Trek news: Wynona Rider will be Amanda

By Phil Plait | November 12, 2007 11:25 am

I’m not exactly sure what to make of this, but Variety is reporting that Winona Ryder will play the role of Amanda, Spock’s mother, in the new Trek movie.

I like Ms. Rider, so I’m OK with that. I always thought Hillary Swank would make a good Vulcan (of course, Amanda is human, but I’m just thinking generally here). I wonder if they’ll put in an aging T’Pol in there…?

And does anyone else think that the Nathan Petrelli character from "Heroes" is like a younger, skinnier Scott Bakula?

And could I be any more, like, y’know, shallow?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Time Sink

Comments (39)

  1. I always knew the inexorable day would come wherein my childhood fantasy of Winona Ryder (or more specifically, Edward Scissorhands’ girlfriend) would wind up playing someone’s – anyone’s – mother. Goodbye childhood!

    I wonder if she’ll be playing Spock’s old lady only in flashback sequences to his childhood, as it’ll be a little odd to have her playing Zachary Quinto’s mom, considering she’s only something like six years older than he is.

  2. jrkeller

    BA,

    Ryder not Rider

  3. Quiet_Desperation

    >”And does anyone else think that the Nathan Petrelli character from “Heroes” is like a younger, skinnier Scott Bakula?”

    No.

    >”And could I be any more, like, y’know, shallow?”

    Yes.

    Still not looking forward to L’il Star Trek. :-

    >”my childhood fantasy of Winona Ryder ”

    Hide the good silverware when she’s around.

  4. Terminus Est

    Ryder should be fine. Hopefully the movie will be done well – I have no problem with re-imagining classic works (SciFi channel’s Battlestar Galactica being a shining example). Speaking of which, have you checked out the fan film effort, “Star Trek New Voyages”?

    http://www.startreknewvoyages.com

    The acting is often marginal, as you’d expect from an amateur effort, but I give them a lot of cred for recreating the original series as well as they have. The Chekov episode is the best so far, I think (written by D.C. Fontana, who wrote many of the best treks).

    >And could I be any more, like, y’know, shallow?

    One can have fun in both ends of the pool…

  5. hotjupiter

    THAT’S who that guy reminded me of!

  6. k

    Ryder? Security going to frisk her everyday when she leaves the set? I just don’t see Spock’s mom as a needy little unwashed goth. Between her and Johnny Depp, I just can’t decide who is greasier.

    They’ll have to throw in T’Pau.

    Take Scott Bakula and stretch his face like Ash in Evil Dead 2 and you get Nathan Petrelli.

  7. Carey

    >BA,

    >Ryder not Rider

    And Winona, not Wynona.

  8. Spock's Brain

    Shallow?? Like going on and on about telescopes and comet tails and all that junk, when you could be talking about STAR TREK??…

    …than which there is, of course, nothing deeper.

  9. Timbo

    “And does anyone else think that the Nathan Petrelli character from “Heroes” is like a younger, skinnier Scott Bakula?”

    Yes, and I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

  10. Mike

    check her purse for tribbles…

    And if you dare not know…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble_(Star_Trek)

  11. Deepsix

    “I always knew the inexorable day would come wherein my childhood fantasy of Winona Ryder (or more specifically, Edward Scissorhands’ girlfriend) would wind up playing someone’s – anyone’s – mother. Goodbye childhood!”

    I can sympathize. Maybe she is playing the mother of Spock as a toddler.

  12. And Jennifer Morrison from the TV show “House” is going to be playing Carol Marcus.

  13. Phil, I just caught your footer. Heh!!! Very Good. :)

  14. I think the Nathan Petrelli guy could play a young Mr. Spock, yeah?

  15. Talion

    “I wonder if she’ll be playing Spock’s old lady only in flashback sequences to his childhood, as it’ll be a little odd to have her playing Zachary Quinto’s mom, considering she’s only something like six years older than he is.”

    This will be in keeping with the Star Trek legacy: Mark Lenard, who played Sarek, (Spock’s father on the original series), was only ~six years older than Leonard Nimoy.

    “Security going to frisk [Winona Ryder] everyday when she leaves the set?”

    I volunteer.

  16. This movie is going to be comedy gold.

  17. Quiet_Desperation

    > Terminus Est: “SciFi channel’s Battlestar Galactica being a shining example”

    Well, be fair. It could hardly be worse than the source material.

    There’s a bit of a difference with ST-TOS which to this day holds up well.

    If I see ONE kid or ONE cute robot/alien/animal in the trailer, I’m bailing. You hear me, Abrams? I have more disposable income than most people have income. Pander to *ME* for a change. I gots yer demographic right here, eh? I loves me some “Lost”, but I’m skeptical here.

    > Aerik: “This movie is going to be comedy gold.”

