I admit it: I avoided writing about the 11th "Star Trek" film, because I truthfully never thought Paramount Pictures was serious. Didn't Hollywood get the idea that audiences don't want to go where no has gone before anymore after the previous film, "Stark Trek: Nemesis," only made about $43 million in 2002?
In late July at the "Trek" panel at Comic Con, director J.J. Abrams announced Leonard Nimoy once again would be playing 'Ol Pointy Ears himself, Spock. The "Mission: Impossible III" director dropped another bombshell by confirming Internet rumors that "Heroes" baddie Zachary Quinto would be playing a younger version of Spock.
Nimoy, at the official "Trek" convention in Las Vegas last week, said he's "honored" to have Quinto "take over the role of Spock after I'm done." Nimoy even admitted the "very talented actor" resembles a younger version of himself.
Quinto, on the other hand, has said publicly he plans to pick Nimoy's brain about playing the half Earthling-half Vulcan Starfleet officer. As of March, Adrien Brody ("King Kong," Hollywoodland") was rumored to be negotiating for the part.
Principal photography begins in November; Nimoy will film his part the following month. He's also expected to go in front of the cameras again in February and March. Nimoy has said his role is "not gigantic, but it's more than a cameo."
Very little is known about the newest "Trek" movie, scheduled for a Christmas Day 2008 release.
There has been ongoing speculation about it involving the Starfleet Academy adventures of Capt. James T. Kirk and his future first officer, Spock, before they joined the crew of The U.S.S. Enterprise. The latest buzz is Abrams' "Star Trek" will be similar to what "Casino Royale" did for the James Bond series, by kicking off a new vision for the 41-year-old science fiction franchise.
In March, The Plain Dealer ran an A&E feature with the Brody-as-Spock rumor that said "CSI: New York" actor Gary Sinise was in talks to play Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. The most nagging rumor is Matt Damon playing the young Kirk which the Dealer also mentioned.
Here might be the biggest question: Will the new film include William Shatner, the original Kirk?
Abrams said he is "desperately trying to find a way" to include Shatner, adding that the part "needs to be worthy of" the actor, fans and movie. "We cannot just shove him in," he said.
Shatner has gone from saying he has met with Abrams, who has expressed interest in his involvement, to saying he isn't in the film. With "The Shat" and his odd sense of humor and being verbose, it's hard to tell what the truth is.
To paraphrase Nimoy as Spock, all this is "intriguing," but I'm more tempted to beam this whole project into the circular file.
Let's face it: "Star Trek" needs another continuity revision about as bad as Shatner needs another hairpiece.
Personally, I say Paramount needs to let the "Trek" franchise die a quiet death.
I always have enjoyed Shatner's personal and onscreen chemistry with Nimoy, but I can't quite bring myself to generate much excitement about another film even if they're playing small parts. I doubt I'm the only Trekker to think that. (I'm not counting those fans who dress up as Klingons!)
There's no choice between watching classics like "The Wrath of Khan," "The Undiscovered Country" or "First Contact" on DVD for the gazillionth time and paying perfectly good money to watch yet another mediocre "Trek" film on the big screen.