It’s official. Leonard Nimoy will go where no man has gone before — yet again. As we discussed here, Nimoy will have a role in the upcoming Star Trek XI movie that is being helmed by JJ Abrams. The film will be a prequel of sorts and show the early adventures of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.
Actor Zachary Quinto (best known for his role as Sylar on Heroes) has been cast to play a young Mr. Spock while Nimoy will play the older version of the Vulcan. Both are excited to be part of the project. Quinto had previous said that playing Spock would be a dream come true and that “People are constantly telling me I bear some resemblance to Leonard Nimoy.” Yesterday, he told the Comic-Con International audience, “I certainly intend to bring my own spin [to the character] but it’s nice to know [Nimoy’s] behind it.” Nimoy, with a glint in his eye, said his own involvement is “logical.”
The fate of Captain Kirk — both younger and older versions — are still up in the air. Matt Damon has long been rumored to be the frontrunner to play a young Kirk. Unfortunately, Damon says that it’s all just rumors. He talked with Abrams and says that the director is actually looking for someone younger to play Kirk in the film. (You can see the interview clip below.)
Though William Shatner is not currently tied to the film, the screenwriters and Abrams want to have the original Kirk involved. The trick is to find a way for the character to work within the film’s current script — a task probably not made any easier by the fact that Kirk was killed in the seventh Trek film, Star Trek: Generations. Abrams offered, “The truth is, it needs to be worthy of [Shatner], so we’re on that.”
There’s no word if other classic Trek characters will be part of the project but Heroes costar, friend of Abrams, and admitted Trek fan Greg Grunberg has an idea. About Quinto’s casting he said, “How exciting is that? Now I’ve got to beg, plead and scrape to get in that movie! I mean, what’s wrong with me as Scotty? Down in the engine room, rotisserie chicken…”
Filming is scheduled to begin in November and Abrams understands the difficult task of playing with Star Trek mythology. He said, “The exciting thing for us, I think, is the ability to take this amazing world that Gene Roddenberry created… and show [it] in a way that you haven’t seen. And it’s tricky, because this matters so much to so many people,… and you can’t screw it up.” The film’s scheduled to be released on Christmas 2008. Stay tuned!