Star Trek XI: The Search for Box Office
So, William Shatner confirmed the rumors swirling around the next "Star Trek" movie, to be directed by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams and due out next year: The next film installment of the venerated franchise will focus on the early years of Capt. James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, set before the original Star Trek TV series, which ran from 1966-69.
In an interview with SciFi Wire, the news arm of the SciFi Channel, Shatner said: "Yes, we know the story is based on young Kirk."
The so-called "prequel" has been a trend in movies recently. Moviemakers pretend that an entire series of movies never happened and start over at the beginning. "Batman Begins" ignored the Keaton/Kilmer/Clooney films and showed us how Bruce Wayne became Batman. "Casino Royale," the just-released Bond movie, did the same, showing us how James Bond became 007.
Both films have been hits and Paramount Studios hopes the formula will work for Star Trek franchise, which has moved into its own undiscovered country: irrelevency. The fifth installment of the TV series, "Star Trek: Enterprise," barely made it past a third season and was canceled after a fourth, three years short of its expected run. The most recent film, "Star Trek: Nemesis," the 10th in the series, cost $60 million to make and booked only $43 million domestically. Talk about a black hole.
Speculation had floated around that Matt Damon might play the young Kirk. Though there is a resemblance and Damon is a fine action hero (the "Bourne" movies), his age is problematic: At 36, Damon is now older than Shatner was when the show debuted in 1966.
Shatner also said that Abrams wants him to somehow appear in the movie, but acknowledged it could be tricky. But given that the Trek canon has always made time travel look as difficult as a trip to the 7-Eleven, I am confident they will be able to work in the 75-year-old Shatner.
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