movie comic theyd adapted it with the original guys likeness )

probably abit similar to what Cawleys doing and what Harve Bennett wouldve done with his alternate Trek VI – incorperating all the origin stuff told in TOS and movies as if it were a movie

i wonder when the jj bashing will start on this post… it’s great that james is doing this. i’ll love being able to have both the jjverse and the cannon story.

I like that idea. The concept as to what could have been without Nero.

I am thrilled at the prospect of getting the origin as it was meant to happen but since this is the prime universe i don’t think it needs to be linked to the abrams movie as they are two different universe.

At least in this one he wont get the rapid promotion to captain like in that movie.

#17 – You didn’t see the various “real origin” comments? :-) The bashing has already begun, albeit subtly. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the overt haters crawl out of the slime to share their wisdom with the rest of fandom. :-(

When I said ‘real’ one that is linked to the prime universe


But in this production he cannot go straight to captain.

You do know he served on the Republic first then the Farragut

he go through the ranks proper this time.

goes to academy at 18 not 22.

please make kirk the stack of books on legs

A nice gift to the fans of TOS….to be sure. It’s unfortunate the Talifans have to turn it into another opportunity to take shots at the movie that reinvigorated the franchise.

Give it a rest already. Sheesh!

I will be interested to see this. I was surprised when i saw Of Gods and Men. Despite some areas that lacked due to budget constraints the story was good and felt much like the original trek.

It would be nice if someone were to throw them a bone in terms of a cheque to help with some of the effects for this one. If i win the lottery i may do so myself.

So, whos gonna play Mitchell? I gotta say, that guy who is gonna play Finnegan looks JUST Like the TOS Finnegan, lets just hope he has the same annoying Irish accent too. As for Pike, it would of been cool to see Kurt Carley (I think thats his last name, oh well…) reprise his role as Pike once again, he did a pretty good job in the second episode “In Harms Way” The chick playing Number One however is GORGEOUS! Great choice! Can’t wait to see this episode.

I love Tribbles as much as the next guy, but Gerrold’s familiarity with the magic of TOS must be slipping. His last screenplay fpr Phase 2 was full of dilogue that seemed like the obligatory fluff that a novice would put in a Trek story, just to hit all the right “Trek” buttons. Add to that, the execution, which seemed to stumble from start to finish. The whole thing seemed rushed. I dare say the quality of Phase Two, from the writing to the lighting, to the sound, seems to be going backwards instead of forwards. The last entry by Gerrold was noticably sub-par compared to the exsquisitely produced episode revolving around Sulu and his daughter. Perhaps some key behind- the- scenes personel have left and they are trying to find their space legs again. Hopefully, they will get back on track and continue the evolution forward.

Jeff Johnson looks like an amazing bit of casting for Finnegan! Wow! And the still shots suggest he has a very expressive face and range. Hopefully that will translate to a great performance. Looking forward to seeing the episode!

ST09 Was fun, but it wasn’t a true origin story in any sense. It was a superhero/comic book movie with a brand name franchise. It was meant to be a fun ride and that’s it.

As far as “connecting” it to what has come before….. It can’t be. It needs to be taken for what it is: A reboot.

Ok I am sold that guy looks just like the original Finnegan

AWESOME! We have some great Trek in 2010!

23. Concur with “books with legs” comments. Kirk is a reader and studies hard at Academy. You don’t get your Milton quotes from Bar fights or Orion Slave Girls….(sorry to any Orion Slave Girls out there…. I am sure some have you have read Milton…. :)

Well Done, James! Kudos to you and your gallant crew!

Big fan of New Voyages/Phase II for the past six years; keep up the great work.

Live Long and Prosper from NY.

No JJ bashing so far. As for me, I enjoyed the new movie and liked the fact that the original timeline remains intact.

That being said, there was a part of me that would have loved to see a true origin movie in the prime universe. But would that have appealed to a broader public. After all, Sulu was a physicist in the beginning, there was no Chekov, and I’m not so sure Uhura was on board when Kirk took command. Also Dr Piper instead of Dr McCoy.

I read Enteprise: The First Adventure. A lot of potential, however she was not consistent with “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” with Sulu being a helmsman to start, and Dr McCoy being on board. Margaret Wander Bonnano did try to adress some of this in Strangers From the Sky, but still, there were some glaring inconsistencies.

Wow a fan film this will be fascinating

Some of that acting is really bad.
I always laugh my head off.

We are doing this because so many of our fellow “fans asked us to “.
It will be a stand along story, and use the TOS canon. I absolutely enjoy the new film, and any and all talk of bashing is just stupid. TREK 09′ is an updating for the masses, and a very successful one!
We are going to answer some questions for all the die hard Ole’ timers out there. The Ones that grew up on fanzines in the 70’s and bought the original Mego toys! in other words fans my age!
It has a lot of surprises and it will be fun for all of us to play.
Thanks to all of our fellow fans and friends who support us and those come out to play Trek. We do this for fun,nothing more.
And My Deepest Thanks to Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman for having the guts and balls to boldly go on this crazy adventure we all STAR TREK!

#20 calm yourself! I love JJ’s Trek but it isn’t a First Meeting that we expected it would be. James is going to address that with his take on it. There is room for both. sheesh!

Thank you James Cawley for carrying the fan torch further, to where no fan has gone before.. May JJ give you a speaking role in the next Star Trek movie!

James I am looking forward this movie, I look forward to seeing your take on the origins and working it in to what was established as TOS canon.

I have loved all your episodes so far and look forward to more.

I do like the new movie but for me it is a separate entity for me.

I wish James and the team every success. I CANNOT wait to see this. In fact I have goose bumps at the thought of it.

I’m a huge fan of Phase II and long may it continue.

33. I’d be happy to start trashing Abrams’ pathetic excuse of a film, but its just me venting. Hopefully the next one isn’t as insulting as the first. And if it is, there’s plenty of good Trek out there to enjoy, regardless.

This is very cool, you guys have my full support.

Mr. Cawley, will this be based on the Starfleet Academy script that was supposed to be Star Trek VI?

You had me at “Number One”. Glad to know women still hold ranks of authority in Star Trek, unlike Trek09.

That dude does look like Finnegan.

“Go! Any excuse, Jim baby. Run away! Run away! Run away!”

“I can’t move me leg. I can’t feel me leg. My back is broken. You’ve broken me back.”

Thank you, James! I’m so glad the Prime Universe is not to abandoned in all quarters! (This isn’t a ST09 slam. Loved it, just miss the universe I grew up with.) Can’t wait to see this! Phase II is a quality production made with love.

Mr. Cawley,

Thanks for everything you’ve done and are doing. Very much looking forward to this production!!

Isn’t it about time that Number One had name?

I mean, it’s been almost 50-years.

Leigh Hudec sounds good to me.

Kudos to everyone on the Phase II team for keeping the Great Bird’s dream alive.

#47 We pronounce it Number One but where she come’s from its spelt Nhuma Wun. ;-)

#8: Thanks Anthony, the site was down last week. Interesting.

James Cawley… you are forcing me to keep my uber-high-speed internet service!

This looks to be a very good year for Phase II, best of times to you and your gallant crew!