Trek XI: It’s official

By Phil Plait | March 7, 2007 10:23 am

Yikes! I meant to post this the other day. Sorry about the delay.

Well, Viacom/Paramount or whatever they call themselves these days has made it official: Star Trek XI is a real project, and it really is a prequel, and it really will have Kirk/Spock/McCoy in the early days, and it really will be directed by J J Abrams, despite repeated earlier denials and all the ridiculous stuff Hollywood does when they don’t want news to break early.

So who will star? The rumors are flying, but my favorite is: Matt Damon, Adrian Brody, and Gary Sinise as K/S/M, respectively. That may be a joke, but I have to say it’s a really good call, and in fact I wouldn’t have any problems seeing these three as The Three. I really like Matt Damon, who is a phenomenal and very natural actor. He’d be great as Kirk.

And can I dare hope? Could it revitalize Trek in the way Enterprise didn’t quite manage (despite a phenomenal comeback in the fourth season)?

Yes, I’m a geek. But it’s Trek. And it’s coming back!

W00t!

I leave you with this. The Shatner.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Humor, Time Sink

Comments (45)

Links to this Post

  1. Star Trek XI « Kissing Corporal Kate | March 8, 2007
  2. The Web Pen Blog » Blog Archive » Roundup - Week Of Mar 3 | March 10, 2007
  3. | goodtrek.info | October 1, 2007
  1. Gary Ansorge

    That was hilarious!

    Thanks for the update and the link.

    GAry 7

  2. pianomanzero

    WAHOOO!!
    Don’t feel any shame over being a geek; many of us wouldn’t have our interest in science/astronomy were it not for Trek.
    Matt Damon would definately make a killer Kirk.

  3. MarshallDog

    I’ll have a hard time getting over Spock with such a crooked nose.

  4. MarkH

    That *would* be a cool cast, but come on: the “early” years? Matt Damon is 37; Shatner was 35 when he began playing Kirk, at which point the character had already been captain of the Enterprise for a year, more or less.

  5. Joshua C.

    Matt Damon – I see it. I think that’s perfect casting (if it comes to be.)

    Gary Sinise – I see it working well, again.

    Adrian Brody – I don’t see it. But Leonard Nimoy had such a unique face, I’d have a hard time thinking of anyone else who could play the part.

  6. t3knomanser

    Can’t we just have a NEW franchise? I think we’ve earned it. As fans, we’ve sat through countless meandering spinoffs, movie after movie with a dramatic decrease in quality as the TNG movies take over, and I’m tired of it. I’ve earned the right to an entirely new scifi franchise with brand new characters, a uniquely envisioned universe and the flavor and charm of the original Star Trek.

  7. tacitus

    It’s hard to get a new scifi franchise off the ground. For every Trek or Stargate, there are several Farscapes and Fireflies. I would settle for a reimagined Star Trek, in the same vein as the newer superhero movies like Spiderman and Batman Begins, or the new Battlestar Galactica–something a little grittier, more serious, and more relevant to 21st century life and experiences.

    Please, no more particles of the week or reset switches.

  8. Sigma Orionis

    Matt Damon is a good actor, I think it would be interesting as Kirk, Adrian Brody, I don’t know cause I have never seen him a movie with him. Gary Sinise as McCoy? THAT I have to see, I think he’d do a great McCoy :)

  9. Sorry Phil.

    I’m one of the long-time fans who doesn’t think this is a good idea. Trek needs to set a while longer. Paramount’s just doing this because they don’t really have a viable franchise right now, and they’re trying anything to get back into the film business.

    I’m not opposed to the idea – I just think that it’s too soon, especially after the mockery of Trek that Berman & Braga made of it.

    Also, Paramount might have some problems of their own. This same idea was floated by Harve Bennett back in the 1980′s.

    Plus, to anyone who’s a real Trek geek, they know that Kirk and Spock didn’t meet in the Academy, but when Kirk took command of the Enterprise.

    Okay, enough geek ranting now. :)

  10. Dori

    That was classic!

    I think this is the point where I’m going to get into Star Trek. Dad may end up converting me. Who knows, next time we see one another Uncle Phil I may be able to keep up a conversation with you guys about ST!

  11. Tacitus, I wouldn’t lump Farscape or Firefly in there.

    Both shows suffered from executivus stupidius (stupid television executives) who killed the shows even though there’s a good fan base.

    I didn’t watch Farscape (not having Sci-Fi Channel) but I know the reason Firefly didn’t do very well was because of the idiots running FOX.

    Just ask Phil. He’s a browncoat!

  12. Making prequels seem to be like a real epidemic in the USA.

    I always wondered why they did not make a movie after the series ‘Deep Space Nine’. There was still quite a lot of potential there, and at least it would have kept the ‘Star Trek continuum’ going forward instead of backward.

