Amidst all the rather large casting announcement news regarding the upcoming new Star Trek movie (Eric Bana as the bad guy, Zach Quinto as Spock, Simon Pegg as Scotty), almost quietly the film has apparently cast its leading man. Actor Chris Pine (Smokin Aces) is your new Captain James T. Kirk.
My exposure to Pine is limited, although I will say that his performance in Smokin Aces was one of that films redeeming qualities. The thing I like most about this casting is that Pine is still a relative unknown… and that’s exactly what was needed for a new Kirk. Big named actors bring along with them certain audience expectations perceptions and biases. A new face like Pine’s means he can just walk into the role of Kirk and make it his own, define it on his own terms without a set of pre-existing baggage that a named actor would inevitably bring along.
This news comes from Director Joe Carnahan’s blog who was hoping to land Pine in his own upcoming project “White Jazz”.
You don’t get opportunities like that often and I told him as long as he could control as much of that process as possible and not get sucked into doing lesser sequels as a result of taking this gig, then good luck and God bless.
Ultimately this casting decision will have only a modest impact on the quality of this movie. Pine isn’t going to write the dialog or the story or the action. He’s going to fill a role that is already created before he shows up for his first day. The real question is can he convince us he’s Kirk… a new Kirk? Can he make us say “Shatner who?”. That’s all yet to be seen