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Matt Damon as Kirk in Star Trek XI? 594

GiggidyGiggidy writes "Our friends at are reporting that Matt Damon has been cast to play a young James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek Movie directed by J.J. Abrams. Is this the end of the Star Trek series we fans know and love, or the beginning of something bigger and better for the series?"
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Matt Damon as Kirk in Star Trek XI?

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  • At first. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Data Link Layer ( 743774 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:59PM (#15841223)
    I thought what a terrible idea, but he has acted well in both action movies (bourne idenity) and drama movies (the talented mr. Ripley). As young Kirk I think he would do really well.
  • by Goalie_Ca ( 584234 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:00PM (#15841239)
    I really don't care that it was Matt Damon. He's proven that he can at least do some acting but here's the thing. Enterprise failed because it was too Hollywood. Was it season 3 when they were in the void? What a horrible season because you could tell marketing had a big checklist for all the various "demographics" it was meant to appeal to. The last season finally figure out that a good storyline and real character development is what drives a show. They had already been canceled though and didn't even know it. What a tease! Back to the main point... if matt damon was chosen because he's a famous celebrity this movie is already doomed.
  • Too Old!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:00PM (#15841241) Homepage Journal
    Matt Damon can look young, yes, but he's 35 -- as old as Shatner was when he started playing Kirk originally! If Damon is supposed to be younger Kirk in his Academy days... I dunno, it just doesn't work for me.
  • by mrpeebles ( 853978 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:04PM (#15841282)
    Damon would seem to me to be fine as Kirk. But casting Spock is the hard part. Not many people have been able to play Vulcans that aren't boring as hell.
  • by fullphaser ( 939696 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:06PM (#15841299) Homepage
    I mean seriosly, this was not the direction that the next movie even needed to go, what part of abysmall failure did they not pick up from the enterprise series, unlike star wars, Star Trek doesn't make money when going backwardcs, what ever happened to the idea of oh I don't know a ship that not only made sence, but something with emotion, how about a story about an akira class starship with an unkown crew in the dominon war? how about a series about the aftermath of the enterprise/romulan encoutner, something to shed some light on the worst cliff hanger ever, something to pick up what has so clearly been left off. Star trek doesn't need to go backwards, they need to do what they have always been good at, movies for action, and series for science and ethics they keep to that motto and they will get somewhere, they also need to stop playing with the timeline that is established as cannon, and just add on to it rather than confuse it

    just my thoughts ;)
  • Don't trust IMDB (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BenClueless ( 973871 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:06PM (#15841300)
    IMDB is rarely ever accurate until after a movie is released. They'll put anything up! Some Spider-Man 3 fan even submitted his own synopsis and had it posted to prove this. Aunt May was listed as Carnage for a while too..
  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:08PM (#15841306)
    Hopefully, they can keep Affleck out. He has the superficial look and the emotionless demeanor necessary for Spock, but brings nothing else.

    But that's exactly why he'd be the right choice. I mean, come on, like Bill Shatner brought such depth and character to the role... The shallowness is part of the "camp", and Affleck will be able to do that with perfection.

  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:08PM (#15841313) Homepage Journal

    don't even joke about that!

    Prithee, why, squire?

    You do know that we've now had, continuously, more Star Trek then the gulf of time between the TOS and revival with movies and TNG, right? Give it some rest. Explore new horizons, frontiers, etc, with diffent casts, different races, different stories, having nothing to do with ST.

    I for one loved The Original Series. I cringed at TNG, and after that (aside from 7 of 9) it's been a bad dream even a rarebit fiend wouldn't approach.

  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:10PM (#15841326)
    Now they need to sign Gary Sinise as McCoy.

    Depends how they're going to position it. Sinise is fifteen years older than Damon, so it's a bit of a stretch to suggest they'd be classmates at Starfleet Academy together (which seems to be the rumoured premise.) However, Kelly was eleven years older than Shatner, so the timelines bascially line up if it's a post-Academy thing, or is Bones isn't actually a classmate of Kirk's.