    If there has been any drop in the number of ‘Trekkers’, it must be because Star Trek refused to evolve timewise.

    Yet, being an avid Trek watcher, I will of course look forward to the new Trek movie, even if it’s a prequel.

  13. RZ

    You know, I think William Shatner is just hysterical. Particularly his ability to lauch at himself (although I realize how easy that actually is). Have you seen his Rocket Man video? Now that’s comedy…

    I’m looking forward to the movie, but I agree with MarkH … these guys all seem too old to me. Shouldn’t they be in their early-mid 20s for an “early years” setting?

  14. dj

    xi? as in, eleven? did i miss like, five movies in there somewhere? i dont even do drugs!

  15. RZ

    ‘laugh’! I meant ‘laugh’ at himself! Darn typos…

  16. Roy Batty

    BA, there IS a forum attached to this website/blog you know ;-)

  17. I’m sorry, I’m just not interested in seeing a young S/K/M. I want my Trek to be in the “future,” not the “past.” We know all we need to know about TOS Trinity; we need some new characters. Plus, how are they going to take the 60s “futuristic” look of TOS and not make it look stupid?

  18. Daffy

    I’m OK with the new cast. But (full geek credentials here) couldn’t we have cameos with Shatner and Nimoy and somehow undo the ignoble ending of “Generations?” Puhleeeeze?

  19. tacitus

    Kev, I didn’t mean that Firefly and Farscape were bad–far from it, I’m a big fan of both those shows. I only gave them as examples of scifi franchises that were not successful (despite their excellence).

    It’s nearly impossible to create a scifi franchise as success and profitable as Star Trek. Stargate is probably the only other that comes close to Trek in terms of money and longevity. That’s why Star Trek will be around for a good long time, unless and until they start churning out more clunkers than successes.

  20. Melusine

    I’m not a Trekkie (I watched it after school, but didn’t get into the finer points of it – I think I basically wanted the Enterprise ship.) I would like some good futuristic sci-fi movies, though, as Bourgeois Nerd mentions.

    Heh heh…thought I’d share this Trek Passions for singles site someone showed me some time ago. They have a dating site for everything! I wonder if they have one for Dictionary Passions out there…hmm. :-)

  21. Troy

    Dammit Jim! I’ll be dollars to donuts this movie will suck.

  22. t3knomanser

    “That’s why Star Trek will be around for a good long time, unless and until they start churning out more clunkers than successes.”

    You mean like the last ten years?

  23. Kevin Says: “Trek needs to set a while longer. Paramount’s
    just doing this because they don’t really have a viable franchise
    right now, and they’re trying anything to get back into the film business.”

    I’m quoting most of Kevin’s post because it was so far back, but he absolutely nailed it.

    “I’m not opposed to the idea – I just think that it’s too
    soon, especially after the mockery of Trek that
    Berman & Braga made of it.”

    Amen, ah say AMEN, brother!

    “Plus, to anyone who’s a real Trek geek, they know
    that Kirk and Spock didn’t meet in the Academy,
    but when Kirk took command of the Enterprise.”

    Didn’t any of these producers ever watch “The Menagerie?” This whole thing reminds me of “Young Sherlock Holmes” where Holmes and Watson are supposedly classmates in prep school. In the books and movies, Watson is nearly twice Holmes age. And Gary Sinise as McCoy? This is supposed to be the Academy? He’s already over 60. When the series started, McCoy wasn’t that much older than Kirk (early 40′s maybe).

    As Scotty said in “Beauty Survives”, “It jus’ feels wrong Mr. Spock.”

    - Jack

  24. Kevin Conod

    Brody might be OK, but Damon and Sinise? Ew!

    Besides all three are much to old to play these parts. they’d probably be better off casting relatively new unknown actors. Younger actors might attract a new generation of Trekkie.*

    * And yet the danger is that the new movie become “Star Trek Babies” or “Laguna Beach: the Neutral Zone”.

  25. Ben

    Btw. Here’s the link to the Rocketman video. (Fits in well with the next post as well).

  26. csrster

    Jack,
    Can you back up that statement that Watson is nearly twice Holmes age? When they first meet, Watson has completed his training as a doctor, had a relatively short but eventful military career, and been recently invalided from the army. I think it’s fairly clear that he’s still a young man, in his early thirties at most.

  27. Why do skeptics have a higher tolerance for pseudoscientific Star Trek than for other forms of bad science?

  28. Nick

    “Early years” doesn’t mean the Academy. It means a little bit before the original series. You know, we never actually saw the beginning of Kirk’s captaincy of the Enterprise: I think this movie will show that.