    You win the thread. :)

  18. Quiet_Desperation says: “If I see ONE kid or ONE cute robot/alien/animal in the trailer, I’m bailing. You hear me, Abrams? I have more disposable income than most people have income. Pander to *ME* for a change. I gots yer demographic right here, eh?”

    Excellent! ROTFL!

    My big problem with this prequel is the premise. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty all at the academy together? It’s sort of like “Young Sherlock Holmes” where Holmes and Watson were shown as being classmates in prep school.

    In TOS, Kirk and Spock didn’t even meet until sometime after Pike’s tenure as captain of the Enterprise. McCoy wasn’t even ship’s surgeon when Kirk took over (the Kirk pilot “Where no Man Has Gone Before” had Dr. Piper, played by Paul Fix). Plus, Kirk and Spock the same age? Vulcans live much longer than humans. Kirk was supposed to be ~35 when taking command, but Spock was decades older (episode “The Deadly Years” when Spock was complaining about his intolerance of the ship’s low temperature, McCoy said, “You’re doing pretty good for a Vulcan on the high side of 100!”)

    I’m sure they’ll find a way to retcon all of this, probably even believably, but it smacks of desperation to not let the franchise die and the cash cow dry up.

    – Jack

  19. @ Jack..

    JJ Abrams has stated that this is not an “Starfleet Academy” movie. This new film will take place sometime during the first five-year mission with Kirk in command of the Enterprise.

  20. Yea! Star Trek Babies! That’s the ticket

  21. Nick

    > “JJ Abrams has stated that this is not an “Starfleet Academy” movie. This new film will take place sometime during the first five-year mission with Kirk in command of the Enterprise.”

    Yes – in fact, he stated this REPEATEDLY. Call me overreacting, but when people spew up the same crap time and time again it really pisses me off.

    > “McCoy wasn’t even ship’s surgeon when Kirk took over (the Kirk pilot “Where no Man Has Gone Before” had Dr. Piper, played by Paul Fix).”

    Bugger that. They can just say that McCoy took a leave of absence while Piper filled in, or Piper was McCoy’s subordinate.

    > “Plus, Kirk and Spock the same age? Vulcans live much longer than humans.”

    So what? Doesn’t mean they can’t be the same age. A Vulcan childhood is meant to be as long as a human childhood.

    >”Kirk was supposed to be ~35 when taking command, but Spock was decades older (episode “The Deadly Years” when Spock was complaining about his intolerance of the ship’s low temperature, McCoy said, “You’re doing pretty good for a Vulcan on the high side of 100!”)”

    Bugger that too. TOS was so ridiculously inconsistent with itself that you can ignore most of the little throwaway stuff they put in there. I was going to write several examples, but I think this one does nicely since it contradicts your point: when Sarek first appears, they mention he recently turned 102.

  22. jemariel

    >”episode “The Deadly Years” when Spock was complaining about his intolerance of the ship’s low temperature, McCoy said, “You’re doing pretty good for a Vulcan on the high side of 100!””

    When McCoy made that particular comment, Spock (and others) were suffering from radiation poisoning that caused rapid aging. McCoy was referring to the effects of this condition. I *think* Spock’s age during the 5 year mission is generally agreed to be somewhere in his 40s.

  23. Moose

    : when Sarek first appears, they mention he recently turned 102.

    A little appreciated fact: Vulcans experience their first Pon-Farr at the age of six weeks. Sarek’s phaser banks never shoot blanks.

  24. >> I wonder if they’ll put in an aging T’Pol in there…?

    I certainly hope not. Enterprise and its horrible raping of future history should be left in a mile-deep grave inside of a mine filled with lead and concrete in the middle of Siberia.

    I don’t like zombies.

  25. I think the casting for this movie has generally been pretty good.

    The worst casting, so far though, has been Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy. Don’t get me wrong – I like Karl Urban. But Leonard McCoy, at least in late-middle-age, was rather skinny and unathletic with something of a receding jawline. Karl Urban looks nothing like that.

    The really funny thing is that Variety and People magazine both said that Amanda Grayson was a Vulcan and predicted pointy ears for Rider. *gaak*

    I’m happy to hear that Jennifer Morrison will show up as Carol Marcus. I like her and she’s been way underused on House this year.

  26. blizno

    Terminus Est, I’m with you in appreciating New Voyages. I’ve seen a few other fan-efforts and they’ve been cringeworthy. Fairly good special effects but terrible acting.
    New Voyages has mediocre acting, although they get better with each episode, but the special effects are superb. The last couple of episodes have been well written and fairly well acted. I look forward to more episodes from those folks.
    Oh, and New Voyages makes superb use of the little background noises on the ship.