  • Re:At first. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) * on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:14PM (#15841373) Homepage Journal
    I agree. Ben Affleck is the only reason for negativity of Matt Damon. Matt, by himself, is a good actor.
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fordiman ( 689627 ) <fordiman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:16PM (#15841390) Homepage Journal
    If you were your age now, and introduced to the original series as an adult with no prior Star Trekkiness, you, like me, would be under the impression that it sucked bad.

    Lousy acting, lame plots, almost no finish. Sorry, but it simply doesn't live up to today's standards.

    I thought DS9 was the gem in the group, but almost no one agrees there; oddly, some geeks just can't handle a coherent plot.
  • I liked DS9. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:32PM (#15841535)
    Except for the final couple of seasons. Then it sucked.

    And TOS was damn good when it was released. It doesn't look that as cutting edge now, because the edge has moved on.

    The problem is that the Star Trek franchise has not kept up with the edge. Now they're afraid of the edge. They don't want to make a show that small core will love for years and years and years. They want a show that almost everyone will sort of like and probably watch every week. They want "Friends" ... but in space. With the foam head of the month "alien".

    They want "episodes", not stories.

    They want light, cute actors, not developed characters.
  • by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:35PM (#15841562)
    IMDB notes that info in pre-production is subject to change. Plus, it's not like they're the only ones [] speculating about it.
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lordmatthias215 ( 919632 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:37PM (#15841586)
    The same thing could be said about most of the television shows in the 60's and 70's. Everything was corny, and would appear to lack polish compared to today's shows. Good news for the 60's however, is that they didn't need to live up to TODAY'S standards. They weren't meant for today's audiences- they were meant for yesteryear's audiences. Although I agree with you that DS9 was enjoyable, and had some really great plots, my favorite still remains TNG. Sure, somtimes the plots relied a little too much on some never-before-seen readation or particle, but the show also exhibited many radically different cultures and physiologies etc. that could be possible in the galaxy, and used them to examine what it meant to be human. DS9 dealt more with political tensions between the Federation and other galactic powers, which i didn't get into as much. Plus, many techs that TOS and TNG came up with are now finding a place in real life, based soley on the fact that geeks grew up dreaming they could have things like communicators and replicators. Shoot, physicists are even starting to examine the possibility of warp drives as a means of travel. Although current models show that it would take too much energy to travel this way, you never know which inventive mind will find a different way of looking at the data, and discover a way to make it feasible.
  • Re:At first. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:39PM (#15841598)
    "Good Will Hunting was exactly like Bourne Identity and Dogma?"

    No, Matt Damon's acting is painfully identical in Good Will Hunting, Bourne Identity, and Dogma, despite the character being very different in all three movies.

    "Besides Damon will make at least as good a Kirk as Val Kilmer was Batman."

    Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better about the decision. Maybe if Damon would make as good a Kirk as Kilmer made a Chris Knight...
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrxak ( 727974 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:46PM (#15841661)
    I think the horrified look of the alien in the Sci-Fi logo next to the story sums this up pretty well. Not that Matt Damon probably couldn't play a good Kirk, just that they're actually making a prequel movie like this to begin with. They really need to wait 5-10 years, and then start a new TV series in the 24th or 25th century. Just tack 50 years onto the end of the Voyager series, and go with that. Heck, go back to the Delta Quadrant with a new super-duper engine. In fact, send two ships (two crews for double the story possibilites) and have them go re-explore that region of space together. I think there were enough interesting possibilities there that could refreshen the franchise. But the important thing is to wait for 5-10 years.
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mattintosh ( 758112 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:53PM (#15841723)
    DS9 was a "gem" because of competition. Babylon 5 was airing during the same period as DS9, thus Star Trek started to look a bit lame (compared to what it was before... ?). So they stepped it up a notch. And when B5 ended its run, they stopped competing and went back to... well, Voyager.
  • by bcarl314 ( 804900 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:54PM (#15841730)
    I, for one, think that it's about time to move on from the Shatner / Nimoy combo. After all, the only end result of sticking with those two for playing Kirk and Spock is a movie about geriatrics (sp?).

    I think is probably where paramount should look for guidance. They've cast all new (and pretty much unknown) actors for the roles. Take a look at the episodes, the story lines, IMO, are on par with the original series. Sure the acting and special effects are a little shotty, but overall, that's the best ST story lines I've seen since TNG.

