Will Tom Cruise go from being a good Nazi to the Captain of the starship Enterprise? IGN has learned that Cruise is considering a cameo in JJ Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek reboot/prequel/whatever as Captain Christopher Pike, the man in charge of the Enterprise before James T Kirk. IGN says that their scooper is trustworthy in the extreme, and JJ and Cruise did work together in the past (MI3, you dummy), so this is entirely in the realm of credibility.
Pike was the captain in the original pilot for Star Trek, which included a much more human Mr. Spock. When the show got picked up, the captain ended up being Kirk, and the Pike footage was included in a two-parter called The Menagerie, which found Captain Pike terribly burned, in a wheelchair and inexplicably reduced to communicating only through a red light that flashed once for yes and twice for no. Pike (in his good days) was played by Jeffrey Hunter, and it’s sort of shameful that a generation of young nerds knows him better for a pilot than for his roles in movies like The Searchers and King of Kings. Well, King of Kings isn’t really the best Jesus movie, but whatever.
Quick research tells me that according to current Star Trek canon, Mr. Spock served with Pike for ten years. I don’t know if this tells us something about the timeline of this movie – will it begin at the end of Pike’s time on the Enterprise? Will it end with Spock assigned to the Enterprise? Will it just goober on all the continuity and do whatever works best as a film?