    In any case, I doubt the Damon/Brody/Sinise rumour is anything more than just a rumour. The same source also said James McAvoy was being cast as Scotty and Daniel Dae Kim as Sulu (James McAvoy is way too young and has since said it’s a lie, and Daniel Dae Kim is way too old for Sulu at that point in time).

    I’d like to see Zachary Quinto as Spock, he is phenomenal (no other word for it) as Sylar in “Heroes” and looks right too.

  29. Gary Mcleod

    I’ll go and see the next Trek, as I’ve seen all the others, but I’m soooo frustrated that movie makers now just recycle material that has already proved successful. There are so many brilliant sci-fi novels that would make extraordinary movies that are being ignored.

    Take Brian Aldiss’ ‘Hothouse’, set in 4 billion years time, the sun is becoming a red giant and human civilisation has been reduced to a few small humans with rudimentary weapons battling carnivorous vegetation. It would be a unique visual treat, utterly unlike any sci-fi before it. Sci-fi is supposed to be about new visions, imaginative possibilities, but movie makers just want to play it safe and keep giving us the same old familiar stuff.

  30. paladinsmeg

    Hi Phil,

    I agree that Enterprise made a major comeback, but in my opinion it was season three with the whole xindi arc and stopping the Repitilians/Sphere builders blowing up Earth.

    Season 4 IMHO fell a bit flat but had a few nice miniarcs.

    Ahem, no I’m not a trek nerd. Really. =)

  31. Tom

    I’m surprised no one brought up the “Get a Life” skit from SNL:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=QI0_i7OASdc

    I’ll likely pay money to see the new movie.

  32. brad

    I dunno- I thought the first 4 movies were good, but the ones since then were really bad. They should have just cut them in half and made TV episodes of them. I have never been much of a star trek guy though, I think it is pretty corny (except for Voyager). I do want a pair of pajamas made to look like a starfleet uniform though.

  33. Gary Ansorge

    Lab Lemming:
    I started reading SciFi in 1954. My very first exposure was a book called Mutants, about a post WWIII apocolypse world, set in Labrador, as I recall(though I can’t remember the author). All the fiction I’d read before that had been,,,well, FICTION, with no connecton to reality. Imagine my surprise when I learned there really was a country named Labrador. I immediatly became taken with the idea that a really good story could be made that was an extension of reality, rather than a complete fantasy.
    There were no really good SciFi movies in those days, other than Day The Earth Stood Still. On television, there was of course, Buck Rogers and Space PAtrol, but those were just space opera, ie, the impossible made manifset.
    In the mid ’50s I became enamored of Astounding/Analog SciFi, under the editorship of John W. Campbell, whos maxim required that there be only one “impossible” idea per story. All else in the story had to be “possible” according to what we knew of reality at that time. This made the stories much more realistic, yet still enabled speculation into “what if”, which is what SciFi is really all about.

    We are(mostly) rational materialists and SciFi is all about the rational response to a dramatic change in our environment, such as “what if we could go FTL?”
    or “what if we could breed humans with extreme life spans?” or,,,well, you get the idea.

    I am tolerant of strange ideas in SciFi, so long as there is a connection with reality and the possibility of a rational response to that idea. Good SciFi is not pseudo scientific. It’s about human response to a credible change in the environment. Star Trek was the first TV show to propose that humans were capable of a rational response to such, rather than a magical one.

    To be a skeptic means to question. SciFi is very subversive in that regard.
    It’s all about questioning underlying assumptions and the accepted view of things, as mandated by Authority.

    Star Trek was not about “bad science”. It was about questioning the status quo.
    Arguing acceptance of any idea based upon the dicta of some overpowering Authority is what I find unacceptable.

    GAry 7

  34. tacitus

    Why do skeptics have a higher tolerance for pseudoscientific Star Trek than for other forms of bad science?

    The shorter answer is that the Star Trek writers don’t claim that their pseudoscience is true. Scientists tend only get annoyed when sloppy writing unnecessarily gets the facts wrong, or overlooks an obvious science-based plot device in favour of some psuedoscientific gobbledygook.

  35. Personally, I like his rendition of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. Sad day, I just realized shatnerrocks.com is gone. :(

    http://my.voyager.net/~mikegr/kirk/

  36. Irishman

    dj Said:
    >xi? as in, eleven? did i miss like, five movies in there somewhere? i dont even do drugs!

    Generations was 7. First Contact was 8. Insurrection was 9. Nemesis was 10. Yep, 11. I know, 8 – 10 blend together into one blah.

  37. Irishman

    t3knomanser Said:
    > Can’t we just have a NEW franchise? I think we’ve earned it. As fans, we’ve sat through countless meandering spinoffs, movie after movie with a dramatic decrease in quality as the TNG movies take over, and I’m tired of it. I’ve earned the right to an entirely new scifi franchise with brand new characters, a uniquely envisioned universe and the flavor and charm of the original Star Trek.

