J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Updates from Eric Bana and NASA
We're over one month into 2008, we've seen Cloverfield, the next season of "Lost" has just begun, so what's next for J.J. Abrams? Star Trek of course! Abrams and his incredible line-up of actors is currently filming under very tight security, but one person who hasn't filmed yet is Eric Bana, who plays a Romulan named Nero. Bana was recently drilled at a press event for his other movie The Other Boleyn Girl and spoke briefly about his role in the film. And on top of all of that, a news article put out on Space.com today pointed out that a NASA scientist has joined the production to ensure "the scientific accuracy of the movie's astronomical scenes." Buzz is solidly starting to build for Star Trek, that's for sure!
Let's kick things off with Eric Bana. Back in October, when it was announced that he had joined the cast, the only thing mentioned about his character was that it was a villain named Nero. As for what exactly the role involves, Bana describes it as a cameo at first, but goes on to elaborate. "It's just a great character, it's J.J. Abrams. It's a really well-written script, great part. Couldn't say no. I don't actually look at the size of parts ever." (via Herald Sun) But wait, if he's the villain but he only has a cameo, how does that work? Bana clarifies exactly what he meant (via Cinematical), which is simply a different definition of cameo than all of us.
Isn't Nero the main villain in this movie, I asked? To which he replied: "Well, I guess he kind of is, but I guess what I mean is that in the context of the roles I usually do, the weight is firmly on other areas, you know what I mean? It's not one of those roles where you're carrying the movie, is what I'm saying. I feel like I'm very much in a supporting role, not one of the main guys. So 'cameo' is a way of saying I don't feel like, as I am in this film or some other films, where you're clearly carrying a lot of the film. It's a luxury to not be in that position. It's nice to be offered a part like that."
So essentially Nero is the main villain in the movie and he does have a very big role, but it's obviously not the lead role, because that's for Captain Kirk and the remainder of the USS Enterprise crew. Now it all makes sense! Bana says he is, "a bit of a Trek fan. I wouldn’t say I was a huge Trekkie when I was a kid, but I've enjoyed them over the years." (via MTV) Good to hear Mr. Bana. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that I really hope his performance as the Romulan villain Nero is exquisite, but how often has he done a bad job, anyway? Even in Ang Lee's terrible Hulk movie he was pretty damn good!
Now onto the realm of space and science! One thing I've always enjoyed when watching Star Trek is how scientifically accurate and how nerd-centric the actual writing is when it comes to details. Sure we don't have warp drives and teleportation systems, but if we did, that's exactly how they would work. In regards to space and planets and that big vast empty space that surrounds us, Paramount has brought on Carolyn Porco, a NASA planetary scientist, to help ensure the scientific accuracy of the movie's astronomical scenes. Space.com posted the news update on Porco.
As the leader of the Imaging Science team on NASA'S Cassini mission at Saturn, Carolyn Porco has guided a crew of scientists and engineers responsible for illustrating the mission's results.
Porco now will also work on the new Paramount Pictures film as a consultant on planetary science and imagery.
J.J. Abrams himself brought her on board and from the sounds of it, she is helping the CGI team the most, at least in depicting perfectly accurate astronomical scenes, which I'm sure is anything that involves spaceships, whether it's the USS Enterprise or not. Abrams enthusiastically commented on her involvement, which is a great thing to hear coming from the director. To me at least, it shows that Abrams really cares about every last detail, including being as scientifically accurate as possible.
"Carolyn and her team have produced images that are simply stunning," Abrams said. "I'm thrilled that she will help guide our production in creating an authentic vision of space, one that immerses our audience in a visual experience as awe-inspiring as what Carolyn's cameras have captured."
With every new detail I hear and every update in regards to Star Trek, I get more and more excited. Although we still have to wade our way through the impending summer movie season, which holds some incredible movies, once that's over we'll be in the home stretch for Star Trek. In the same vein that I think Michael Bay was the perfect person for Transformers and Zack Snyder is the perfect person for Watchmen, I think J.J. Abrams is the perfect person to reboot and refresh Star Trek. His dedication and his genius touch will result in one hell of a movie.
Star Trek is directed by J.J. Abrams (of "Lost" and Mission: Impossible III) and written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (of The Island, Mission: Impossible III, Transformers). The film is the 11th movie in the Star Trek universe. Star Trek arrives in theaters on May 8th, 2009.