And now for something not completely different. Last week’s Tom Cruise as Pike and Russell Crowe as a villain Star Trek rumors rippled across the world and are now rippling back from British tabloids. This past week, the Daily Star ran a story claiming that Tom Cruise had actually ‘signed on’ to make a cameo as Captain Pike in the new film, even though that very same rumor was denied a week earlier. According to the tabloid’s supposed ‘source,’ “Star Trek was the start of the huge sci-fi craze and Tom is fascinated by all of it.” More recently, it appears that the Daily Express has received word from yet another ‘insider’ that Crowe “is definitely considering [director/producer] J.J. Abrams’ offer.” The insider also claims that Crowe “was always a ‘Star Trek’ fan as a kid, which is a big bonus.” Of course once the rumors got upgraded by the Brit tabloids they then got picked up by other news outlets (examples: here, here, and here).
Multiple reports (including TrekMovie.com’s sources) have indicated that Paramount and the Star Trek film makers want to balance the lesser-known actors of the main cast with some big name stars. They are determined to have the new Star Trek appeal to a much wider audience than previous Trek films and well known stars are part of that plan. The likely spots for the big names would be for Captain/Fleet Captain Pike and for the villain. IGN recently hinted they had heard about interest in a very big name for the villain and now they have revealed that name to be none other than Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe. However, they also noted this was only interest and that their source ‘seriously doubted’ that Paramount and Abrams could convince the busy star to make time available from his other big film projects. Although it is likely that Crowe will not be the one, it is an indication of the caliber and star power they are looking for.
Another Star Trek movie rumor that seems hard to kill is the Matt Damon as Kirk rumor. A few readers have sent in links to a long MSN Movies article on Matt Damon that had a paragraph about him playing Kirk, starting off with the line "After "The Bourne Ultimatum," Damon has agreed to play Captain James Kirk." Although some thought this was confirmation it was actually just a bit of rumor inertia working its way into the article. In the last couple of days MSN has updated the article and the paragraph on him playing Kirk is now gone. Damon recently denied the rumor and now in a new interview with the Australian AP he repeats he is too old to play Kirk, saying…
Remember last fall when TrekMovie.com crushed the Tom Cruise in Star Trek rumor, when his own people told us it wasn’t true. Well it is hard to keep a good rumor down and now IGN are saying that JJ Abrams wants Tom Cruise to play a cameo as Chris Pike…the captain of the Enterprise before Jim Kirk (originally played by Jeffrey Hunter). TrekMovie.com cannot confirm or deny this report at this time. IGN has good sources, but some of their previous casting rumors didn’t pan out. UPDATE: Rumor DeniedArnold Robinson, a publicist for Mr. Cruise, tells TrekMovie.com that this story is "not true." TrekMovie.com has also not been able to get any confirmation of the story from any sources.
There is a new rumor being floated by the UK’s Daily Star tabloid that singer Robbie Williams (wiki page) is in "final discussions" to be the new James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek film. According to their report Williams is a big time Trekkie who "jumped at the chance." The Star even claims to have a quote from director JJ Abrams saying "I think he’d be a good Captain Kirk. The Kirk in my movie is quite young, it’s like the early years…. But I can’t comment on who we are casting just yet. You’ll have to wait." TrekMovie.com cannot confirm this rumor and has heard nothing about it to date (unlike both the Nimoy and Quinto casting which there were rumblings of for the last couple months).
Heroes star Zachary Quinto (IMDB page) has made it well known that he is interested in being the new Spock, as we reported in May and in Decmeber. However it appears there may be more to the story. TrekMovie.com has heard a few times that there have been some talks between Quinto and the film’s producers, but that no deal is done. It is of course almost impossible to nail anything down with regards to casting so this is just rumor at this point, however it seems that CHUD have been picking up on the same thing. They report Quinto is "in negotiations" to be Trek’s new Vulcan science officer. As we learn more we will bring it to you. Quinto’s work as the villain Sylar on Heroes (where he co-stars with JJ Abrams best friend Greg Grunberg) has been quite impressive and created a buzz about the 30 year old actor. TrekMovie.com has been hearing that the producers are leaning away from ‘big stars’ for the staring roles of Kirk and Spock, and if so then Quinto would be an excellent choice. Hopefully by Comic-Con we will know more.