    Bottom line: If Star Trek wants to continue with the Kirk / Spock story lines, we need to realize that they're characters, and not the actors, that we like.
  • by russ1337 ( 938915 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:00PM (#15841779)
    Matt....... Daaaaamon
  • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:13PM (#15841888) Homepage
    they need to do what they have always been good at, movies for action

    I dunno about you, but for me, the appeal of Star Trek was always the interaction between the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and to a lesser extent, Scotty and the other bridge crew. Their friendships felt genuine and it was fun to watch them tested by various forms of ridiculous melodrama. "Next Generation" was a decent show from time to time but I never got that feeling from it, and all the other series and all the movies since "Khan" -- especially when they started playing it "for action" -- seemed like mindless fanboy garbage.

  • Re:I liked DS9. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SamSim ( 630795 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:26PM (#15841999) Homepage Journal
    What I think this particular story means is that the Star Trek universe wants to stop moving forward. In time, I mean. The creators of Star Trek have - starting with Enterprise and continuing until now - lost the guts to do anything but cash in on past glories and old history. There's no drive to create NEW history. Old Star Trek is popular still - yeah, because it's old. New Old Star Trek will get nowhere. "Rebooting" the Star Trek universe from Kirk and Spock will get nowhere. They need to go forward. REALLY forward. Five hundred years beyond TNG. Build an absolutely perfect Federation and then hurl seriously gigantic threats at it. Go to the limits of current science fiction and use the cream. Transhumanism and stuff!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:43PM (#15842129)
    The only producer that would ever do that is dead.
  • Re:I liked DS9. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TrippTDF ( 513419 ) <> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:44PM (#15842140)
    They want "episodes", not stories.

    I'm sure Ron Moore was in agreement with that, and that's why he moved on to Battlestar Galactica. You can't skip and episode of that show or you will be pretty lost. It also is pretty edgy, dealing with modern day ideas of terrorism, military power, and political espianage. And although this point gets argued, I'd say it has the best FX of any Sci-Fi show on TV right now.
  • Re:I liked DS9. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glindsey ( 73730 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:48PM (#15842171)
    You just boggled my mind. How can you say you hated the final seasons of DS9, and then immediately below that talk about how the franchise wants episodic television instead of story arcs and developed characters? An ongoing story arc and significant character development was precisely what happened to DS9 toward the end! On the other hand, early DS9 was very similar to TNG: episodic vignettes that can be neatly wrapped up when the hour is through, and everything is the same at the end as it was in the beginning. After seeing the success of Babylon 5, the writers and producers of DS9 started experimenting with the concepts you claim to like, and the result was the very thing you claim to hate.
  • by mikehoskins ( 177074 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @04:00PM (#15842250)
    As I understand it, TOS used different SciFi writers all the time, for different episodes, and usually created a three-act play. They got the best SciFi writers for their day.

    Why not use Joss Whedon as chief writer and use the gang of two to fill in "Star Trek" details and to organize it into three-acts?

    My goodness, Firely/Serenity were so good!

    Don't skimp on space, ethics, and phaser fire, though....
  • Re:I liked DS9. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @04:11PM (#15842347)
    The problem with the later shows was that everything became too easy. All you have to do is press a couple buttons and generate a tachyon beam, or reconfigure your phaser to some new frequency, and the foe is vanquished. In the orignal Star Trek, things were still hard to do. That creates drama.
  • Re:I liked DS9. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @04:26PM (#15842459)
    They don't want to make a show that small core will love for years and years and years.

    Star Trek is too expensive to make to only appeal to a small core.

    They want light, cute actors, not developed characters.

    Star Trek has never had developed characters.
  • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @04:55PM (#15842681) Homepage Journal
    Andromeda was originally intended to be about the last Federation starship after the collapse of the Federation. Roddenberry's ideas were turned around a bit because the current keepers of Star Trek didn't want to "destroy" the universe and damage their cash cow.

    If you watch the show, especially the episodes when they were still using one of the writers from Bab 5, you can even see how some of the "Andromeda" aliens mapped to the Star Trek species they were based on.

