Casting. The Desperate Frontier. This is the phase of pre-production currently faced by J.J. Abrams and the other creatives behind Paramount’s Star Trek reboot. Their hopefully-no-longer -than-one-month mission: to assemble an attractive group of twenty/thirtysomethings who a) remind us of our favorite original Trek characters without b) coming off as banally handsome facsimiles. To achieve this, Abrams and company have sent out this casting breakdown in the hopes of finding another actor as breathtakingly sui generis as Zachary Quinto.
PARAMOUNT PICTURES/BAD ROBOT
[JAMES KIRK] 23-29 Handsome, cocky self assured and earnest. Great physical condition. 6 ft or less
[LEONARD(BONES)MCOY] -28-32 Medic on the Enterprise. Smart, clever and a bit danger-loving. Dark hair, blue eyes.
[UHURA] 25ish -African American. Brilliant, beautiful, heroic and FUN!, Uhura is almost tom-boyish – as if she grew up in a houseful of brothers.
[SULU] 25-32 -Asian American male (preferably Japanese). Helmsman on the Enterprise. Extremely fit, capable and dedicated. A bit of a wildcat
[MONTGOMERY(SCOTTY) SCOTT] -28-32 a brilliant ship’s engineer. Must be able to do a flawless Scottish accent!
So, in order, that should go Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres…
Oh, I’m just joshin’! Despite my general indifference to J.J. Abrams’s film and television projects, I actually want this movie to be good! To that end, let’s take this character-by-character and cast this bitch up right!
James Kirk: What a surprise. They want the next William Shatner. But do they make guys like that in this low-cal, half-caf, no-MSG age? What we need here is a rough gem of the midwest; a young man conceived on the fully-reclined passenger seat of a Pontiac Fiero in the summer of ’84 (the unwed passion fueled by the Russkie-killin’, deer blood-swillin’ heroics of C. Thomas Howell in Red Dawn); a sandy-haired upstart imbued with the fuck-all swagger of Jim McMahon and the startling sexual technique of Robert Carradine. When you find this perfect storm of Reagan-era bravado, J.J. Abrams, you will have your James Tiberius Kirk. And when you find him, let me know. I’ve never desired the touch of a man in my life, but I’d let this singularity of masculinity tear down my dirt road just for the story.
Leonard "Bones" McCoy: They’re awfully specific about that "dark hair, blue eyes" thing. Sounds to me like they’re looking for the next Kyle MacLachlan, in which case only one name stands out: Ulf Samuelsson.
Uhura: "Brilliant, beautiful, heroic and FUN!" And black? Sounds like Rihanna to me!
Sulu: This is a tall order. There’s only one man alive who qualifies as both "Asian American" and "a bit of a wildcat"; unfortunately, Dennis Dun turned fifty-five this year. If you treat "preferably Japanese" as a mere suggestion (and who doesn’t?), there’s always Lam Suet.
Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: "Must be able to do a flawless Scottish accent" = Mike Myers-type. This is actually pretty easy. When you can’t afford Austin Powers, you hire The Master of Disguise.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the crew of the Starship Enterprise (cue iconic, Alexander Courage theme)…
Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: Dana Carvey
Sulu: Lam Suet
Leonard "Bones" McCoy: Ulf Samuelsson
Spock: Zachary Quinto
James Kirk: Midwest uber-male I’d let pack my fudge.
And you’re welcome, J.J. Abrams!