  27. I hate prequels. They are nearly impossible to do well, and are consequently nearly never done well. In all likelihood (and looking at the list of roles,) this will suffer from all of the problems that plague prequels, those being in part:
    1) continuity-breaking premise situations, such as characters who are years or decades apart in age being in school together.
    2) The attempt to condense all of a character’s known prehistory (which previously may have seemed to take place over years or decades) into the space of a few days.

    As a rule, prequels are unnecessary and useless, and never more than the last resort of a dying franchise.

  28. DennyMo

    Well the movies have already violated canon on several occasions, why should this one be any different?

    Speaking of fan-produced movies, I’m looking forward to the release of “Of Gods and Men”. http://startrekofgodsandmen.com/

  29. jemariel says: “When McCoy made that particular comment, Spock
    > (and others) were suffering from radiation poisoning that caused
    > rapid aging. McCoy was referring to the effects of this condition.

    You are correct. That’s what I meant earlier (that Spock’s age was physiologically over 100, not his chronological age). At the same point in the disease, Kirk was supposed to be in his ’70s or ’80s, hence the “decades apart” comment.

    > I *think* Spock’s age during the 5 year mission is generally
    > agreed to be somewhere in his 40s.

    It’s interesting that Shatner and Nimoy are only a few days apart in age.

    – Jack

  30. Peter

    It’s not a prequel, it’s a time travel story. Remember the Guardian of Forever? That’s how Nimoy and Quinto will be playing the same character in the movie. There will be hopping around in time, and characters seen at different points in history.

    And Scott Bakula made Enterprise unwatchable by doing a George Bush in a flightsuit impression for several seasons.

  31. Beware of the prequel disguised as a time travel plot.

    Star Trek’s time travel plots are also often its weakest. See First Contact, and even The Voyage Home, which was carried more by comedic value than the substance of its time-travel plot.

    Which leads to another point: We’ve had two time-travel plots out of ten films. time-travel in Star Trek films is both overdone and poorly done.

  32. Well, maybe it’s time travel (I have no script information), but there are these things called flashbacks…

  33. Peter

    I agree that this movie sounds at first blush like a remake of First Contact (which was the only good Next Gen movie, but still) substituting Eric Bana and his band of scheming Romulans for the Borg and young Kirk for Cochran, but the logic I’ve heard argued is that Harlan Ellison’s “City on the Edge of Forever” was the best episode of the original series, so maybe there’s still some resonance there. Maybe there’s some personal good outcome for Spock from Kirk having been offed at a young age, that he must sacrifice in order to restore the “correct” timeline (that part is just speculation).

    On the other hand, there was a standout episode of animated Trek (“Yesteryear”) written by D.C. Fontana, where Spock used the Guardian of Forever to visit himself at a critical point in his own youth, and in the process a lot was revealed about the trials that stoic older Spock had to endure as a half-Vulcan child growing up on his homeworld. Maybe this script means to do the same thing with the Original Series crew visited early in their careers…?

  34. I remember Yesteryear – it was a great piece of SF period (despite the hideous animation).

  35. Gary Ansorge

    Ah, Winona, one of my favorite young dramatic actresses.
    I rather thought the shop lifting thing was more about making the news than about actually stealing anything. You know what the entertainment industry says,” There’s no such thing as BAD publicity,,,”
    ,,,and she was GREAT in Girl Interrupted,,,

    She will make a very interesting Vulcan. Of course, in any species that lives two centuries, a 75 year old female would likely still be of reproductive age.

    Go, Winona!

    GAry 7

  36. All I’m hoping is that it’ll be better than the Star Wars prequel series. Which isn’t saying very much.

  37. LS

    “like a remake of First Contact (which was the only good Next Gen movie, but still)”

    Ugh. First Contact was all right, but it’s difficult for a Borg movie not to be good. Insurrection was better, though. Much closer to being TNG-ensemble (as much as possible when on the big screen they’re paying big $$ to certain actors and must use them more) than the other TNG movies which were “the Picard show.” The other two movies shall never be spoken of.

    As for Ryder playing Amanda — where I heard the casting, it was giving the part as “Spock’s mother” as specifically calling her a Vulcan. Which had people annoyed by the retcon. Has this been corrected to make her a human again, or are we still stuck with no continuity?

  38. billg

    The primary interest in the “Spock’s Mom” character is the conflict between her human awareness of the emotions that are present in every Vulcan and the insistence of her Vulcan husband and son that those emotions do not exist. If the script is good enough, this should be a good role.

  39. Peter

    I’m 99.9% sure the “Vulcan” thing in the Portman stories was a mistake on the part of the reporter. Amanda was all human, and I’m sure that Paramount knows this.

    As for my Next Gen comment, I should confess that I don’t think any of the Trek spinoffs have aged well (Next Gen, DS9, the movies), or else were never good to begin with (Voyager, Enterprise). And I honestly don’t hold out a lot of hope for this one, either, but for now I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

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