    In short, Roddenberry WANTED to trash the Federation and run the universe from a point of collapse and chaos. What happened was that his notes got used to start a new show, the "Federation" got renamed the "Confederacy" and it was treated to a decent special effects budget and not much else.

    If you watch it as a post Federation show, and mentally map some of the alien species to their Trek counterparts, the show actually becomes watchable.

    After all, Shatner taught all of us to look beyond the acting. :)
  • Mod parent up. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:08PM (#15842764)
    I have to agree on the "plot device" bit.

    Particularly with how Dax was killed by evil ghosts while on a quest to save the Orb of Prophecy so The Emissary could perform the Rite of X and seal the Portal of Y.

    They ran out of real story so they tried to stitch in a DnD plot line and they ended up with the standard fantasy cardboard characters.
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by franksands ( 938435 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:27PM (#15842894) Homepage Journal
    Why not make a series where a crew get to go out of the galaxy. In the Star Trek Universe our galaxy was seeded with life that would generally turn out humanoid. That saves on special effects, but now that is not a problem.
    Let's get this straight from the start:I am not a troll. I really like the ST Universe, and liked a lot TNG and DS9, but here's a crazy idea: let's create something new. A new sc-fi series, with new characters and new stories and it is not based on a universe that lasted for 40 years. I think Star Trek survived till today even with some bump and bruises along the way, but how about using a bit of creativity?
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:22PM (#15843215)
    I think Star Trek survived till today even with some bump and bruises along the way, but how about using a bit of creativity?

    Well, yes. But the problem is that creativity happens rarely, and what you often get is warp drive/phases/the federation etc. simply re-packed with different names, so why not use the original? It is a known fictional universe, which means that much is 'given', and you have an established fan base. Also, I feel that there could be a lot of creativity based on Star Trek, especially now that special effects are cheap (and assuming good writers are used).
  • by zuckerj ( 993079 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:00PM (#15843649)
    So many comments about, "Why are they rehashing?!?!", or "Why are they going backwards?!?!", and "Why don't they create a new show with an unknown cast of characters in some future time..." The reason... Because the majority of the public probably won't come to find out what happens to your anonymous crew, on your here-to-fore anonymous ship in the equally anonymous new sector of space. Sci Fi is a hard sell mainstream, so good Sci Fi just doesn't make good financial sense. But you birth Bourne into the familiar Tibereus role, as a strapping young cadet, and you may just tap into the interest of serious, hard working, concerned with world affairs age bracket members that grew up with the corny sitcom.

    It's always about the LIQUID. But lets wait and see. I mean, good can be financially good too... right???

  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FlameSnyper ( 31312 ) <Derek@[ ] ['Fla' in gap]> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:17PM (#15843725) Homepage
    Yeah. It was called Firefly, then Serenity.

    It got cancelled, and the movie did really poorly at the box office.

    As geeks, we should'a been out there supporting Joss and his "new sc-fi series, with new characters and new stories and it is not based on a universe that lasted for 40 years".

    I personally feel bad that I only saw the movie twice at the theatre.

    We bitch about nothing good on, but then don't support it when it shows up.
  • Re:Oh, Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:46PM (#15844229)
    As geeks, we should'a been out there supporting Joss and his "new sc-fi series. We bitch about nothing good on, but then don't support it when it shows up.

    Amen. Notice how most people talk the talk, but have second thoughts about walkin' the walk? In my hometown, many people complained about there not being any 'real' cinema. I actually went out and did something about it, screening films in a local cultural center once a week, with no admission cost.
    Guess what? NONE of the people, both men and women, who complained about lack of options in town, have shown up during the ten months I've been screening films, sheepishly delivering a barrage of chronic excuses:
    - "I was busy"
    - "I forgot (and went out on the town)"
    - "I don't have time" (but they do have time to go out on the town on that same night, week in and week out)
    - "Etcetera"

    Fortunately, I have built up a modest but loyal audience, mainly composed of college science students (astronomy and oceanography).
    But if I hear any more complaints from poseurs, I'm gonna laugh in their face, spit in their eye and piss in their ear.
  • Bah! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SurturZ ( 54334 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:03PM (#15844303) Homepage Journal
    All they need to do is call it "Star Trek XI: Kobayashi Maru" and you know we'll go and watch it.

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller