The sun may have set for Patrick Stewart and his crew from “The Next Generation” but Paramount Pictures isn’t giving up its popular “Star Trek” brand because the actors are getting older. The studio has hired “Lost” and “Alias” creator J.J. Abrams to direct the eleventh “Trek” movie and is planning a 2008 release for the film. Abrams is a self-confessed “Star Trek” fan and is planning on rejuvenating the flailing franchise by casting younger actors to play the legendary figures of the first television series, namely Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Doctor McCoy.
A rumor reported by IGN states that offers have gone out to Matt Damon, Adrien Brody and Gary Sinise to play Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the new picture. The story would tell of the first space adventure of these three Starfleet officers as well as introduce younger versions of Chief Engineer Scott, Lieutenant Uhura and Helmsman Sulu. Another rumor has Scottish actor James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus in “The Chronicles of Narnia”) in the running to play the new Scotty.
But Abrams isn’t shutting out the old school fans of the original “Star Trek” altogether. While the majority of the movie’s story is set in the early days of the original Enterprise crew, the beginning and end of the movie flashes to the “present day” and shows Kirk and Spock reminiscing about their glory days. Both of the actors that originated the roles on TV, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, have been approached to don their Starfleet uniforms again.