In what can only be possibly described as the best casting news of perhaps the entire year, Simon Pegg has been given the role of Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in J. J. Abrams upcoming Star Trek franchise reboot.
Pegg will be joining Eric Bana (as a villian named Nero), Anton Yelchin (as Pavel Chekov), Zachary Quinto (as the young Mr. Spock), Zoe Saldana (as Uhura) and Leonard Nimoy (the only original Trek actor returning, reprising his role as, presumably the older, Mr. Spock) in a story set during legendary captain James T. Kirk’s early years at Starfleet Academy. Production is slated to begin next month, with the movie landing in theaters Christmas 2008.
The film is Abrams attempt to reboot the Trek franchise for Paramount, which after 40 years, has lost some favor with the casual audience outside of its rabid fanbase. For my part, I gave up on regular doses of Star Trek as part of my television diet back around the first season of the Deep Space Nine series. Bloom was long off Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s rose and I had moved on to other things, only briefly checking now and then on the franchise, only to confirm for myself that nothing new or exciting was happening there. (Though I did find what I saw of the final season of Enterprise to be some of the best Trek in years, despite its terrible theme song. But that is really damning with faint praise.)
Up until this news, I had only been looking forward to this latest attempt at reigniting the public’s interest in Star Trek with only the mildest of interest. But the casting of Pegg, which comes as a surprise as he is someone I hadn’t even thought of for the part, has raised my interest quite a bit.