Well the latest rumor comes from Star Magazine, so bear that in mind as you read it. And here it is: SPOCK LOVES JEN GARNER!Star has learned exclusively that in the new Star Trek film, which is a prequel to the original hit series, the outwardly emotionless vulcan Mr. Spock has a love interest! Not only would Jen, 34, "be just the right person for Star Trek because she’s a chameleon," an insider says, but the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, cast her on Alias and has a history of giving jobs to people he worked with before! Beam her up!
The ‘Abrams is going to direct another movie’ rumors keep flying. Now IGN is reporting that Abrams will direct an adaptation of the Stephen King series "The Dark Tower." IGN claim their sources indicate an announcement is forthcoming, but are not sure if the project is for TV or film. Dark Tower is a popular 7 book series that mixes elements of sci-fi, fantasy and westerns. IGN speculate that the Dark Tower project may related to the previously reported mysterious "Cloverfield" project. TrekMovie.com has recently confirmed that Abrams does have multiple projects in the works (including one called Cloverfield) and that he is still considering directing Trek XI. Sources close to the production indicate that Trek XI news should also be forthcoming. Hopefully soon all the various Abrams projects and his involvement will be clarified. Even if Abrams does not direct Trek XI, all indications are that he will still produce and that the project is still moving forward (but is yet to get the official ‘green light’). UPDATE: Hollywood Repoter confirms talks between King and Abrams
Again with the rumors. Latino Review (who pushed last week’s debunked rumor that Abrams has left the project) have now morphed their rumor into saying that Abrams will not direct Star Trek XI, but will direct a different film called "Cloverfield" for Paramount. TrekMovie.com have been told by a source close to the production that this rumor is "so totally wrong". Abrams is still attached to the project as producer, the film is still going forward, and preperation are being made (including a number of stages being set aside). No decision or deal (either way) has yet been made regarding if Abrams will be directing the film. In addition Abrams confirmed to AICN that he is ‘not off Trek’.Some of this confusion may be due to the fact that Abrams has a multi-picture deal with Paramount; in fact Greg Grunberg recently told IGN Abrams had 3 projects going at the studio right now. As we have been reporting, this month may be where many of the big decisions on Trek are made so expect more rumors and more fact checking here at TrekMovie.com. And of course, things change so take it all in with the usual grains of salt.
Just a quick follow-up to last week’s article on James McAvoy playing Scotty in Star Trek XI. TrekMovie.com has spoken to McAvoy’s publicist Rupert Fowler and he says there is no truth to the original story in the Sunday Mail. "He has not been approached there have been no meetings or conversations," says Fowler. He suggested that the rumor may stem from McAvoy being a "massive Star Trek fan" and since he is Scottish someone just put those things together and voila…a good rumor. It is of course still possible that someone at Paramount is considering McAvoy but has yet to contact him. However TrekMovie has also not been able to get any confirmation of this rumor from the Paramount side, and are told that no one is being signed until after the film gets a budget.
There is a disturbing rumor going around that there has been some falling out between JJ Abrams and Paramount regarding Star Trek XI, and that JJ Abrams may no longer be involved in the project. TrekMovie.com heard this rumor earlier today, then Latino Review ran a story on it and some other sites followed. After looking into it, multiple sources close to the production tell TrekMovie the rumor is not true. In addition JJ Abrams has personally debunked the rumor as ‘false’ via a Blackberry message to Harry Knowles of AICN. UPDATE: IGN also say it is BS …so thats that.
Here is yet another recasting rumor for you to mull over, this time for Scotty. The Scottish tabloid The Sunday Mail is reporting that Last King Of Scotland star James McAvoy is the leading candidate to play the iconic engineer in Star Trek XI. The paper cites a ‘studio insider’ saying that "the producers are keen to have a Scot play Scotty." It is hard to judge the validity of this report, but it isn’t a good sign that the paper takes it as a given that Matt Damon has been signed on to play Kirk, quoting their source as saying "they (the producers) think he could form a brilliant double act with Matt (Damon)". For the record, Matt Damon has previously stated that he has yet to be approached by the studio. In addition, negotiations for any roles will not happen until after Trek XI gets an approved budget (with the possible exception of the leads and possibly Shatner and Nimoy).
Well there is another rumor on the internets about an actor wanting in to Trek. This time it is none other than the new James Bond, Daniel Craig. World Entertainment News Network is reporting that Craig is a huge Trekkie, and quotes him as saying "I would love a stint in the (Star Trek) TV Show or in a film. It’s been a secret ambition of mine for years." However before you start screaming ‘Bond is Kirk’, remember that WENN aren’t exactly considered the most trustworthy lot in the industry. They are the same outfit that put out the ‘Cruise in Trek XI’ rumor, which TrekMovie.com quickly debunked as completely made up. We have put out some inquiries on this one as well and will see if we can get it confirmed (not holding our breath).
For Star Trek XI news, 2006 was both exciting and frustrating. In April and May we first learned about the project and got some public statements from producer JJ Abrams and his cohorts, then the cone of silence descended and it became almost impossible to learn anything about the film. This is actually quite normal for a film this far out. Paramount know that Trek is an important franchise and that there is really no upside to talking a lot about a film at this very early stage. For 2007, some of that will change…and it promises to be a big year for Trek XI. This article is to summarize where we are now (Much of the following has been reported before, but some is new)
TrekMovie.com has learned that J.J. Abrams and Paramount have added Stratton Leopold to the growing list of Executive Producers for Star Trek XI. Leopold has a career that dates back to the 70s and worked with Abrams on Mission Impossible III. His other recent Paramount projects include The Sum of All Fears and Paycheck. Like with MI:III, Leopold will also function as the Unit Production Manager, who has the primary task of overseeing the budget. Leopold was not available for comment, but a studio source indicates he is expected to start working in January and his first task will be to help put together the budget. Budgeting is the last step before the official green light and usually requires a finalized script. TrekMovie.com has learned that the script is still not complete but apparently the first draft has been finished. Production is still believed to be going ahead in 2007 with a 2008 release, but it is possible that it will not be in Summer.
Many have wondered when (or if) Star Trek will return the the small screen after an 18-year run ended with the cancellation of ‘Star Trek Enterprise’ in 2005. According to TrekMovie.com sources it certainly will not be until after 2008 and the release of Star Trek XI. Sources tell TrekMovie that there is some kind of deal between CBS and Paramount Pictures where no new TV projects will be developed now that Paramount is developing a feature film. Apparently this deal was part of the convoluted license sharing deal struck when Viacom split-up and separated the TV and film elements of Trek between the two companies. Although there is no indication that there was a new TV series in development, TrekMovie has learned that there may have been one or more smaller scale projects being considered. It appears that after Trek XI was announced any Trek on TV work at CBS was ‘frozen’. "It is in a holding pattern now" said a source inside CBS regarding Trek TV projects. Obviously this agreement does not effect the remastered Star Trek series project because it is not actually ‘new’ but a restoration of the original series. None of this is really a big surprise, as another insider put it "it makes sense, Paramount is about to pump a lot of money into the brand so CBS is better off waiting for that." When asked about the deal CBS’s official spokesperson only replied ‘no comment’ so for now file this under rumor, but TrekMovie will continue to look into it.
William Shatner appeared at a couple of Trek conventions over the weekend and gave some more details from his conversations with Star Trek XI Producer J.J. Abrams. According to TrekWeb, Shatner again confirmed that the characters of Kirk and Spock would be in the film, telling the crowd in Springfield, MA that "I had a talk with J.J. Abrams a while ago and they were writing a new script – and we are all hoping it will be wonderful…and he said, they were going to get the Kirk and Spock characters in there." The next day Shatner was in New York where Doug Wilson of TrekCore.com reports Shatner as saying "J.J. [Abrams] is committed to having Leonard and I, Leonard and me, in the film." Shatner also suggested that Abrams would be looking at unkowns for the roles of the younger Kirk and Spock.
Yesterday we reported that the Tom Cruise in Trek XI rumor appears to be bogus. But of course it is hard to keep a good rumor down, and anything with Cruise in it is ‘good’ to the tabloids. The British tabloid Daily Star has picked up the rumor but morphed it into ‘Cruise Will Be Spock‘. That story is now being cited by others including ITV a British TV Network, but so far this is our favorite… Original ‘source’ (TV Guide Canada) denies ever running the story…
It looks like Tom Cruise won’t be beaming up. As we reported yesterday there is a new rumor about Tom Cruise and JJ Abrams being in talks for a cameo role in Trek XI. TrekMovie was skeptical so we looked into it and so far cannot find any corroboration. Paramount insiders say they know nothing about it, and Arnold Robinson, a publicist for Mr. Cruise, tells TrekMovie.com "that story is not true." As yesterday’s article stated, WENN (who first reported the rumor) don’t exactly have the best track record on these things. However WENN’s Editorial Director Kev Lewin tells TrekMovie that they stand by the story, but also stated "we are not on that story anymore, that is yesterday’s news."
The WENN entertainment news service is reporting TOM CRUISE is in negotiations to reteam with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 director JJ ABRAMS for the next STAR TREK movie. The movie superstar is reportedly a huge fan of the sci-fi franchise and jumped at the chance to play a cameo role in the new film, which will be directed by Abrams. An insider tells Canada’s TV Guide magazine, "He didn’t even need to be begged to appear in it.".
With so much reporting on other things, thought we should update you all on that other little Trek project Although Trek XI is still just in ‘development‘ there already is quite a lot of activity going on. According to studio insiders the assumption is that Trek XI will get a greenlight and will be one of Paramount’s tentpoles for Summer 2008. Apparently the first draft of the script is due shortly and the Abrams team are already seeing actors for the major parts. Although no names are available, TrekMovie is told that "many A and B listers have been in and out of Abrams offices" (which are actually still on the Disney lot). One Paramount source tells TrekMovie that it is possible there will be a casting announcement even before the script gets final approval and the film gets the greenlight (which should be sometime in December/January). "Although it hasn’t been greenlit yet, it is as close as you get around here," said the source. Still unclear how many TOS roles are being recast, but another source indicates that the treatment included the characters of McCoy and Scotty in addition to Kirk and Spock. The ‘Kirk’s first Mission’ plotline (which TrekMovie first reported in August) still seems to be the prevailing assumption amongst those TrekMovie has spoken to, but still nothing firm so it is still in the realm of ‘rumor’.
On Thursday, William Shatner breezed into Richmond BC for an event so far off the radar it didn’t appear on his website’s official schedule. Shatner was in BC to host the first ever Canadian Awards for the Electronic Arts and Animation. Prior to the show there was a "Champagne Reception" and it was here that Shatner fielded all manner of Trek related questions. The press gaggle was on him like an EF Hutton commercial peppering with questions, however Shatner did try to stay on message about Canadian animation. As a result, many of his replies to Trek questions were brief and often showed his trademark sarcastic wit. On how he he celebrated the 40th anniversary of Trek Shatner quipped, that he and "George Takei spent some time alone together but I’d rather not go into details."When asked by one reporter about his years as Capt. Kirk, he said: "I’m all done talking about that stuff." He did say that he thought that the role of Captain Kirk should be played by somebody very handsome, "just like in the original series," being careful not to endorse Matt Damon when the interviewer mentioned his name. When asked about JJ Abrams, he quipped in reply, "JJ Abrams? Who’s he?..is he an actor" — still apparently stinging from the"odourous gas" comments earlier in the week and trying to dodge any further controversy. When asked if he was involved in the production of Star Trek XI he replied "I haven’t been asked for input on the new movie".
IESB is reporting that Matt Damon ‘was quick to say he hadn’t heard anything about it’ in reference to him playing Kirk in JJ Abrams Star Trek XI. Damon’s publicist also told IESB "We’ve never heard anything on our end. I even called Endeavor, Matt’s agency, to see if they had heard anything – they hadn’t. There has been nothing from Paramount and I haven’t heard anything from JJ’s camp." The Damon as Kirk rumor was started months ago by Mark Malkin of the Insider and grew to monumental proportions when (briefly) IMDB listed Damon as being confirmed for the film (story). When TrekMovie.com asked Malkin about this he was quick to point out that he never claimed that Abrams and Damon were talking; only that Abrams was interested. And these latest comments from Damons publicist are essentially the same ones she gave the Wall Street Journal a month ago. TrekMovie.com did talk to a source inside Paramount about this who noted that that no one has been appraoched becuase (as we have reported here in the past) there is no script, no budget and no greenlight yet. So essentially no one can be approached for Star Trek XI formally.
Recently some video popped up of Garrett Wang (VOY: Ens. Kim)talking at a con about the future of Trek and long-time Trek producer Rick Berman‘s place within it. Wang said of Berman "his contract is almost up and Paramount is waiting for that contract to end before they proceed with the next Star Trek television creation, because they don’t want him there anymore". Marina Sirtis (TNG: Cmdr. Troi) is also on the video and appears to be agreeing with Wang’s assessment. This meme is something that has been seen around fandom and is something that TrekMovie.com has heard from a few Trek insiders, but more as a ‘rumor’. When TrekMovie.com contacted a studio source who is working on Trek XI about this, the source said it is not true and and made it very clear that Rick Berman does not (and will not ever) have anything to do with Star Trek XI. TrekMovie.com has also confirmed with CBS that Rick Berman has nothing to do with Star Trek Remastered. It is true however that Rick Berman’s contract ends later this year.
TrekBBS friend Sean brings TrekMovie this new con report: Nimoy and Shatner Look Back, Express Hope for the Future Two legends, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, shared the stage on Sunday to celebrate Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary at Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Sacramento, California. As usual, they didn’t disappoint the sold out audience gathered to hear them share their memories of the franchise. Nimoy appeared first, looking fit and happy. He shared with the audience that he had “been contacted” by JJ Abrams, director of Star Trek XI. He did not go into anymore detail, except to express positive impressions of Abrams and hope for the film. One audience member asked him if the movie was supposed to be about a young Spock, would Nimoy consider an offer to play Sarek? After a brief pause, Nimoy said “Someone get Abrams on the phone right away!” Nimoy went on to say in all seriousness, that he was retired from the movie business, preferring to focus on his photography and spending time with his family. When it came time for Shatner’s appearance, he began with the statement that, although there was no Star Trek right now, “Something is in the wind. Something exciting.” He was referring obviously to the new movie, and also had praise for Abrams. “He seems to be a bright and talented young man.” Shatner said he did not know whether or not he would be asked to appear in the film, but did not rule out an appearance.
