Much of the speculation and reporting about the Star Trek movie has focused on the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch (and yesterday we finally got around to talking about Alice Eve), but what about Peter Weller? We haven’t heard much about him, but TrekMovie has an exclusive with a red carpet moment where the actor actually let slip some intriguing details about his Star Trek sequel character. Details below, but beware potential spoilers.
Weller: I’ve got my own ship
Peter Weller is no stranger to the world of genre TV and film. Throughout his nearly 30 years as an actor he cemented himself in the annals of sci-fi history through his lead roles in RoboCop and Buckaroo Banzai along with appearances in Naked Lunch, Screamers, Fringe, and of course Star Trek: Enterprise. So he fit right in when cast in J.J. Abrams Star Trek sequel, however very little has been reported about his role. We don’t even know if he is a good guy, a bad guy, or something in between.
The only bit of on the record information comes from Weller’s agent Todd Eisner who sated: “it’s a substantial role and… Peter is playing a C.E.O.” While working the red carpet at the “RoboCop” 25th Anniversary event for the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) recently, I took the opportunity to ask the actor if he could share anything new. At first Weller suck to the JJ-Abrams code of silence, saying:
“I can’t tell you. I’m sworn to secrecy. It’s something very cool"
Peter Weller at Dallas International Film Festival (Photo: Cameron Warren)
I continued to ask Weller if he was going to play an alien like Christopher Plummer, Christopher Lloyd, and others who sometimes have been buried underneath prosthetics and makeup. And that’s when he let slip some actual details on his character, saying:
“No. do I look like an alien to you? No man. Let me put it this way. I have my own ship"
Weller then pulled out his cell phone and revealed a picture of his seven-month-old baby boy sitting in the Captain’s chair on the bridge of a starship – proudly dressed in a yellow captain’s shirt. With the small Blackberry screen, it was hard to see much. The chair was at least similar to the one from the USS Enterprise in the 2009 Star Trek movie. So I can’t say for certain if I was looking at his son on the Enterprise set, the set of a different ship or even a redressed version of the Enterprise set.
Peter Weller with his wife and new son on the red carpet at Dallas International Film Festival (Photo: Cameron Warren)
Regardless of where his son was sitting in the photo, Weller’s comments are very intriguing. Firstly he implies pretty heavily that he is not playing an alien, so if human, he is likely at least a citizen of the Federation. However, it is hard to fuse the idea’s of him playing a C.E.O. and being the captain of a Starfleet starship. Of course not all ships are part of Starfleet, so Weller could be a private citizen and head of some company/organization that has its own ship, not unlike his character John Frederick Paxton from Star Trek: Enterprise, whose mining station was also a ship that flew from the Moon to Mars. And of course Kirk and crew had encountered other private traders who had their own ships on the original Star Trek series.
Peter Weller at Paxton in Star Trek: Enterprise and his Orpheus Mining Colony/Ship heading for Mars
Another possibility could be that Weller’s agent (who probably isn’t steeped in Starfleet lore) could have been trying to say that Weller’s character is a leader of some kind of group, region, facility, etc. In that case he could be part of the Federation, possibly a governor, head of a colony or station, etc. Such a character could also have their own ship. We don’t know if Weller’s character is new to the canon or not, but there are plenty of these types of characters from the original Star Trek series, such as Mr. Lurry (manager of station K-7), Kodos (governor of Tarsus IV), Mr. Hengist (chief administrator on Argelius II), Ferris (Galactic High Commissioner), and others.
Various officials (Clockwise from top L) Lurry, Kodos, Ferris, and Hengist
Another intriguing idea is that Weller’s agent could be confusing C.E.O and one of the higher ranks in Starfleet, like "Commodore." And of course Starfleet Commodores often have their own ships. Returning again to the original series canon, there are quite a few Commodores to chose from, such as Matt Decker, Robert Wesley, Jose Mendez and maybe even Robert April.
Commodores (Clockwise from top L) Mendez, Wesley, April and Decker
TrekMovie Editor Anthony Pascale contributed to this article – helping with the Star Trek speculation.
Dallas-based Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of three-time Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work is featured on Yahoo! , DC Comics, StarWars.com , and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Kenneth Branagh, William Shatner, Michelle Monaghan, Brendan Fraser, and many more. His official website is www.ersink.com. It covers everything from movies to comic books and more.