After much speculation that saw a lot of names bandied about as possible candidates for the main villain role in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek 11 film, it would appear that Australian Eric Bana (“Hulk”) has won the role, beating out New Zealander Karl Urban, who was rumored to be the frontrunner for the role. According to Variety, Bana will be playing a villain name Nero, who, if the Trek 11 plot details we’ve heard are true, will be a Romulan determined to end Captain Kirk’s reign as the universe’s most eligible bachelor by time-traveling into the past to change the future. Bana will be joining a cast that already includes Anton Yelchin, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Leonard Nimoy.
Par still needs to cast several other major parts before the November start date, including a young James T. Kirk and Scotty.
Abrams is producing the film through his Paramount-based Bad Robot shingle alongside Stratton Leopold. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci wrote the screenplay and will exec produce along with Bryan Burk and Damon Lindelof.
Eric Bana is a somewhat strange choice for a Trek movie. Then again, he was kind of a strange choice for the Hulk, and he did that pretty well. A good actor is a good actor, as the saying goes.
So with the villain and most of the young versions of the Trek cast set in stone, what about Kirk? According to The Hollywood Reporter, the frontrunner for that role is some guy name Chris Pine.
Although not a complete unknown, Pine’s biggest gig to date has been the male lead in the 2006 Lindsay Lohan movie “Just My Luck,” which flopped. He caught some eyeballs with a scene-stealing role as a neo-Nazi assassin in “Smokin’ Aces,” also directed by Carnahan.
The biggest stumbling block to getting both roles at this point might be scheduling. Sources said “Trek” will shoot from November through March, while “Jazz” has a mid-January start. Although both sides are trying to sort out the date puzzle, it is possible that Pine and his camp could be forced to choose which role to take.
Yeah, I’ve never heard of him, either, which is probably why he might end up with the gig. Fresh face and all that jazz.
Regardless of who gets what role, Trek 11 brings seasons greetings Christmas Day 2008.