Creation Chicago Star Trek 40th Anniversary Convention: Sept 8th: Shatner & NimoyThe hall was filled to capacity to see Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Nimoy took the stage first and reminisced about for about 20 minutes, taking time to discuss the origin of his book ‘I am Not Spock’. Then Shatner came on and in his usual energetic way, shared memories of Star Trek, and going on to volunteer several interesting discussions about Star Trek XI. Shatner mentioned that he had spoken with JJ Abrams just one day earlier. [Editor’s note, TrekMovie.com reported last week that Shatner and Nimoy said they were expecting calls from Star Trek XI producer Abrams] Shatner went on to say that he and Abrams will be meeting some time this week. He talked very positively about Abrams, believing that he will be able to create a great version of Star Trek. He also jokingly discussed how very young Abrams is. Shatner’s enthusiastic comments certainly connoted that Kirk and Spock are characters for the film, and that there is a good possibility of Shatner and Nimoy reprising their roles for the film. Nimoy also seemed to be amenable to the film and Abrams, but said he had not yet spoken to Abrams directly. Here are a couple examples of Shatner’s hints: "On the horizon there are good things for Star Trek and hopefully my involvement" "the magic of Star Trek is in its origins and that is coming back."
Over the last week The Trek Movie Report has got a number of tips regarding an article in the new Star Trek Magazine titled “Blank Slate / New Film Producers Deny Kirk and Spock Recasting Rumors”. Coming from the officially licensed Star Trek magazine this at first did seem like significant news. A few other websites ran ‘news’ that the Kirk and Spock recasting rumor had been ‘officially denied’, but the Trek Movie Report noticed something a bit familiar to the story and decided to dig deeper. After speaking to one of the editors at Titan Publishing it is clear that the headline was not based on any recent conversations Star Trek Magazine had with any Trek XI producers. Although Titan (who also publish the official magazines for both Lost and Alias in addition to the Star Trek Mag) work with Trek XI and Lost producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof regularly, the editor confirms that they were not contacted for that particular article. “As far as we know Paramount have a policy to not confirm or deny any plot details on Trek XI and our article was trying to convey that” said the editor.
Four days ago we reported Leonard Nimoy had told the Toronto Star ” I do, by contract, have the right to approve the casting” (for a recasted Spock). Well this bombshell ran around the internet and raised 4 key questions: Is this true? Does it apply to Shatner too? Is this an old contract? What power does he (do they) really have? Yes/Yes/No/Some According to a Paramount source it is indeed true: “I can tell you what Nimoy said is accurate, and it applies to Shatner too”. The source also confirmed that no other Trek actor (including ones no longer alive) has the same deal, just Nimoy and Shatner. For the third question, a reasonable assumption would be that these must be old contracts from their heyday in the 80s or maybe during the run-up to Star Trek VI (the last time Paramount considered recasting Kirk and Spock). As it turns out, according to the source, the contracts are brand spanking new and related specifically to Star Trek XI. Which begs the obvious question…why on earth would Paramount and JJ Abrams go out of their way to hand over casting veto power to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy?
News of Star Trek: The Original Series coming to HDTV with new CGI effects has swept the interweb today from G4TV to Slashdot to dozens of forums in the geekosphere. The news is promting a lot of questions and speculation; The Trek Movie Report has learned some more details that should answer some of those questions: Broadcasts start in mid/late September No DVD (or HD-DVD or BluRay) release in the near future Episodes will NOT air in the original production order (nor original airing order) First episode will (probably) be “Balance Of Terror“ CGI Trek Videos on YouTube (here and here) are not related to this project TV Land and G4 will continue to show ‘classic’ Trek in standard 4:3 ratio Again since this is not official some details may change when finally announced by CBS Paramount, which should be soon (they only have a few days until Trek’s 40th B-Day!)
Before JJ Abrams gets to bring the TOS era back to the big screen in Star Trek XI, CBS Paramount has a secret plan to get it back on the small screen, but with a makeover. Over a month ago it was announced that CBS was selling a new broadcast TV (not cable) syndication package for the original series. At the time it seemed a bit odd to try selling a 40 year old show to local TV stations, especially after it has just been sold to yet another cable outlet (this time TV Land…home of retro TV). The Trek Movie Report has now learned from trusted insiders, that CBS Paramount are actually offering an HDTV enhanced version of the Original Series with new state-of-the art CGI visual effects.