    Babylon 5
    Stargate SG-1
    Andromeda
    Farscape
    Firefly

    New franchises, new characters, each with its own unique universe and charm. (These are ones that I, pesonally, watched some or all of. YMMV.)

    Gary Mcleod said:
    > I’ll go and see the next Trek, as I’ve seen all the others, but I’m soooo frustrated that movie makers now just recycle material that has already proved successful. There are so many brilliant sci-fi novels that would make extraordinary movies that are being ignored.

    In one respect, more interesting SF is being made for mainstream. Witness stuff like Premonition, which has some sort of time travel aspect to it, or Deja Vu, or even The Butterfly Effect. What is important is that the SF element is critical to the story, not just background. Though some might argue they are less Sci Fi because there’s no science (at least in Butterfly and perhaps Premonition).

    Alternately, I worry about SF getting made now because Hollywood has preconceptions about what SF is and what it is for, and in turn how to make it. They focus on the wrong elements – they see SF as “Action Adventure/Special FX”, so they focus on big space exposions and robots and CGI and anything that is “fun”, rather than the thinking elements that are the heart of true SF – the heart that drives many of the fans to find it interesting in the first place. If you have some good, interesting and thought provoking SF novel/story you really like, flinch if you hear it is getting made into a movie. The Lord of the Rings conversions are rare. Usually you get Dungeons and Dragons. (I know, they’re fantasy, not “SF” – same difference. Witness I, Robot that reverses the whole intent of Asimov, or any Heinlein butchery such as Starship Troopers. I used the two I did because they are spectacular examples of the extremes of how similar content was handled.)

  38. csrster Says: “Can you back up that statement that Watson is nearly twice Holmes age? ”

    No, I can’t. I will admit to not being a bit Holmes fan. I’ve read some of the stories and seen most of the classic movies. I was basing that comment on the portrayals by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. My impression watching those films was that Holmes was in his mid-30s and Watson was in his 50s.

    Imagine my shock when I looked them up on the IMDB and discovered that Rathbone was actually three years older!

    - Jack

  39. George Takei is a regular on Howard Stern and he was talking about this yesterday. If the theory holds out (only the even Star Treks are good), it’s likely to suck. :p

  40. I am a huge trekkie/trekker and I’m glad for any new Trek I can get. But this sounds like a lame idea. I think Enterprise did poorly because it was a prequel. A prequel is contradictory to the main premiss of going boldly where none have gone before. A prequel can only show us where we’ve already been. On top of that, it faces the huge obstacle of having to sell us on a new Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and that’s not a task I would wish on any cast.

  41. Stevo R

    Sorry BA but I have to disagree with on this one.

    The only way ‘Star Trek’ keeps coming back is the same way a meal of mouldy potatoes, rancid cheese and lard washed down with bottles of poorly-made moonshine does.

    In its day ‘Trek’ was a ground-breaking provocative, intelligent series. In its day. That day has gone. When TOS (the Original Series) came out in the 1960′s it was revolutionary and worthwhile, fresh and creative. In the 1990′s TNG (The Next Generation) revitalised and gave new life, new worlds and ideas a good airing. Then DS9 stayed boldly put and it along with Voyager had their moments – but less of them & it was already clear the time was neigh. Finally, we got the contradictions and flatness of ‘Enterprise’ confirming a once good franchise was stale, played out and done to death.

    We’ve also had the many movies, at first a few quite good ones, lately some that, well left a bit to be desired and again confirmed the well was running dry. So now please, I think its time. Overdue in fact.

    Call it enough and let ‘Trek’ rest with dignity and retain some unblemished nostalgia value rather than grind away the bones of the dead horse its become. Please NOT yet more of a stale, played out franchise, turned flat, saccharine, self-contradictory and long mined out; foisted on the public in the knowledge that die-hard trekkies will see and pay for anything Trek connected however bad.

    Moreover, if we really, really, really _*must*_ have yet another ‘Trek’ movie (& we don’t) then for pity’ss sake, lets avoid the prequel trap! Instead, I’d rather see one of the series that hasn’t had a turn yet get its chance. (As long as its NOT ‘Enterprise” I’d rather anything but have that rubbish further blacken the once bright true ‘Trek’ franchise!)

    Better though, if we’re going to resurrect any old series please lets revive ‘Babylon-5′ or ‘Firefly’ or best of all come up with something new. Something ground-breaking, provocative and fresh.

    All strictly my humble subjective personal opinion – but, come on people, surely I’m not the only erstwhile ‘Trek’ viewer to feel enough was enough already some time ago.

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